Respectful Insolence

Dr. Jay and argumentum ad bradi bunchium

Remember Dr. Jay Gordon? I haven’t written about him in a while because, well, as much as he’s descended into anti-vaccine apologia over the last few years, he really has nothing new to say. However, apparently he’s been Tweeting a lot lately, and he hasn’t exactly been doing himself proud. Earlier today, one of my readers sent me an example of a Tweet by Dr. Jay that sinks to a new low of argumentation:

Jay Tweet  Comparing MN Outbreak to Brady Bunch

So…should I call this particular logical fallacy argumentum ad television or argumentum ad bradi bunchium? Seriously, Dr. Jay, this sort of argument is pathetic, even by your standards. Just because a silly 40 year old sitcom treated measles as a joke does not mean that it is a joke. It is not. Just because the majority of children who contract the measles recover, there is the potential for complications in as many as 1 in 5. These include bronchitis, pneumonia, encephalitis, and others. These are not trivial, and as a pediatrician Dr. Jay should know that.

Besides, The Brady Bunch isn’t exactly a font of scientific knowledge. For instance, I remember an infamous three-part episode where the family vacationed in Hawaii, where Bobby found a tiki statue claimed to cause bad luck. Once the tiki statue was in Bobby’s possession, all sorts of bad things started happening to the family, including a surfing accident and Peter nearly being bitten by a tarantula. According to the show, there was a curse that couldn’t be lifted until the tiki was returned to an ancient burial ground.

Yes, indeed, that’s the quality of scientific information featured on The Brady Bunch; yet this episode is frequently invoked as “evidence” of the societal attitudes towards measles 40 years ago as not being that big a deal, which is exactly the same argument made by Lisa on this Yahoo! mommy forum. I like this response by Hobbesie to such a silly argument:

I really hope that your answer is a joke, and that you’re just trolling the board. Using an episode of The Brady Bunch as medical evidence is downright silly. Next up, you’re going to tell me that all the forensic tools used on CSI: Miami are real. Ugh.

Indeed, complete with the multicolored Eppendorf tubes, the DNA analysis that only takes a couple hours rather than weeks, and the Minority Report-style computer interfaces.

I suppose Dr. Jay would use the “Hawaii episodes” of The Brady Bunch as an example of how people understood back in 1970 that there actually do exist tiki statues in Hawaii that confer extreme bad luck onto their possessors. That’s the quality of argument Dr. Jay is making: Silly, vacuous, and a non sequitur.

In fact, I would argue that Dr. Jay’s Tweet shows a disturbing coldheartedness. For a pediatrician to blithely dismiss ten cases of measles as “not being an outbreak” and then compare them to a 1970s sitcom episode as though that episode was evidence that people didn’t worry about the measles 40 years ago and therefore you shouldn’t worry about the measles now is despicable. For shame, Dr. Jay! For shame!

Comments

  1. #1 Iason Ouabache
    March 24, 2011

    I think the correct verb is Tweeting not Twittering, but don’t hold me to it.

  2. #2 Rene Najera
    March 24, 2011

    At the risk of being accused of “pimping” my own blog, a small preview of my own post for Dr. Jay due out sometime tomorrow…

    I don’t know about you folks, but I have never based an epidemiological decision (or observation) on a television show. I am yet to hear anything on television (or in any other media) and take it as gospel. What I have done is look at books about epidemiology that build upon a couple of centuries of knowledge and scientific experimentation. Maybe the Brady Bunch didn’t succumb to measles because – and I’m only taking a wild guess here – THEY WERE A FICTIONAL FAMILY! Moreover, they were a fictional family that caught measles in 1969 and then mumps in 1973. I would NEVER take my medical or epidemiological advice from such a careless bunch. I’d never use them as an example for such a serious situation. Heck, if I used stuff on television to justify my thinking on epidemiological matters, I would be laughed out of a profession… I mean, imagine if I advocated to call in the US Army to wipe out a town because they had an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever? (“Outbreak“, 1995)

    After all, some of the most puzzling tweets on his views about the Minnesota outbreak are in replies to me. So more Dr. Jay tomorrow night as part of the Epi Night School.

  3. #3 Anonymous
    March 24, 2011

    I wonder how that Scientology thing –what was it, Organic Malaise or something?– is working out for Dr. Jay.

  4. #4 Enkidu
    March 24, 2011

    Dr. Jay is now using the same exact arguement that I saw an anti-vaxer use last year on a parenting board. Except that she at least linked to the Brady Bunch clip on youtube. Oh, and she wasn’t an MD. *sigh*

  5. #5 Orac
    March 24, 2011

    I think the correct verb is Tweeting not Twittering

    Quite frankly, I really don’t care, and pedantry annoys me.

  6. #6 augustine
    March 24, 2011

    Just because the majority of children who contract the measles recover, there is the potential for complications in as many as 1 in 5.

    40 years ago, if 20% of children with measles went to the hospital with measles complications then that means 800,000 children were hospitalized. Didn’t happen.*

    40 years ago if 1 in 1000 died from measles then that means 4000 kids died each year. Didn’t happen.

    40 years ago if 1 in 1000 had encephalitis then 4000 got encephalitis. Didn’t happen.

    If you know the history you’ll know that people didn’t “freak out” about measles 40 years ago they way they do now. They’ve been trained to freak out now.

    You’re perpetuating the fearmongering. It’s not a rational reaction.

    * “Before 1963, approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths were reported annually, with epidemic cycles every 2–3 years. However, the actual number of cases was estimated at 3–4 million annually”

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/meas.pdf

  7. #7 Narad
    March 24, 2011

    The thing is that it’s not even original material on the antivax circuit. Hell, how long would it take to do a little homework and realize that in “Three Smart Boys,” Spanky and Alfalfa faked the measles, thus demonstrating that it was no big deal all the way back in 1937?

  8. #8 Enkidu
    March 24, 2011

    Ugh, why did I even start reading Dr. Jay’s tweets? It lead me to his FB page… the comments on the NICU article are especially grating to me, since my daughter spent 2 months in one.

  9. #9 Militant Agnostic
    March 24, 2011

    I think the correct verb is Tweeting not Twittering

    No, Orac had it right – in Jay’s case it is definitely Twittering.

  10. #10 feralboy12
    March 24, 2011

    If he’s going to cite the Brady Bunch, he should look into the health effects of handlling little carved idols from Hawaii.
    I had the measles in the early 1960′s. I’m fortunate that all I’m left with is a vague memory of having red pustules all over me.
    I also remember wishing I could beat the crap out of Greg Brady in the 70′s. Maybe there’s a connection.

  11. #11 Aaron Golas
    March 24, 2011

    You know what I find impressive? As a kid, I never experienced measles in any context other than old TV shows, thanks to vaccines.

  12. #12 Mary P
    March 24, 2011

    I remember having the mumps in the 50′s and the measles in the 60′s. Don’t remember much about the mumps but I remember not being a happy camper when I had the measles. Nothing like being isolated and sleeping away your vacation.

  13. #13 Todd W.
    March 24, 2011

    A little more info on the Minnesota outbreak of which Dr. Jay shows a decided lack of civility: Climbing Numbers in Minnesota Measles Outbreak.

  14. #14 augustine
    March 25, 2011

    I remember having the mumps in the 50′s and the measles in the 60′s. Don’t remember much about the mumps but I remember not being a happy camper when I had the measles. Nothing like being isolated and sleeping away your vacation.

    Thank god you didn’t get mumps. You would’ve lost your testicles for certain. Just be glad that we vaccinate ALL little girls for that. Otherwise we’d have sterility out the wazoo.

  15. #15 Alexis
    March 25, 2011

    They do the same thing for the chicken pox, too. “I had the pox! I’m fine!”

    Well, I had the pox at 13, and I had pox in places where there should be no pox (I will not elaborate further). It was both gross and horrendously painful, and I got a couple of permanent scars on my face for a bonus. An illness does not need to be fatal for me to want to spare my child. I’m sure all the “my kid will just get it naturally!” brigade members think theirs will get a mild case at 4. Well, even in the days of no vaccination and freely circulating chicken pox, not everyone got so lucky.

  16. #16 Th1Th2
    March 25, 2011

    From the link above:

    The infant, too young to be vaccinated, had contracted the infection.

    Don’t they get bored using this line all the time? Let’s try something else like too young to play basketball, too young to ride a bike, too young to look for a job etc etc.

    It doesn’t make any sense because vaccination does not make any sense at all.

  17. #17 sadmar
    March 25, 2011

    I think the correct verb is Tweeting not Twittering.

    Huh? As of 11:43PM EDT, 3/24/11, “Twittering” does not appear in Orac’s blog entry. Did Orac edit it? Was it the sentence that now reads “However, apparently he’s been Tweeting a lot lately…” If so, shame on you Orac! As Militant A. suggested, while ‘Twittering’ is not the ‘correct’ term, it’s serves as an effective (and not THAT harsh) jibe at the whole shallowness of the Twitter phenomenon. Maybe Orac didn’t mean it as satire, but it was, and that’s good. I hope it’ll get changed back.
    I’d love to just say that argumentum ad television is just more evidence that Baudrillard was right 27 years ago, but I think Dr. Jay is actually making an abbreviated argumentum ad populum. That is the ‘logic’ would be: ‘The Brady Bunch was an extremely popular mass audience show. Therefore the writers and producers could not afford to make a joke about anything their audience would take seriously. Thus, a punchline on The Brady Bunch indicates that a kind of broad public concensus must have existed at that time that measles was not serious.’ The problem being that public opinion is hardly a warrant of the actual danger represented by any health threat, (duh!).
    For example, it has long been common, and justifiable I think, to read the Zeitgeist from the jokes of late-night TV comedians. But, Dr. Jay could get social-scientific and do survey research PROVING that the vast majority of people right now in 2011 think measles is a joke. Now, you could make medical arguments from THAT! Or maybe not, since the vast majority of Americans also believe they are being watched over by Angels (I blame Wim Wenders for this, God Damn him!).
    But obviously this Dr. Jay is a fake since I remember the REAL Doctor by that name and he had skills!

  18. #18 Chris
    March 25, 2011

    I don’t remember measles, but I remember the mumps. It was horrible to be in so much pain and not being able to open my mouth to get food, or speak. It used to be the main reason for deafness in kids in the 1960s.

    So Little Augie says “Just be glad that we vaccinate ALL little girls for that. Otherwise we’d have sterility out the wazoo.”

    So women are better if they are deaf? Or have become sterile due to oophoritis. Wow, you are sexist bastard.

    I found the episode on YouTube. Wow, it was annoying. I can’t believe I actually watched it as a kid. If Dr. Jay thinks that is a realistic depiction of a family with measles, he is more divorced from reality than I thought! I only remember mumps, and measles is even more horrible… there was no sitting up and playing Monopoly with siblings. All one can do is lie in a darkened room and occasionally groan. Of course, the Brady Brunch involves a step family with six kids in a spotless house and a live-in house keeper.

    R..I..G..H..T

    I can’t believe I actually watched it and enjoyed it as a kid … but that was before I became part of a step-family (and for the same reasons, death of a parent). That program completely was divorced from reality. And it seems Dr. Jay is now also completely divorced from reality.

    (Note to Enkidu: :-) … My sister was born premature in the early 1960s and spent two months in the hospital, but I don’t remember that — other than my parents worrying about her (and being part of a family with the only kid around who could not drink milk!). My oldest son spent five days in the Intermediate Infant Care Unit after a night in the NICU as a newborn… that was horrible for me! I don’t do FB, and I will not even try to figure out the idiocy that is posted there. I’d like to give you a virtual hug, it won’t do much other than take away a teeny tiny bit of the nastiness… I’m sorry.)

  19. #19 Chris
    March 25, 2011

    I don’t remember measles, but I remember the mumps. It was horrible to be in so much pain and not being able to open my mouth to get food, or speak. It used to be the main reason for deafness in kids in the 1960s.

    So Little Augie says “Just be glad that we vaccinate ALL little girls for that. Otherwise we’d have sterility out the wazoo.”

    So women are better if they are deaf? Or have become sterile due to oophoritis. Wow, you are sexist bastard.

    I found the episode on YouTube. Wow, it was annoying. I can’t believe I actually watched it as a kid. If Dr. Jay thinks that is a realistic depiction of a family with measles, he is more divorced from reality than I thought! I only remember mumps, and measles is even more horrible… there was no sitting up and playing Monopoly with siblings. All one can do is lie in a darkened room and occasionally groan. Of course, the Brady Brunch involves a step family with six kids in a spotless house and a live-in house keeper.

    R..I..G..H..T

    I can’t believe I actually watched it and enjoyed it as a kid … but that was before I became part of a step-family (and for the same reasons, death of a parent). That program completely was divorced from reality. And it seems Dr. Jay is now also completely divorced from reality.

    (Note to Enkidu: :-( … My sister was born premature in the early 1960s and spent two months in the hospital, but I don’t remember that — other than my parents worrying about her (and being part of a family with the only kid around who could not drink milk!). My oldest son spent five days in the Intermediate Infant Care Unit after a night in the NICU as a newborn… that was horrible for me! I don’t do FB, and I will not even try to figure out the idiocy that is posted there. I’d like to give you a virtual hug, it won’t do much other than take away a teeny tiny bit of the nastiness… I’m sorry.)

  20. #20 Chris
    March 25, 2011

    Oh, crud, a double posting. If you look closely you will see a small panic edit in the last paragraph. It has to do with a emoticon that I screwed up. Obviously I meant the latter one.

  21. #21 sadmar
    March 25, 2011

    Seem to have goofed link above.
    http://tinyurl.com/4df25e7
    Funny, the slang term for excellence of this degree is ‘sick’.

  22. #22 Narad
    March 25, 2011

    I’d love to just say that argumentum ad television is just more evidence that Baudrillard was right 27 years ago, but I think Dr. Jay is actually making an abbreviated argumentum ad populum. That is the ‘logic’ would be….

    Way to terse it up, Captain Obvious.

  23. #23 Chris
    March 25, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    It doesn’t make any sense because vaccination does not make any sense at all

    Actually, troll, you don’t make sense. You have refused to answer basic questions and have no understanding of reality. As noted before, you are just a clueless troll.

    Everyone, please ignore the troll.

  24. #24 Narad
    March 25, 2011

    Everyone, please ignore the troll.

    *Koff*

  25. #25 sadmar
    March 25, 2011

    NP on the double post, Chris. I think most of us know this board isn’t the most user friendly system. I wish we could edit posts to clean up stuff or erase extraneous double-posts, as you can with most BBCode based forums. Has it always been as slow and awkward as it is now, or is this related to the DDoS attack Orac mentioned last week?

  26. #26 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 25, 2011

    Roald Dahl would like a word with you, Dr. Jay.

    Oh, yes, and we have this gem:

    It doesn’t make any sense because vaccination does not make any sense at all.

    Only to a deliberate ignoramus like you, Thingy.

  27. #27 superdave
    March 25, 2011

    I absolutely do not mind trolls. If not for them we are just preaching to the choir. They have every right to post here.

  28. #28 tresmal
    March 25, 2011

    augustine @6:

    40 years ago, if 20% of children with measles went to the hospital with measles complications then that means 800,000 children were hospitalized. Didn’t happen.*

    40 years ago if 1 in 1000 died from measles then that means 4000 kids died each year. Didn’t happen.

    40 years ago if 1 in 1000 had encephalitis then 4000 got encephalitis. Didn’t happen.

    Doing some math it looks like you’re assuming 4 Million cases of measles in 1971. The link you provided shows considerably fewer than 100,000 cases/year about then. Now IF that spike in the early 70′s is 1971, and IF it reached 100,000 cases, and IF under reporting of measles was still at pre 1963 levels-all very big ifs-then that implies a maximum of 800,000 cases that year and that reduces the numbers to maximums of 160,000, 800, and 800 respectively. If, as is likely, the actual number of cases was much lower than 800,000 then the numbers would be much lower still. To remind you the quote from the OP you’re referring to was:

    Just because the majority of children who contract the measles recover, there is the potential for complications in as many as 1 in 5.

    You turned “complications” into “hospitalizations”.

    If you know the history you’ll know that people didn’t “freak out” about measles 40 years ago they way they do now. They’ve been trained to freak out now.

    According to the link you provided they cared enough to vaccinate enough to reduce the incidence by 98%.

    You’re perpetuating the fearmongering. It’s not a rational reaction.

    No, he’s calling “Bullshit” on a bad argument.

    * “Before 1963, approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths were reported annually, with epidemic cycles every 2–3 years. However, the actual number of cases was estimated at 3–4 million annually”

    Not sure what your point here is. Is it that the same reporting system that missed 5/6 to 7/8 Measles cases nonetheless caught all the deaths and that the mortality rate is therefore 1/6,000 to 1/8,000 and that’s not a problem? Or are you attempting an Argument from Incredulity; “c’mon there’s no way 3,000 to 4,000 kids a year died from Measles”?

  29. #29 lindaphn
    March 25, 2011

    @6 Augustine
    You cite the CDC on measles.
    * “Before 1963, approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths were reported annually, with epidemic cycles every 2–3 years. However, the actual number of cases was estimated at 3–4 million annually”
    That translates to 3 to 4 Thousand deaths per year. Does that not contradict your statement “40 years ago if 1 in 1000 died from measles then that means 4000 kids died each year. Didn’t happen’ ?

  30. #30 Clam
    March 25, 2011

    Now, if only someone would invent a vaccine against stupidity……

  31. #31 lindaphn
    March 25, 2011

    @15 Th1Th2
    “Don’t they get bored using this line all the time? Let’s try something else like too young to play basketball, too young to ride a bike, too young to look for a job etc etc.”

    Wow, how much science do you actually know and what planet do you live on? Your extrapolations are beyond belief.
    Good luck on Xenon!

  32. #32 Th1Th2
    March 25, 2011

    Chris,

    Actually, troll, you don’t make sense. You have refused to answer basic questions and have no understanding of reality. As noted before, you are just a clueless troll.

    Your big problem is you have refused to give up your ardent love of the measles virus. Your selective attention, or lack of it, diminishes your credibility and therefore exposes your character pretending to be a defender of science-based germ theory. You are mercurial and hates the very science that will contradict your false claim.

    Th1Th2:

    Just avoid unnecessary stay in the clinic to diminish the chance of acquiring the infection.

    And you replied:

    Again a non-answer.

    You have no answer. You are just trolling.

    I gave you the link obviously you ignored it because it will only expose your other side.

    Measles transmission in health facilities during outbreaks.

    CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the need for children to avoid unnecessary exposure in medical settings during measles outbreaks, especially if those settings are crowded and result in long waiting periods before a consultation.

  33. #33 lindaphn
    March 25, 2011

    @Th2Th1
    WTF- What does this conclude? Just that you are nonsencical.

  34. #34 lindaphn
    March 25, 2011

    Spelling error: nonsencical. I am sure Augustine will jump all over it.

  35. #35 Giliell
    March 25, 2011

    I remember the measles. I locked myself up in my parents’ cupboard because I couldn’t stand the light in the room even with the shutters down.
    I remember gasping for breath when I had the whomping cough
    And I remember chicken pox very well because it was my 21st birthday.
    And all cases were normal, uncomplicated cases.
    If they were the worst case scenario, I’d still want to spare my children that misery

  36. #36 sidhe3141
    March 25, 2011

    Besides, The Brady Bunch isn’t exactly a font of scientific knowledge. For instance, I remember an infamous three-part episode where the family vacations in Hawaii, and Bobby finds a tiki statue claimed to cause bad luck, after which all sorts of bad things happen to the family, including a surfing accident and Peter nearly being bitten by a tarantula. According to the show, there is a curse that can’t be lifted until the tiki is returned to an ancient burial ground.

    Hey, that’s better science than homeopathy. At least a probability-altering statue doesn’t require our understanding of at least three disciplines be so utterly wrong that it’s nothing short or a miracle their practitioners can actually do anything useful with them.

  37. #37 MadScientist
    March 25, 2011

    I wonder if ‘Dr.’ Jay has anything to do with this mindless blurb from the BBC:

    “The curcumin molecule is already well-known in medicine for its anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. ”

    Of course the mere mention of “anti-oxidant” already sets off the bullshit alarm, but “anti-cancer” as well? Geez … How are people meant to form a sensible view of the world when news articles lead with such bullshit claims as if they were facts?

    By the way, I do prefer the “argumentum ad bradi bunchium”.

  38. #38 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2011

    if I used stuff on television to justify my thinking on epidemiological matters

    All my preparations for a zombie outbreak are based on television programs. Is this wrong?

  39. #39 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2011

    Only to a deliberate ignoramus like you

    You are confusing ‘ignoramus’ and ‘ignorabimus’. The former condition is non-malicious and remediable.

  40. #40 Ruth
    March 25, 2011

    How many of you read the “Little House on the Prairie” books? Mary Ingalls was blinded by measles. Almanzo Wilder was disabled because of complications of diptheria. At least use historical fiction for your examples, Dr. Jay.

    My daughter’s Scout troop cleaned up an old cemetery as a service project. It is a good lesson to see how many children died at young ages before modern medicine. Even a junk-food eating kid today has a better shot at life than kids eating organic, whole foods 150 years ago.

  41. #41 reasonablehank
    March 25, 2011

    Funnily enough I tweeted that screenshot to Dr Jay and, for once, he didn’t DM me with some smarmy passive-aggressive reply. I expect one as soon as he reads this.

  42. #42 Orac
    March 25, 2011

    Feel free to send a bunch of @JayGordonMDFAAP Tweets featuring a link to this post. :-)

  43. #43 Giliell
    March 25, 2011

    “The curcumin molecule is already well-known in medicine for its anti-cancer and anti-oxidant properties. “

    What? Wait, Curcumin as in Curcuma?
    Heck, I didn’t know I was eating that healthily just by adding one of my favourite spices so often that my husband complained about “yellow food”.
    I should probably start smoking or else I’ll live forever and cause severe overpopulation all by myself

  44. #44 JohnV
    March 25, 2011

    It’s amazing that the same Dr. Gordon who came here and threw a fit because Orac linked to a cartoon “threatening violence” finds it completely acceptable to make light of a disease outbreak that’s causing infections to real people.

    I wonder what it is about those people that make them less important than a cartoon in Dr. Gordon’s mind?

  45. #45 Todd W.
    March 25, 2011

    @JohnV

    Hmm…I’d venture a guess, but I wouldn’t want to be “uncivil”.

  46. #46 Science Mom
    March 25, 2011

    It is a rather consistent meme amongst the “vaccine-friendly” doctors to downplay outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. They even go so far as to try and re-define epidemiological terms to whitewash their contributions to outbreaks.

  47. #47 Enkidu
    March 25, 2011

    @Chris, thanks for the virtual hug. Right back at you :)

    As for measles, my sister caught it from god-knows-where in 1990 (none of our family, friends, nor her classmates had measles). She was 13 years old at the time. As kids we never got a booster after our 12 month vax; apparently, I didn’t need one but she certainly did. Anyways, to make a long story short, she missed almost a month of school, laying on the sofa, moaning and wishing she was dead. I lost track of how many trips to the doctor she had (it took them about a week to figure out she had the measles, and then I got a booster just in case). No lasting effects for her, but her state during those few weeks I’ll never forget.

  48. #48 sadmar
    March 25, 2011

    I read the whole comment thread under the Roald Dahl quote linked by T. Bruce in #25. I thought it was very interesting, a better discussion overall than I’ve yet read here. I hope people here will take a look at it.
    To elaborate, I thought is was “better” due to:
    a. fewer anti-vaccine troll posts
    b. presence of posts that were skeptical of the medical establishment, yet still advocated vaccination
    c. presence of pro-vaccination posts that ventured attempts to understand parents who chose not to vaccinate, or were having reservations
    d. as such, a distinction made between the choice not to vaccinate ones child (however bad that is) and a campaign to convince other people not to vaccinate their children (much, much worse)
    e. presence of posts from knowledgable pro-vaccination folks with medical / scientific expertise who attempted to address post of varieties b. and c. with respect and sympathy, instead of the usual insults. Not that those were absent in other posts, only that there was variety in the responses.
    It’s a really long thread, with over a hundred comments. I’ll try to come back later with a post noting the numbers of the ones I think are most useful.
    Thank you, Mr. McNeely, for posting the link.

  49. #49 LW
    March 25, 2011

    As long as he’s making medical decisions based on depictions of disease in popular culture, Dr. Gordon should probably read The Mirror Crack’d, about that trivial disease, rubella, for which he does not vaccinate his unfortunate patients.

  50. #50 Jud
    March 25, 2011

    augustine, citing the CDC Pink Book, writes:

    40 years ago, if 20% of children with measles went to the hospital with measles complications then that means 800,000 children were hospitalized. Didn’t happen.*

    40 years ago….

    40 years ago….

    * “Before 1963, approximately 500,000 cases and 500 deaths were reported annually, with epidemic cycles every 2–3 years. However, the actual number of cases was estimated at 3–4 million annually”

    Hey, welcome to 2011, augustine. Where ya been since 2002 (when “Before 1963″ was actually “40 years ago”)? Subtraction’s a bitch, eh?

    But at least you’re on the right track looking to CDC for your information. For a terrific summation of the measles statistics and what we can learn from them, I recommend the Measles Week series from the excellent blog of a CDC team leader. Part I can be found here:

    http://www.iayork.com/MysteryRays/2010/03/15/measles-week-part-i-introduction/

  51. #51 antifia
    March 25, 2011

    Always risky to play the devil’s advocate – not least because I know nothing about Dr. Jay and can’t judge now much of a devil he actually is. However, could’t it be that he is just saying that 10 cases of meesles is not an epideminc – the “Brad Bunch” referrence being just an unfortunate and unnecessary remark? Ten cases of any disease, trivial or deadly, does not seem to make a epdemic to me either.

  52. #52 MikeMa
    March 25, 2011

    In my youth, I used to hitchhike around for fun, adventure and to actually get places. I spent some time on rural PA roads looking at gravestones and had a similar experience to Ruth’s scout troop. Multiple family members felled in the same year. Very sobering to imagine losing 2 or 3 kids and a spouse all at once. It could have been a fire but I remember that certain years should multiple family groups lost in the same year (1852?). Much more likely flu or some other vaccine preventable disease we could nearly eradicate except for the morons.

  53. #53 Kristen
    March 25, 2011

    Augustine is still arguing that measles is not a serious disease, yet fully half of those infected in Minnesota have been hospitalized…just saying.

    So, first Dr. Jay says there is no chance his unvaccinated patients will come in contact with these diseases. When proved wrong (there certainly is a chance, with how often people travel) he makes an argument that just a few cases isn’t an “outbreak”. When shown the definition of “outbreak” he argues ‘well it’s okay because it’s not serious anyway’.

    That, my friends is the sound of moving goalposts.

    I’m curious; What does Dr. Jay have to say about SSPE? A complication of measles:

    No cure for SSPE exists…people with this disease frequently die 1 to 2 years after diagnosis, but some may survive for longer periods. The condition is always deadly…Immunization against measles is the only known prevention for SSPE…

    Prior to death, there may be:

    Behavior changes

    Dementia

    Stupor and coma

    Seizures and subsequent injuries

    Oh, and did I mention this happens years after a measles infection? Yes, indeed, I wouldn’t want to protect my children from this.

  54. #54 Todd W.
    March 25, 2011

    @antifia

    The thing is, no one was calling it an epidemic. It was pointed out to Dr. Gordon that it is an outbreak (i.e., at least 1 case more than would be expected, by official definition). So, in addition to making light of it, he’s also arguing against a straw man.

  55. #55 Steelclaws
    March 25, 2011

    You don’t even need to clear old cemeteries to see how huge child mortality was before modern medicine. Just do a Google image search on “victorian postmortem photos.” Victorians had a habit of dressing the departed one in their Sunday best and taking a photograph of them as a memento. Most of the images that come up are of children. There are a few representative examples at http://www.webhistoryofengland.com/?p=414

  56. #56 Calli Arcale
    March 25, 2011

    Wow — so Jay actually said that because the Brady Bunch made a joke about measles, it must not be serious? Let’s see how that logic plays out, shall we?

    * Hilarious French film “La Chevre” has an extended joke about severe anaphylaxis due to bee sting; therefore, bee sting allergies are not serious.

    * In “The Gods Must be Crazy”, a rhinoceros charges into a campsite and stomps out the fire, causing our hapless hero to flee, and then return to stomp the fire out the rest of the way lest the rhino return, which sets up an amusing misunderstanding with the heroine. Therefore, charging rhinos are not serious.

    * In “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, there is a scene involving multiple amputations during a sword battle, leaving the Black Knight completely limbless. Therefore, amputation is not serious.

    * In “Monty Python and the Life of Brian”, a large group of crucified prisoners start singing cheerfully, making light of their terrible situation. Therefore, crucifixion isn’t serious. (There are those who protested the movie on that basis, actually, proving that humor isn’t really universal.)

    And I haven’t even touched more tasteless forms of comedy, where pretty much nothing is off limits. Such as, hey, the kind of stuff Jenny McCarthy did! That genre is a goldmine of examples of serious things being taken lightly. That’s usually the *point* of the genre, in fact.

    Seriously, the “Brady Bunch” is comedy. Comedy makes fun of things, and there’s probably a rule analogous to Rule 34 for comedy — if it exists, somebody will make a joke about it. Because someone joked about it does not mean it’s not serious. It just means somebody saw something funny in it.

  57. #57 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    March 25, 2011

    Does that mean I get to use the measels scene Marx Brother’s movie Room Service as an example as to why measels ARE dangerous? :P

  58. #58 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    March 25, 2011

    Is it just me, or are the arguments being used by anti-vaxxers now a days getting so comical they are starting to make other conspiracy theorists sound almost sane in comparison?

  59. #59 SomeGuyWanderingBy
    March 25, 2011

    If Dr. Jay is looking to pick up tips from cheesy old tv shows, he might want to check the episode of Quincy where the good doctor battles to get a kid who’s been labled as “retarded” diagnosed with this thing called “autism”. Maybe this will help him get to grips with some areas of epidemiology he has trouble with.

  60. #60 Todd W.
    March 25, 2011

    The MN Department of Health just raised the total number of reported hospitalizations in the measles outbreak from 5 to 6 this morning. Total of 11 cases, 4 too young for vaccine, 2 unknown vax status and 5 were old enough but unvaccinated.

  61. #61 Beamup
    March 25, 2011

    @ Anglachel:

    Unfortunately no, from what I see. The other lunatics are getting more ridiculous too.

  62. #62 Squillo
    March 25, 2011

    Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal sure didn’t find measles a funny punch line when it killed their daughter. As inconvenient as it is to recall, measles doesn’t just kill those poor kids in underdeveloped countries–the ones that are so easy to dismiss as irrelevant.

  63. #63 Rene Najera
    March 25, 2011

    @Antifia

    “Outbreak” and “Epidemic” are two terms used to describe an unusual manifestation of disease in terms of person, place, and time. They are used interchangeably in the literature. However, to the public, “epidemic” seems to be worse. At any rate, there are pre-established guidelines on what is an outbreak and what isn’t. We don’t sit around throwing dice when we hear of a situation and decide on whether or not it’s an outbreak based on that.

    Are those guidelines arbitrary? Not in the least. It’s always 1 over the expected rate. To find the expected rate, we count the number of cases from previous years and get an average. For MN, that average was about 1 case (2, if you round up) of measles per year for the entire state. (Person, place, time.)

    Here we have 11 cases (as of this morning), in one area of the state, in a couple of weeks. (Person, place, time.)

    Why the guidelines? Because too many resources would be unnecessarily spent if we truly “freaked out” over a non-outbreak… If, say, two cases popped up, one in January and the other in December, in two opposite ends of the world. (Person, place, time.)

    Here’s the kicker… All these cases, ALL OF THEM, were epidemiologically linked, meaning that they had something to do with each other. They were from the same community, were in the same location within the incubation and exposure periods. All those details will eventually come out. That epidemiological link is also an important part of an outbreak investigation.

    In the case of Dr. Jay’s tweets and opinions on this, he was presented with person (11 cases, epi-linked), place (one single region of MN), and time (in the last couple of weeks), and he refused to acknowledge that it was an outbreak, even calling it a random event.

  64. #64 Chemmomo
    March 25, 2011

    Ruth @39
    Actually, Mary Ingalls was blinded by scarlet fever, which is strep, not measles, as I’m pretty sure was Helen Keller. I’m going off memory here, but I had the whole Little House series as a child and read them endlessly (I don’t have access to the books right now to check).
    Wikipedia agrees with me (although in Keller’s case meningitis is suggested as another possibility)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Ingalls
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller
    If we’re going to take Dr Jay to task for not using the correct historical fiction, we need to read our historical fiction correctly.

  65. #65 Angie
    March 25, 2011

    Just adding that my aunt has been in a wheelchair since the age of 9 due to complications of measles. This was in the 60s (I was told it was right before they came out with the vaccine, but I don’t know how accurate that is).

  66. #66 MI Dawn
    March 25, 2011

    @Chemmomo: according to my “A Little House Sampler”, Mary went blind in 1879 from spinal meningitis, although the book also states that you are correct and, “By the Shores of Silver Lake” gives the cause as scarlet fever.

  67. #67 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 25, 2011

    “In the case of Dr. Jay’s tweets and opinions on this, he was presented with person (11 cases, epi-linked), place (one single region of MN), and time (in the last couple of weeks), and he refused to acknowledge that it was an outbreak, even calling it a random event.”

    It’s an “outbreak.” But, in the great scheme of things, it’s also “random.” That is, we will not eradicate an organism like measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years. Therefore, there will be random outbreaks even in countries with herd immunity. Measles vaccination is not 100% effective and some people won’t or can’t get the shot.

    The hospitalization details are unavailable. I think that most of them are probably quite “soft” because most doctors are just confounded by this “new” disease. I do not mean to diminish terrible sadness of the cases of measles which end in tragedies. It’s just that health care was quite different fifty or one hundred years ago and I believe that measles has a much lower complication and fatality rate in this century.

    Have a nice day and a great weekend!

    Best,

    Jay

  68. #68 Todd W.
    March 25, 2011

    @Jay

    That is, we will not eradicate an organism like measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years.

    Wrong again, Dr. Jay. Like smallpox, measles only exists in humans. If enough people are immune, then, like smallpox, measles will cease to exist.

    As for people opting not to get shots, you aren’t helping matters, doc.

  69. #69 Karen
    March 25, 2011

    Coincidentally, I was watching the 1970′s medical drama “Emergency” on Netflix last night. Drs. Brackett and Early sternly lectured a mother who didn’t get her 5 year old son a polio vaccine. They explained herd immunity and how vaccines work and how important they are. I was impressed. Not all 70′s show were clueless. Rampart General knew the 411!

  70. #70 Dianne
    March 25, 2011

    That is, we will not eradicate an organism like measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years.

    Actually, that’s probably the only (microscopic) organism that we CAN eradicate. A microbe with an animal reservoir would be much harder. And, as others have mentioned, there is a clear historical counterexample to this claim: small pox, a human pathogen which lived in “relative symbiosis” with people for many years, is now eliminated in the wild.

  71. #71 madder
    March 25, 2011

    Dr. Jay is ignorant. Fish swim, the Pope is Catholic, and water is wet. Film at 11.

  72. #72 LovleAnjel
    March 25, 2011

    I guess I have to be the only one to defend the Bradys…the show was actually pretty skeptical. In the Hawaiian shows, the kids (in the end) meet an anthropologist who explains the tiki idol’s meaning (I don’t exactly remember, but it wasn’t for curses). The kids decide that all their bad luck was just normal bad luck, and they only thought it was a curse because of the totem – a case of confirmation bias.

    All the ghosts, UFOs, ect., were revealed to be pranks or misunderstandings. My favorite moment is from the Grand Canyon episodes, when Bobby meets a Native American boy his own age, and says “How!” to which the boy replies, “How what?”

  73. #73 JohnV
    March 25, 2011

    @Dr. Gordon,

    “I do not mean to diminish terrible sadness of the cases of measles which end in tragedies.”

    That’s why you compared it to an episode of a tv show and characterized people who were hospitalized as “soft”?

    Furthermore, can you reconcile your lack of empathy over this measles outbreak (your goalpost-moving, term-redefining aside) with the great rage you showed towards Orac after he linked to a comic you didn’t like?

  74. #74 Jud
    March 25, 2011

    Dr. Jay Gordon writes:

    It’s just that health care was quite different fifty or one hundred years ago and I believe that measles has a much lower complication and fatality rate in this century.

    Specifically regarding measles complication and fatality rates -

    100 years ago, OK.

    50 years ago (1961)? Nope.

    “This century,” as in 2000 and later? Nope.

    Complication and fatality rates from measles have remained pretty steady in the USA since the 1950s. Incidence rates have plunged with the introduction of vaccines, of course, so the total numbers of cases that result in complications or fatalities have dropped proportionally.

    You could look it up, as they say, but Ian York of the CDC has saved you the trouble. Once again let me highly recommend the Measles Week series on his blog beginning here:

    http://www.iayork.com/MysteryRays/2010/03/15/measles-week-part-i-introduction/

    And I hope you would agree that even this lower number of severe illnesses, complications, and deaths is to be regretted, and more importantly, eliminated if medically possible and reasonable.

    (Re “possible and reasonable,” the WHO certainly seems to think so.)

  75. #75 Dangerous Bacon
    March 25, 2011

    It’s interesting that Jay Gordon refers to a “symbiotic” relationship between measles and those it infects. Given that for many people familiar with the term, “symbiosis” is most commonly used to describe a relationship in which both species involved are helped (or in the case of commensalism, one is helped and the other unharmed), Jay seems to be implying that measles fits into one of these categories (parasitism, which accurately describes the relationship between humans and measles, is not what people commonly think of when they hear the term “symbiosis”). So it’s reasonable to conclude that this is yet another way in which Jay is trying to minimize the harm caused by a dangerous infectious agent so that his antivax message will be better received.

    I probably shouldn’t be too hard on Jay. He’s probably steaming that Google has dropped his website to second in the rankings that come up when you search under “Dr. Jay Gordon M.D.”). The first site that appears now is for a clothing site, drjay.com. I don’t think there’s a connection…

    In other Maverick Doc news, I was microwaving my lunch in the break room just now and picked up a copy of For Women First to while away a few minutes. Our buddy Dr. Oz was on the front cover, touting his antistress answer to belly fat in an article proclaiming that you could lose 16 pounds in 14 days. The secret? Vitamin C. Never mind eating less, getting adequate rest and exercising more, the villain in putting on lard around your midsection is the stress hormone response, aided by those evil adrenal glands. All you need to do is chug down lots of vitamin C, up to 3 grams a day according to Dr. Oz, and the pounds will melt away.
    Whatever dregs of respectability this guy has left, they’re melting away fast.

  76. #76 Pablo
    March 25, 2011

    Bacon – indeed, the “symbiosis” comment is really funny.

    Personally, I’d call the measles relationship with hominidae to be more viral than symbiotic. Odd, that…

  77. #77 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 25, 2011

    Dr. Jay:

    No doubt you inform the parents in your practice of the rare risks of taking the measles vaccine.

    Do you warn them about the much more common risks of such complications as ITP, pneumonia, encephalitis and death if their child does not receive the vaccine?

    Do you warn them about the risk of developing Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis if their child does not receive the vaccine?

    Do you think Raold Dahl is misguided?

  78. #78 Mary
    March 25, 2011

    FYI Andrew Wakefield was in Minneapolis proposing a study of the Somali measles outbreak (in a private meeting with local Somalis: http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/118547569.html )

  79. #79 Rene Najera
    March 25, 2011

    It’s an “outbreak.” But, in the great scheme of things, it’s also “random.”

    Oh, NOW it’s an outbreak. But notice how outbreak is in quotes. Dr. Jay, why didn’t you just write, “Yeah. Yeah. It’s a f-ing outbreak, whatever”? I’d have more respect for you (maybe) if you’d at least honestly tell us that you don’t feel it is but you just want us to shut up and leave you alone about it.

    And about randomness… Random went away when Wakefield et al scared people in that community away from the vaccine. Random went away when said unimmunized people brought back measles with them. Random vanished when other unvaccinated folks caught the damn thing.

    When a series of events is put into place by the actions of someone (or some thing), and they would have otherwise not happened, randomness is obliterated.

  80. #80 Todd W.
    March 25, 2011

    @Mary

    Minor correction. Wakefield was in Minneapolis to try to recruit subjects for a study on autism in the Somali community there. Purportedly, the study will look at vitamin D, and Wakefield is funding but not participating in the conduct. At least, those are the rumors. Whether he’ll stay the hell out of the design/conduct of the study if it ever gets going is another question. As it is, he’s potentially biasing the subject selection for it.

    @Rene

    Wakefield doesn’t appear to have had as much of an impact on the Somali attitude as J.B. Handley and Generation Rescue. It was Handley, remember, that told them that vaccines cause autism and that they should not trust state health organizations.

  81. #81 Rene Najera
    March 25, 2011

    @Todd

    Yeah, but Wakefield got the ball rolling in ’98. Six in one hand, half a dozen in the other. But I get what you mean.

  82. #82 Science Mom
    March 25, 2011

    It’s an “outbreak.” But, in the great scheme of things, it’s also “random.” That is, we will not eradicate an organism like measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years. Therefore, there will be random outbreaks even in countries with herd immunity. Measles vaccination is not 100% effective and some people won’t or can’t get the shot.

    Symbiosis? Is that what we are calling pathogenic infectious organisms these days? The “vaccine safety” advocate-speak of the likes of Jay would be hilarious for it not for his idiotic recommendations to his patients. Re: random, You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. You see Jay, indigenous measles transmission was interrupted in the U.S. by 1993, subsequent cases have been importations brought in by unvaccinated people and spread primarily to unvaccinated people. And since humans are the only known reservoir for measles, it is quite possible to eradicate it globally, if not, in part, for incompetent practitioners such as yourself who believe you know more than people who actually work on these issues. You might want to look up Rinderpest, a close cousin of measles.

    The hospitalization details are unavailable. I think that most of them are probably quite “soft” because most doctors are just confounded by this “new” disease.

    And yet here you are passively-aggressively opining about the necessity of hospitalisation for half of the MN cases. Don’t get too presumptuous, especially considering your colleague Dr. Sears can’t even diagnose a case of measles that walks into his office.

    I do not mean to diminish terrible sadness of the cases of measles which end in tragedies. It’s just that health care was quite different fifty or one hundred years ago and I believe that measles has a much lower complication and fatality rate in this century.

    You believe? Please do public health a favour and be a non-believer. You don’t even bother to do some basic background before ejecting your very erroneous beliefs yet again.

  83. #83 Ruth
    March 25, 2011

    Chemmomo@64

    You are right-should have checked and not relied on memory. I do remember how light hurt my eyes when I had the measles and how boring it was that I couldn’t read.

  84. #84 Calli Arcale
    March 25, 2011

    Chemmom:

    If we’re going to take Dr Jay to task for not using the correct historical fiction, we need to read our historical fiction correctly.

    The correct classification of the books is a matter of some debate, but though “Little House on the Prairie” (et al) are generally classed as fiction, it’s more of a series of fictionalized memoirs. (Events in the first two books are the most heavily fictionalized, as Laura was too young to remember many of them, and as she had chosen to depict some of the characters as being a little older for ease of storytelling. Later books in the series are pretty much autobiographical.) The specific cause of Mary Ingalls’ blindness is not certain; the epidemiology of these diseases was not as well known in those days, nor were records kept as accurately. It has also been attributed to a stroke, but a strep infection could certainly explain it, especially a strep infeciton which progressed to spinal meningitis. (Bacterial spinal meningitis in the old days had a very high but not 100% death rate.)

    Jay:

    It’s an “outbreak.” But, in the great scheme of things, it’s also “random.” That is, we will not eradicate an organism like measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years. Therefore, there will be random outbreaks even in countries with herd immunity. Measles vaccination is not 100% effective and some people won’t or can’t get the shot.

    You mean like smallpox or the guinea worm (which is well on its way to extinction even now)?

    Measles really can be eradicated through vaccination. But if it couldn’t, wouldn’t that make continued vaccination even more important, because there’s always the threat of it returning? As it is, we stand on the brink of annhilating polio, at which point we can STOP vaccinating against it as we have already stopped vaccinating against smallpox.

    But what you say is certainly true of tetanus, because we’ll definitely never be rid of C. tetani. So we must vaccinate, because that is our only protection against tetanus — and it has to be *individual* vaccination, because herd immunity does bupkis for tetanus.

  85. #85 Mary
    March 25, 2011

    Moving away from fiction, and risking a brush with Godwin’s Law, history provides another much-discussed example of measles having terrible consequences: “Then in 1900 the first major event that shaped Hitler’s destiny happened. His younger brother Edmund dies of measles. Hitler went from a young boy who was very outgoing and performed well in school and became a young man who seemed more and more detached and sullen. His school work greatly suffered after the death of his brother and he more and more frequently battled with his father.” (http://www.auburn.edu/~dsm0007/ and other sources)

    Whether it was measles encephalitis wiping out some empathy pathways in his brain — or the psychological trauma of losing his younger brother — that turned Hitler from a charming and bright youngster into a mass murderer, it certainly provides one more reason to immunize!

  86. #86 herr doktor bimler
    March 25, 2011

    measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years.

    Fail. Total fail. Catastrophic fail. Virologists agree that measles has been around a few thousand years at most (thought to have mutated from rinderpest or some other animal Morbilivirus). As recently as the 11th or 12th century CE according to the most recent study, though other people say the 7th Century.

    Feck, I’m only a mathematical physicist and even I know that. Is Dr Gordon trying to be as wrong as possible?

  87. #87 Todd W.
    March 25, 2011

    This whole thing has turned into a “How many ways can Jay be wrong” thread. Amusing, yet sad.

  88. #88 Science Mom
    March 25, 2011

    Feck, I’m only a mathematical physicist and even I know that. Is Dr Gordon trying to be as wrong as possible?

    No, sadly, that wrongness comes very naturally to Jay Gordon.

  89. #89 BraselC5048
    March 25, 2011

    Re #69, Hey, I watch that show too! I don’t recall that scene, but I remember a different plotline involving a rabies vaccanation and highly religious parents. End result, they decided to give the shot right before it turned out not to be nessicary. I agree, they certainly knew thier stuff!

  90. #90 Science Mom
    March 25, 2011

    Our buddy Dr. Oz was on the front cover, touting his antistress answer to belly fat in an article proclaiming that you could lose 16 pounds in 14 days. The secret? Vitamin C. Never mind eating less, getting adequate rest and exercising more, the villain in putting on lard around your midsection is the stress hormone response, aided by those evil adrenal glands. All you need to do is chug down lots of vitamin C, up to 3 grams a day according to Dr. Oz, and the pounds will melt away.
    Whatever dregs of respectability this guy has left, they’re melting away fast.

    @ Dangerous Bacon, well there is something to be said of the increased bowel activity that such a chronic mega-dose of vitamin C will have upon the recipient. Never mind the antagonistic toxic effects that it also has [/sarcasm].

  91. #91 dean
    March 25, 2011

    Will we see jay basing new tweets on The Fall of the House of Usher? Probably not – that would mean he is capable of reading the written word and taking away some of the meaning.

  92. #92 dean
    March 25, 2011

    Will we see jay basing new tweets on The Fall of the House of Usher? Probably not – that would mean he is capable of reading the written word and taking away some of the meaning.

  93. #93 Militant Agnostic BSc, ABE
    March 25, 2011

    herr doctor bimmler @86

    Fail. Total fail. Catastrophic fail. Virologists agree that measles has been around a few thousand years at most (thought to have mutated from rinderpest or some other animal Morbilivirus).

    And the rinderpest has recently become extinct in the wild due to vaccination.

    Feck, I’m only a mathematical physicist and even I know that. Is Dr Gordon trying to be as wrong as possible?

    I am only a mechanical engineer and even I know that. Kind of funny how Jay likes to brandish his credentials and experience here and then immediately show how not only knows less about infectious diseases than all the MDs who comment here, he knows less than the engineers, physicists, programmers etc.

    ABE = Air Brake Endorsement (If you are going to flaunt irrelevant credentials, go all the way)

  94. #94 DLC
    March 25, 2011

    “Dr Jay” used to refer to basketball great Julius Erving.

    This Dr Jay is about to foul out.
    and I need more coffee.

  95. #95 anandine
    March 25, 2011

    herr doktor bimler wrote: All my preparations for a zombie outbreak are based on television programs. Is this wrong?

    Yes, it’s wrong. All the best zombie documentaries are in movies, not TV. The little screen doesn’t give enough definition.

  96. #96 jax
    March 25, 2011

    I think I remember that episode of the Brady Bunch. If decades-old memory serves, at the end the parents made a big chart of all the kids’ vaccination dates and figured out what everyone was missing. This would rather undermine the suggestion that avoidable childhood diseases were seen as no big deal; after coping with six sick kids, of course they’d want to avoid going through the whole thing again with mumps or whatever.

  97. #97 Chris
    March 25, 2011

    jax:

    If decades-old memory serves, at the end the parents made a big chart of all the kids’ vaccination dates and figured out what everyone was missing.

    Earlier in this thread I posted a youtube link to that episode. When I watched it last night they were making a chart of the diseases the kids had received. The whooping cough row had no check marks, I assume the kids had has their DTP vaccines.

  98. #98 John C. Welch
    March 25, 2011

    measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years.

    Fail. Total fail. Catastrophic fail. Virologists agree that measles has been around a few thousand years at most (thought to have mutated from rinderpest or some other animal Morbilivirus). As recently as the 11th or 12th century CE according to the most recent study, though other people say the 7th Century.

    Feck, I’m only a mathematical physicist and even I know that. Is Dr Gordon trying to be as wrong as possible?

    Stupidity and Dr. Jay have lived in symbiosis for millions of years….

  99. #99 LW
    March 25, 2011

    Dr. Gordon has been told before that the evidence is that measles originated from rinderpest no more than 1500 years ago. It plainly isn’t a symbiont of the human species of millions of years standing, which you’d think would be obvious even to Dr. Gordon: if the disease had infected — and not merely infected but benefited like a good symbiont — the human race for millions of years, how is it that so many human populations were completely immunologically naive and therefore suffered devastating disease from it when it was introduced?  How is it that *any* population that is pretty isolated for a few decades suffers an epidemic when the disease is introduced?

    Dr. Gordon has objected before that, “oh, no, we mustn’t eradicate measles! Who knows what deep dependencies human health may have on measles” — a disease to which the human race as a whole has been exposed to for less than 1,500 years, and large parts of the human race have been exposed to for less than 500 years. 

    I think this whole “miilion year symbiosis” is just an excuse that Dr. Gordon uses to try to justify his deliberate decision to destroy herd immunity against measles. It’s a stupid and obviously false excuse, and he’s been told that before, but for some reason he keeps repeating it.    

  100. #100 Prometheus
    March 25, 2011

    I know that “Dr. Jay” has been chastised for this already, but I have to put in my bit, since it’s my field:

    “…we will not eradicate an organism like measles which has lived in relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years.”

    First, as has been pointed out by at least two other people, measles originated from the cattle morbillivirus rinderpest (which, ironically, was apparently eradicated by 2003) about 800 – 1500 years ago. Since rinderpest was eradicated in a wild cattle population (the last detection was in Kenya in 2003), there is no reason the same couldn’t happen with measles, if people like “Dr. Jay” would stick to the facts instead of making s**t up.

    Secondly, measles cannot be described as “symbiotic” (or even “relative symbiosis”) with hominids. “Symbiosis” means that both organisms derive some benefit – what is the benefit “hominids” (all the other hominids were extinct when rinderpest made the jump to humans) derive from measles? There is none.

    Once again, “Dr. Jay” picks up the shovel (keyboard) and digs a nice deep hole for himself.

    As many times as “Dr. Jay” has been wrong (and as few times as I’ve seen him be right), I’m surprised he still tries to “flaunt his wisdom” with us.

    Prometheus

  101. #101 John C. Welch
    March 26, 2011

    Dr. Jay’s rather distant relationship with facts and reality makes me wonder why anyone would inflict him on their child a second time.

    I’m sure he’s very nice, but I’d rather, you know, as my DOCTOR, have a scientifically correct asshole as a Doc then a nice idiot.

  102. #102 Militant Agnostic BSc, ABE
    March 26, 2011

    Once again, “Dr. Jay” picks up the shovel (keyboard) and digs a nice deep hole for himself.

    A shovel won’t do, a backhoe won’t even do – “Dr. Jay” uses a bucketwheel excavator.

    Whenever “Dr. Jay” flaunts his experience, I am reminded of my favourite line from the from The Flight of the Phoenix. The guy designing the Phoenix gets tired of the pilot using the argument from experience and tells him “You have experienced everything and learned nothing.” Dr. Jay’s latest turd clearly indicates he has learned nothing. It is frightening that someone who is so ignorant of basic biology is practicing medicine.

  103. #103 LW
    March 26, 2011

    I think Orac was right the first time when he said Dr. Gordon was twittering rather than tweeting. Dr. Gordon is very reminiscent of a little bird twittering its meaningless little noises in the hedge while other people get on with the hard work that science requires.

  104. #104 Karen
    March 26, 2011

    At the risk of repeating many others (but under the theory that it bears repeating), Dr. Jay is also wrong that this is a random event. Generation Rescue has spent the last few years targeting the Somali community in Minnesota, and thus the vaccination rates in the Somali community have dropped dangerously low. Anecdotally, Somali doctors estimate that the vaccination rates among Somali families they know are as low as 30%. All this aided by Minnesota’s ridiculously permissive conscientious objection exemption to immunization requirements.

    Add in an infant too young to be immunized who traveled to Kenya (where measles is endemic) and bringing the virus back to this susceptible community. Suddenly, we have an entirely predictable, not at all funny outbreak.

    Also, just to stretch the Brady Bunch analysis–they were able to call doctors for house calls. Now, I am left to wonder whether or not my children are safe in my pediatrician’s waiting room amid a measles outbreak.

  105. #105 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 26, 2011

    Good Morning!

    Got up late, relaxing before my soccer game starts at 11:00 and then planning on an NCCA Saturday afternoon. In the meantime, I’d like to respond to some of what’s been written above. This will take me a few minutes.

    While I do that, have a look at this pretty impressive report out of the AAAI. Probably the “tip of an iceberg.” Maybe nbothing inherent wrong with DTaP vaccines unless the kids have allergies.

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AAAAI/25520

    Back in a little while.

    Best,

    Jay

  106. #106 Orac
    March 26, 2011

    From Dr. Jay’s cited article:

    “The severe reaction, I think, falls into a very rare category,” Siles commented. “While observation of these children with known allergies should be considered, our study would indicate that the presence of food allergies should not be considered a contraindication for vaccination.”

  107. #107 Rene Najera
    March 26, 2011

    Yawn. Dr. Jay, spare us the dissertation(s). One can only dig so much before one breaks through the Earth’s crust and hits a very hot place from which there is no return.

  108. #108 Rene Najera
    March 26, 2011

    I didn’t have any interesting things to do today, like Dr. Jay does… So I read the article. Check it:

    “We have also looked at vaccines, and food allergy reactions are very rare,” Roxana Siles, MD, a fellow in allergy and immunology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told MedPage Today. “In our experience, these kids do just fine.”

    Siles and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of 62 children (49 boys and 13 girls) around 4 years old with confirmed egg allergy, who had received seasonal influenza and/or H1N1 vaccination at the Cleveland Clinic’s tertiary care center during 2009-2010.

    Both H1N1 influenza and seasonal influenza vaccinations are created using eggs.

    Of the 131 injections given to the children, there was only one small local reaction.

    Twenty of the children who had been previously diagnosed with egg allergies underwent skin testing prior to inoculation; seven had positive skin tests.

    Three of the children were given split doses of the vaccine to minimize any possible reaction. These children had 15 injections; none of them had a reaction, said study co-author Humaa Bhatti, DO, a pediatric resident at Metro Hospital, Cleveland.

    “The severe reaction, I think, falls into a very rare category,” Siles commented. “While observation of these children with known allergies should be considered, our study would indicate that the presence of food allergies should not be considered a contraindication for vaccination.

    (I added the bolding.)

    But why would Dr. Jay look at the numbers? After all, it’s just “statistical porn”, right?

  109. #109 Science Mom
    March 26, 2011

    The only thing Dr. Jay managed to do is demonstrate how investigators are examining pre-dispositions to vaccine reactions and how they can be minimised. I would say nice attempt at distraction but you even failed at your attempt to disparage DTaP. I’m sure we are all very interested in “Jay-speak” definitions for ‘symbiosis’, ‘random’ and ‘outbreak’.

  110. #110 Todd W.
    March 26, 2011

    @Dr. Jay

    How long does it take you to type “Okay, I was wrong”?

  111. #111 Pablo
    March 26, 2011

    Todd – I was thinking more of, “Nevermind”

  112. #112 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 26, 2011

    Sicherer did the research and presentation, David.

    Siles was merely commenting for Medpage.

    Sicherer is quoted:

    “This is very preliminary,” Sicherer commented, “but if I had an extremely milk allergic subject I would take caution.”

    Jay

  113. #113 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 26, 2011

    Apology for your inaccuracy? I’ll sit here holding my breath. :-)

    Jay

  114. #114 Liz Ditz
    March 26, 2011

    speaking of dead babies, at BoingBoing Ghost Babies (essay on the intense trade in Victorian postmortem photographs on sites like eBay):

    Death was a fact of life in the 19th century. Until 1885, childhood mortality took one out of every five children in her first year, two out of every five by their fifth; children were carried off by cholera, dysentery, diphtheria, typhoid, yellow fever, scarlet fever, or measles. Losing all of one’s children to an epidemic, in a matter of days, was not uncommon. “From [baby] carriage to coffin was the fate of over 30 percent of 19th century children,” writes Stanley Burns, M.D., in his pioneering study, Sleeping Beauty: Memorial Photography in America.

  115. #115 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 26, 2011

    Again, good morning to you all–

    Firstly, Orac, elevating me to someone worthy of two full posts within five weeks is very, very flattering. I’d think it’s a little counterproductive on your part because it probably causes detractors and fans alike to pay far more attention to my unproven, speculative, minority points of view than they otherwise would.

    In any case, thank you.

    I know you’re not terribly familiar with Twitter, but it can be a light-hearted place. My post had a touch of irony—hard for you since I’ve broken so many of your irony meters!–and a serious note, too. The main idea behind my post and my thoughts on sporadic measles outbreaks in America is that we really won’t be able to eradicate measles and there will yearly occurrences of returning travelers giving measles to a dozen other people. It’s just not newsworthy because of . . . herd immunity. I still contend that an actress, a pediatrician or two in California and a collection of so-called anti-vax folks won’t dent herd immunity enough to make measles epidemics possible in America.

    In the 1990’s there some very literate debates about the benefits of getting the disease, using low versus high dose vaccines and the dangers of adult measles. These debates have pretty much disappeared, but here’s more red meat for you, the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health. The debate was heated and the vaccine remains unquestioned because one can’t have a public debate of losing “weaker” humans to measles to benefit stronger humans. If individual parents evaluate the risks and benefits of measles vaccination for their child and choose not to vaccinate, that’s a supportable decision.

    But, of course, I certainly agree that abandoning measles vaccination would lead to unacceptable morbidity and mortality. I do not support that reversal of public policy. I support individual parents’ right to participate in the discussion.

    Here’s the primary fallacy in most of the arguments above and elsewhere: An extremely very small percentage of children who get measles will get complications and a far smaller percentage of these would suffer larger complications but the mortality rate in America in 2011 will still be zero or close to it. AND, first you have to get measles! Conversely, if there are any possible side effects, complications or problems with the measles vaccine, 100% of the recipients of the vaccines are being put at risk. This, again, is not an argument for abandoning measles vaccines, merely an argument for parents being able to discuss the issue freely with their doctors without being judged or evicted from the practice.

    OK, on to the actual post. David, you’re wasting your time criticizing the TV show as being scientifically unsound. I knew that. Irony, my friend, irony.

    Orac, spending hours and hours and tens of thousands of words writing about ten cases of measles while millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding is truly cold-hearted and your lack of concern for these children is shameful.

    Damn! Where does the time go? I haven’t even had a chance to answer any of the comments but I’ll try get back here later.

    Again, Orac, thank you for writing so much about me and, as the saying goes, spelling my name correctly.

    Have a great day today.

    Jay

  116. #116 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 26, 2011

    Liz, no disrespect intended, but 1885 was a long time ago. This is interesting historical information, though.

    http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pulmonology/SmokingCOPD/25547

    David, how about some outrage about these dishonest “scientists?”

    Jay

  117. #117 Chris
    March 26, 2011

    Dr. Jay:

    Orac, spending hours and hours and tens of thousands of words writing about ten cases of measles while millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding is truly cold-hearted and your lack of concern for these children is shameful.

    Now what evidence do you have that millions of American children are dying from lack of breastfeeding? (keeping it in the same country, don’t muddy the issue and talk about elsewhere)

  118. #118 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 26, 2011

    A Saturday morning conversation with . . . myself on Orac’s blog site. Remind you of the famous JFK quote about Thomas Jefferson dining alone?? Not so much . . .

    J

  119. #119 dedicated lurker
    March 26, 2011

    But, of course, I certainly agree that abandoning measles vaccination would lead to unacceptable morbidity and mortality. I do not support that reversal of public policy. I support individual parents’ right to participate in the discussion.

    If all those parents choose not to vaccinate, however, isn’t that abandoning measles vaccination?

  120. #120 Narad
    March 26, 2011

    your lack of concern for these children is shameful

    Now, that’s irony.

  121. #121 Chris
    March 26, 2011

    So, Dr. Jay, you would rather have a conversation with yourself and not tell us how millions of American children are dying form lack of breastfeeding?

  122. #122 Chemmomo
    March 26, 2011

    Dr Jay,
    I’m with Chris: please explain how millions of American children are dying from lack of breastfeeding. Are they all starving to death as infants? I don’t get it.

  123. #123 Orac
    March 26, 2011

    Indeed. I, too, am very interested in the studies and data Dr. Jay uses to come to the conclusion that millions of American children are dying from lack of breastfeeding.

    Come on, Dr. Jay! Lay the evidence on us!

  124. #124 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2011

    Come on, Dr. Jay! Lay the evidence on us!

    Evidence and Dr. Jay are definitely not “symbiotic”, more like mutually exclusive.

  125. #125 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2011

    I still contend that an actress, a pediatrician or two in California and a collection of so-called anti-vax folks won’t dent herd immunity enough to make measles epidemics possible in America.

    But you still make the effort to make this possible.

    the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health.

    Citation Needed (and unlikely to be forthcoming)

    AND, first you have to get measles!

    Which would be impossible if measles was sent the way of smallpox and rinderpest by way of vaccination.

  126. #126 Anonymous
    March 26, 2011

    Dr Jay, did you go to the Organic Liaison party? Soram Khalsa was there. (As was Ron Jeremy)

    http://vimeo.com/21325909

    I didn’t see you in the video footage. Weren’t you invited?

  127. #127 Karen
    March 26, 2011

    Dr. Jay,

    Way to go for broke in your statements. You claim that an actress and a couple of pediatricians are not going to make a dent in herd immunity. Perhaps you should come to Minnesota and speak to pediatricians treating Somali-American children whose parents have been the direct target of Jenny McCarthy’s groups. No more than 30% of that tight-knit community receives the MMR. How’s that for a dent in herd immunity?

    People have been hospitalized. I shudder when I consider how many more will be affected.

    Your flippancy and arrogance is infuriating. Shame on you.

  128. #128 T. Bruce McNeely
    March 26, 2011

    In the 1990’s there some very literate debates about the benefits of getting the disease, using low versus high dose vaccines and the dangers of adult measles. These debates have pretty much disappeared, but here’s more red meat for you, the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health.

    Perhaps, perhaps not. Especially for those poor bastards who get SSPE.

    The debate was heated and the vaccine remains unquestioned because one can’t have a public debate of losing “weaker” humans to measles to benefit stronger humans.

    Well, damn, we just can’t have a polite discussion about the benefits of eugenics any more. People are SO sensitive these days.

    If individual parents evaluate the risks and benefits of measles vaccination for their child and choose not to vaccinate, that’s a supportable decision.

    “Supportable”? Not to me.

  129. #129 Militant Agnostic
    March 26, 2011

    Karen @126

    Your flippancy and arrogance is infuriating.

    Give the poor man a break, Karen. What else is he supposed to rely on when doesn’t have any evidence and knows less about biology than most of the engineers, physicists, programmers etc.(never mind the MDs and RNs) who comment here.

    I am surprised Jay doesn’t advocate the Spartan custom of leaving newborns outside overnight. Now that would really ensure the “strength” of the survivors.

  130. #130 MI Dawn
    March 26, 2011

    @Dr Jay: I hope you can tell us all about the many children in the USA dying for lack of breastfeeding. Then you can go on and tell us all how a woman working 2 jobs to support her family can breastfeed. Then you can go on and tell us how the women who struggle to breastfeed and fail are failing their children and they all die. Thanks for nothing

    As for the MMR: I am of the age where I HAD measles, rubella (missed mumps, thank goodness). I also, because my grandfather was a HUGE vaccine fan, had every vaccine that was out for the public. I am (or was, haven’t been tested since my first pregnancy) immune to rubella. I am not, despite actual case, singe dose measles vaccine, MMR at age 16, MMR at age 35 (required for midwifery school since my measles immunity was nil), immune to measles. Thanks to Dr Jay and his ilk, I have to worry about being exposed and probably developing measles when I am quite far from childhood. I really appreciate it, Dr Jay. Feel proud of what your Jenny, and your hero St Andy Wakefield have done in Minnesota.

  131. #131 Rene Najera
    March 26, 2011

    It’s just not newsworthy because of . . . herd immunity. I still contend that an actress, a pediatrician or two in California and a collection of so-called anti-vax folks won’t dent herd immunity enough to make measles epidemics possible in America.

    I guess I need to dedicate an Epi Night School post to the good doctor on what herd immunity entails. As far as Minnesota goes, herd immunity is done. Measles immunization rates have dropped below 95%, which, for a disease as infectious as measles, is the threshold for herd immunity. Within the Somali community that is being targeted by certain friends of Dr. Jay, immunization against measles is even lower.

    I’ll reserve my opinion on whether or not this is another… well… fail.

  132. #132 Vicki
    March 26, 2011

    Dr. Jay,

    It sounds like your claim is that it’s okay for you and a few friends to advocate any sort of unproven or even dangerous thing because not enough people are convinced. What is the tipping point? At what numbers do you conclude that you are being dangerously successful and should therefore stop?

  133. #133 Enkidu
    March 26, 2011

    Dr. Jay says, “millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding [...]”

    I, too, am waiting for the reference for this statement. Of course, according to Dr. Jay himself, all of the babies he sees in his practice are breastfed and healthy. I guess then, in his mind, since the opposite of breastfed is formula-fed, they must also be the opposite of healthy.

  134. #134 Dangerous Bacon
    March 26, 2011

    And a sudden jump in the comment count is again a tipoff that Dr. Brady Bunch is back to share more insights.

    Jay: “…Orac, elevating me to someone worthy of two full posts within five weeks is very, very flattering. I’d think it’s a little counterproductive on your part because it probably causes detractors and fans alike to pay far more attention to my unproven, speculative, minority points of view than they otherwise would.”

    Not to mention the consequence that when someone does a Google search to find out more about Jay and his practice, embarassing and foolish comments of his wind up high in the search rankings thanks to posts on RI, Science-Based Medicine etc. But for someone of Jay’s ego, all attention is good, I suppose.

    …here’s more red meat for you, the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health. The debate was heated and the vaccine remains unquestioned because one can’t have a public debate of losing “weaker” humans to measles to benefit stronger humans.”

    Are we actually seeing a eugenics argument from Herr Doktor Gordon about how it’s desirable to thin the herd of “weaker” humans and that measles fulfills a valuable role in doing this? Is this part of his antivax spiel to parents? “You see, the chances of your child coming down with this serious disease are low because other pediatricians and parents are responsible and get children immunized. If by mischance your child does sicken and die or suffer permanent health consequences, it’s a good thing because we need to thin the herd to benefit humanity.”

    Nah, I can’t figure even Jay for something that bizarrely offensive.

    “But, of course, I certainly agree that abandoning measles vaccination would lead to unacceptable morbidity and mortality. I do not support that reversal of public policy. I support individual parents’ right to participate in the discussion.”

    In other words, “I support vaccine refusal and the loss of herd immunity leading to greatly increased measles morbidity and mortality.”

    “Here’s the primary fallacy in most of the arguments above and elsewhere: An extremely very small percentage of children who get measles will get complications and a far smaller percentage of these would suffer larger complications but the mortality rate in America in 2011 will still be zero or close to it.”

    Which is why Jay wants to return us to the days of 1951, or maybe 1921, when infectious diseases strengthened humanity, Americans ate red meat and believed their doctors’ anecdotes without question.

    Another Saturday, another heaping helping of crazy from the AAP’s poster child for bozodom.

  135. #135 LW
    March 26, 2011

    “my thoughts on sporadic measles outbreaks in America is that we really won’t be able to eradicate measles and there will yearly occurrences of returning travelers giving measles to a dozen other people.”

    Fortunately Dr. Gordon wasn’t involved with the smallpox eradication campaign. He would have been in there arguing that we can’t possibly eradicate a disease that has no animal reservoirs and no carriers, which usually gives lifelong immunity to survivors, and for which we have an effective vaccine. No doubt smallpox had a relative symbiosis with hominids for millions of years too, so eradication was a bad thing as weaker humans are now able to live full lives instead of being maimed or killed by smallpox as would be preferable for the benefit of stronger humans.

  136. #136 Liz Ditz
    March 26, 2011

    Oh dear not one but two posts:

    First,

    EpiRen’s masterful Epidemiology Nightschool class on Introduction to Outbreaks

    I learned in grade school that 11 cases (to date) in the current outbreak is 9 cases over the expected 2. I also learned that it’s over 5 times the expected rate. I then learned in epidemiology school (a master’s level degree) that the fact that all these cases are somehow related to each other pretty much makes this an outbreak. Am I – or anyone working on that outbreak – being obsessive about “a few extra cases of measles”?

    And further schooling of the epidemiologically naive…with pictures.

  137. #137 LW
    March 26, 2011

    I tried googling for the answer to this but wasn’t able to find it so I hope someone here will help me out: why is the rate of hospitalization so high in Minnesota?

    It seems to me that there are a disproportionate number of babies infected, and maybe this is the same situation as pertussis, where the baby’s tiny lungs make them less able to survive a respiratory infection. But then why are so many babies infected? Are there a lot of unconfirmed or unreported cases among adults and older children, so the eleven confirmed cases are the tip of the iceberg? Or what? Does anyone know?

  138. #138 Liz Ditz
    March 26, 2011

    And second from Autism News Beat:

    Vaccine Rejectionism Disorder

    Vaccine Rejectionism Disorder is an umbrella term applied to individuals who mislead others, through spoken and/or written communications, about the risk of vaccines and vaccination.

    The five VRDs are Pervasive Anti-Science Disorders. They are classified as Crank Disorder, Handley Disorder, Reason Disintegrative Disorder, Jay’s Disorder, and Pervasive Anti-Science Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PAD-NOS).

  139. #139 Rene Najera
    March 26, 2011

    @LW

    Dr. Jay speculated that they’re “soft” admissions from physicians not familiar with measles and its complications. I have to say that he may be right.

    (I know, right? It’s weird how one group is willing to admit that he is right, but God forbid a group he disagrees with be right.)

    Anyway, the word on the street is that it’s a combination of an abundance of caution and true severity of the disease. However, we’ll need to wait for the dept. of health to tell us. They’re usually very transparent about their measles outbreaks. As soon as they do, I’ll assure you that we’ll be blogging about it. (I recommend Todd W.’s great coverage over on Harpocrates Speaks.

  140. #140 LW
    March 26, 2011

    “An extremely very small percentage of children who get measles will get complications and a far smaller percentage of these would suffer larger complications” — how small does Dr. Gordon think this number is? One in five has complications per Orac’s Mayo Clinic link, which doesn’t seem “an extremely very small percentage” to me, but then I’m not a pediatrician to the stars. And one in a thousand suffers encephalitis, which strikes me as a “larger complication” but not “an extremely very small percentage”.

    I too wonder how Dr. Gordon explains this to his unfortunate patients’ parents.

  141. #141 LW
    March 26, 2011

    Thank you, Rene. That would explain why there are so many hospitalizations, but why are so many babies infected? Unless someone infected a nursery, it seems to me that there must be older people carrying it from baby to baby. I’m just having a hard time believing there are really only eleven cases and four of them are too young to vaccinate.

  142. #142 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 26, 2011

    Apology for your inaccuracy? I’ll sit here holding my breath. :-)

    Astounding. Just astounding.

    Jay commits Critical Research Fail by declaring that measles has been around for “millions of years” in a “symbiotic” relationship with humans. The latter could be argued to actually be correct, but only by using a definition of “symbiosis” other than the generally understood meaning. The former is definitely wrong, by an order of magnitude of around a thousand.

    Does Dr. Jay do the mature thing and acknowledge his error?

    No, he changes the subject completely by pointing to a completely new article, and when Orac (whom Jay will insist on addressing by the wrong name) humors Jay by responding to the red herring Jay drags across the trail, quoting verbatim from the article – Jay accuses him of “inaccuracy” for not quoting what Jay thought was the important part of the article, and claims he’s entitled to an apology!

    Here’s a free clue for you, Dr. Jay Gordon. When you find out that you have utterly screwed the pooch and publicly revealed your ignorance in front of the whole world, fix your ignorance. Trying to change the subject and pretend you see “inaccuracies” elsewhere which can distract from your own just makes you look like a dishonest, sleazy asswipe. Which I guess is truth in advertising.

  143. #143 Rene Najera
    March 26, 2011

    @LW

    Ah. Great question. There are different classifications for what a “case” is in epidemiological terms. From CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/osels/ph_surveillance/nndss/casedef/measles_2010.htm):

    Probable:

    In the absence of a more likely diagnosis, an illness characterized by:
    generalized rash lasting ≥3 days; and
    temperature ≥101°F or 38.3°C; and
    cough, coryza, or conjunctivitis; and
    no epidemiologic linkage to a confirmed case of measles; and
    noncontributory or no serologic or virologic testing.

    Also,

    Confirmed:

    Laboratory confirmation by any of the following:
    positive serologic test for measles immunoglobulin M antibody;
    significant rise in measles antibody level by any standard serologic assay;
    isolation of measles virus from a clinical specimen; or
    detection of measles-virus specific nucleic acid by polymerase chain reaction
    Note: A laboratory-confirmed case does not have to have generalized rash lasting ≥3 days; temperature ≥101°F or 38.3°C; cough, coryza, or conjunctivitis.
    OR
    An illness characterized by:
    generalized rash lasting =3 days; and
    temperature =101°F or 38.3°C; and
    cough, coryza, or conjunctivitis; and
    epidemiologic linkage to a confirmed case of measles.

    As you can see, Minnesota is only reporting “confirmed” cases at this time. I’m sure there are some “probable” cases that are yet to be confirmed.

    I’m also sure that there are some kids with measles whose parents are afraid to bring them forward for fear of stigma. (e.g. “How dare these immigrants bring this plague to our country?!”) And I’m sure that there are some sub-clinical cases, which are the scary ones because there is a condition known as SSPE (a delayed-onset encephalitis that can be deadly). A little girl in my town, who was adopted years ago from India, developed SSPE and, sadly, died from it. She had measles as a child in India.

    Finally, and I don’t mean to make this post too long, measles is incredibly infectious. It doesn’t take much of the virus to infect people, and it can linger in the air and on surfaces for a few hours after someone has been there… If any of these kids went to an ER, they left virus there, and someone not immune will likely get it.

  144. #144 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2011

    the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health.

    I would have doubts about taking my child to a paediatrician who argued that disease is Nature’s way of culling the weaklings.

  145. #145 JohnV
    March 26, 2011

    Frigging amazing. The same Dr. Gordon who throws a fit because of a comic Orac links to, speaks sympathetically of eugenics and has the audacity to refer to Orac’s topic choice as shameful.

  146. #146 LW
    March 26, 2011

    “the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health.”

    Is this sort of like the claim that a bone that has been broken heals back stronger than before (if it heals back at all, of course)? Speaking just for myself, I would rather have slightly weaker bones than the dozen broken bones I had. And I’d rather be just a *little* healthier from having had the attenuated virus rather than having had a potentially fatal disease. But maybe that’s just me.

    Does Dr. Gordon recommend measles parties and pox parties to his unfortunate patients’ parents? Surely he wants to improve those poor children’s health as much as possible, and we know they’re all strong and healthy to start with, because he tells us so.

  147. #147 herr doktor bimler
    March 26, 2011

    Dr. Gordon [...] speaks sympathetically of eugenics

    To be fair, the equivalence between eugenics programs and measles vaccination is probably intended as irony.

    Spending hours and hours writing self-exculpatory comments to Orac’s blog while millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding is truly cold-hearted and his lack of concern for these children is shameful.

  148. #148 LW
    March 26, 2011

    “To be fair, the equivalence between eugenics programs and measles vaccination is probably intended as irony.”

    Why would you think that? Dr. Gordon has said before that he opposes eradication of measles in the wild because of unspecified potential harm to the human species if children no longer suffer the disease.

  149. #149 LW
    March 26, 2011

    “I’m also sure that there are some kids with measles whose parents are afraid to bring them forward for fear of stigma.”

    Maybe there are also some whose parents are afraid to bring them forward, or who are afraid to come forward themselves, because they have been told to fear the public health authorities. Todd mentioned above, “It was Handley, remember, that told them that vaccines cause autism and that they should not trust state health organizations.”

  150. #150 Tsu Dho Nimh
    March 26, 2011

    Like most of my generation, I had natural measles. I was not seriously ill, but I vividly remember my sister being cared for because my sister was extremely ill.

    Her bedroom was darkened because she screamed in pain at bright light, she had round the clock home nursing care from my grandmother, my mom or one of the neighbors in shifts. In addition, she was on antibiotics for the pneumonia and IV fluids for the dehydration.

    Why wasn’t she in the hospital? Our county was in the middle of a measles outbreak, hospital beds were in short supply, and the hospital was only accepting children who were sicker than my sister. If the child didn’t need an oxygen tent, they weren’t admitted to the hospital. It was up to family, friends and neighbors to handle what we now assume a hospital will take care of.

  151. #151 Science Mom
    March 26, 2011

    Firstly, Orac, elevating me to someone worthy of two full posts within five weeks is very, very flattering. I’d think it’s a little counterproductive on your part because it probably causes detractors and fans alike to pay far more attention to my unproven, speculative, minority points of view than they otherwise would.

    In any case, thank you.

    Of course you would be thankful given the lack of media attention you have received, particularly since your debacle of a performance on Bullsh*t. Your unproven, speculative, minority points of view should have the light of day shone on them; it’s not the least bit counterproductive. Particularly since they always get you to post and dig your stupid hole even deeper.

    I know you’re not terribly familiar with Twitter, but it can be a light-hearted place. My post had a touch of irony—hard for you since I’ve broken so many of your irony meters!–and a serious note, too.

    Oh ahuh ahuh, I was only joking? Sure, if you say so. [/eyeroll]

    The main idea behind my post and my thoughts on sporadic measles outbreaks in America is that we really won’t be able to eradicate measles and there will yearly occurrences of returning travelers giving measles to a dozen other people. It’s just not newsworthy because of . . . herd immunity. I still contend that an actress, a pediatrician or two in California and a collection of so-called anti-vax folks won’t dent herd immunity enough to make measles epidemics possible in America.

    Of course we won’t be able to eradicate measles with mouthpieces for the anti-vaxx movement like you. I wonder if you, the other paediatrician and what you call an “actress” have seen these:
    http://projects.latimes.com/schools/2008-immunization-exemption-rate/ranking/page/1/

    http://www.askdrsears.com/thevaccinebook/Vaccine_Friendly_Doctors.asp

    http://m.cafemom.com/groups/read_topic.php?group_id=4388&topic_id=2738581

    Why try and downplay your involvement with the erosion of herd immunity? Embrace it, wear it proudly, you do every other witless claim you make.

    In the 1990’s there some very literate debates about the benefits of getting the disease, using low versus high dose vaccines and the dangers of adult measles. These debates have pretty much disappeared, but here’s more red meat for you, the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health.

    Dr. Jay, can you tell me what the measles case fatality rate during the 1990′s was? How about how many cases of SSPE and encephalitis? As if you aren’t bad enough at practising medicine, you are now espousing anthroposophy? Try presenting some scientific evidence of your assertions instead of half-arsed philosophy.

    The debate was heated and the vaccine remains unquestioned because one can’t have a public debate of losing “weaker” humans to measles to benefit stronger humans. If individual parents evaluate the risks and benefits of measles vaccination for their child and choose not to vaccinate, that’s a supportable decision.

    I’ll simply defer to T. Bruce McNeely’s answers to these statements, but reiterate that not vaccinating for measles based upon magical-thinking, is not supportable.

    But, of course, I certainly agree that abandoning measles vaccination would lead to unacceptable morbidity and mortality. I do not support that reversal of public policy. I support individual parents’ right to participate in the discussion.

    How do you reconcile these statements? The mental gymnastics are torturous. Of course parents have the right to “participate in the discussion” aka refuse vaccinations but that doesn’t mean that they are equipped to make the right decision, especially with doctors like you merely validating their choices based upon misinformation. I see you haven’t learned a thing from your involvement with Eliza Jane Scovill.

    I can assure you, that parents don’t seek you out because of your superior medical skills; they seek you out for your “vaccine friendly” status and know you will validate their beliefs, without question, no matter how erroneous. It is a truly sad testament to the medical profession that a physician feels the need to adopt a cheap shtick to maintain a practise.

    Here’s the primary fallacy in most of the arguments above and elsewhere: An extremely very small percentage of children who get measles will get complications and a far smaller percentage of these would suffer larger complications but the mortality rate in America in 2011 will still be zero or close to it. AND, first you have to get measles! Conversely, if there are any possible side effects, complications or problems with the measles vaccine, 100% of the recipients of the vaccines are being put at risk. This, again, is not an argument for abandoning measles vaccines, merely an argument for parents being able to discuss the issue freely with their doctors without being judged or evicted from the practice.

    Do children who suffer from disease complications come with a sign? You are demonstrably false in your assertion that the mortality rate from measles will be nil or close to it. Sure there are complications from measles vaccines but far less than the actual disease if vaccination stopped. You subscribe to the “hide in the herd” mentality, encouraging your patients to not vaccinate or validate their poor choices, all the while relying upon others to keep vaccination rates up sufficiently high to protect your entitled, narcissistic, ignorant clients.

    Orac, spending hours and hours and tens of thousands of words writing about ten cases of measles while millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding is truly cold-hearted and your lack of concern for these children is shameful.

    Snort, yes, please grace us with the foundation for this, oh great lactivist one.

  152. #152 AnthonyK
    March 26, 2011

    while millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding

    I think that Dr Jay is wildly overestimating the benefits of breastfeeding. I, and many of my contemporaries, have not breast fed for years and we are still, apparently, alive.

    Is he in the pay of Big Lacta?

  153. #153 augustine
    March 26, 2011

    I, and many of my contemporaries, have not breast fed for years and we are still, apparently, alive.
    Is he in the pay of Big Lacta?

    I and many of my contemporaries have not vaccinated for years and we’re still alive.

    You are very sloppy in critical thinking Anthonky! Emotions rule the day in you. No science.

  154. #154 Rene Najera
    March 26, 2011

    Shut up, Agustine, no one is talking to you… You know very damn well that you are up-to-date with your vaccines. You’re only here to troll and not contribute to the discussion.

    In fact, I can wrap up your entire history of comments as, “Shut up, science.”

  155. #155 dedicated lurker
    March 26, 2011

    In case you weren’t aware, auggie, he was parodying that form of thinking.

  156. #156 augustine
    March 26, 2011

    In case you weren’t aware, auggie, he was parodying that form of thinking.

    No he’s not. He’s not that witty or smart. He’s never posted one single fact or reasonable argument in his history of science blogs. He’s a cretin relative to science bloggers.

    He’s only tolerated because he’s a fellow believer. If he changed his belief system then his logic would be crucified in the name of critical thinking/skeptiskism/science.

    Is it the means or is it the ends?

  157. #157 Composer99
    March 26, 2011

    I was not aware that millions of children were dying from not being breastfed worldwide, never mind just in the United States.

    Since Dr Jay did not provide a link or other citation when he originally made that claim, perhaps he will be so kind as to do so in his next post?

  158. #158 Phila
    March 27, 2011

    Once again, Dr. Jay displays a toxic combination of passive-aggressive pseudo-politeness; creepy indifference to the suffering of disease victims; seething hostility that’s not nearly as veiled, nor as cleverly expressed, as he thinks it is; and gobsmacking ignorance of medical history.

    A really charming combination, I must say. I wouldn’t let my kids within a mile of him.

  159. #159 Militant Agnostic
    March 27, 2011

    @155
    But Dr. Jay is oh so civil.

    I think you left out the narcissism that thinks we care about what he was doing on Saturday morning. I think sociopathic narcissism at the heart of the anti-vaccination movement. I know the regular anti-vax trolls certainly exhibit it in spades.

  160. #160 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2011

    No he’s not. He’s not that witty or smart. He’s never posted one single fact or reasonable argument in his history of science blogs. He’s a cretin relative to science bloggers.

    1)Augie is the dumbest troll on RI

    2)augie has never posted a single true fact or reasonable argument

    3)augie is an embittered, feeble-minded god botherer, completely obsesssed with screaming and shouting on this blog about how clever he is and how awful “scientism” is.

    4)He/she/it is so boring…

    4)I’m getting to him :)

    See – facts. Source – every single one of his posts.
    Don’t like it here? Then fuck off. Please: you’re giving the Moron club a bad reputation.

  161. #161 LW
    March 27, 2011

    This is a statement of fact: “I, and many of my contemporaries, have not breast fed for years and we are still, apparently, alive.” It appears in the very comment that augustine used as a jumping-off point for claiming that you’ve “never posted one single fact”.

    Augustine is a fool. This is also a statement of fact.

  162. #162 Scottynuke
    March 27, 2011

    Rene, what was that you were saying up around #107?

    youtube.com/watch?v=L4TJ6sq7rgY

    (incomplete URL to avoid the spam filter and please pardon me if I’m late to the party on this one)
    :-)

  163. #163 Rene Najera
    March 27, 2011

    @Scottynuke

    Nice. Love Monty Python.

  164. #164 Scottynuke
    March 27, 2011

    Always happy to provide a smile, Rene. Keep up the good work!

  165. #165 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 27, 2011

    Not eugenics.

    Humans and measles virus “get along”and have for a long time. It doesn’t “cull” or anything like it. The infection may have beneficial effects for humans. Years ago, many people wrote about this. Look it up.

    Citing disease statistics from 50-100 years ago isn’t great science because almost no variables have been consistent. Including general health and medical care–even excluding vaccines which, obviously changed disease incidence more than anything else. (I’m not one of those who believe that polio disappeared by magic, reclassification or because we wash our hands better. Vaccines have nearly eradicated polio planet-wide.)

    The World Health Organization discusses the millions of deaths worldwide from lack of breastfeeding. A number far higher than worldwide measles fatalities. I didn’t claim this was “only in America.”

    “The protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding rank among the most effective interventions to improve child survival. It is estimated that high coverage of optimal breastfeeding practices could avert 13% of the 10.6 million deaths of children under five years occurring globally every year. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life is particularly beneficial, and infants who are not breastfed in the first month of life may be as much as 25 times more likely to die than infants who are exclusively breastfed.”

    http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241594295_eng.pdf

    I missed the OL party. I had to make late hospital rounds. I heard it was fun though.

    Rene’, thank you for understanding that most and possibly all the children admitted to the hospital for measles did not really need to be there.

    Today, for those accusing me of narcissism for talking about what I’m doing as if I were a teen on Facebook . . . I’m taking my dog down to the beach as a warm up for my 10:00 AM soccer game. Then, NCAAs!!! And a little more opportunity to write a few notes here.

    “Eugenics?!” You guys are absolutely as cynical and unscientific as possible whenever you can be. Are you familiar with the connection between the sickle cell and malaria. I know, I know, not a great analogy, but an example of where a “bad” medical condition turns out to be beneficial. I’ll find something else for you later.

    Have a great Sunday!!!!

    Jay

  166. #166 Denice Walter
    March 27, 2011

    @ Militant Agnostic: re “sociopathic narcisscism”.

    Wading through woo, I feel that way about alt med in general. You have a *single* person, often without the most stellar of credentials, seeking to overturn years of research by hundreds or thousands in a particular field, and carry his/her argument to the public.

    Case in point: in the late ’90′s, I read about Mr. Wakefield’s “project” and was unimpressed: it just didn’t fit in with what *I* had studied ( cognition, developmental, physio) *plus* it had only _12_ subjects. I was surprised that it had any impact at all.

    Usually, alt med revolves around self-promotion as well as the promotion of products ( supplements, treatments, books, videos, seminars, retreats): a dominant personality emerges as the “brave maverick” or “revolutionary” who promotes a “healthy lifestyle” or “cure” dependent on purchase of the aformentioned products. Thus, consumers are encouraged to emulate the activities as well as the ideas of the leader. The entreprener builds a brand while creating a following, hand-in-glove.

    If you scan the “big names” in the anti-vax movement (e.g. AoA, NVIC, NJCVC), you’ll not see many doctors or psychologists. True, outlier doctors will be cited as sources, but the proselytizers are from all walks of life. Right now, LKH ( NJ Coalition for Vaccination Choice/ website) is shilling her book and touting her seminar: she puts “MA” after her name- BTW, it’s in *marketting*. I have thoughts about attending and asking, “What’s the ‘MA” in?” We’ll see how my schedule runs that day.

  167. #167 Militant Agnostic
    March 27, 2011

    Years ago, many people wrote about this. Look it up.

    I noticed you provide no links to “look it up”. I can only assume that you would prefer we not find this “evidence” because it is easily refuted. Also, years ago many hypothesis have been “written about” that were subsequently proven false. Relying on old literature is one of the characteristics of the pseudo scientist (Ann Coulter babbling about the benefits of ionizing radiation is a recent example).

    Humans and measles virus “get along” and have for a long time.

    This is great example the naturalistic fallacy. Humans got along just fine with 50% infant mortality for thousands of years.

    Are you familiar with the connection between the sickle cell and malaria.

    As a matter of fact yes, In fact I have known this for at least as long as you have been practicing medicine. Sickle cell anemia is hereditary, not infectious, so we are back to eugenics (if we get anywhere at all). As an analogy it is worse than arguing form a diesel engine to spontaneous human combustion.

    I believe I have filled in my Jay Gordon fallacy bingo card – what do I win?

    There is a fundamental difference between a person’s Facebook page and the comment section of someone else’s blog, however I doubt if Jay Gordon is capable of figuring out what that is. Phila nailed Jay’s character (or lack thereof) perfectly at #158.

  168. #168 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “Humans and measles virus ‘get along’ and have for a long time.”

    Oh, right. That’s why, to quote Wikipedia,

    In 1529, a measles outbreak in Cuba killed two-thirds of the natives who had previously survived smallpox. Two years later measles was responsible for the deaths of half the population of Honduras, and had ravaged Mexico, Central America, and the Inca civilization.

    In roughly the last 150 years, measles has been estimated to have killed about 200 million people worldwide.[41] During the 1850s, measles killed a fifth of Hawaii’s people.[42] In 1875, measles killed over 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population.[43] In the 19th century, the disease decimated the Andamanese population.

    People of European descent, like Dr. Gordon, may have “gotten along” with measles for a thousand years, but much of the rest of the world’s population … not so much.

  169. #169 Narad
    March 27, 2011

    I believe I have filled in my Jay Gordon fallacy bingo card – what do I win?

    Autographed copy of The Seventh Seal?

  170. #170 Lawrence
    March 27, 2011

    Over time, diseases do tend to become less “fatal” since the most vulnerable carriers tend to die off pretty quickly, leaving the hardier ones to survive and propograte the virus (and viruses, like any other organism, looks to survive and reproduce and killing off large numbers of hosts becomes counter-productive).

    Since measles has been around, it has killed large numbers of people of time. Those who didn’t die did help pass along a greater ability to survive the virus – but we still get all of the potential side-effects of the contagion (like blindess and encyphilitis).

    At this point, we have a real chance at eliminating the virus entirely from the human species – again, why is that bad? Smallpox, which had killed more humans than all other causes combined, was exterminated in the wild (and should be eliminated in labs as well – keeping those stocks around & what the Russians did with it as a bio-weapon is just wrong) & no one considers that a bad thing.

    Jay – if you’re so worried about too many vaccines, why aren’t you advocating the elimination of measles & polio? That’s two less vaccines around if you’d let the eradication programs do their job. Right now, if your opinion, we have the worst of both worlds – the vaccines and the diseases. We have the opportunity to get rid of both – so why aren’t you on the bandwagon here?

  171. #171 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “Are you familiar with the connection between the sickle cell and malaria. I know, I know, not a great analogy, but an example of where a ‘bad’ medical condition turns out to be beneficial.”

    Sickle cell *is* bad, no scare quotes required. It’s just that malaria is worse. But most people would prefer to fight malaria with drugs and environmental interventions, rather than condemning one child in four to the sort of misery that the sickle cell disease can cause.

    What condition does having been infected with measles prevent? Why are there no other means of combatting that condition? And why doesn’t infection with the attenuated virus (i.e., vaccination) likewise prevent that unnamed condition?

    Since Dr. Gordon has made the decision that his unfortunate patients must be left vulnerable to measles in order to prevent some other condition, he must surely know the answers to these questions.

  172. #172 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 27, 2011

    Militant Agnostic say “Phila nailed Jay’s character (or lack thereof) perfectly at #158.”

    Do not attack my character. Unlike Prometheus, Orac, Bacon, Todd and others, you contribute nothing. One can learn from them. Character assassination is uncalled for.

    Jay

  173. #173 Chris
    March 27, 2011

    Dr. Jay:

    The World Health Organization discusses the millions of deaths worldwide from lack of breastfeeding.

    How many are American? I specifically asked you to keep in the same country that had the eleven cases of measles. That way do not compare apples to oranges.

  174. #174 Dangerous Bacon
    March 27, 2011

    Jay: “I missed the OL party. I had to make late hospital rounds.”

    This reminds me of something Jay’s been asked about before, but not to my knowledge answered.

    Hospitals, including pediatric wings, often have a considerable number of patients who are immunocompromised or otherwise vulnerable to infection. Has Jay, who has scoffed here and elsewhere about the need for flu vaccination, been vaccinated himself in order to minimize the chances of infecting these patients, not to mention staff and visitors? Does the hospital(s) at which Jay has privileges have regulations requiring attendings to be immunized against influenza (remember, the AAP of which Jay boasts membership has called for such vaccination to be mandatory).

    And what about Jay’s patients on whom he’s rounding in the hospital? How do administration, pediatricians and other physicians and parents feel about the risk of these children spreading dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases to others in the hospital (not to mention hazards to Jay’s unprotected patients from gaps in herd immunity)?

    Something to think about while running with your dog on the beach.*

    *a nice activity. Our chocolate Lab Bessie used to love diving into the surf to retrieve a floating toy.

  175. #175 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 27, 2011

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I do not believe that Dr. Jay will provide extraordinary evidence for his claim that wild measles infection is somehow beneficial to humans; I do not believe he will even provide adequate evidence for the claim that it was a serious scientific hypothesis for any length of time. But I invite him to try.

    In the meantime, I invite all others to join me in commemorating Dr. Jay’s thirty years of clinical expertise with appropriate artwork.

  176. #176 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health.”

    “But, of course, I certainly agree that abandoning measles vaccination would lead to unacceptable morbidity and mortality.”

    I’m troubled by this. Why do only third world children get to enjoy the benefits of measles infection?  Surely strong healthy American children deserve the same!  How can Dr. Gordon in good conscience fail to advocate for endemic measles in the U.S.?

  177. #177 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Chris,

    How many are American? I specifically asked you to keep in the same country that had the eleven cases of measles. That way do not compare apples to oranges.

    One defining characteristic of vaccine apologists is that they are protean. They can discuss to you the horrors of measles infection and one way to avoid the infection is by getting the measles virus. Again, the mercurial Chris will explain how this is possible. She can be a germ-denialist and a germ-buster at the same time.

  178. #178 Chris
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2 is the one who lives in its own reality. The vaccine is completely different from the wild virus.

    And Dr. Jay, you are no Hans Rosling.

    Both Dr. Jay and Th1Th2, please stop comparing apples and oranges.

  179. #179 Todd W.
    March 27, 2011

    Okay, to sum up, Jay has been shown to be wrong about the following and has not yet admitted his error:

    1) Measles has been around for millions of years
    2) Measles is in symbiosis with humans
    3) Measles cannot be eradicated
    4) Measles does not “cull”, instead it just gives 2 per 1,000 a life-impairment

    Furthermore, Jay admits that he was joking and making light of a situation that, for the affected families, is quite serious and nothing to joke about, thereby proving what callous ass he is.

    An extremely very small percentage of children who get measles will get complications

    Yeah. 1 in 5 is an “extremely very small percentage”. Do you need some remedial lessons in mathematics?

    Jay, again I’ll ask, how hard is it for you to type “Okay, I was wrong” and actually mean is?

  180. #180 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    The vaccine is completely different from the wild virus.

    They you are breaking the rule Chris, you are breaking the rule.

    General Rule
    The more similar a vaccine is to the disease-causing form of the organism, the better the immune response to the vaccine.

    Of course, there is the another side of Chris she wants to tell us.

  181. #181 Phila
    March 27, 2011

    “Do not attack my character.”

    To the extent that your “character” leads you to make specious arguments, and prevents you from recognizing them as specious, it’s relevant.

    Not reiterating nonsense that people have already debunked, and not constantly moving goalposts, would also be helpful. So would addressing comments like Todd W’s at #178, instead of changing the subject, or pulling the old “I don’t like your tone, so I don’t have to acknowledge your counterarguments” shtick.

    You could also stop complaining about tone while reserving the right to be as arch, smug, sarcastic, supercilious and insulting as you please. That way, you’d avoid coming across as a hypocrite.

    In short, if you don’t want people to complain about your character, you might try treating them with actual respect, instead of your laborious passive-aggressive imitation of it.

    Just a thought.

  182. #182 Narad
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2 is the one who lives in its own reality.

    You know, unlike Augustine, ignoring Th1Th2 really will make it slink away to find engagement (at any cost, of course) elsewhere.

  183. #183 Chris
    March 27, 2011

    Of course, Narad, but sometimes it is helpful to remind folks how far that particular troll is divorced from reality.

  184. #184 Dedj
    March 27, 2011

    “Character assassination is uncalled for.”

    You clearly do not believe this:

    “Orac, spending hours and hours and tens of thousands of words writing about ten cases of measles while millions of children die from lack of breastfeeding is truly cold-hearted and your lack of concern for these children is shameful.”

    and:

    “You guys are absolutely as cynical and unscientific as possible whenever you can be.”

    You really know how to keep things civil, don’t you Jay?

  185. #185 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    I was expecting a science-based rebuttal but it didn’t happen. I’ve forgotten I was dealing with vaccine apologists.

  186. #186 Narad
    March 27, 2011

    I’ve forgotten I was dealing with vaccine apologists.

    And, apparently, that nobody gave a rat’s ass at MDC, either.

  187. #187 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 27, 2011
    “Do not attack my character.”

    To the extent that your “character” leads you to make specious arguments, and prevents you from recognizing them as specious, it’s relevant.

    It’s particularly relevant with Dr. Jay, because he’s so quick to make his own person the foundation of his arguments. “Why should you believe that there’s a link between vaccines and autism when no reputable studies support such a link? Why, because my Thirty Years Of Clinical Experience says there’s probably something there!” If Dr. Jay wasn’t so often asking people to believe things based on his own personal qualities, then discussion of his personal qualities would not be so relevant.

  188. #188 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Chris’ Rule:

    The vaccine is completely different from the wild virus.

    Science-based General Rule:

    The more similar a vaccine is to the disease-causing form of the organism, the better the immune response to the vaccine.

    Anybody with a brain stem knows that Chris is the one who’s divorced from reality.

    Ouch!

  189. #189 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    Completely different was a bit of a hyperbole, but it’s different enough to create the required reaction without causing a contagious or severe infection. If you can prove otherwise, please provide some evidence. Here’s a hint: You’re not omniscient, your say-so is not enough.

  190. #190 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Narad,

    And, apparently, that nobody gave a rat’s ass at MDC, either.

    Oh, you mean the pro-pox MDC? What makes vaccine apologists any different? They both have infection-promoting agenda. Gee whiz.

  191. #191 novalox
    March 27, 2011

    Ah yes, the typical childish retorts from the usual trolls have given me a great laugh at their sheer stupidity.

    Nice way to end the weekend, with a laugh at their expense.

  192. #192 Chris
    March 27, 2011

    Do not feed the troll. See links provided to illistrate fractured thought processes.

  193. #193 Dedj
    March 27, 2011

    “I didn’t claim this was “only in America.””

    No, but the thread, and the previous discussions that lead to the creation of this thread, were very clearly about a measles outbreak in the US.

    No-one appears to have been talking about breastfeeding before you were, and it bears very little relevance to the topic of conversation, unless one restricts it to the US – which is why you were asked about breastfeeding in the US.

    The suspicion is therefore that you raised the issue – not out of legitimate concern (although you may have a legitimate concern about breatfeeding, that does not mean your concern about Orac is legitimate) – but out of desire to use it to attack the character of a fellow physician.

  194. #194 Narad
    March 27, 2011

    Oh, you mean the pro-pox MDC? What makes vaccine apologists any different? They both have infection-promoting agenda. Gee whiz.

    You should really try pitching the routine to Philip Glass as a libretto.

  195. #195 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “The suspicion is therefore that you raised the issue – not out of legitimate concern (although you may have a legitimate concern about breatfeeding, that does not mean your concern about Orac is legitimate) – but out of desire to use it to attack the character of a fellow physician.”

    And to derail the thread rather than admit that he is wrong about measles as Todd W. detailed in comment 179.

  196. #196 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Completely different was a bit of a hyperbole, but it’s different enough to create the required reaction without causing a contagious or severe infection. If you can prove otherwise, please provide some evidence. Here’s a hint: You’re not omniscient, your say-so is not enough.

    That’s being you as a vaccine apologist. Now tell me about your other side, shall we? Can you also say that wild-type paralytic poliomyelitis is “a bit of a hyperbole” since no more than 0.5% actually occurs and VAPP and VDPV are “different enough to create the required reaction without causing a contagious or severe infection” and therefore not a hyperbole?

    Here’s a hint also: You can be a germ-denialist or a germ-buster at the same time. Just let me know.

    You people make me laugh really.

  197. #197 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    First of all, your version of germ theory is incorrect. I’m not denying germs, I’m denying you and your beliefs. Second, I can’t parse your sentences at all. Finally, I’m guessing you’re trying to say that there’s only a 0.5% genetic difference between the viruses, never mind that there’s probably a similar genetic difference between wolves and dogs. That can be a huge difference.

  198. #198 Rene Najera
    March 27, 2011

    Let me write slowly, that you may understand.

    A) One virus has certain antigens that look like another virus’ antigens. These viruses are cousins (like Th1Th2′s parents).

    B) The first virus is not deadly. The second is.

    C) Infection with the first virus gives immunity to the second.

    D) Genetic difference doesn’t matter so long as the antigens look the same.

    See vaccinia virus and variola virus. Thank you, and goodnight.

  199. #199 Science Mom
    March 27, 2011

    Humans and measles virus “get along”and have for a long time. It doesn’t “cull” or anything like it. The infection may have beneficial effects for humans. Years ago, many people wrote about this. Look it up.

    Wrong, and no matter how you torture the definition of symbiosis, it is wrong and wrong. Oh, and I can find more recent studies that demonstrate that vaccines have beneficial effects for humans, and can reduce the risk of SIDS. Look it up.

    Citing disease statistics from 50-100 years ago isn’t great science because almost no variables have been consistent. Including general health and medical care–even excluding vaccines which, obviously changed disease incidence more than anything else.

    I neither cited nor asked for disease statistics from 50-100 years ago, I asked for measles morbidity and mortality stats from 20 years ago. That was the last large outbreak in the U.S. and unless you would like to argue otherwise, medical care not improved for measles since. Could you please follow along a little better?

    The World Health Organization discusses the millions of deaths worldwide from lack of breastfeeding. A number far higher than worldwide measles fatalities. I didn’t claim this was “only in America.”

    The protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding rank among the most effective interventions to improve child survival. It is estimated that high coverage of optimal breastfeeding practices could avert 13% of the 10.6 million deaths of children under five years occurring globally every year. Exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life is particularly beneficial, and infants who are not breastfed in the first month of life may be as much as 25 times more likely to die than infants who are exclusively breastfed.

    Once again, Jay takes massive liberties with an uncited excerpt no less. Thirteen percent of 10.6 million is 1,378,000 by the way and how many are in developed countries Jay? Instead you throw your support behind
    another mindless “celebrity”
    wanking about making it law to exclusively breastfeed infants for at least 6 months. Here’s a thought for you Jay, how about making it law to provide reasonable maternal leaves? How about making it a law to allow public breastfeeding everywhere? How about making it law that employers provide adequate pumping stations and breaks for breastfeeding mothers? So tell me Jay, what have you done to actively engage in legislation to make these laws? When have you travelled to undeveloped or developing countries to train lactation consultants for local women? How many WIC clinics do you visit to promote breastfeeding for recipients and train staffs to do the same?

    You have a lot of nerve trying to use this red herring to “shame” Orac when you satisfy yourself by just preaching to the choir. Your breastfeeding nonsense is nothing more than a distraction to avoid answering for your massive, fallacious statements.

  200. #200 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    First of all, your version of germ theory is incorrect. I’m not denying germs, I’m denying you and your beliefs.

    Wiki:

    The germ theory of disease, also called the pathogenic theory of medicine, is a theory that proposes that microorganisms are the cause of many diseases.

    Those disease-causing microorganisms are called pathogens.

    Are you denying that VAPP and VDPV are not caused by pathogens or germs called poliovirus in the vaccine?

    It’s just a simple yes or no like how it’s easy to say that measles virus causes measles infection, pneumonia, otitis media, encephalitis, SSPE, and even death.

  201. #201 JohnV
    March 27, 2011

    Dr. Gordon before you get too worked up about other people attacking your character you should consider self-control, as you do far more damage to your “character” than any one of us ever could.

    Why in this post alone your own words you make light of people being hospitalized because of a disease outbreak and you’ve spoken sympathetically of eugenics. I mean you tried shifting your goalposts and backtracking about the eugenics thing, but considering the group of people who are primarily affected by this current measles outbreak alongside your lamentation of the lack of culling the weak I don’t know. Smells like you would have been in the forefront of the movement in the 1920-1940s.

    You’ve shown how scientifically ignorant you are and what a giant raging hypocrite you are. Those two are routine for you, but I figure I should include them while I’m at it.

  202. #202 Science Mom
    March 27, 2011

    Are you denying that VAPP and VDPV are not caused by pathogens or germs called poliovirus in the vaccine?

    Not exactly, the vaccine strain in OPV has to first revert to wild-type; it cannot cause paralytic polio as the vaccine strain.

    See, easy to answer, you should try some direct answers yourself.

  203. #203 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Finally, I’m guessing you’re trying to say that there’s only a 0.5% genetic difference between the viruses, never mind that there’s probably a similar genetic difference between wolves and dogs. That can be a huge difference.

    No and don’t make a fool out of yourself. It’s the same pathogenic poliovirus which is so virulent it causes asymptomatic poliomyelitis in more than 95% of all the cases of poliomyelitis.

    Can you say hyperbole?

  204. #204 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Science Mom,

    Not exactly, the vaccine strain in OPV has to first revert to wild-type; it cannot cause paralytic polio as the vaccine strain.

    See, easy to answer, you should try some direct answers yourself.

    So you’re denying the fact vaccine strain revertant poliovirus cannot cause paralytic poliomyelitis?

    Hence, it’s called VDPV to distinguish it from the wild-type poliovirus. In short, you and your cohorts just created another monster.

  205. #205 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    No and don’t make a fool out of yourself. It’s the same pathogenic poliovirus which is so virulent it causes asymptomatic poliomyelitis in more than 95% of all the cases of poliomyelitis.

    Any evidence for this claim? Because I’m not taking the word of man who thinks children won’t eat things off the ground.

  206. #206 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2011

    Dr Jay demands:
    Do not attack my character
    Why not? You’re a pathogenic narcissist. A rich celebrity doctor who makes (some of) his money telling his celebrity patients – once removed – that it’s OK not to vaccinate their children. Now I don’t, personally, go along with the idea that you are entirely money motivated, but I do think that you are vanity and ignorance motivated, the percentages being unditerminable.
    Why are you on this blog? Unlike paraphyletic id1id2 and foot-tread-match worth augie, you have a discernible role in life. Why waste it?
    You could be a really good doctor, no doubt you sometimes are (anti-vaccine shite not excused) and someone really deserving of respect if you tweaked your act just a little (well, quite a lot actually) and embraced proper medicine.
    Instead of which it’s just wank, blah, wank, blah, wank.
    (for augie the moron – yes, another fact-free rant)

  207. #207 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    The germ theory of disease, also called the pathogenic theory of medicine, is a theory that proposes that microorganisms are the cause of many diseases.

    Nowhere is it stated that they always cause disease.

    Are you denying that VAPP and VDPV are not caused by pathogens or germs called poliovirus in the vaccine?

    Can you prove that they do? Because your word isn’t good enough.

    It’s just a simple yes or no like how it’s easy to say that measles virus causes measles infection, pneumonia, otitis media, encephalitis, SSPE, and even death.

    You’ll note that doesn’t happen with the vaccine, at least not at anywhere near the rate of the wild virus. That’s what we’re arguing.

  208. #208 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Rene Najera,

    Let me write slowly, that you may understand.

    A) One virus has certain antigens that look like another virus’ antigens. These viruses are cousins (like Th1Th2′s parents).

    B) The first virus is not deadly. The second is.

    C) Infection with the first virus gives immunity to the second.

    D) Genetic difference doesn’t matter so long as the antigens look the same.

    You could have summarized that in two words: Primary infection. The infection-promoting agenda of these vaccine apologists, like the pro-pox MDC, is real and science-based. Instead of recognizing this physiologic event, vaccine apologists would start screaming Blasphemy!

    See vaccinia virus and variola virus. Thank you, and goodnight.

    Vaccinia virus vaccine causing vaccinia and variola virus causing smallpox—should I be surprised at all? Just imagine if people had received a real variola vaccine.

  209. #209 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “Instead you throw your support behind another mindless “celebrity” wanking about making it law to exclusively breastfeed infants for at least 6 months.”
     
    I’m curious how this works. Suppose a woman cannot breastfeed, say due to prior breast cancer. Or suppose she can but it’s not safe to do so because of disease that can pass in the milk, or drugs that her medical condition requires. Or suppose she can but not enough, because she has twins or triplets. 

    Do we throw her in prison immediately and seize the child before it starves or its precious bodily fluids are polluted?  Or do we wait until the child is six months old so that the father, for instance, could legally care for it while the mother is in prison? (this gives the added bonus of a longer prison sentence since obviously every single instance of feeding the child so it doesn’t starve before age six months is a separate felony).  Would it be okay if she hired a wetnurse? (so wealthy mothers like those in Dr. Gordon’s practice could farm out their legal obligations while poor mothers rotted in the penitentiaries).

    I suppose if the mother dies before the six months is up, the father or other caretaker can let the child starve, feed it and then go to prison, or hire a wetnurse if the funds are available. 

  210. #210 Todd W.
    March 27, 2011

    @Jay

    Please tell me you aren’t getting your information from whale.to or the Organon. I found this link that has some stuff sounding eerily similar to Jay’s erroneous claims about measles.

  211. #211 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “Just imagine if people had received a real variola vaccine.”

    They did. The practice was called variolation, deliberate infection with variola through the skin. It had a mortality a bit worse than measles, but way better than smallpox contracted the natural way, so it was practiced. Vaccinia was considerably safer than variola, and by use of vaccinia, variola was eradicated in the wild so that these days no one is infected with either variola or vaccinia.

  212. #212 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2011

    I’m curious how this works

    LW, I suspect this is something to do with Nestle promoting powdered milk over breast. Not obvious from Jay’s whibbling, but, if it were, a valid point.

    Luckily, most sensible women who can, worldwide, breastfeed.

    Not arguing with you, just trying to herd, or at least diagnose, stupid.

  213. #213 Jay Gordon, MD, FAAP
    March 27, 2011

    AnthonyK says: “Now I don’t, personally, go along with the idea that you are entirely money motivated, but I do think that you are vanity and ignorance motivated, the percentages being undeterminable.”

    I’m not ignorant . . . :-)

    You are correct, though, I am not making any difference here and I have lots of other things to do. Thank you for the clarity, Anthony, I will continue to “tweak my act” to reach a more receptive group of people.

    Jay

  214. #214 Dedj
    March 27, 2011

    And there goes yet another amazing post by Dr Jay where he thanks people for pointing things out to him, but doesn’t actually appear to be doing jack-all about any of it.

    Very classically narcissitic. Gives the appearance of change without actually having to admit to any fault or error.

  215. #215 LW
    March 27, 2011

    AnthonyK, I just get very annoyed with people who proclaim, “there ought to be a law!” without considering how such a law would work.

    Do we really to have Lactation Police kicking in the door in a no-knock raid because an informant claimed that Mary lets her five month old baby suck on an orange slice? Do we really need to make formula available by prescription only, making sure that there won’t be any leftover that might be passed on to a harried mother with an underage child? Is the breastfeeding problem in the U.S. really so serious that we need to devote law enforcement resources to it, or send women off to the already overcrowded prisons for the crime of quieting a baby by giving him a cracker to gum?

    And if the answer to the questions above is no, then the proposed law is just another stupid law that doesn’t get enforced and thereby brings law as a whole into disrepute.

  216. #216 Orac
    March 27, 2011

    How many times have we heard Dr. Jay say he’s going to leave, only to see him show up again?

  217. #217 Narad
    March 27, 2011

    You are correct, though, I am not making any difference here and I have lots of other things to do.

    Soccer doesn’t play itself.

  218. #218 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 27, 2011

    You are correct, though, I am not making any difference here

    Au contraire, Dr. Jay! You’re doing a great deal here! You’re serving as an inspirational negative role model and inspiring artwork!

  219. #219 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2011

    Ignorance, yes, stupidity no. And I would add “wilful” for emphasis.
    But ignore us, no doubt you have a (golf) handicap to improve.
    Best
    AnthonyK
    PS – and vanity? Bitch, ain’t it, and you so successful and all..

  220. #220 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Nowhere is it stated that they always cause disease.

    Can you prove that they do? Because your word isn’t good enough.

    You’ll note that doesn’t happen with the vaccine, at least not at anywhere near the rate of the wild virus. That’s what we’re arguing.

    Can you prove to me that you know what pathogens, VAPP/VDPV and measles-related complications and death are? It seems to me that there is a sudden lull of ignorance arising from these questions. Self-induced ignorance I guess.

  221. #221 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2011

    LW, you’re quite correct. Bring back universal breast feeding!
    Can I smoke dope first though?
    During’s difficult.
    Meh, experience.

  222. #222 LW
    March 27, 2011

    Quoth Dr. Gordon, “I’m not ignorant”

    Oh.

    So he knows that measles is less than 1500 years old; that it is not a symbiont of the human species; that it can be, and has been, quite deadly in underdeveloped countries; that it has a complication rate of one in five, and produces encephalitis in one in a thousand …

    So he knows all that and still willfully makes the statements he made above?

    Wow.

  223. #223 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2:
    You make the claims, you provide the evidence. That’s the rule.

  224. #224 AnthonyK
    March 27, 2011

    Can you prove to me….blah, whatever…and death are?
    Dude, you gonna die. Probably not because of measles – thanks vaccines! – nor through ignorance (not, disappointingly, fatal) but simply via the universal vector of death.
    What a shame.
    Thank heavens for etiolation!
    It’ll help me sleep tonight…

  225. #225 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    LW,

    Vaccinia was considerably safer than variola, and by use of vaccinia, variola was eradicated in the wild so that these days no one is infected with either variola or vaccinia.

    If variolation causes deliberate smallpox infection, what did people get from deliberate inoculation of vaccinia virus from the vaccine?

    You cannot deduce that smallpox vaccine had eradicated smallpox when it didn’t even have any variola virus component let alone the vaccine promotes primary vaccinia infection.

    You are just speculating just like the rest.

  226. #226 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    You make the claims, you provide the evidence. That’s the rule.

    I have presented you such science-based evidence but I know it’s useless if you keep arguing from ignorance.

  227. #227 LW
    March 27, 2011

    As best I’ve been able to glean, Th1Th2 denies logic.

    Those of us who accept logic acknowledge that smallpox was highly contagious to those who had not had it and had not been immunized with vaccinia; that nearly everyone properly immunized with vaccinia (i.e., having produced a scar at the innoculation site) failed to contract smallpox when exposed even though they had not had smallpox itself (i.e., they were immune); that ring vaccination of the population around each smallpox outbreak in the late 70s was followed by the disappearance of smallpox in the wild; and that all of this is sufficient reason to accept that infection with vaccinia* gives rise to immunity against smallpox.

    Trying to convince Th1Th2 of this would be as pointless as Achilles’ attempt to convince the Tortoise of the truth of modus ponens, so I will not try. 

    * Note that immunization with vaccinia was indeed infection, but with a much milder disease than smallpox. 

  228. #228 LW
    March 27, 2011

    Hmm, I had a much longer answer to Th1Th2 but it got caught in moderation for some strange reason. The upshot of it is that rational people understand that infection with vaccinia (yes, it’s a mild infection) gives immunity to smallpox but it’s as pointless to explain things to Th1Th2 as it was for Achilles to explain logic to the Tortoise. So I won’t bother.

  229. #229 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    I have presented you such science-based evidence but I know it’s useless if you keep arguing from ignorance.

    You have evidence people are still dying like flies from measles, polio, and smallpox? Because that’s what would be happening if your claims were true.

  230. #230 herr doktor bimler
    March 27, 2011

    “To be fair, the equivalence between eugenics programs and measles vaccination is probably intended as irony.”

    Why would you think that?

    Just saying, if (Heaven forbid) I were to say something breathtakingly stupid on the Internet (not that such a thing ever happens to me), it would be tempting to follow up by making an even stupider claim — thereby
    (1) making my opponents look po-faced and humourless, too caught up with their obsessive concern for child health to notice ‘irony’ or recognise the fact that I was messing with their heads; and
    (2) provide me with plausible deniability for the first outbreak of stupidity, which in retrospect looks like it could have been ironic as well.

    And the implicit comparison between vaccination policies and infectious-disease eugenics is quite funny, though not really good enough for a stand-up routine. It is a false equivalence, but that’s not important for humour.

    Similarly, there’s an absurdist irony in arguing that vaccination policies are an unwarranted intrusion into the rights of individuals even if they benefit health overall, while also suggesting that the State should make breast-feeding compulsory because of its overall health benefit. Obviously humour, right? No-one could be that –

    http://drjaygordon.com/breastfeeding/gisele-bundchen-nutrition-expert.html

    Oh. Apparently I have said something breathtakingly stupid on the Internet.

  231. #231 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    LW,

    The upshot of it is that rational people understand that infection with vaccinia (yes, it’s a mild infection) gives immunity to smallpox but it’s as pointless to explain things to Th1Th2 as it was for Achilles to explain logic to the Tortoise. So I won’t bother.

    Before I can even go as far as vaccine prevented smallpox, how did you make such ridiculous claim (#210)that the smallpox vaccine had eradicated vaccinia when the vaccine is intended to produce vaccinia among the vaccinated?

  232. #232 BraselC5048
    March 27, 2011

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, but mabye the reason that that they said that the smallpox vaccine had errradicated vaccana is that vaccana isn’t around anymore? When enough poeple in a country had ben vaccinated, it went away. When enough people in the world had been vaccinated, it went away completly. Now there haven’t been any cases in years. Good enough for you?

  233. #233 herr doktor bimler
    March 27, 2011

    vaccinia when the vaccine is intended to produce vaccinia among the vaccinated?

    I did not realise that this thread had turned into a tongue-twister competition.

  234. #234 LW
    March 27, 2011

    I didn’t say “the smallpox vaccine had eradicated vaccinia”, I said “by use of vaccinia, variola was eradicated in the wild so that these days no one is infected with either variola or vaccinia.”

    You are correct to state that the smallpox vaccine caused people to be infected with the relatively mild disease, vaccinia. Once variola was eradicated, it was no longer necessary to infect people with vaccinia to protect them from variola, and so doctors stopped doing it (except in special cases like the military, I should add, because variola still exists in labs, though not in the wild).

    To recap, by use of vaccinia, variola was eradicated in the wild, so it was no longer necessary to use vaccinia, so we don’t.

  235. #235 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    You have evidence people are still dying like flies from measles, polio, and smallpox? Because that’s what would be happening if your claims were true.

    Like I said before it depends on what side of Gray Falcon I am dealing with, that is, whether Gray is talking on behalf of germ-denialism or an advocate of germ-theory and vaccine crusades.

    You let me know.

    Just a piece of advise. If I were you, just let go quietly on this one (just like what Chris and Science Mom normally do) or be exposed as a great pretender.

  236. #236 Gray Falcon
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2:
    Why do you think I’m being two-faced? I stated my position clearly, and also told you, repeatedly, that your views on germ theory are grossly incorrect. Your repeatedly saying so does not change anything. So far, the only one exposed as a pretender here is you.

  237. #237 LW
    March 27, 2011

    You have evidence people are still dying like flies from measles, polio, and smallpox? Because that’s what would be happening if your claims were true.

    Like I said before it depends on what side of Gray Falcon I am dealing with, that is, whether Gray is talking on behalf of germ-denialism or an advocate of germ-theory and vaccine crusades.

    So, people are or are not dying like flies from measles, polio, and smallpox, based on the attitude of one commenter on one blog?  

    Wow.  Reality is more malleable than I realized.

  238. #238 Composer99
    March 27, 2011

    Th1Th2: the ugh troll goes around crowing victory all the time here.

    Now that you, unfortunately, appear to be here to stay, let me just emphasize that we will take your claims to have prevailed (as per @233) as seriously as we take his.

  239. #239 Composer99
    March 27, 2011

    Now that you, unfortunately, appear to be here to stay, let me just emphasize that we will take your claims to have prevailed (as per @233 235) as seriously as we take his.

    Correction as noted above.

  240. #240 Science Mom
    March 27, 2011

    Science Mom,

    Not exactly, the vaccine strain in OPV has to first revert to wild-type; it cannot cause paralytic polio as the vaccine strain.

    See, easy to answer, you should try some direct answers yourself.

    So you’re denying the fact vaccine strain revertant poliovirus cannot cause paralytic poliomyelitis?

    Oh I’m sorry, was my answer too straight-forward for you to comprehend?

    Hence, it’s called VDPV to distinguish it from the wild-type poliovirus. In short, you and your cohorts just created another monster.

    Yes and? It is also very rare. Allow wild-type polio circulation to occur; that’s our choice. Except in your magical-thinking realm where only silly people allow their children access to disease or vaccines.

  241. #241 Dangerous Bacon
    March 27, 2011

    Orac: “How many times have we heard Dr. Jay say he’s going to leave, only to see him show up again?

    About the same number of times we’ve seen him use the following ploys in comments:

    1) Charge that posters who disagree with him are being paid off by Big Pharma and volley other insults at them,
    2) Complain that people are unfairly assaulting his character and insulting him,
    3) Respond only to insults and avoid substantive discussion with those who are posting questions in a civil manner,
    4) Blast others for being interested in subjects he would rather not discuss, and attempting to hijack the conversation to other matters,
    5) When he has no other comebacks and has been made to look foolish, flounce off declaring that he has better things to do with his time.

    The above tactics are standard in many Internet forums, especially those in which woo is discussed.

    I didn’t see any response from Jay regarding hazards to hospital patients/staff/visitors from his unvaccinated patients, and possibly from Jay (if he has not been immunized against influenza per the AAP’s call for mandatory flu immunization for health care workers). Maybe he’ll discuss this with us on his return.

    Sure.

  242. #242 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 27, 2011

    Before I can even go as far as vaccine prevented smallpox, how did you make such ridiculous claim (#210)that the smallpox vaccine had eradicated vaccinia when the vaccine is intended to produce vaccinia among the vaccinated?

    Note that Goofus has left out a very crucial phrase from post 210, the phrase in the wild. Even if Goofus’ idea that a vaccination automatically produces “infection” as any medical person would understand the term, and even if every single person in the world had thus received what Goofus terms an “infection” via vaccination, that still wouldn’t be a contradiction to vaccinia being eradicated in the wild.

  243. #243 Th1Th2
    March 27, 2011

    LW,I didn’t say “the smallpox vaccine had eradicated vaccinia”, I said “by use of vaccinia, variola was eradicated in the wild so that these days no one is infected with either variola or vaccinia.”

    Oh you mean, “by use of vaccinia, variola was replaced in the wild so that these days no one is infected with either variola or vaccinia.”?

    Why? Because vaccinia is milder than smallpox and then you can just simply claim that smallpox was eradicated.

    Of course, you wouldn’t exactly say that smallpox vaccine had eradicated vaccinia until they stopped deliberately infecting people with vaccinia.

    Once variola was eradicated, it was no longer necessary to infect people with vaccinia to protect them from variola, and so doctors stopped doing it (except in special cases like the military, I should add, because variola still exists in labs, though not in the wild).

    The USG rescinded routine smallpox vaccination for ~9 years, leaving the herd unprotected despite global threat of smallpox. Or maybe a vaccinia epidemic is a greater threat.

    To recap, by use of vaccinia, variola was eradicated in the wild, so it was no longer necessary to use vaccinia, so we don’t.

    Of course, the use of the lesser-of-the-two-evil principle is being applied here.

  244. #244 LW
    March 27, 2011

    “The USG rescinded routine smallpox vaccination for ~9 years, leaving the herd unprotected despite global threat of smallpox.” The U.S. was not left unprotected. If you left the country, you were required to be vaccinated against smallpox or you would be quarantined on return. I had to be vaccinated before my grandmother could take me to Mexico. I presume visitors would likewise be required to be up to date on their vaccinations.

    Also, vaccinia *was* a fairly nasty disease, though far less dangerous than smallpox, so routine smallpox vaccination was discontinued when it reasonably could be.

    “Of course, the use of the lesser-of-the-two-evil principle is being applied here.” Of course. It’s taken you this long to figure that out?

  245. #245 LW
    March 27, 2011

    Hmm, somehow I cut off the beginning of my comment:

    Oh you mean, “by use of vaccinia, variola was replaced in the wild so that these days no one is infected with either variola or vaccinia.”?

    That’s a reasonable way to put it, but doesn’t contradict my statement. The highly dangerous disease smallpox was replaced by the far milder disease vaccinia, at which point the highly dangerous disease smallpox was unable to replicate itself in new hosts, and therefore was eradicated in the wild.

    Why? Because vaccinia is milder than smallpox and then you can just simply claim that smallpox was eradicated.

    Well, yeah.  We claim smallpox was eradicated because it was. As you yourself have been at extraordinary pains to clarify, vaccinia *isn’t* variola.

    Of course, you wouldn’t exactly say that smallpox vaccine had eradicated vaccinia until they stopped deliberately infecting people with vaccinia.

    Actually, I wouldn’t say that at all.  Of course smallpox vaccination didn’t eradicate vaccinia; that’s a silly statement.  The doctors did, indeed, stop infecting people with vaccinia once it was no longer necessary to protect them against variola.  

  246. #246 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    LW,

    The U.S. was not left unprotected. If you left the country, you were required to be vaccinated against smallpox or you would be quarantined on return. I had to be vaccinated before my grandmother could take me to Mexico. I presume visitors would likewise be required to be up to date on their vaccinations.

    I’m surprised you didn’t even mention the level of herd immunity from smallpox in the absence of routine vaccination for 9 years.

    Also, vaccinia *was* a fairly nasty disease, though far less dangerous than smallpox, so routine smallpox vaccination was discontinued when it reasonably could be.

    That’s being you as a vaccine apologist to promote smallpox vaccine. If this is measles which is also a relatively benign and uncomplicated disease, you will be screaming Blasphemy!

    Of course. It’s taken you this long to figure that out?

    For the greater good of evil? I’ll pass. How fortunate are the unvaccinated.

  247. #247 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    Science Mom,

    You claimed: Not exactly, the vaccine strain in OPV has to first revert to wild-type; it cannot cause paralytic polio as the vaccine strain.

    You’re a great pretender of science. Read and learn.

    Is there a difference in a disease caused by a VDPV and one cause by wild poliovirus or OPV?

    No, there is no clinical difference between paralytic polio caused by wild poliovirus, OPV, or VDPV.

    Yes and? It is also very rare. Allow wild-type polio circulation to occur; that’s our choice. Except in your magical-thinking realm where only silly people allow their children access to disease or vaccines.

    I admire you’re infection-promoting agenda.

  248. #248 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    LW,

    [...]and that all of this is sufficient reason to accept that infection with vaccinia* gives rise to immunity against smallpox.

    So you accept the fact that you and the rest of vaccine apologists are the number one infection-promoters in the country?

  249. #249 Chemmomo
    March 28, 2011

    I can’t tell if this is de-railing the thread again or not, since Th1Th2 posting anything is derailment anyway, but I just have to say:

    Sciencemom@ 199

    Here’s a thought for you Jay, how about making it law to provide reasonable maternal leaves? How about making it a law to allow public breastfeeding everywhere? How about making it law that employers provide adequate pumping stations and breaks for breastfeeding mothers?

    What’s the html code for standing ovation?

    By the way, when Gisele Bundchen’s statements were first published, a commenter on SketpicalOB established via another published interview that Gisele had only breastfed her own baby for a few weeks. I wish I’d saved the posted link back then because I haven’t managed to relocate it today.

    And again: standing ovation.

  250. #250 Chemmomo
    March 28, 2011

    For those of you who didn’t follow Sciencemom’s link the first time, Dr Jay’s breastfeeding spokescelebrity is Gisele Bundchen:
    http://drjaygordon.com/breastfeeding/gisele-bundchen-nutrition-expert.html

    Don’t start me on what’s wrong with that.

  251. #251 Liz Ditz
    March 28, 2011

    I’ve been thinking about Dr. Jay’s various comments:
    Dr. Jay at #67, 3/25 Friday afternoon

    The hospitalization details are unavailable. I think that most of them are probably quite “soft” because most doctors are just confounded by this “new” disease

    Jay’s comment made me irate, but I wasn’t sure why.

    Later on in the discussion, Dr. Jay reveals that over the weekend, he has time to play two games of soccer, take his dog to the beach, and watch sports on TV.

    I began to understand my ire.

    In other words, Dr. Jay has leisure–he does not have to work another (or a third) job to make ends meet. He isn’t caring for a second or a third or a fourth child, or older family members. He’s not counting the money he has, and from that drawing up the weekly shopping list. He’s not concerned with the worry of doing the week’s laundry outside of the home (you know, are there enough coins for the washer and dryer, what will he do to keep the kids out of trouble while spending a couple of hours at the laundromat, making sure the family’s laundry isn’t just processed but not stolen)…

    The freedom Dr. Jay has to spend his time over the weekend suggests his assumptions about what people do on a weekend. In other words, like many =>middle-class folk, Dr. Jay cannot imagine the reality–the daily tasks and worries that people with far fewer economic resources that he commands–must manage.

    To get back to the subject of the hospitalized children:What we do know is that all of the hospitalized were children and we can infer that some were infants.

    Another thing we can infer is that many of the 11 confirmed cases of measles in Hennepin county are Somali..

    And what do we know about the socio-economic status of the Minnesota Somali? Here’s Omar Hassan, owner of Robland Home Healthcare.

    “The Somali community, we are new immigrants, most of them are low-income, their education is very poor,…

    It’s not that poor folk –even under-educated immigrants– don’t have the will or the desire or even the knowledge to care for their children ill with vaccine-preventable disease. It’s that they do not have the resources, and their children may have better care in hospital.

    And that is why high vaccine uptake is not just a public health issue, but a social justice issue.

  252. #252 LW
    March 28, 2011

    “I’m surprised you didn’t even mention the level of herd immunity from smallpox in the absence of routine vaccination for 9 years.”. 

    There were a lot of children born in those nine years, plenty to sustain an outbreak if smallpox had been introduced.

    “That’s being you as a vaccine apologist to promote smallpox vaccine. If this is measles which is also a relatively benign and uncomplicated disease, you will be screaming Blasphemy!”

    If measles had given protection against the far worse disease smallpox, then I would have been for it back in the days before vaccination, just as I would have been for variolation. However, measles is transmitted person-to-person and vaccinia is not. There are epidemics of measles in the wild, but there have never been epidemics of vaccinia in the wild. This makes vaccinia preferable as a means of preventing smallpox, even if measles would have worked for that purpose, which it did not.

    “For the greater good of evil”. I haven’t a clue what you mean here. Smallpox was eradicated, vaccinia is no longer used (except in special cases); what evil has benefited?  Nearly everyone born after the Eradication is fortunate enough to be unvaccinated against smallpox *and* unless someone launches a germ warfare attack, they are also not at risk of getting smallpox. 

    “So you accept the fact that you and the rest of vaccine apologists are the number one infection-promoters in the country?”

    In the same sense that surgeons are the number one promoters of the laceration of human flesh.  Rational people see a difference between infecting with a mild, self-limiting, non-infectious* live virus vaccine to prevent a serious wild-type disease, as opposed to sitting back and allowing the wild-type disease to spread freely, killing and maiming as it will, just as they see a difference between a surgeon cutting into someone to remove an appendix before it bursts or a cancer before it metastasizes, as opposed to allowing a lunatic to run around slashing at people with a sword. Most vaccines aren’t live virus vaccines, however.

    *OPV is an exception in that it really was intended to be shed so as to displace the wild-type virus. If the situation is severe enough, that is a reasonable decision.  In the U.S., these days, the IPV is used instead, which is not a live virus at all. 

  253. #253 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 28, 2011

    However, measles is transmitted person-to-person and vaccinia is not.

    This isn’t 100% accurate. There have been a few isolated cases of person-to-person vaccinia transmission, but all known cases seem to be related to idiosyncratic medical conditions which made the transmission possible (e.g., eczema.)

    In any case, the point still stands, whether or not it ever penetrates Th-troll’s reality distortion field: it is extremely rare for anyone to acquire a transmissible infection through vaccination.

  254. #254 Militant Agnostic
    March 28, 2011

    Chemmomo

    By the way, when Gisele Bundchen’s statements were first published, a commenter on SketpicalOB established via another published interview that Gisele had only breastfed her own baby for a few weeks.

    Par for the course – Jay keeps shooting himself in foot every time he turns around. He is Fractally wrong.

    He reminds me of this guy.

    I apologize for driving everybody’s favourite chew toy away with “character assassination”. However, I am sure he won’t stick the flounce. I suspect that fact he had no evidence for his claim about measles being beneficial was probably the real reason why he left in a huff (his favoured mode of transportation).

  255. #255 Science Mom
    March 28, 2011

    @ Chemmomo,

    Thank you.

  256. #256 Science Mom
    March 28, 2011

    Is there a difference in a disease caused by a VDPV and one cause by wild poliovirus or OPV?

    No, there is no clinical difference between paralytic polio caused by wild poliovirus, OPV, or VDPV.

    Again, yes and? OPV doesn’t cause paralytic polio as the vaccine strain; it must first revert to wild-type and several generations must occur. That almost always occurs in immunocompromised recipients. So your argument that OPV causes paralytic polio requires the above-mentioned caveat. If you choose to be accurate of course, something which is evidently, an impairment for you.

  257. #257 Kristen
    March 28, 2011

    LW writes:

    Sickle cell *is* bad, no scare quotes required. It’s just that malaria is worse. But most people would prefer to fight malaria with drugs and environmental interventions, rather than condemning one child in four to the sort of misery that the sickle cell disease can cause.

    I have noticed that Sickle cell also doesn’t go away when it is not needed. I have a friend who’s grown son has Sickle Cell Anemia, he is hospitalized frequently with Vaso-Occlusive Crisis. It hasn’t kept him from getting Malaria, because he has never been exposed to it. What a stupid analogy. In this case I would think any reasonable person would find modern medicine preferable to the “natural” protection afforded by Sickle Cell Anemia.

    I just love the argument that severe complications are very rare. The rarity of a disease or condition doesn’t matter at all to a parent who’s child died or was disabled by such a complication (with SSPE the child gets disability *and* death).

    I lost my first son to an extremely rare (one in five-million male births), fatal birth defect. Following that I had two children with an ASD. What are the chances? It torks me off no end when somebody dismisses something because it is “rare”. It’s easy to do when it’s just statistics. Every “rare” something happens to somebody and in this case that somebody is a child, that should never be discounted.

    Please somebody tell me this new troll is a poe. Anybody?

  258. #258 LW
    March 28, 2011

    Which new troll?

  259. #259 Prometheus
    March 28, 2011

    ‘Way up-thread, in comment #115, “Dr. Jay” left another howler:

    “…here’s more red meat for you, the measles virus and the infection it creates in strong healthy humans probably improves human health”

    Of course, he hasn’t left any citations or references to support that “factoid”. After all, the leopard can’t change his spots.

    On the vanishingly small chance that “Dr. Jay” was correct (remembering the aphorism about the blind pig and acorns), I checked the world’s medical and biological literature on measles infection and post-measles health. Here’s what I found:

    [1] Wild-type measles causes a persistent immune dysfunction that lasts up to several months. In countries where food and water are often contaminated with pathogenic bacteria and viruses, this leads to a large number of children surviving measles only to die of later infections (usually diarrheal illnesses).

    [Note: the measles vaccine strains also cause a much milder immune suppression of much shorter duration. Some strains are worse than others; the strain in current use in the US, UK and most of the EU causes the least immune suppression.]

    [2] While infection with wild-type measles gives a stronger and longer-lasting immunity to measles, it hasn’t been shown to provide protection from any other diseases. In short, having the wild-type measles makes you better able to resist measles, but nothing else (and see #1 above).

    [3] Any apparent improvement in the overall “health” of a community after a measles outbreak is due to the death of those who have concurrent illnesses (both acute and chronic) and are therefore more likely to die from measles or its secondary immunosuppression. In other words, measles “improves human health” by killing the weak and the sick, not by making individuals more “healthy”.

    “Dr. Jay” then segues into a transparent attempt at distraction: “Look! Over there! Children (hypothetically) dying from lack of breastfeeding!”

    As has been pointed out numerous times, this is [a] an “estimate” by the WHO based on questionable assumptions and [b] largely due to the problems of contaminated water and contaminated/adulterated baby formula. In addition, at least part of the “breast-feeding deficit” is due to starvation of the mothers.

    Even though I hesitate to allow “Dr. Jay” to get away with his distraction, let me point out the the problem of measles is far easier to correct than the problem of breast-feeding. Preventing deaths from measles requires two injections in a life-time. Preventing deaths from “sub-optimal” breast-feeding requires cultural changes, replacement of numerous kleptocratic governments, improvements in farming and food distribution, land ownership reform, etc., etc…

    So, “Dr. Jay” would rather that we spend our efforts trying to correct something that may not be correctable, at least with the limited resources of this ‘blog and its readership. I suspect he exhorts us to do this in order to draw attention from the fact that he has – once again – made emphatic statements that are at odds with the facts.

    Not to seem uncivil or argumentative, but “Dr. Jay” is, in fact, ignorant about a great many things pertaining to infectious diseases and vaccines. This is not merely my opinion, but documented fact, based on the many obvious and laughable errors that “Dr. Jay” has posted on this very ‘blog.

    If “Dr. Jay” would like to learn, I’m sure that there are many people on this ‘blog who could and would instruct him. Unfortunately, his performance to date suggests that he would rather ignore the facts when they disagree with his beliefs. He is the embodiment of the arrogance of ignorance.

    Prometheus

  260. #260 Pablo
    March 28, 2011

    chemmomo – here is the link to skepticalOB you mentioned

    http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2010/08/giesele-bundchen-sanctimommy.html

    The link is in the comments

    I have to say, reading that blog depresses me. Not just the stories of loss and whatnot, but that there are people out there who think such crap that needs to be addressed like she does.

    It’s kind of like how it is in some ways very depressing that Orac’s blog has turned into such a ground for combating anti-vaxxers. The stuff you hear about them is almost beyond belief. No one can be that idiotic, can they? Then along comes Sid, augie, Jay Gordon, and the usual gang of idiots, and you realize, ouch. They can be.

    It saddens me.

  261. #261 Militant Agnostic
    March 28, 2011

    The stuff you hear about them is almost beyond belief. No one can be that idiotic, can they? Then along comes Sid, augie, Jay Gordon, and the usual gang of idiots, and you realize, ouch. They can be.

    Frank Zappa was right, there is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe.

  262. #262 Pablo
    March 28, 2011

    MA – since I have never heard it said, I am going to take credit for coining this saying:

    “Stupidity is the Dark Energy of the Universe”

  263. #263 LovleAnjel
    March 28, 2011

    @250

    The hilarious thing is, Gisele specifically stated she stopped breastfeeding for non-health reasons. I’m paraphrasing here, but in the interview I read she said she “didn’t like being stared at while I’m feeding my child at Starbucks”.

  264. #264 Kristen
    March 28, 2011

    LW,

    Th1Th2 I’ve not been reading the comments very much the last few months, so he/she is new to me

  265. #265 Chris
    March 28, 2011

    That on is not a Poe. See these two links:
    Explaining that toddlers know enough to stay on safe sidewalk
    and
    Avoiding answering how one protects a 9-month old baby from measles when unknowingly encountering an infectious person.

    Enjoy the abject cluelessness, and being completely unaware she is full of idiocy. It is either a classic case of Dunning-Kruger or someone who really does live on Htrae (also known as Bizarro World, from Superman comics: a cube shaped planet where everyday is opposite day).

    And definitely a troll.

  266. #266 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    LW,

    There were a lot of children born in those nine years, plenty to sustain an outbreak if smallpox had been introduced.

     

    What part of the USG rescinded routine smallpox vaccination for 9 years do you not understand? So where did you get your so-called herd immunity from?Keep guessing because you know that’s good for you.

    However, measles is transmitted person-to-person and vaccinia is not. There are epidemics of measles in the wild, but there have never been epidemics of vaccinia in the wild. This makes vaccinia preferable as a means of preventing smallpox, even if measles would have worked for that purpose, which it did not.

    Well, can you think of any other vector that might harbor vaccinia virus other than the vaccine and a vaccinated individual? I know there was a documented epidemic involving 450 cows who got infected with vaccinia from a vaccinated individual. 

    what evil has benefited?  

    The lesser of the two evil, vaccinia. You don’t deliberately infect naive children just like that and to challenge them by exposing them to smallpox considering there were people who were not exposed to either viruses. That is so unethical and inhumane. Jenner did it.

    In the same sense that surgeons are the number one promoters of the laceration of human flesh.  

    In a healthy unvaccinated, who needs surgeons?

    Rational people see a difference between infecting with a mild, self-limiting, non-infectious* live virus vaccine to prevent a serious wild-type disease, as opposed to sitting back and allowing the wild-type disease to spread freely, killing and maiming as it will,

    The wild-type poliovirus does not paralyze in 99.5%  of polio cases. You can also say that most cases of polio caused by wild-type poliovirus are asymptomatic but hey they were infected. Rational people advocate infection control; they don’t promote infection, they break the chain. You and the rest of infection-promoting vaccine apologists keep the survival of infectious diseases.

    just as they see a difference between a surgeon cutting into someone to remove an appendix before it bursts or a cancer before it metastasizes, as opposed to allowing a lunatic to run around slashing at people with a sword. Most vaccines aren’t live virus vaccines, however.

    After they have opened up the patient, what do surgeons do when they found out the appendix was apparently normal? You tell me.

  267. #267 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    Antaeus F.,

    This isn’t 100% accurate. There have been a few isolated cases of person-to-person vaccinia transmission, but all known cases seem to be related to idiosyncratic medical conditions which made the transmission possible (e.g., eczema.)
    In any case, the point still stands, whether or not it ever penetrates Th-troll’s reality distortion field: it is extremely rare for anyone to acquire a transmissible infection through vaccination.

    How about person-to-cow besides person-to-person transmission? Not possible?

    Vaccinia Epidemic and Epizootic in El Salvador

    An epidemic involving 22 persons and 450 cows on a dairy farm in El Salvador, in Central America, proved to originate from a newly vaccinated person.

    Well, this means that you are arguing from ignorance just like the rest.

  268. #268 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    Ah, Th1Th2, you’re back. I’ve been reading that thread on Science-Based Medicine, and I need to ask you something: What’s more important to you, people’s health, or your being right?

    In a healthy unvaccinated, who needs surgeons?

    I did after a car accident. Tell me, did a vaccine cause me to be hit by a car?

  269. #269 Militant Agnostic
    March 28, 2011

    Tell me, did a vaccine cause me to be hit by a car?

    Odds are the driver of the car that hit you was vaccinated.

  270. #270 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    Science Mom,

    Again, yes and? OPV doesn’t cause paralytic polio as the vaccine strain; it must first revert to wild-type and several generations must occur.

    Well, the effectiveness of OPV vaccine is measured in it’s ability to infect, replicate and mutate in the host’s gut and to be able to transmit the infection to others. That is the goal of OPV inoculation. Anything that would hinder these events would render the vaccine ineffective. Even a wild-type poliovirus does not always cause paralysis despite it’s known virulence. So what do you call a polio in the absence of paralysis? Polio.

    That almost always occurs in immunocompromised recipients.

    Who the hell would give OPV to immunocompromised recipients? You? You are creating a scenario which is unacceptable just to mislead others for your own cause.

    Furthermore, who would stop them from getting infected by poliovirus derived from vaccinated individuals? You? Whatever you answer, you’re still promoting poliovirus infection.

    So your argument that OPV causes paralytic polio requires the above-mentioned caveat. If you choose to be accurate of course, something which is evidently, an impairment for you.

    I hope that is just as easy for you to accept the fact that wild-type poliovirus also requires the capacity to paralyze. A typical fallacious approach used by many covert germ-denialists is to belittle vaccine-induced infection to promote vaccination while exaggerating natural infection.

  271. #271 Vicki
    March 28, 2011

    Let’s see. Vaccination is only a few centuries old. Surgery goes back to prehistory. I suppose on opposite world, this proves that surgery causes vaccination.

  272. #272 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2011

    the real reason why he left in a huff (his favoured mode of transportation).

    I prefer the better mileage from a High Dudgeon.

  273. #273 W. Kevin Vicklund
    March 28, 2011

    However, measles is transmitted person-to-person and vaccinia is not.

    Actually, direct person-to-person transfer of vaccinia was one method used in vaccination. Of course, this is less than ideal, as other blood-borne diseases can transfer at the same time. 19th century medicine wasn’t very ethical by today’s standards…

    How about person-to-cow besides person-to-person transmission?

    That’s the natural vector for cowpox and vaccinia (it is widely speculated that vaccinia is derived from cowpox, though it might be a closely related sister species). In fact, that’s where the idea of vaccination came from in the first place.

  274. #274 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    I hope that is just as easy for you to accept the fact that wild-type poliovirus also requires the capacity to paralyze. A typical fallacious approach used by many covert germ-denialists is to belittle vaccine-induced infection to promote vaccination while exaggerating natural infection.

    What? The wild-type virus doesn’t need to mutate heavily to paralyze people, the vaccine strain (no longer in use) does. True, is only paralyzes in 0.5% of all cases, but the vaccine strain has a much lower probability. Do you understand the concept of probability?

  275. #275 Jud
    March 28, 2011

    Gray Falcon writes:

    Do you understand the concept of probability?

    Was that a rhetorical question? :-)

  276. #276 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    I mean, the wild-type only paralyzes in 0.5% of all cases.

    Th1Th2, take note: We actually correct our errors when shown them. You just continue arguing anything that you think up, even when anyone with a basic sense of awareness can tell they’re wrong.

  277. #277 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    I mean, the wild-type only paralyzes in 0.5% of all cases.

    Th1Th2, take note: We actually correct our errors when shown them. You just continue arguing anything that you think up, even when anyone with a basic sense of awareness can tell they’re wrong.

  278. #278 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Ah, Th1Th2, you’re back. I’ve been reading that thread on Science-Based Medicine, and I need to ask you something: What’s more important to you, pe
    ople’s health, or your being right?

    I have never known of a hospital that caters only for the unvaccinated. The hospital still remains to be a cesspool of sick and vaccinated patients.

    I did after a car accident. Tell me, did a vaccine cause me to be hit by a car?

    Even in simple logic many vaccine apologists fail big time. Vaccination is not an accident, it is intentional. You didn’t intend to be in a car accident or someone recommended you to do that, did you?

    Like I said don’t make a fool out of yourself.

  279. #279 Science Mom
    March 28, 2011

    Well, the effectiveness of OPV vaccine is measured in it’s ability to infect, replicate and mutate in the host’s gut and to be able to transmit the infection to others. That is the goal of OPV inoculation. Anything that would hinder these events would render the vaccine ineffective.

    Nope. Mutations aren’t required and the vaccine has already been passaged to limit replication. The effectiveness is measured in it’s ability to do this thing called i-m-m-u-n-o-g-e-n-i-c-i-t-y.

    Even a wild-type poliovirus does not always cause paralysis despite it’s known virulence. So what do you call a polio in the absence of paralysis? Polio.

    Even OPV very rarely cause paralytic polio, in a proportion of ~0.0001 of recipients, as opposed to ~1% for wild-type. Your point being?

    Who the hell would give OPV to immunocompromised recipients? You? You are creating a scenario which is unacceptable just to mislead others for your own cause.

    But of course; it’s all part of the global cabal’s conspiracy to keep lonely, housebound, childless wankers busy at their keyboards, feeling important so they are diverted from the real attempt at global mind control.

    Or yanno, it is unknown that the recipients are immunocompromised. Their bad bad mummies didn’t put their signs on.

    Furthermore, who would stop them from getting infected by poliovirus derived from vaccinated individuals? You? Whatever you answer, you’re still promoting poliovirus infection.

    Oh that does happen but spread is very limited. Anyone against vaccination for polio is also promoting poliovirus infection. Pot. Kettle. Black.

    I hope that is just as easy for you to accept the fact that wild-type poliovirus also requires the capacity to paralyze. A typical fallacious approach used by many covert germ-denialists is to belittle vaccine-induced infection to promote vaccination while exaggerating natural infection.

    Sure, if you say so. The numbers are rather clear on the matter; you can just keep to your speshul world where your non-existent children can keep away from any and all antigens.

  280. #280 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    Gray Falcon:

    I have never known of a hospital that caters only for the unvaccinated. The hospital still remains to be a cesspool of sick and vaccinated patients.

    There would be far more patients without vaccines, that’s our point. Can you provide evidence that vaccines are the cause of the problems? Don’t just give things that suggest it might be possible, the same could be said for evil spirits.

    Even in simple logic many vaccine apologists fail big time. Vaccination is not an accident, it is intentional. You didn’t intend to be in a car accident or someone recommended you to do that, did you?

    What the hell are you asking? I was responding to your suggestion that unvaccinated people wouldn’t need surgery! Try to understand how logic works.

    Also, you never answered my question: What’s more important to you, people’s health, or your being right?

  281. #281 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    Sorry, the last comment was addressed to Th1Th2. Not that he’ll listen, he’ll respond to the version of me in his head.

  282. #282 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2011

    You keep arguing with Th1Th2 with the premise that he or she is using certain words like “infection” with a meaning that is the opposite of the way everyone else uses them, and if only you couch your arguments in the same terms then Th1Th2′s mind might change. The political correctness is admirable, but there is another way to characterise “using certain words with a non-standard meaning”, and that is “lying”.

  283. #283 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    pseudo-Science Mom,

    Nope. Mutations aren’t required and the vaccine has already been passaged to limit replication. The effectiveness is measured in it’s ability to do this thing called i-m-m-u-n-o-g-e-n-i-c-i-t-y.

    For someone who is ignorant about immunogenicity, you sure have plenty to say. You don’t have to doubt that OPV replicates and mutates in the gut because it does. The argument really is if this revertant poliovirus virulent enough to cause paralysis because they have the ability to do it.

    Read and learn.

    Science-based General Rule:

    The more similar a vaccine is to the disease-causing form of the organism, the better the immune response to the vaccine.

    Live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) strains can mutate and recombine during replication in the host.

    It is a fact. You’re contradicting it.

    Even OPV very rarely cause paralytic polio, in a proportion of ~0.0001 of recipients, as opposed to ~1% for wild-type. Your point being?

    So what’s the benefit of acquiring paralytic poliomyelitis? You tell me.

    But of course; it’s all part of the global cabal’s conspiracy to keep lonely, housebound, childless wankers busy at their keyboards, feeling important so they are diverted from the real attempt at global mind control.
    Or yanno, it is unknown that the recipients are immunocompromised. Their bad bad mummies didn’t put their signs on.

    One word: Contraindication. Pleases stop pretending.

    Sure, if you say so. The numbers are rather clear on the matter; you can just keep to your speshul world where your non-existent children can keep away from any and all antigens.

    There are children who were not vaccinated nor been exposed to polio. What are the numbers/odds of evidence of an existing polio infection? Nada. Instead of abhorring them, you should be glad they are/were not infected.

  284. #284 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    There would be far more patients without vaccines, that’s our point.

    So where are these hospitals that cater only for the unvaccinated?

    Can you provide evidence that vaccines are the cause of the problems?

    This.

    What’s more important to you, people’s health, or your being right?

    Vaccination is, with its inherent infection-promoting nature, the antagonist of health.

    What the hell are you asking? I was responding to your suggestion that unvaccinated people wouldn’t need surgery! Try to understand how logic works.

    Why would the unvaccinated need surgery? Is it because they were unvaccinated? You don’t make sense and you know that even if you analogize it to having car accidents.

  285. #285 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    So where are these hospitals that cater only for the unvaccinated?

    There aren’t enough unvaccinated to require that.

    This.

    This what? Try again.

    Vaccination is, with its inherent infection-promoting nature, the antagonist of health.

    No it isn’t, and you have yet to show otherwise. If what you’re saying is true, why didn’t vaccines cause a visible plague of polio and smallpox. Are you incapable of weighing risks?

    Why would the unvaccinated need surgery? Is it because they were unvaccinated? You don’t make sense and you know that even if you analogize it to having car accidents.

    Here’s your initial quote:

    In a healthy unvaccinated, who needs surgeons?

    What the heck were you trying to say? It appeared you were suggesting unvaccinated people didn’t need surgeons! Try to be more clear!
    Finally, you really care more about being right than people’s health. If you cared about everyone’s health, you’d realize that more people are in better health with vaccines than without.

  286. #286 Dangerous Bacon
    March 28, 2011

    What’s wrong with you people? While you’re dithering about vaccines, everybody’s keeling over right and left for lack of breastfeeding!

    Time to go out to the mall and proselytize.

  287. #287 LW
    March 28, 2011

    In a healthy unvaccinated, who needs surgeons?

    What the heck were you trying to say?

    It’s a trick statement. Why would any healthy person *need* a surgeon? Maybe they’d want a surgeon for cosmetic surgery, but if you *need* a surgeon, you are by definition not healthy; you are sick or injured.

  288. #288 Gray Falcon
    March 28, 2011

    Ah, now I see. He was comparing immunization to unnecessary surgery. Of course, he still hasn’t shown that his analogy holds water. As far as he knows, he’s so brilliant, he doesn’t have to prove his ideas, because his logic is always correct. Unfortunately for him, nobody’s that smart.

  289. #289 Science Mom
    March 28, 2011

    pseudo-Science Mom,

    Nope. Mutations aren’t required and the vaccine has already been passaged to limit replication. The effectiveness is measured in it’s ability to do this thing called i-m-m-u-n-o-g-e-n-i-c-i-t-y.

    For someone who is ignorant about immunogenicity, you sure have plenty to say. You don’t have to doubt that OPV replicates and mutates in the gut because it does. The argument really is if this revertant poliovirus virulent enough to cause paralysis because they have the ability to do it.

    Ooo, name-calling, particularly from a person who resides in a fictional, sanitised land. OPV does not mutate to the point of causing pathogenesis excepting about 1/million doses. It is not required for the vaccine to work in spite of what you believe, something which you haven’t bothered to provide a whit of evidence for.

    Read and learn.

    Science-based General Rule:

    The more similar a vaccine is to the disease-causing form of the organism, the better the immune response to the vaccine.

    You should take your own advice and from your own link:

    Another way to produce active immunity is by vaccination. Vaccines interact with the immune system and often produce an immune response similar to that produced by the natural infection, but they do not subject the recipient to the disease and its potential complications. Vaccines produce immunologic memory similar to that acquired by having the natural disease.

    “More similar” is not implicit for “the same” as you consistently mistake. As long as the immunogenic antigens are present, immunological memory is induced. This is the case with all live viral vaccines, i.e. they have been passaged to loose their virulence while maintaining those key antigens.

    Live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) strains can mutate and recombine during replication in the host.

    It is a fact. You’re contradicting it.

    Au contraire. I specifically stated that OPV vaccine strain can mutate and revert to wild-type. I guess it’s hard when someone gives you an unexpected, straight-forward answer and doesn’t argue a particular point.

    Even OPV very rarely cause paralytic polio, in a proportion of ~0.0001 of recipients, as opposed to ~1% for wild-type. Your point being?

    So what’s the benefit of acquiring paralytic poliomyelitis? You tell me.

    That would be a strawman. There is demonstrable benefit to acquiring immunity to polio without pathogenicity.

    But of course; it’s all part of the global cabal’s conspiracy to keep lonely, housebound, childless wankers busy at their keyboards, feeling important so they are diverted from the real attempt at global mind control.
    Or yanno, it is unknown that the recipients are immunocompromised. Their bad bad mummies didn’t put their signs on.

    One word: Contraindication. Pleases stop pretending.

    It’s astonishing how much you can actually type without saying a thing of importance or accuracy. Stating that it isn’t intentional to give immunocompromised people OPV is a contradiction how?

    There are children who were not vaccinated nor been exposed to polio. What are the numbers/odds of evidence of an existing polio infection? Nada. Instead of abhorring them, you should be glad they are/were not infected.

    Of course there are children who haven’t been exposed to vaccination nor infection…it’s called herd immunity. As an aside, your aversion to any infection or antigen exposure is very unhealthy and is not beneficial.

  290. #290 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    LW,

    In the same sense that surgeons are the number one promoters of the laceration of human flesh.

    It’s a trick statement. Why would any healthy person *need* a surgeon?

    You’re the one who started off with the vaccine-surgeon analogy.

  291. #291 LW
    March 28, 2011

    Here’s why it’s a waste of time to communicate with Th1Th2.  It said,

    The USG rescinded routine smallpox vaccination for ~9 years, leaving the herd unprotected despite global threat of smallpox

    I answered, in part,

    The U.S. was not left unprotected. If you left the country, you were required to be vaccinated against smallpox or you would be quarantined on return.

    Th1Th2 gave the puzzling response,

    I’m surprised you didn’t even mention the level of herd immunity from smallpox in the absence of routine vaccination for 9 years.

    Well, I hadn’t mentioned it because it didn’t seem relevant, Th1Th2 having already stated that the nation was left unprotected because there was no routine smallpox vaccination, and I replied that the nation wasn’t unprotected because they were taking measures to keep smallpox out (which wouldn’t have been practical when it was endemic worldwide, but was once it had been driven back to just a few areas).  But who had gotten routine smallpox vaccination? Mostly children, who had to get it to attend school.  So I replied,

    There were a lot of children born in those nine years, plenty to sustain an outbreak if smallpox had been introduced.

    Th1Th2 shot back,
     

    What part of the USG rescinded routine smallpox vaccination for 9 years do you not understand? So where did you get your so-called herd immunity from?Keep guessing because you know that’s good for you.

    This response makes absolutely no sense. A lot of children were born in those nine years.  They were not vaccinated against smallpox. With that many susceptibles, the nation as a whole probably fell below the threshold for herd immunity, and certainly the elementary schools did.  Therefore the disease needed to be kept out, or there would have been outbreaks among the children.  Which is what I said.

    Yet Th1Th2 somehow takes some kind of triumph from this conversation. It’s really quite irrational.

  292. #292 Science Mom
    March 28, 2011

    @ LW, that is what Th1Th2 does; wanks endlessly and incoherently, then crows victory when everyone just walks away. We should declare a moratorium on answering her posts, take DB’s suggestion and go sanctimommy on all of those shitty formula-feeding mummies.

  293. #293 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    pseudo-Science Mom,

    Ooo, name-calling, particularly from a person who resides in a fictional, sanitised land. OPV does not mutate to the point of causing pathogenesis excepting about 1/million doses. It is not required for the vaccine to work in spite of what you believe, something which you haven’t bothered to provide a whit of evidence for.

    That is a predictable germ-denialist response to sell the OPV because of your love to the poliovirus. Now let’s see your other side being a germ-buster. There are four clinical types of poliomyelitis caused by pathogenic poliovirus; asymptomatic, abortive, non-paralytic and paralytic. Which among these types the OPV does not mutate into that is not pathogenetically caused by poliovirus?

    “More similar” is not implicit for “the same” as you consistently mistake. As long as the immunogenic antigens are present, immunological memory is induced. This is the case with all live viral vaccines, i.e. they have been passaged to loose their virulence while maintaining those key antigens.

    Now, you’re arguing from ignorance. Name a single vaccine which is not immunogenic? Also, can you tell me why the high titer live attenuated measles vaccine, despite of what you so-called immunological memory caused an increase mortality among the vaccinated?

    It’s astonishing how much you can actually type without saying a thing of importance or accuracy. Stating that it isn’t intentional to give immunocompromised people OPV is a contradiction how?

    Again, you’re arguing from ignorance. Why don’t you provide some evidence that OPV is not contraindicated among the immunocompromised.

    Of course there are children who haven’t been exposed to vaccination nor infection…it’s called herd immunity.As an aside, your aversion to any infection or antigen exposure is very unhealthy and is not beneficial.

    Now you’re being silly. The last time I checked, the unvaccinated/non-exposed were being labeled as parasites, unhealthy, susceptible, non-immuned, unprotected, and the main source of infectious diseases.

    Wiki:

    Herd immunity (or community immunity) describes a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity.

    Herd immunity and herd effect: new insights and definitions.

    We propose that it should have precise meaning for which purpose a new definition is offered: “the proportion of subjects with immunity in a given population”.

    Do you have any reason why shouldn’t I call you pseudo-Science Mom?

  294. #294 Narad
    March 28, 2011

    It would not surprise me one bit, given Th1Th2′s demonstrated rhetorical tactic of concealing its idiosyncratic semantics until it gets a question that it “likes,” if there were yet a greater, likely metaphysical, “reveal” skulking around somewhere in the wings.

  295. #295 LW
    March 28, 2011

    Th1Th2′s thinking (for lack of a better term) is really bizarre.

    “Name a single vaccine which is not immunogenic?” if it weren’t immunogenic, it wouldn’t be a vaccine, would it?

    “Which among these types the OPV does not mutate into that is not pathogenetically caused by poliovirus?” What does that even mean?

  296. #296 Militant Agnostic
    March 28, 2011

    LW@259

    Maybe Th1Th2 is a bot developed by AI researchers who think that in order to understand what is required for artificial intelligence we need to know how to create artificial stupidity first.

  297. #297 Th1Th2
    March 28, 2011

    LW,

    Confused.

    But who had gotten routine smallpox vaccination? Mostly children, who had to get it to attend school.

    More confused.

    A lot of children were born in those nine years. They were not vaccinated against smallpox.

    I thought my question was clear. Where did you derive herd immunity from in the 9-year absence of routine smallpox vaccination during the 1970′s?

  298. #298 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2011

    if it weren’t immunogenic, it wouldn’t be a vaccine
    You forget the homeopathic vaccines.

  299. #299 LW
    March 28, 2011

    herr doktor bimler: ah, good point.

  300. #300 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    pseudo-Science Mom,

    Form the same source:

    Vaccines interact with the immune system and often produce an immune response similar to that produced by the natural infection, but they do not subject the recipient to the disease and its potential complications.

    Germ-denialism of vaccine apologists on one side.

    And then this:

    Although live attenuated vaccines replicate, they usually do not cause disease such as may occur with the “wild” form of the organism. When a live attenuated vaccine does cause “disease,” it is usually much milder than the natural disease and is referred to as an adverse reaction.

    Germ-loving nature on the other side.

    Let them describe what childhood infectious diseases are and you will find out their pathognomonic germ-busting character to sell vaccines.

    They are so full of it.

  301. #301 Narad
    March 29, 2011

    Opening the small mailbox reveals a leaflet.

  302. #302 LW
    March 29, 2011

    Th1Th2 perseverates: “Where did you derive herd immunity from in the 9-year absence of routine smallpox vaccination during the 1970′s?”

    I think I see where it’s going. Although I’m not am epidemiologist and never claimed to be, I do think nine years without mandatory vaccination would have allowed herd immunity to break down. Certainly the elementary schools would have been highly vulnerable, as I’ve already pointed out twice.  Th1Th2 thinks that this is an admission on which it can pounce: “Aha! You disease promoters have always claimed that if herd immunity breaks down we’ll immediately have an epidemic and we’ll all die!  But we didn’t! Busted!”

    But no.  If herd immunity breaks down, you risk outbreaks and even epidemics if the disease is introduced. If you can keep the disease out through other means, then you don’t have that risk.  We certainly don’t have herd immunity against smallpox now, but we don’t have outbreaks because there is nowhere for us to get the disease from.  

    In the 1970s, smallpox had been almost eradicated by a generations-long campaign of vaccination.  It had been eliminated from the Americas and Europe and most of the rest of the world. By diligent efforts, like requiring vaccination of travelers, it was almost completely kept from being reintroduced.  However, when it was reintroduced, there were indeed serious outbreaks, brought under control only by vaccination of the affected population. See the Wikipedia article for details.  Try not to look at the pictures.

    Clearly the situation of smallpox in the 70s and measles today is quite different. Measles is endemic in most of the world, including Europe, and has been reintroduced into the U.S. at least four times just this year that I know of (Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Mexico, though the New Mexico case, despite traveling through four major airports doesn’t seem to have infected anyone, thanks to herd immunity). 

  303. #303 Science Mom
    March 29, 2011

    Do you have any reason why shouldn’t I call you pseudo-Science Mom?

    You can call me anything you like; you have already failed when that’s what you have left.

  304. #304 Heliantus
    March 29, 2011

    The thingy reminds of my first contact with vaccine-deniers, almost 20 years ago. It was a book I picked-up in a bookshop (and hastily putted down again).

    In the real world, we have:
    - germs in the wild which sometimes cause diseases, which sometimes cause nasty health effects.
    - live attenuated virus vaccines, which generally do not generate the usual complications from the disease (although sometimes the virus unfortunately reverts to the wild form)
    - killed-germ vaccines, or vaccines made of part of the germs. Those have no risk whatsoever of giving the illness (unless the manufacturer got sloppy).
    To be fair, there are some risks of allergy, e.g. if the vaccine contains egg proteins. A bout of fever is also possible and should be watched for.

    All the above three could generate an immune response, and in most cases you won’t get sick twice from the same germ. But infection by the wild germ is carrying higher risks of serious ill effects. Generally much higher, by a thousand times.

    The author of this book just lumped all of the vaccines together. Which, of course, stacked all the risks of vaccines together and diluted the benefits. Way to bias the discussion.
    At least, she was not denying that without vaccines, children would get sick more often. But according to her, illnesses are a “normal part” of raising a child and “strengthen” the bonds between parents and children.
    I gave mumps to my dad. Fortunately, with no ill effect (that I know of). I think I would have preferred to strengthen our relationship by sharing other things than germs.

    Oh yes, some are full of it.

  305. #305 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    pseudo-Science Mom,

    You can call me anything you like; you have already failed when that’s what you have left.

    Because there are evidence that show you are, like this.

    Even OPV very rarely cause paralytic polio, in a proportion of ~0.0001 of recipients, as opposed to ~1% for wild-type. Your point being?

    I answered. So what’s the benefit of acquiring paralytic poliomyelitis? You tell me.

    That would be a strawman.

    Strawman? Are you serious? You’re not selling lotto here, are you? Everyone would want to win in the lottery. And the benefit of winning is humongous. But unless they play, they will have zero chance of winning. So if I had asked you about the benefit of winning paralytic poliomyelitis with those numbers/odds you presented to promote vaccines, you would know that some people don’t play thus have zero chance of acquiring polio.

    There is demonstrable benefit to acquiring immunity to polio without pathogenicity.

    That one right there is absolute germ-denialism. No need to explain further.

  306. #306 Science Mom
    March 29, 2011

    Th1Th2, you are a bore. If you want people to engage you, you can’t construct strawmen (hint, no one declared any benefit to acquiring paralytic polio), be so dishonest and well, downright incoherent.

  307. #307 dt
    March 29, 2011

    Dr Jay, tweeting:

    It sounds like your two children very much needed CT scans. They were done carefully and the benefits outweigh any small risks

    http://twitter.com/JayGordonMDFAAP/status/52206432162021376

    Give that man a banana!

    He finally seems to grasp the concept of risk benefit! Now if only he would apply that same knowledge to vaccination.

  308. #308 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Science Mom,

    Th1Th2, you are a bore. If you want people to engage you, you can’t construct strawmen (hint, no one declared any benefit to acquiring paralytic polio), be so dishonest and well, downright incoherent.

    It’s not strawman. It’s part of the benefit vs risk equation unless of course you want to be bias and deny that OPV-induced immunity can result to paralytic poliomyelitis.

    (hint: that’s the clue)

  309. #309 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    Th1Th2, if you’re going to talk about benefits and risks, try comparing the benefits and risks of a polio outbreak (still possible) to the benefits and risks of the vaccine.

  310. #310 Lawrence
    March 29, 2011

    Nice try Gray, but little thingy will just argue (based on its alternate reality thinking) that infection & vaccination are the same thing, so there isn’t a difference between an outbreak and vaccination.

  311. #311 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    True, you can’t reason with the unreasonable, but you can show everyone else how unreasonable he is. Seriously, he never answered the big question: If vaccination is as bad as infection, why didn’t mass vaccination lead to polio outbreaks?

  312. #312 Lawrence
    March 29, 2011

    Or better yet, smallpox outbreaks? If vaccinations are so bad – what happened to smallpox?

  313. #313 Jud
    March 29, 2011

    what happened to smallpox

    They don’t count the afflicted “infected” vaccinated, because they’re vaccinated, of course. And the fact that it hasn’t come back among the unvaccinated has already been cited as further proving the point.

    It’s all consistent in a non-reality-connected sorta way.

  314. #314 dedicated lurker
    March 29, 2011

    Of course, the Th thing also thinks anyone who is infected with anything knows the second they are infected, even in the wild with an asymptomatic period. Those people just have to isolate themselves. Thus everyone else can remain “naive.”

  315. #315 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Heliantus,

    The thingy reminds of my first contact with vaccine-deniers, almost 20 years ago.

    I do not deny vaccines in the same manner I don’t deny natural infection; they exist and they both have consequences. I can criticize both pro-vax and pro-pox people.

    In the real world, we have:
    - germs in the wild which sometimes cause diseases, which sometimes cause nasty health effects.

    Hence, they are called pathogens.

    - live attenuated virus vaccines, which generally do not generate the usual complications from the disease (although sometimes the virus unfortunately reverts to the wild form)

    Inoculum made up of pathogens.

    - killed-germ vaccines, or vaccines made of part of the germs. Those have no risk whatsoever of giving the illness (unless the manufacturer got sloppy).
    To be fair, there are some risks of allergy, e.g. if the vaccine contains egg proteins. A bout of fever is also possible and should be watched for.

    Pathogen parts.

    All the above three could generate an immune response, and in most cases you won’t get sick twice from the same germ. But infection by the wild germ is carrying higher risks of serious ill effects. Generally much higher, by a thousand times.

    Lesser-of-the-two-evil principle. What is so good about evil anyway? Just because you condemn natural infection (rape), you’ll promote vaccination (minor sexual harassment). BTW, both can produce long-lasting memory too.

  316. #316 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    Lesser-of-the-two-evil principle. What is so good about evil anyway? Just because you condemn natural infection (rape), you’ll promote vaccination (minor sexual harassment). BTW, both can produce long-lasting memory too.

    You still haven’t produced a perfect solution, or at least, one that would work in the real world.

  317. #317 D. C. Sessions
    March 29, 2011

    If you know the history you’ll know that people didn’t “freak out” about measles 40 years ago they way they do now.

    No, they freaked out a Hell of a lot more because they had actual experience with it. I don’t have to “know the history” because I’m not only old enough to have had measles but have had recent conversations with my 85yo mother about it. She not only had it but was one of those mothers who “freaked out” in the 50s because her children had it and she knew from personal experience that measles killed, that measles caused pneumonia (remember: before antibiotics), that measles blinded, that measles deafened, and that measles caused brain damage.

    This wasn’t an abstract, statistics-that-happened-to-other-people thing in the 1930s. It was something that affected damn near every extended family.

    It’s like polio — both my mother and $HERSELF knew people who died of it and people who were crippled by it. I’m just enough younger to have been a beneficiary of the vaccine (I still remember, as discussed with my mother, standing in line at the local high school for my sugar cube). $HERSELF was one of the subjects in the original Salk trials. For which, if you read this, thanks again.

    Maybe part of Dr. Jay’s problem is that he never listened to his mother. Which wouldn’t be surprising.

  318. #318 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    You still haven’t produced a perfect solution, or at least, one that would work in the real world.

    Perfect solution? Didn’t you hear me say, For healthy unvaccinated, who needs surgeons?

    Sorry, I cannot come up with an imaginary problem that would warrant surgical referral.

  319. #319 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    Perfect solution? Didn’t you hear me say, For healthy unvaccinated, who needs surgeons?

    “Healthy” people can get sick.

    Sorry, I cannot come up with an imaginary problem that would warrant surgical referral.

    I thought we worked out that was just an analogy. Are you feeling OK?

  320. #320 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    “Healthy” people can get sick.

    So how do you plan to get sick? You tell me.

  321. #321 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    Th1Th2:

    So how do you plan to get sick? You tell me.

    That didn’t even vaguely connect to what I was writing in any way, shape, or form. Seriously, are you OK?

  322. #322 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    If vaccination is as bad as infection, why didn’t mass vaccination lead to polio outbreaks?

    There are documented VDPV outbreaks in Dominican Republic and Haiti in 2001 and Nigeria in 2007. VDPV have also caused outbreaks in India, China, Madagascar, Philippines, Myanmar, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

    VDPV will remain a risk as long as OPV is used, because it is the OPV itself that creates the risk.

  323. #323 LW
    March 29, 2011

    “VDPV will remain a risk as long as OPV is used, because it is the OPV itself that creates the risk.”

    Which is, of course, why OPV is not used in the U.S. When the risk of polio was greatly reduced, the risks of OPV no longer justified its use, and we switched to IPV.

  324. #324 Science Mom
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon, you are nothing more than mental masturbation for Th1Th2. There is no reasoning, no logic, nothing that can penetrate. She will wander off when she realises she is ignored and has no audience. If Chris can do it, the rest of us can

  325. #325 Beamup
    March 29, 2011

    I second Science Mom. The Thing doesn’t have any sort of brain it is willing to actually use. I’d say it’s like arguing with my dining room table, but that would be insulting to a perfectly serviceable piece of furniture.

  326. #326 Lawrence
    March 29, 2011

    Agreed.

  327. #327 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    True that. I think that the surgeon analogy was enough to push her over the edge, there’s no way anyone can take her seriously now. Still, I can’t help pitying her.

  328. #328 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 29, 2011

    I’ll just mildly recommend once again my own policy for dealing with trolls: Never respond for the benefit of the troll. Only respond if you think that someone else might read it who might otherwise be confused about what to believe.

    Of course, it’s hard to do that with the Th-troll, because their ideas are so incredibly confused that it’s hard to imagine anyone besides Th-troll believing an idea like ‘people can catch a disease without ever encountering the actual disease organism; if you get vaccinated with the antigens from the outer shell of the organism, that will somehow infect you with the inner contents of the organism even though those contents are not there.’

  329. #329 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    That didn’t even vaguely connect to what I was writing in any way, shape, or form. Seriously, are you OK?

    You said healthy people can get sick and I asked you how. Some real world.

  330. #330 Gray Falcon
    March 29, 2011

    @Antaeus Feldspar:
    I can see what you mean. Seriously, Th1Th2 doesn’t know how healthy people can get sick? The same person who thinks killed viruses can infect people? There’s no polite way to respond to a statement that dense.

  331. #331 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    LW,

    Which is, of course, why OPV is not used in the U.S. When the risk of polio was greatly reduced, the risks of OPV no longer justified its use, and we switched to IPV.

    You mean when the wild-type poliovirus was replaced by OPV, the OPV spawned and turned into a new monster they called VDPV? Glad they stopped the OPV. And the IPV? an excess baggage.

    The wasn’t hard to understand at all.

  332. #332 Chris
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon:

    There’s no polite way to respond to a statement that dense.

    I’ve been saying that for a while. But I did falter bye trying to get her to answer a simple questions last week. I will just continue to point people to those threads and tell them to not engage her. She is a deluded crank and troll. Please ignore her.

  333. #333 Conscience
    March 29, 2011

    >Do you have any reason why shouldn’t I call you pseudo-Science Mom?

    For honest people, sheer decency would be reason enough, so no, there is no reason for you not to lie about Science Mom.

  334. #334 Th1Th2
    March 29, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Seriously, Th1Th2 doesn’t know how healthy people can get sick?

    Check #318. The burden of proof lies upon you otherwise you’re only arguing from ignorance.

  335. #335 LW
    March 29, 2011

    By the way, Antaeus Feldspar, I’ve never thanked you for the term “Protocols of the Elders of Allopathic Medicine”. I’ve never used it, but I often think of it while scrolling through troll droppings.

  336. #336 Liz Ditz
    March 29, 2011

    Breaking news from Minnesota

    Situation Update (3/29/11)
    There have been 13 confirmed cases of measles reported in Minnesota. Cases have ranged in age from 4 months to 34 years old. Five of the cases were too young to receive vaccine, six were of age but were not vaccinated, and two have unknown vaccine status. There have been eight hospitalizations and no deaths.

    I repeat what I said at #251 on the reasons for hospitalization.

  337. #337 dedicated lurker
    March 29, 2011

    Okay, ThThing. You’ve said that a person knows when they are infected. How does a person know this? When you walk past some asymptomatic person, do you then turn blue or something?

  338. #338 Dangerous Bacon
    March 30, 2011

    Good review of Seth Mnookin’s “The Panic Virus” in the New York Times yesterday. The reviewer noted that Mnookin’s background (not a doctor or scientist) may carry extra weight with some readers:

    “He hails instead from what might be called, sadly enough, exactly the opposite demographic: he is young and hip, got a good liberal arts education, lives in an upscale enclave and works in another, as a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. He is the father of a young child.

    And it is people of precisely this description who are slowly picking apart the safety net that protected their own childhoods, prompted by a well-intentioned mixture of arrogance, ignorance and confusion.”

    That last part says it well. In fact those are major attributes of fervent backers of woo in general (I typically characterize those qualities as hostility, ignorance and confusion). It’s a tough mix to overcome. Fortunately the non-ideologically committed can still be reached by calm reason.

    The only off note in the review (by a physician) references “skyrocketing” autism rates since the ’40s, without mentioning a key reason for that increase – vastly increased diagnostic recognition/diagnostic substitution.

  339. #339 Ken
    March 30, 2011

    While people are combing through old kid’s television for disease information, maybe they should check out other kid’s entertainment. Comic books, for example. A lot of the old ones are now being republished in hardcover collections, and still have the original ads. These included PSAs for polio prevention.

    I just checked Google, and I see that several are available. http://www.politedissent.com/archives/4301 is for kids. http://www.flickr.com/photos/dlanod/132348909/ is the parent’s version.

  340. #340 MI Dawn
    March 30, 2011

    Well, since the Thing wants to know why a healthy person might need a surgeon: my young, healthy, athletic cousin just was hospitalized for emergency surgery from a ruptured appendix. Thank goodness for surgeons, he is going to be fine. What did he do to cause his appendix to rupture? Or in Thing’s world, appendices don’t rupture for no apparent reason?

  341. #341 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    @Ken- I just saw those, and realized those are from when my parents grew up. They did tell me a bit about that, but one wonders how they slept at night before the vaccine was developed. (shudder)

  342. #342 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    dedicated lurker,

    Okay, ThThing. You’ve said that a person knows when they are infected. How does a person know this?

    When the person has identified the source of infection and becomes symptomatic.

    When you walk past some asymptomatic person, do you then turn blue or something?

    No. I always keep my distance or cover my nose and mouth when someone coughs or sneezes regardless.

  343. #343 JohnV
    March 30, 2011

    I think you just redefined asymptomatic to mean “has symptoms” instead of “does not have symptoms”.

  344. #344 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    MI Dawn,

    What did he do to cause his appendix to rupture? Or in Thing’s world, appendices don’t rupture for no apparent reason?

    Yeah so what did he do?

  345. #345 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    JohnV, English must not be her native language. Or she somehow thinks redefining words is acceptable.

    Or it is because she actually lives on Htrae, where it is opposite day every day! So obviously symptomatic means no symptoms and asymptomatic means there are symptoms (like coughing, etc)! Got it?

  346. #346 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    John V

    I think you just redefined asymptomatic to mean “has symptoms” instead of “does not have symptoms”.

    Well, a piece of meat got stucked in your throat so you cough forcibly so according to you that would be a case of asymptomatic or symptomatic what??

  347. #347 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Chris,

    Or it is because she actually lives on Htrae, where it is opposite day every day! So obviously symptomatic means no symptoms and asymptomatic means there are symptoms (like coughing, etc)! Got it?

    Keep arguing from ignorance Chris, you know that’s best for you.

  348. #348 JohnV
    March 30, 2011

    That would be a symptom of choking. Was that a trick question?

  349. #349 Narad
    March 30, 2011

    English must not be her native language. Or she somehow thinks redefining words is acceptable.

    Both, unquestionably. The latter is deliberately kept obscured to prolong the interaction. The former is revealed by the not-quite-there idiom with prepositions.

  350. #350 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    Of course, there is the situation she keeps avoiding: the one where the infectious person has left, but the airborne virus is still floating around to infect someone. She has not quite revealed how to protect oneself from something you cannot see.

  351. #351 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    John V.,

    That would be a symptom of choking. Was that a trick question?

    Yes. There are many causes of cough and and a cough can occur in the absence of an existing infection.

  352. #352 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Chris,

    Of course, there is the situation she keeps avoiding: the one where the infectious person has left, but the airborne virus is still floating around to infect someone. She has not quite revealed how to protect oneself from something you cannot see.

    You’re a germ-denialist on one side that’s why you keep on ignoring science that teach you to avoid unnecessary exposure to a known source of infection. I gave you the link ages ago and you dismissed it because you know it will embarrassed you.

    Check #32.

  353. #353 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    I read the link at #32. All it shows is that Th1Th2 does not understand the difference between “necessary” and “sufficient”.

  354. #354 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    I read #32, and it did not make sense, so I have not bothered with any of her other blatherings. Yeah, all she does is put words in weird arrangements and thinks they are profound. They are not. She is just a clueless troll, and please ignore her.

  355. #355 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    The trolling behavior was evident when I first phrased the question of a nine month old baby being exposed at a grocery store. She then answered by saying they are more likely to be exposed in a health clinic, so I rephrased it… her response was to avoid all health facilities.

    She did not have an answer to the question, so she manipulated to something she thinks she could answer. I dislike being manipulated by a lying troll. If she ever has children, I pity them.

  356. #356 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    I think what Th1Th2 trying to say in #32 was that she found something vaguely matching her advice, so she was right. I don’t think she’s really capable of basic logic.

  357. #357 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Chris,

    She did not have an answer to the question, so she manipulated to something she thinks she could answer. I dislike being manipulated by a lying troll. If she ever has children, I pity them.

    In fact I did answer your question long time ago. Check #322 http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/03/gobsmacked_by_germ_theory_denialism_agai.php#comments

    Keep ignoring Chris, just keep ignoring.

  358. #358 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Th1Th2, did you know there are sick people outside of hospitals? Seriously, you’re in the running for “Dumbest person alive.”

  359. #359 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    Except, Gray Falcon, she had manipulated me to making the scenario something that she kind of had an answer to. So if I was not ignoring her, I would ask the the question in its original form, and not bow to her silly demands: “How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the grocery store just an hour before?”

    See, it is not in a health clinic, nor does one have to see if someone is either symptomatic or asymptomatic. Yet, she failed to answer that simple question, and claims I am a germ denier. Definitely a troll.

  360. #360 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Th1Th2, did you know there are sick people outside of hospitals? Seriously, you’re in the running for “Dumbest person alive.”

    And avoiding these sick people doesn’t make sense to you and Chris, then both of you get the reward. Hands down. No contest.

  361. #361 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Take note, Th1Th2 has actually noted that diseases can be both asymptomatic and contagious, but still thinks it’s possible to avoid sick people. Seriously. It’s clear at this point she only cares about everything thinking she’s right.

  362. #362 Chris
    March 30, 2011

    Except those of us who live on Earth instead of Htrae all realize she is completely clueless.

    If anyone in the future wishes to engage her, just ask this one question until she gives a sensible answer:
    “How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that a measles infectious person was at the grocery store just an hour before?”

    Do not allow her to change the question or terms.

  363. #363 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Chris,

    How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the grocery store just an hour before?

    Stick with science Chris and stop being superstitious and paranoid.

    Again, you’re arguing from ignorance. I cannot prove that fairies exist, can you?

    And even if the measles virus survived, transmission cannot be proven.

    Survival of measles virus in droplet nuclei for over 2 hours has been demonstrated in laboratory studies (5). Although the exact mode of transmission in this instance cannot be proven, transmission via fomites seems less likely than airborne transmission because measles virus is believed to survive only for a short time on dry surfaces (6).

  364. #364 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Interesting. If the police are unable to determine if a man died by suicide or homicide, does that mean he’s still alive?

  365. #365 Ken
    March 30, 2011

    I haven’t read all the comments here, much less from other posts, but is Th1Th2 perhaps a Christian Scientist? One of their beliefs is that all illness is due to sin or fear – in other words, it’s because of something the person did, not an external agent. I am particularly struck by the appendicitis remarks, e.g. #344.

  366. #366 Enkidu
    March 30, 2011

    I think Th1Th2 and her thread hijack scared Dr. Jay away.

  367. #367 LW
    March 30, 2011

    In Japan, there were just recently a whole lot of healthy people who suddenly found themselves in need of medical care. I doubt their vaccination status had much to do with their injuries.

  368. #368 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Gray Falcon,

    Interesting. If the police are unable to determine if a man died by suicide or homicide, does that mean he’s still alive?

    That didn’t even vaguely connect to what I was writing in any way, shape, or form. Seriously, are you OK?

    Thanks Gray.

  369. #369 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 30, 2011
    Or it is because she actually lives on Htrae, where it is opposite day every day! So obviously symptomatic means no symptoms and asymptomatic means there are symptoms (like coughing, etc)! Got it?

    Keep arguing from ignorance Chris, you know that’s best for you.

    It probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone that this phrase Goofus keeps using, “arguing from ignorance,” does not mean what Goofus pretends it means.

    “Argument from ignorance” is a fallacy in which an arguer asserts that something is true, not because there is any evidence that it is true, but because there is insufficient proof (at least in the mind of the fallacious arguer) that it isn’t true. The classic example is the creationist argument “I can’t imagine how biological phenomenon X could have evolved. Therefore, because I lack an answer to how it could have happen, there is no answer and it must have been done by special creation.”

    Now, Goofus committed the fallacy known as ignoratio elenchi (giving an answer to a question other than the one that was asked) by responding to the question ‘how does [an asymptomatic person] know that they’re infected?’ with the answer ‘when they start showing symptoms.’ Chris caught Goofus at it, and called them on it.

    What’s the relation between Chris calling Goofus on their ignoratio elenchi and Goofus claiming that Chris is thereby committing “argument from ignorance”? Simple: There isn’t one.

  370. #370 Gray Falcon
    March 30, 2011

    Actually, there was a connection. The article you posted did not say that transmission was not proven, only the means of transmission (two were possible) was not proven. Unlike you, my analogies can make sense. And really, try not just to pick out the four words that support your claims.

  371. #371 Th1Th2
    March 30, 2011

    Antaeus ,

    Argument from ignorance” is a fallacy in which an arguer asserts that something is true, not because there is any evidence that it is true, but because there is insufficient proof (at least in the mind of the fallacious arguer) that it isn’t true. The classic example is the creationist argument “I can’t imagine how biological phenomenon X could have evolved. Therefore, because I lack an answer to how it could have happen, there is no answer and it must have been done by special creation.”

    Nah. It’s very clear Chris was arguing from ignorance but she kept pretending she didn’t know the answer.

    Now, Goofus committed the fallacy known as ignoratio elenchi (giving an answer to a question other than the one that was asked) by responding to the question ‘how does [an asymptomatic person] know that they’re infected?’ with the answer ‘when they start showing symptoms.’ Chris caught Goofus at it, and called them on it.

    Now you’re not only a Goofus but also dyslexic if you keep inserting things that weren’t asked in the first place.

  372. #372 Antaeus Feldspar
    March 30, 2011

    What’s the relation between Chris calling Goofus on their ignoratio elenchi and Goofus claiming that Chris is thereby committing “argument from ignorance”? Simple: There isn’t one.

  373. #373 Sid Offit
    April 12, 2011

    @Mike Ralston

    So the government has the power to tell a sick man “You are not permitted to work in order to earn enough money to buy food or pay for medical care” and then does NOT have the power to pay for that man’s food and medical care?

    There’s a difference between power and the moral authority to do something. Seems the state has the “power to do just about anything. Anyway, the government has the right to tell a man not to rob a bank because it violates the rights of others just as it can act to stop one from knowingly acting in a way in which one could expect to transmit an illness and harm others.
    —————

    Am I correct, Sid? Is that what you believe is legitimate? The government can force someone to be unable to earn money, but cannot force everyone else to pay a tiny fraction of a cent to care for that same person?

    Tiny fraction of a cent? If that were the case, we wouldn’t be 14 trillion dollars in debt

    This sick man should have prepared for a potential illness before becoming ill. But then you’ll say affordable health care is impossible to obtain. The solution is to remove the government from the equation so this person doesn’t have to buy a policy with coverage he really doesn’t need or want.

    It’s wrong for the government to intervene in the health care market in the first place and it’s wrong to take the of resources one person to pay for the care of another

    The moral solution would be to start unwinding the governments role while continuing to provide care for the truly needy.

    And, since it sounds like this guy just has a cough, he can take a week off, pay to see a doctor (I don’t see a case for an expensive stay in ICU) or find a job that doesn’t involve food preparation.

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