Respectful Insolence

Another consequence of not vaccinating…

death from pertussis.

Delaying effective treatment by taking the baby to a naturopath first didn’t help either. With antivaccinationists making so much noise, look for more cases like the one above in your local emergency department soon. That will be the true legacy of the so-called “green our vaccines” movement.

Comments

  1. #1 Patrick
    April 18, 2008

    Truly a sad story.

  2. #2 Joe
    April 18, 2008

    Yet another: http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2008/04/measlesits_no_joke.php
    Although the vaccine was not available when that patient was young, it shows what can happen to people who are not vaccinated. That is- measles is not always a trivial disease.

  3. #3 Liz Ditz
    April 18, 2008

    Hi Orac,

    PKIDS is a national nonprofit whose mission is to educate the public about infectious diseases. They have a campaign going to encourage vaccination against pertussis, “Silence the Sounds of Pertussis.”

    The site is: http://www.pkids.org/pertussis

    Three things for your readers to know:

    The immunity given by vaccination in infancy wanes after about 10 years. The CDC recommends that teens receive a booster, in the form of Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap).

    A person with pertussis is contagious long before the cough develops.

    Most infants acquire pertussis from adults, who either weren’t immunized or whose immunization has worn off.

    Here are my two posts on the “Silence the Sound of Pertussis” campaign:

    Why Vaccinate? and PKids’ Campaign: Silence the Sound of Pertussis. I’m keeping a list of bloggers contributing to the campaign there; I’ve added your blog to the list.

  4. #4 Basiorana
    April 18, 2008

    If you talk to anti-vaccinationists, they all tend to have one feature in common: either they have never known anyone who had a vaccine-preventable illness, or they only know people who had mild cases of it. People with great-aunts who were suffering from the effects of polio, or people who lost siblings to measles, do a much more realistic risk-benefit analysis.

  5. #5 Nan
    April 18, 2008

    Can we expect diphtheria to make a comeback, too? That’s also a really nasty (albeit faster) way to die, and I seem to recall it having a higher mortality rate than pertussis.

  6. #6 Pam
    April 18, 2008

    I followed the link to the Blog “ER Nursey” and read the tragic account of the baby’s death from pertussis. I would like to point out that the blogger includes a disclaimer about the posts, that they are composites of experiences from many years of working in the ER.

  7. #7 Julie Stahlhut
    April 18, 2008

    Re Tdap: I was due for my 10-year tetanus booster a few months back, and my physician told me that the current recommendations aren’t just for teens — the CDC is now recommending a single dose of Tdap between the ages of 19 and 64 (!). I’m in that age range and don’t have regular contact with children, but you’d better believe I agreed to get a Tdap shot.

    I’m all for “greening”, but I don’t see any way in which epidemics of painful and potentially fatal human diseases are an environmental boon. As for the sad story of the infant dying of pertussis: The idea that someone would not only not vaccinate, but would not consult a physician until her sick child was near death, is appalling. I think my 89-year-old mother, who lost siblings to these diseases, still keeps my childhood vaccination records. Do we need another lethal epidemic before another generation of parents becomes insistent and meticulous about protecting their children?

  8. #8 DPT vaccine killed people too
    April 18, 2008

    As I’m sure that many of you know (although I’m sure there will be people who deny reality), the older version of the DPT shot also killed many children and maimed thousands of others. The newer version while safer does come with it’s own risks. It is always tragic when children die but it doesn’t mean that we have to vaccinate the crap out of kids. If you believe that pertussis is very dangerous than perhaps you should be trying to convince the CDC to revise it’s schedule so that more parents can trust their recommendations. Until that happens, intelligent people will see through their crap.

  9. #9 Joseph
    April 18, 2008

    Until that happens, intelligent people will see through their crap.

    Intelligent people such as yourself, I imagine, or the woman who took the kid to the naturopath to get pertussis treated. If only CDC scientists could be so smart.

  10. #10 Whooper
    April 18, 2008

    Get the booster everyone – I can speak from personal experience that the kiddie vaccine does wear off. I had whooping cough my senior year of college – everyone from my grandmother’s generation recognized the sound immediately, even though I had one doctor tell me that I couldn’t have it since I had been vaccinated.

    I don’t think I’ve had any long-term issues, although I do seem to cough more easily (Post hoc, just noticing it more or real effect, I don’t know) BUT I also think I was lucky. I was an otherwise healthy 21 yo – I hate to think that I may have exposed someone who was more vulnerable .

    And as for the risks of the vaccine, no one is denying that vaccines have risks, it’s just that the risks from infectious disease are much higher and more devastating

  11. #11 Amy Alkon
    April 18, 2008

    Herd immunity is surely being affected by all these anti-vaccination types. A question for you researchers commenting (and posting!) here: How long before diseases like polio start showing up again?

  12. #12 Liz Ditz
    April 19, 2008

    DPT vaccine killed people too wrote: the older version of the DPT shot also killed many children and maimed thousands of others

    Please provide data for those assertions. Otherwise, it is just your unsupported assertion (in other words, another version of the Big Lie)

  13. #13 HCN
    April 19, 2008

    DPT vaccine killed people too… wrote: “As I’m sure that many of you know (although I’m sure there will be people who deny reality), the older version of the DPT shot also killed many children and maimed thousands of others. ”

    All you need to do to prove this “reality” is to give us the evidence. You do have that don’t you? Something like a journal paper documenting the dangers, and enumerating the adverser events. Please present it, otherwise you are just telling some kind of story, much like those written about here in this old web page:
    http://www.pathguy.com/antiimmu.htm

    I have this paper:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16940831? … it says “CONCLUSIONS: In this study of more than 2 million children, DTP and MMR vaccines were not associated with an increased risk of encephalopathy after vaccination.”

    What do you have?

  14. #14 Nancy G
    April 19, 2008

    A question: My (now 24 y.o.) daughter ran a 105 degree fever for 48 hours after her first DTP, and the pediatrician said she was reacting to something the pertussis vaccine. She was given a modified vaccine for the rest of the immunization series which did not include the pertussis factor. I was advised to keep her away from the local Amish.

    What, exactly, would she have been reacting to? (She’s the one of my children with extensive allergies to foods, pollen, perfumes, etc.) Is it safe for her to be vaccinated now? (and yeah, I know she should consult her own physician, but I’m being mom now, and want to nag her if necessary). Thanks.

  15. #15 Chris' Wills
    April 19, 2008

    Just a quick question.

    If you had whooping cough as a child should you still get the booster vaccination when an adult? i.e. would it be harmful.

    What other vaccinations wear off?

    At primary school I got all the standard vaccinations (well all the standard ones around in the late 60s) and would like to know what I need to get re-vaccinated for.

  16. #16 Landru
    April 19, 2008

    Pam’s comment is important. The ER Nursey blog is dealing dramatic fiction.

    That shouldn’t diminish the truth of the message–but some folks might aim for that, if we use ER Nursey as a source.

  17. #17 Kula
    April 20, 2008

    “My (now 24 y.o.) daughter ran a 105 degree fever for 48 hours after her first DTP,… Is it safe for her to be vaccinated now? ”

    “If you had whooping cough as a child should you still get the booster vaccination when an adult?”

    Both questions are answered here:
    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ed/vpd2007/vpd07-faqs.htm#dtp

  18. #18 Kassiane
    April 20, 2008

    I had whooping cough last year, after being vaxed as a child, and still cough hard enough alarm everyone whenever I get sick.

    I caught it from…the kids of antivaccine parents. Or ‘safer vaccines’. Whatever they want to call themselves, their kids still carried germs to my gymnastics practice.