*slowclap* Woman brings measles home from London

Air travelers may have been exposed to measles
WASHINGTON (AP) – Public health officials are warning travelers and workers present at four U.S. airports on two recent days that they may have been exposed to measles from a traveler arriving from London.

Authorities said Saturday that a New Mexico woman later confirmed to have measles arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport late in the afternoon of Feb. 20. Two days later, the measles-infected traveler departed from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport near Baltimore on an evening flight to Denver, Colo., and then on to Albuquerque, N.M.

The traveler became sick and was subsequently diagnosed with measles in New Mexico, said Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He said Saturday night that authorities in those states are trying to notify travelers who sat close to the infected passenger on the flights.

The New Mexico Department of Health’s scientific laboratory division didn’t identify the traveler by name but said she was a 27-year-old Santa Fe, woman who had not been immunized against measles.

NOW, NOW WAIT, folks! WAIT! I know what youre thinking! Youre thinking, “OMFG! WHAT A GIGANTIC BITCH! Its one thing for an unimmunized kid to be spreading preventable diseases internationally and all over the United States, kid cant help their parents are dipshits– but this was A 27 YEAR OLD ADULT. No matter how crazy her parents were, she always had the ability to walk to any county health department, say ‘I never got my MMR.’ and the situation would be taken care of, for free, or close to it. But FOR 9 FUCKING YEARS she made the decision not to get vaccinated, and now HER idiotic ‘decision’ has put countless individuals at risk, against their will. If anyone gets sick from this stupid bitch, I hope they sue her ass. I sure as fuck would. And holy crap, if anybody dies from it…”

Lets not jump to regional stereotypes, thinking Santa Fe is full of crystal healing, alien abducted, turquoise squash-blossom wearing, anti-vax weirdos.

Im sure there is a totally rational explanation for why a grown woman in Santa Fe hasnt gotten her shots. Like, maybe she was born with HIV-1 and has AIDS. Or maybe shes had cancer for 27 years. I know if I was in her position, I wouldnt be traveling to a country with skyrocketing measles cases thanks in large part to this loser, but hey, maybe it was her dying wish to see Big Ben, or something.

EDIT: LOL, JK! She is, in fact, a self-centered bitch:

The C.D.C. says the woman who tested positive was not immunized because of her religion.

This woman might be a selfish, self-centered, asshole. Maybe not. But hopefully her stupid behavior (sick or not, someone who hasnt had their MMR should not be going to London, where its now endemic) will be a kick in the pants for other people who are consciously putting other people at risk.

Comments

  1. #1 Jon H
    February 27, 2011

    There’s a few people in Boston with measles right now, with the original carrier an employee at the French consulate. No word on where she might have picked it up, or what her nationality is.

  2. #2 chris
    February 27, 2011

    even if she’s crazy and unethical, it’s not cool to call women bitches.

  3. #3 george.w
    February 27, 2011

    OK, I’ll bite: how the heck did she ever get a passport? Don’t you have to get severely perforated to travel out of the country? Just asking; I’ve never been.

  4. #4 ERV
    February 27, 2011

    I didnt call her a bitch because she is female. I called her a bitch because shes a bitch. That was really sexist, chris.

    George– I just went to Antarctica, and no one asked me for any vax records :-/ I brought them just in case, and I was all over South America… I dont know what the rules are either.

  5. #5 george.w
    February 27, 2011

    Wow, that’s… interesting. I assumed the rules were tighter than that. Not reassuring.

  6. #6 William Wallace
    February 27, 2011

    The (vaccine) Lottery makes science based automatons feel better, much like having TSA agents grope my mother makes nail biters feel better.

    But in a highly vaccinated society, the marginal benefit of getting vaccinated diminishes while the risk of getting vaccinated remains pretty much constant.

    If the MMR vaccine were so great, why would you, a person injected with a pharma-cocktail, care, anyway?

    Besides, as the vaccine is made from attenuated viruses, my niece ended up in the hospital with measles after getting the MMR.

  7. #7 mxh
    February 27, 2011

    I am wondering if it is even possible to sue the woman in this case. I assume she didn’t know she had measles when she was traveling.

  8. #8 mxh
    February 27, 2011

    @william wallace, I care because anyone younger than one (including, until recently, my son) is too young to get the vaccine and can easily catch it. This woman has potentially exposed thousands of people to the virus, some of whom may be younger than one. The benefit is marginal (i.e. you can count of herd immunity) only if more than 90% of the population is vaccinated. Because of the irresponsible misinformation by antivacciners, that’s not the case in a lot of places.

  9. #9 daedalus2u
    February 27, 2011

    mxh, probably not.

    There is a good public health reason to not encourage lawsuits in circumstances such as this. Allowing law suits would provide an enormous incentive to people to keep quiet about any disease they might have. If people know they have been exposed, they can get vaccinated and/or they can stay out of public places and not expose other people. It is a lot easier to try and stop an epidemic with a single index case a few days after exposure than one with 20 cases a few weeks later.

  10. #10 Clam
    February 28, 2011

    That nasty fellow Joe Mercola sent me this, this morning:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/22/wa-state-vaccine-law-threatens-exemptions-and-violates-privacy.aspx

    Shouldn’t the death penalty be reinstated?

  11. #11 Stuartg
    February 28, 2011

    Last month something similar happened in New Zealand. Warnings were in the media that passengers on a flight to New Zealand on 3/4 January could have been exposed during the flight.

    By 25 February, 18 passengers from the flight were reported to have developed measles. Some were in Christchurch. I hope there’s no further transmission there.

  12. #12 techskeptic
    February 28, 2011

    WW,

    You are a troll, but i’m going to feed you anyway.

    If the MMR vaccine were so great, why would you, a person injected with a pharma-cocktail, care, anyway

    This statement lets me know you have not bothered to even learn the most fundamental aspects of herd immunity and vaccine effectiveness.

    No vaccine is 100% effective. Increasing the population of vaccinated people decreases the chances of not only the spread of a disease from idiots like this one coming in from london, but also decreases the chance of a failure of a vaccination.

    I have no doubt this has been explained to you 5000 times and yet you decide to repeat stupid ideas.

    When you write stupid things, people will treat you….you know… like you are stupid.

  13. #13 stripey_cat
    February 28, 2011

    I do feel sorry for the woman, if there was a real medical reason why she can’t be vaccinated: never being able to travel anywhere, even to supposedly safe, rich countries, would suck. And what might seem a minor, acceptable risk to herself suddenly blows up if she sat next to a pregnant woman, or someone with a weak immune system. That said, it was still either a stupid or a selfish risk assessment.

  14. #14 Tristan
    February 28, 2011

    @WW: ahhh, there’s that Christian trait of caring for your fellow man that we all know and love.

  15. #15 Charl
    February 28, 2011

    WW: did your niece have a sequencing-confirmed case of Edmonton (vaccine strain) measles, or could she have had wild-type? Not everyone responds to the measles vaccine. 90% mount an antibody response to one vaccination. 95% respond to two doses. 98% respond to three doses (lower if you have HIV). Some people will never respond to the vaccine (or we’ll never be able to measure an antibody titre from it), like the HepB vaccine. Your personal genetic background (just just in the HLA system, either) is likely to play a role in that response.

  16. #16 David Marjanović
    February 28, 2011

    George– I just went to Antarctica, and no one asked me for any vax records :-/ I brought them just in case, and I was all over South America… I dont know what the rules are either.

    I’ve never had to show any for entering the US. Rich countries tend to have regulations about what vaccinations you must have if you go to tropical countries and come back (you know, malaria, dengue, yellow fever, whatnot — my brother needed a couple before going to the Philippines), but not about each other.

    And Antarctica is sterile for all practical purposes. You’re not going to get bird flu from the penguins.

  17. #17 csrster
    February 28, 2011

    To be fair, a lot of people probably don’t know what childhood vaccinations they’ve had. If we’re going to spread the blame around here, I’d like to heap a goodly dollop on the people of London whose credulous attention to the Daily Mail and the Evening Standard has turned their city into a third-world shithole that you need vaccinations to visit. I blame Cherie Blair.

  18. #18 Diagoras
    February 28, 2011

    but shouldn’t everyone who had an MMR shot in the past be save when he gets in contact with anyone infected with measles ? i mean i thought that’s the point of the whole vaccination.
    and ppl with AIDS or cancer are mostly pretty well isolated from other ppl cause of their heavy disease so aren’t they at reduced risk anyway to get infected by idiots ? well ok ofc there are still not yet immunized children which are at possible risk which sucks big time ofc but i don’t get why the whole thing is such an incredible story?

    and another half-way off-topic thing … i’m scared of freaking syringes i just seriously hate em, i know it’s pretty irrational but well it’s a fear thx to some bad experiences as kid for having had shots from nurses/doctors that seemed be pretty incapable, so i’m just wondering if there is anything promising of administering vaccines in a less unpleasant way … btw i know vaccines work i’d never doubt that but i’m just scared of the way the are administered :)

  19. #19 BdN
    February 28, 2011

    but shouldn’t everyone who had an MMR shot in the past be save when he gets in contact with anyone infected with measles ? i mean i thought that’s the point of the whole vaccination.

    See previous comments.

    so i’m just wondering if there is anything promising of administering vaccines in a less unpleasant way

    See oral, nasal and transdermal administration.

  20. #20 R2
    February 28, 2011

    #18, Diagoras:

    There are other routes some vaccines may be administered. But you’ll likely have to take one for the team and suffer through a few seconds (minutes if you count the pre-shot anxiety) of pain. Sucks, but it’s better than a disease.

  21. #21 Joseph
    February 28, 2011

    Don’t you have to get severely perforated to travel out of the country? Just asking; I’ve never been.

    I can only speak to where I’ve travelled, so here’s the list, to the best of my recollection. Also, I’m a US citizen with a US origins for the flights (excepting a few as noted):
    Germany: No proof requested at the border. By corollary, this also implies the same for all other Schengen countries, if only provided you fly in to Germany and drive or take the train within Schengen.
    Austria: No proof requested at the border. Same as Germany, iirc.
    UK (Scotland): No proof requested at the border.
    Japan: No proof requested at the border.
    Poland: No proof requested at the border (flew out of Munich into Krakow)
    Romania: No proof requested at the border (flew out of Munich and Vienna into two different cities)
    Brazil: No proof requested at the border. It *is*, however, a very good idea to get some important vaccines before you go. I was not travelling to the Amazon, however (I was in São Paulo state only.) but I don’t know how they’d necessarily control for that if you flew into e.g. SP and used other means within country.

    I’ve not travelled there, but I’ve heard from someone who has that some vaccines are required in some portions (no idea which) of Africa. Particularly yellow fever. To the extent that, if you can’t prove immunization, they will immunize you. And they reuse needles. As I said, this is from someone who flew there (but for obvious reasons got immunized here in the US, so that last bit of information is at least one degree of hearsay away).

    The CDC website has information on the requirements: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/Brazil.aspx It’s a very good idea to check the site of the country you’re going to visit before going. :)

  22. #22 Mara
    February 28, 2011

    Oh great. She apparently spent 2 days in the DC area (where I live) but this article doesn’t tell me where she was. Boy, I’m glad my kids are fully vaccinated.

    I thought in cases like this they usually give us some idea where the person went so we know if we need to watch out for symptoms.

  23. #23 Vicki
    February 28, 2011

    I don’t think any country wants proof of vaccination for a passport. Different countries want different things for entry visas: my mother had to get a yellow fever vaccine and a DTaP booster before going to India this winter, but I’m not sure if the DTaP was an Indian government rule or something her doctor or the tour operator suggested. (They didn’t explain what DTaP stood for, so she thought she was getting a polio booster.)

    There are separate lists of things that are recommended for travelers to certain places. In most cases, though, the law allows you to take your chances.

  24. #24 becca
    February 28, 2011

    In fairness, she probably didn’t realize measles was endemic in the UK. I read that and was all, wait, did I read that right? I had no idea it was that common.
    I mean, it turns out measles is endemic in Germany too, and I once visited Berlin. It never once occurred to me that I needed to be vaccinated, or that there was any infectious disease risk different from the US.
    Granted, I *have* had my MMR and most of the other standard vaccines.

  25. #25 Prof.Pedant
    February 28, 2011

    I didnt call her a bitch because she is female. I called her a bitch because shes a bitch. That was really sexist, chris.

    Objecting to someone calling a woman a bitch is not a demonstration of sexism. The reverse is often the case, many women feel that when they are called ‘a bitch’ that the reason they were called ‘a bitch’ has a lot more to do with their gender than their behavior.

    And for what it is worth (and yes, I do understand that you do not care), your free use of derogatory language towards women is quite off-putting. Since this is not a very woman-friendly blog I tend to read it only once in a while, and I am sure that I am not the only one who wishes that you would treat women more respectfully. You resort to gender-specific name calling much too easily.

  26. #26 ERV
    February 28, 2011

    Pedant– Really? You dont read this blog often? You dont say! I dont believe it! You coulda fooled me!

  27. #27 ragarth
    February 28, 2011

    Yay, another anti-vax moron tries to kill babies.

    I’d love to picket these people’s homes with signs reading ‘baby killer inside’

  28. #28 William Wallace
    February 28, 2011

    No vaccine is 100% effective. Increasing the population of vaccinated people decreases the chances of not only the spread of a disease from idiots like this one coming in from london, but also decreases the chance of a failure of a vaccination.

    Let me help some of you, as you seem confused. It’s macro-versus-micro. It’s why science based government medical mandates are bad, whether for vaccinations, or rationing of expensive procedures.

    Science isn’t bad, at least not real science. Using government the government to mandate your science based policies is what is bad. Treating everybody as though they are an exactly average piece of chattel (or a member of the “herd”) is bad.

    And mandates that impose on others so that you can feel more comfortable flying coach or sending your children to daycare are especially egregious. If you’re so afraid your vaccine isn’t effective, stay home, go buy a hobby farm, or just mind your own business.

  29. #29 Dave
    February 28, 2011

    WieWillyWankers:

    Let me help some of you, as you seem confused.

    Dammit Willie! Dont do that when I have a mouth full of red wine.

  30. #30 Ursula
    February 28, 2011

    ERV, your reason for using ‘bitch’ is pathetic. Without a post with the possibility of the traveler being male to compare this post with, there is no outside evidence supporting your statement.

    And here I thought this was “Science Blogs”

  31. #31 Lorax
    March 1, 2011

    And here I thought this was “Science Blogs”

    Ah, the old “you should write about what I think you should write about and how I think you should write about it or otherwise Ill pull out my grade school comeback response” card.

    Hmm let’s try again…

    your reason for using ‘bitch’ is pathetic.

    You know without a response with the possibility of ERVs use of ‘bitch’ to compare this response with, there is no outside evidence supporting your statement.

  32. #32 Azkyroth
    March 1, 2011

    even if she’s crazy and unethical, it’s not cool to call women bitches.

    On a related note, it’s apparently “ableist” according to the consensus at Feministe and a few commenters on BlagHag to use the term “crazy” to refer pejoratively to irrational and/or destructive behavior or mindsets.

    (Maybe we should quit screwing around with iterative bullshit and jump straight to using “good” and “ungood” as our only adjectives).

  33. #33 ERV
    March 1, 2011

    Lorax, Azkyroth–

    The posters leaving that tone of comment have never posted at ERV, or SciBlogs in general, before the ‘tone’ comment they left here. And, they have the exact same catchphrases (eg “I thought this was SCIENCE BLOGS!!!”) as antiscience posters. Go to any of my posts criticizing an HIV Denier, and anti-vaxer, etc, and you will see something similar. They cannot address the actual substance of the post, so they default to being tone police.

    Five years of blogging makes me think they are anti-vaxers who cannot deal with the reality of what this bitch did to other people, and this is the only way they can ‘fight back’.

    Alas, no one gives a shit about ‘tone’ on this blog.

    I will say that in this case it is particularly cute, as they themselves are sexist. They dont read my blog, so they dont know I am female, but they assume from my writing style I am male. Lord knows this cant be a females blog because my background isnt a unicorn and my text isnt bubble-gum flavored. MUST BE AH D00D!!

    But, again in my experience, theyre never going to comment again, so we are all just talking to ourselves. Which I suppose is a good thing– I dont want sexist assholes comfortable on ERV.

  34. #34 William Wallace
    March 1, 2011

    They dont read my blog, so they dont know I am female, but they assume from my writing style I am male.

    I agree–it does seem they were confused about your gender or sex or whatever the politically correct term is this week.

    But I have to disagree with your fear that it’s your writing style masking your gender. It’s your tone. Your writing style is 100% female, but your tone might be confused as masculine by some.

    DaveTheMohel wrote:

    Dammit Willie! Dont do that when I have a mouth full of red wine.

    Just make sure you’re on your anti-virals while practicing your craft. Even a mouthful of red wine isn’t enough to reduce the spread of herpes.

  35. #35 Rob Monkey
    March 1, 2011

    William Wallace, it’s super nice of you to warn Dave about that raging fuckin’ case o’ herpes you got. I’ve never heard of such a bad case as it gets transmitted via the intertubes, but given you don’t even understand vaccines, I can understand how condoms are a mystery to you. A bit of advice, next time buy a rubber, pull it completely over your head and lie down for a bit, it’ll reduce our risk both from unvaccinated boobs like yourself, and from possibly having to hear you talk.

    Oh, and concern trolls are bitches. Every one of them a giant, slobbery, obnoxious bitch, and it will be so until the end of time. This applies to men and women (Wallace I’m looking in your direction), so no need to worry about sexism. So shove your pwecious hurt feelings up your ass. You know, that place where you get your ideas from.

  36. #36 Dave
    March 1, 2011

    Just make sure you’re on your anti-virals while practicing your craft. Even a mouthful of red wine isn’t enough to reduce the spread of herpes.

    Willie, you should have quit while you were ahead, the above isnt even coherent, nevermind funny.

    But as long as there are concern trolls about, Ill give you points for the Mohel bit. A little anti-semitism goes a long way in upping the raving loon factor.

  37. #37 William Wallace
    March 1, 2011

    the above isnt even coherent, nevermind funny.

    Good catch. It probably should have been “Even a mouthful of red wine isn’t enough to eliminate the risk spreading of herpes.”

    Either way, it is funny, even if it’s esoteric and politically incorrect. (I keep forgetting, on blogs, and in the case of public health, which religious traditions we can mock, and which we can’t.)

  38. #38 JohnV
    March 1, 2011

    If it requires a rewrite, it is probably not funny.

  39. #39 Reynold
    March 2, 2011

    Just thought I’d give you guys another example of an anti-vaxxer. Everyone’s favourite misogynist prat, Vox Day.

    Yes, I don’t care for him too much and I’ll take any chance (when I have time) to expose and spread around examples of his idiocy.

  40. #40 Cerise
    March 2, 2011

    I think bitch is appropriate. Not sexist at all. I’m female btw.
    @34, the only reason ERV’s tone could be confused for male is because she isn’t writing about fairies and horses. It is sexist for people to automatically assume only men could write a science blog.

  41. #41 William Wallace
    March 2, 2011

    @40

    You have confused tone with content with writing style. You can have an aggressive tone and a feminine writing style. Content is yet a third but completely orthogonal piece to the puzzle. So in the end I think we may agree (unless you think biological differences between the sexes do not exist), but somewhere along the line you confused what I wrote with what you thought you read.

  42. #42 embertine
    March 7, 2011

    Am I reading WW’s comment #6 right? He seems to be saying that he doesn’t have to get vaccinated because everyone else has been, ergo he gets the protection of herd immunity without the (tiny) risk of vaccine injury.

    WW, if that is what you were saying, surely even someone as pathologically self-absorbed as you can work out that your theory only works if not everyone thinks like you? Shouldn’t you therefore be cheering in favour of vaccination programmes?

  43. #43 William Wallace
    March 7, 2011

    embertine

    Shouldn’t you therefore be cheering in favour of vaccination programmes?

    Certainly. I’m not out spreading the gospel at anti-vax forums of what I know, nor do I discourage others I personally influence from getting vaccinated. I do oppose the Chicken pox vaccine as public policy, mostly because it is an economic vaccine, and prior to it, children did not die from Chicken pox unless there were other issues such as staph or compromised immune systems, but that is a different issue from say polio, small pox, and the like.

    Also, I fully support and understand the CDC’s goals in encouraging an overwhelming majority of the population to get vaccinated. They are working at a macro level, and the math works. Loosing 100,000 people in an epidemic every 3 or 4 years is worse than injuring or killing 50 per year due to vaccines. (But it is a lottery.)

    At the micro/individual level, it is a completely different analysis. As I said, as the rate of vaccination goes up, the risk of not getting vaccinated goes down. But as you point out, if everybody thought that way, not enough people would get vaccinated, and it would be a worse situation, even if vaccines were 100% effective.

    Also, philosophically, I’m against the government forcing people through intimidation or worse to get vaccinated.

    I’d rather have them persuade people with reason, and let families decide with their doctors what is best for their own families, and society.

  44. #45 Amy
    April 2, 2011

    First time at the blog, and the last. Pro-science, pro-vaccine, anti language like “bitch” and very, very anti “jerks who want to label everybody who disagrees with them and won’t listen to even polite, well-reasoned comments about rethinking their language, and thus are basically no different than the kneejerk, antirationalist morons they claim to argue against — just painted a different color.”

  45. #46 webster chiropractic
    December 26, 2011

    I thought once you got the MMR you didn’t have to worry about it?
    The ones that should be concerned are the ones that haven’t been vaccinated.
    My understanding about herd immunity when I worked for an animal lab was where we had at least 20% of our test population showed an increase in the Ig. We didn’t test to see if they were immune to the actual disease.