The Measles Moms – Medium

A very good short read on the people making the decisions on not vaccinating their children and how the medical community (and non medical community) might reach out to them. Written by Jessica Valenti.

The leaders of the anti-vaccination movement — both at home and on the national stage — are women. (Specifically, women in <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003111108.htm&quot; data-href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171003111108.htm&quot; class="markup–anchor markup–p-anchor" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.541176); background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.843137); font-family: medium-content-serif-font, Georgia, Cambria, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif; font-size: 21px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: -0.06300000101327896px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>affluent areas.) They’re <a href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf&quot; data-href="https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/women-and-job-based-health.pdf&quot; class="markup–anchor markup–p-anchor" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" target="_blank" style="background-color: transparent; color: inherit; text-decoration: none; -webkit-tap-highlight-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.541176); background-image: url("data:image/svg+xml; utf8, “); background-size: 1px 1px; caret-color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.843137); font-family: medium-content-serif-font, Georgia, Cambria, “Times New Roman”, Times, serif; font-size: 21px; font-style: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: -0.06300000101327896px; orphans: auto; text-align: start; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-size-adjust: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; background-position: 0px calc(1em + 1px); background-repeat: repeat no-repeat”>disproportionately the family members who make medical decisions about kids, they’re the most active in chat rooms, and they’re the most recognizable public faces of the anti-vaccination movement.

https://medium.com/s/jessica-valenti/why-women-lead-the-anti-vaxx-movement-13bb6ff6ae5c

49 measles cases now confirmed as local legislators hope to tighten exemption laws – The Reflector

This from the Clark County newspaper, The Reflector.

Clark County Public Health’s latest update on the measles outbreak today has a total of 49 confirmed cases, with nine more suspected.

Read the whole story.

http://www.thereflector.com/news/article_ff76d1c4-28bc-11e9-8ac6-db86c0aa6586.html

Australia could become first country to eradicate cervical cancer – Guardian

More on the vaccination world. The Guardian has a story on how Australia is on it’s way to becoming the first country to eradicate cervical cancer, one of the leading outcomes of Human Papillomavirus or HPV.  The article states that 99.9% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV. Other cancers, such as anal cancer, are also caused by HPV. My late wife died of anal cancer likely caused by HPV in 2005. It is not an easy death.

But in Australia, the government started a program to allow all teens under the age of 19 to access two free doses of the vaccine for free. As a result, “the HPV rate among women aged 18-24 dropped from 22.7% to 1.1% between 2005 and 2015”

Having witnessed an HPV created death first hand, I cannot stress enough that parents ought to set aside their fears of vaccinations and get your teen vaccinated! Teens, you don’t need parental approval. Just go to Public Health or see your physician or other provider and get it done. Even if you believe that by practicing safe sex or maintaining only one partner that you can’t get infected, this is not accurate. If your partner has had oral sex with just one person who has HPV, or had oral sex done to them, they could be infected. This long term study proves once and for all that you can give yourself a much greater opportunity to live HPV free. Your life is on the line.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/04/australia-could-become-first-country-to-eradicate-cervical-cancer

 

Pro -Vaccine Physician still attacked by critics even as measles outbreaks spread – Guardian

While this is world news, given that Port Townsend has played such a larger than life role in the anti-vaccine skeptic crowd, with such validation of the inaccurate claims coming from the local Townsend Newsletter over the years, and the low vaccination rate in the county, I thought I would include this.

In today’s Guardian they include a story about “Trapped in a hoax: survivors of conspiracy theories speak out”, including an update on Dr. Paul Offit, who has been one of the leaders on speaking out against anti-vaccine skeptics. He took on the now discredited British gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield and setup the Vaccine Education Center. Read the whole sordid tale of those that attacked him, at

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jan/23/conspiracy-theories-internet-survivors-truth

Closer to home, a measles outbreak in southwest Washington Clark County, another hotbed of anti-vaccine skeptics and the county with the lowest rate of vaccinations in the state,  has now been confirmed to have moved to South Seattle.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2019/01/17/washington-state-measles-outbreak-grows-most-patients-unvaccinated/2611087002/

and

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/king-county-man-may-have-contracted-measles-from-southwest-washington-outbreak/

A King County resident contracted measles after traveling to Clark County, where an outbreak has spread to at least 23 people, public-health officials said Wednesday.

Portland is also at high risk, due to low vaccination rates.

As the Times article points out, “you can get it just by being in a room where a person with measles has been.”

Many, including this blog, have been warning that we are likely to pay the price for this hoax having been spread around the world. No other vaccine-preventable disease causes as many deaths. (according to the Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews August 2013)

If you want to educate yourself to measles, start here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measles

New York’s Orthodox Jewish community is battling measles outbreaks. Vaccine deniers are to blame. – VOX

The medical community has been raising a lot of concerns over the last few years about the low vaccine rates in our county. The non-scientific hysteria over vaccines, based on information that has been debunked by science and promoted in such local media as the Townsend Newsletter,  poses a serious health threat to our community that, so far, we have been lucky to avoid. In New York’s ultra Orthodox community, however, the price is starting to come home, as this article in Vox describes. This goes along with the news story from just the other day, that a 26 year old woman who worked on Fox News and would rail against vaccinations, died of complications from flu. It’s been 100 years since we had the last serious outbreak of flu, and like many lessons, subsequent generations have people like these unfortunate folks, that have forgotten or never clearly understood the price that was paid by not having a flu vaccine back then. Millions died. We hope that we won’t go that far before the anti-vaccine crowd retreats into the dustbin of history. And we sincerely hope it won’t be because they or their families paid the price for their misguided beliefs.

A small side story is that my grandmother became a nurse because of the flu epidemic of 1918, and she ended up meeting my grandfather because of her work. I heard the concern in her voice when she would talk about how horrible it was. She witnessed, in her career, the enormous benefits that vaccinations of flu and polio had on saving her patients. She also saw the astonishing benefits of anti-antibiotics, a true miracle drug to her, as she had witnessed so many children die of various bacterial infections.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/11/9/18068036/measles-new-york-orthodox-jewish-community-vaccines

Fox News Anti-Vaccine Commentator dead of Swine Flu at 26.

Bre Payton, a conservative writer and frequent FOX News contributor has died of H1N1 (swine flu) virus (and perhaps meningitis)  at the age of 26. Ms. Payton was an outspoken critic of vaccinations. We would assume she did not get a flu vaccination. This highlights the ongoing battle over vaccinations and the predicted outcome of ignoring the warnings that flu is still a serious illness. Port Townsend is a hot bed of anti-vaccination activity and our county has one of the lower vaccination rates in the state. Only 77% of our K-12 have been completely immunized. This compares to King or Kitsap that both have over 90% of their children completely immunized.

bre payton

 

Rare polio like disease cases growing in WA – Seattle Times

What is causing AFM? This is bizarre disease is increasing in the number of cases, and apparently is happening in Washington State.

Hayden Werdal was born “perfectly healthy.” He caught a nasty cold at age 14, and now, four years later, he’s considered a paraplegic and needs a ventilator. Werdal, of Bremerton, has a rare and mysterious illness that’s left Washington families reeling. AFM is spiking, with 127 confirmed or reported cases nationwide this year, including eight in Washington. – Seattle Times

Just today, another case in Yakima:

http://newstalkkit.com/possible-acute-flaccid-myelitis-case-in-yakima-county/

While this is emerging, Trump has cut the budget at the Center for Disease Control. According to Politifact:

Among other changes, Trump’s budget would cut $138 million from the program dedicated to chronic disease prevention and health promotion, cut $59.9 million from programs studying “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases,” and $46 million from a program called “Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health.” A zoonotic disease is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to people.

Remember this as you decide who to vote for. A vote for Republicans is a vote to continue cutting the one agency that might help find a cause for this emerging illness.