Yesterday, I wrote about how two anti-vaccine activists, Barbara Loe Fisher and Joe Mercola, were unhappy that bloggers targeted their advertisement that they put on the CBS Times Square JumboTron for a letter-writing campaign to try to persuade CBS Outdoors to do the right thing and stop selling ad time to groups who promote a philosophy that is a threat to public health. Thats why I have to love it when by coincidence a paper is released that provides yet one more example of the benefits of vaccination. In this case, it even deals with one of the “lesser” vaccines. Well, it’s not really a “lesser” vaccine, but it the frequent victim of jeers and sneers from the anti-vaccine set, who proclaim it as unnecessary. Some of them even go so far as to have “parties” for their children to infect each other with the disease.

Yes, I’m talking chickenpox, otherwise known as varicella.

If you peruse the anti-vaccine blogosphere, as I do on a regular basis, it won’t take you long to find extended rants against the varicella vaccine, proclaiming it as unnecessary, harmful, or at best useless because chickenpox is supposedly a mild childhood disease that causes no harm. Of course, pediatricians know that that’s not true. Before the vaccine, approximately 4 million people developed chickenpox, with around 150,000 cases of complicated disease and around 14,000 hospitalized per year resulting in around 100 deaths per year. After the vaccine, well, here’s an article hot off the presses in the journal Pediatrics from researchers at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I think the title says it all: Near Elimination of Varicella Deaths in the US After Implementation of the Vaccination Program.

The design of the study was simple. The investigators examined national data on deaths for which varicella was listed as either an underlying or contributing cause using the Mortality Multiple Cause-of-Death records from the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, calculating the age-adjusted and age-specific mortality rates for the years 2002 to 2007, examining trends since the prevaccine years:

Because the number of deaths for 2002-2007 was low, age-specific mortality rates are reported for age-groups younger than 20 years, 20 to 49 years, younger than 50 years, and 50 years or older. We reanalyzed varicella deaths reported during 1990 -2001 according to these age groups. Age-adjusted mortality rates were standardized to the 2000 census population to account for changes in the age distribution of the population over time. In the rate analysis of the new data, we grouped the years into 2 periods, 2002-2004 and 2005-2007. We considered 1990 -1994 as representative of the prevaccine years.

So what were the results? This is yet another time when a picture is worth the proverbial thousand words (and I do think that the graphs I’m about to show shave about a thousand words or so each off of this post, for which those not fond of some of my more logorrheic tendencies will be grateful). The year the varicella vaccine was introduced was 1995, and this is the result:

i-368c12f3e9bcb964f04430c6839b70f8-figure1-thumb-130x83-67726.jpg

(Click to embiggen)

This decline, which was an 88% decline in mortality overall for the entire population, was noted in all age groups over the twelve year period of the study. Indeed, it was most impressive among children and adolescents under 20 years there was a 97% reduction in death due to varicella and a 96% reduction in deaths in people under age 50 overall. In people over 50, the decrease in mortality rates was less impressive but still substantial. After a peak in the mid-1990s, mortality due to varicella fell 67% in people over 50.

It should also be noted that this period encompassed the time when only one dose of varicella vaccine was recommended. In 2006, the recommendation was made for a second dose of vaccine, and we don’t yet have the data for that cohort. The results of this study were so impressive that they led the investigators to write in the discussion:

Our findings invite speculation regarding whether in the future varicella related deaths in the US could be eliminated or reduced to extremely low numbers, similar to several other vaccine-preventable diseases (eg, measles, polio). It is clear that the 1-dose varicella vaccination program with the high coverage achieved had a major impact on varicella deaths.

One weakness of this study is that it didn’t include incidence data. However, we know from numerous other sources that the incidence of varicella fell dramatically after the introduction of the vaccine, for instance, this source and this source, the latter of which cites the vaccine as decreasing varicella incidence by 90%, hospitalizations by 88%, and deaths by 74%. In other words, this study is not the only study showing this result. There are now a number of studies attesting to the efficacy of the varicella vaccine at preventing both chickenpox and complications and death from varicella infection.

It is a frequent tactic by anti-vaccine groups to target vaccines against illnesses that they view as “not so bad.” Chickenpox is viewed by many anti-vaccine advocates as being benign. In most children, it is not that serious, but it does have the potential to cause serious disability and death, which can almost completely prevented using the vaccine. In actuality, it is the anti-vaccine propagandists who are callous in this regard, as they will dismiss the saving of close to 100 children a year as being such a small number as to be “insignificant” or “not worth it,” ignoring the thousands of complicated cases there were every year before the vaccine. They also ignore the suffering children and adults with the disease endure. One of the few things I remember vividly from my childhood is just how uncomfortable and itchy I was when I got the chickenpox. The incessant itching is really hard for a child to endure. Anti-vaccine advocates dismiss all that; some of them even consider it healthy to give their children “natural immunity” to chickenpox by taking them to so-called “pox parties.” It’s a false dichotomy, of course. The immunity provided by vaccination is every bit as “natural” as immunity due to having endured the disease.

Unfortunately, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that anti-vaccinationists will not be swayed by evidence, data, science, or reason. The evidence for the safety and efficacy of vaccines is overwhelming, as is the evidence that vaccines are not associated with autism, making it incredibly unlikely that vaccination represents a cause of the “autism epidemic.” Vaccines like the varicella vaccine are attacked not because they’re ineffective, but rather because the diseases they prevent are not viewed by lay people as being as serious as other common vaccine-preventable diseases, such as pertussis or measles, but that’s just a smokescreen. After all, pertussis is clearly serious, a potentially deadly disease that can kill; yet anti-vaccine activists are somehow able to downplay its seriousness as well. That’s because, no matter how much it is denied, it’s always all about the vaccines. It always has been, and, I fear, always will be.

Comments

  1. #1 machintelligence
    July 27, 2011

    The term “shingles” has an interesting origin: it is a corruption of the latin word “cingulus” or girdle. The disease was named for the typical girdling pattern of the rash.

  2. #2 dmall observation
    July 27, 2011

    @Militant Agnostic:

    I think part of the pot troll’s problem is that it was unable to get a supply of the right dose of the right strain.

    So you are really showing lack of comprehension and ignorance of both psychiatry and pharmacology if you think his performance on this blog is a valid test.

    Did you notice how many people said he wasn’t asperger’s? I guess if he really was asperger’s then we’ve all proved him right, in a way.

  3. #3 Shingles Itself
    July 27, 2011

    When singles mingle in the dingily dell they get tingly shingles and foxglove makes them well.

    Well, dead. But at least they can’t infect anyone else 🙂

    My skool, the old skool, too kool for your shoal.

  4. #4 Julian Frost
    July 27, 2011

    Orac, I think Jacob is sockpuppeting again.

  5. #5 lilady
    July 27, 2011

    @ Venna and others: Ignore the sock puppets and anyone who recommends any “natural” treatment or vitamins for any sort of herpes outbreak. Antivirals, among them Acyclovir mentioned in a prior that was used for my son’s chicken pox, is one of those FDA approved treatments.

    Also, before the licensing of the vaccine, when natural disease was prevalent and most often acquired in early childhood, there were still some younger women who hadn’t acquired it. These small number of women, when they became pregnant and then got the disease were in danger of having a baby with congenital varicella syndrome, which could leave the baby with lasting effects impacting on intellectual development.

    Treatment for women in the early stages of pregnancy and for the baby who whose mother developed varicella 5 days before or 2 days after delivery should receive prophylaxis VZIG (Varicella Zoster Immune Globulin). Children whose mothers have no (blood test) proof of immunity (or are perhaps vaccine refusers)and who are born at or less than 28 weeks gestation, should also get VZIG.

    VZIG is not readily available in the United States, but is available under FDA regulations as an “Investigational Use” immunological immune globulin, available through a Canadian manufacturer. Sometimes, it is also advisable for certain specific immune compromising conditions.

    Expectant mothers years ago only wished there was a vaccine for Rubella and some had children with congenital rubella syndrome.

    When anti-vaxers spread their woo, they never mention the dangers of denying children Chicken Pox vaccine; chicken pox is harmless, you know.

    Just how long will it take to have infants with congenital varicella syndrome being reported as a consequence to the anti-vaxers activities?

  6. #6 William Stewart
    July 27, 2011

    I should look this up myself, but since I’m lazy I’ll ask:
    Is it true, as I believe I have heard, that the chicken pox virus can remain “in the nerves” for decades and later cause trigeminal neuralgia?

  7. #7 lilady
    July 27, 2011

    @ William Stewart: See our postings above for shingles that are caused by an earlier case of chicken pox. The neuralgia caused post shingles is called “postherpetic” neuralgia and it can be extremely painful, last for months or years and it extremely debilitating.

  8. #8 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Chris,

    It is thought that being around children who have chicken pox keeps the adult’s immune system activated against the herpes zoster (what the call the shingles/chicken pox virus). So with fewer children actually getting chicken pox, the vaccine is a good substitute.

    No stupid fool. Just like any other vaccine, the herpes vaccine is a second serving of VZV for herpes-loving people like you. Regardless of whether the adults are again exposed to VZV from wild or vaccine type, it will only lead to an infectious process. Hey dumbo, listen, children with active varicella infection do not protect, they infect. Geez. Also it is not the reason because there are fewer children getting chicken pox but instead on the contrary, every one year old children or so are deliberately infected with VZV which would qualify them for herpes later in life. Yup, you’ve created a batch of infected people, thanks to vaccine, who will eventually graduate with a diploma on Herpes. Hence, tada….the shingles vaccine for the blind!

    Educate yourself and let go of your superstitious belief.

  9. #9 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Venna,

    I didn’t know, until this post, that chicken pox and shingles were a herpes virus. I wonder how many other people don’t know.

    Don’t worry. I knew it from your very first post that you are one of those pretenders who squeal rather than talk.

  10. #10 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Venna,

    Perhaps a new awareness campaign should be launched to educate people to what it really is, because knowing that I think would steer a lot of people away from purposefully infecting their children with herpes virus. Just a thought.

    I’m sure you’re ignorant not knowing that shingles qualification also includes deliberate VZV vaccination you’re rigorously promoting among children.

  11. #11 Venna
    July 27, 2011

    @ Thingy

    I knew form the first post I read of you that you are insane and seem to actually live in the Land of La La rather then inhabit the real world like the rest of us. Time for you to go away because you really add nothing to the discussion other then the laugh factor.

    You remind me of a woman in a training class for a job I had years ago (working for General Motors) when she asked the trainer, in all seriousness, “There’s more parts to a car then the wheels?” DUH!!

  12. #12 lilady
    July 27, 2011

    @ Venna: Stay away (ignore) any and all postings from he/her/it whose name shall not be spoken. He/she/it is a one-trick pony with bizarre verbiage word salad and getting very frustrated that we are carrying on discussions while ignoring any troll postings.

    Remember Rule # 14 Don’t feed the trolls.

  13. #13 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    National data on deaths for which varicella was listed as an underlying or contributing cause were obtained from the Mortality Multiple Cause-of-Death records from the US National Center for Health Statistics.

    And the immediate cause of death is almost always iatrogenic. No doubt about it.

  14. #14 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Orac,

    More evidence for the effectiveness of vaccines

    How about giving your herd some hard evidence of the effectiveness of varicella vaccine in causing chicken pox and herpes?

    Give your best shot.

  15. #15 JohnV
    July 27, 2011

    You’re the only one who says that because you’re the only one who is stupid and defines “infection” in that idiotic manner.

  16. #16 Chris
    July 27, 2011

    Thingy must have written the Htrae dictionary.

  17. #17 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    JohnV,

    You’re the only one who says that because you’re the only one who is stupid and defines “infection” in that idiotic manner.

    No most people thrive with deliberate ignorance and will choose to remain that way like living in a fantasy land.

    And you are stupid not to know this:

    J Immunol. 1989 Jan 15;142(2):636-41.

    T lymphocyte cytotoxicity with natural varicella-zoster virus infection and after immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine.

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine by using T cell cultures (TCC) generated by stimulating PBMC with VZV Ag and autologous VZV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cell lines as targets. Lysis of VZV-infected lymphoblastoid cell lines was observed by TCC from acutely infected subjects, naturally immune subjects, and recipients of the varicella vaccine. […]The demonstration of their persistence long after primary VZV infection may indicate a role for CTL in restriction of viral replication during episodes of VZV reactivation from latency.

    I know, I know. Every time I feed these hungry pigs with Science, they are gonna stop squealing and will remain quiet. Fact.

  18. #18 Beamup
    July 27, 2011

    As if we needed any more proof that the moron can’t read simple English.

  19. #19 René Najera
    July 27, 2011

    @Th1Th2

    I bet you $1 you have no clue how to translate what you just quoted into plain language. That is, you don’t know what you just quoted. You thought it supports your position that the vaccine is an infection, but you failed miserably, even with the bold typeface to emphasize something.

    You think that the first sentence is saying that “vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine” caused the “acute primary VZV infection”. It doesn’t. It is giving you a list of three items that were investigated:
    1) Cytotoxicity during primary VZV infection,
    2) Cytotoxicity in naturally immune subjects, and
    3) Cytotoxicity after vaccination.

    It’s called English. We speak it here in the States. (We try to, anyway.)

  20. #20 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Beamup,

    As if we needed any more proof that the moron can’t read simple English.

    Of course, idiots like you CAN read simple English. Now read this:

    Epidemiol Infect. 2007 August; 135(6): 883–886.
    Published online 2007 June 11. doi: 10.1017/S0950268807008849

    The pathogenesis of zoster was unclear until the modern age, when it was shown, using molecular techniques, that exactly the same virus that caused the primary varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection (either natural or from vaccine) causes zoster [1].

  21. #21 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Rene,

    You think that the first sentence is saying that “vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine” caused the “acute primary VZV infection”. It doesn’t. It is giving you a list of three items that were investigated:
    1) Cytotoxicity during primary VZV infection,
    2) Cytotoxicity in naturally immune subjects, and
    3) Cytotoxicity after vaccination.
    It’s called English. We speak it here in the States. (We try to, anyway.)

    English is not the problem fool! It’s just that you are blind and ignorant. It’s called the Comma! This one—->[,].

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine[…]

    As discussed above there are two sources of infectious VZV that causes primary infection: 1. natural 2. from vaccines

    Comma baby comma,,,

  22. #22 Richard Smith
    July 27, 2011

    I couldn’t find my wallet this morning, so I searched the bedroom, the living room and the car.

    Apparently the bedroom was both part of the living room and in the car. I did not know that.

  23. #23 Todd W.
    July 27, 2011

    Ooh! Time for a grammar lesson. Th1Th2, please tell me the difference in meaning between these two sentences (look closely at the punctuation):

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine by using T cell cultures (TCC) generated by stimulating PBMC with VZV Ag and autologous VZV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cell lines as targets.

    and

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine, by using T cell cultures (TCC) generated by stimulating PBMC with VZV Ag and autologous VZV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cell lines as targets.

    One of these has the meaning that René provided and one has the meaning that you provided. Which is which?

  24. #24 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Richard Smith,

    I couldn’t find my wallet this morning, so I searched the bedroom, the living room and the car.
    Apparently the bedroom was both part of the living room and in the car. I did not know that.

    Haha. As usual, Rule #2, analogies to the rescue. Why not, they can’t argue with straight Science so they need an escape mechanism. But here’s something that confirms your sheer ignorance.

    Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus
    Natural History, Risk Factors, Clinical Presentation,
    and Morbidity

    Thomas J. Liesegang, MD

    Herpes zoster is the second clinical manifestation of VZV infection and occurs only in individuals who have had primary VZV infection (varicella) by either wild-type or vaccine-type VZV.

    Damn infection-promoters! Shame on all vaccinators!

  25. #25 herr doktor bimler
    July 27, 2011

    Grammar lessons: the Oxford comma.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma

  26. #26 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Todd W.,

    Ooh! Time for a grammar lesson. Th1Th2, please tell me the difference in meaning between these two sentences (look closely at the punctuation):

    The gist of the argument is that Rene created an ambiguity in his assertion where he cannot prove it:

    1) Cytotoxicity during primary VZV infection, [So? Where did the infectious VZV come from?]
    2) Cytotoxicity in naturally immune subjects [caused by wild-type VZV]
    3) Cytotoxicity after vaccination. [caused by vaccine-type VZV]

    Rene is clearly clueless in number 1 and does not understand Science.

  27. #27 René Najera
    July 27, 2011

    So, at this point, he’s basically just mad-Googling anything and everything that he can find and sorely misreading what he finds.

    Herpes zoster is the second clinical manifestation of VZV infection and occurs only in individuals who have had primary VZV infection (varicella) by either wild-type or vaccine-type VZV.

    Notice the OR in the statement. You CAN get a PRIMARY (initial, first, never before until now) infection with either A) the wild-type virus or B) the vaccine-type virus. People with compromised immune systems know “B” to be true with regards to the attenuated viruses of any vaccines. However, your immune system has to be really, really compromised.

    The rest of the world only has to worry about A) the wild-type virus. For that, there is a vaccine. As a result, you can have an infection with either A) the wild-type virus OR B) the vaccine-type, but not both.

    Listen, folks, English is my second language, and I’m getting tired of giving this troll so many lessons in usage of the language. Is there any way we can find out his address to send him the Elements of Style or some such?

    By the way, someone owes me a dollar.

  28. #28 Richard Smith
    July 27, 2011

    I did not know that grammar was one of the sciences. Not only that, but when the argument itself is poorly constructed, there’s no sense in addressing the science until a sensible argument is made.

    Analogies are useful when communicating with people for whom facts are far over their head. Especially when even their large intestine is over their head.

  29. #29 René Najera
    July 27, 2011

    Rene is clearly clueless in number 1 and does not understand Science.

    Ha! I laughed out loud at that one. Or “LOLd”, as the kids say nowadays.

    Here, let me write it slowly, so you may understand:

    1) Cytotoxicity during primary VZV infection, [So? Where did the infectious VZV come from?]{It came from unvaccinated individuals with an active infection.}
    2) Cytotoxicity in naturally immune subjects [caused by wild-type VZV]{These are subjects who have since recovered from the infection. This is not during the infection. It is after the infection.}
    3) Cytotoxicity after vaccination. [caused by vaccine-type VZV]{This is not during an infection because there is none. This is not after an infection because there was none. These subjects are perfectly healthy subjects who were vaccinated.}

    These three types of individuals are mutually exclusive.

    Do try to keep up, lad. It’s English. It’s not that complicated, is it?

  30. #30 Chris
    July 27, 2011

    There is a reason I claim Thingy lives on Htrae.

  31. #31 TBruce
    July 27, 2011

    Troll1Troll2 does not speak English. He/she/it speaks its own language, which is impossible to translate into anything that makes sense to the other 6 billion people who share our world. Replying to Tr1Tr2 is the ultimate in futility.

  32. #32 herr doktor bimler
    July 27, 2011

    To sum up: in the abstract of a publication, the authors followed normal comma usage (“[1], [2] and [3]”) rather than the Oxford comma usage (“[1], [2], and [3]”).

    Someone cites this as evidence that [2] and [3] belong together, as if — against all reason — the authors have asserted them to be identical.
    One can always check the text of the publication, and of course this turns out not to be what the authors mean…

  33. #33 Beamup
    July 27, 2011

    Worse than that, actually. The Thing claimed that *1* and 3 were the same thing.

  34. #34 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Rene,

    Notice the OR in the statement. You CAN get a PRIMARY (initial, first, never before until now) infection with either A) the wild-type virus or B) the vaccine-type virus.

    Oh the stupidity. It’s “OR” because you cannot vaccinate a person, primarily, with active natural varicella infection….(Remember acute primary VZV infection?)

    People with compromised immune systems know “B” to be true with regards to the attenuated viruses of any vaccines. However, your immune system has to be really, really compromised.

    …nor someone with compromised immune system. That’s barbarism. But hey, since vaccinators are modern-day barbarians, they will still proceed in promoting primary varicella infection, regardless of individual risks because telling them that it’s just “priming” would sound good in the ears of ignorant parents when in reality, in means primary varicella infection.

    The rest of the world only has to worry about A) the wild-type virus. For that, there is a vaccine.

    A vaccine you’re promoting to make people qualify for herpes. Nice one.

    As a result, you can have an infection with either A) the wild-type virus OR B) the vaccine-type, but not both.

    You’re just repeating the same nonsense. Anyway have you ever heard of re-infection with VZV despite having been naturally immuned or vaccinated?

    Listen, folks, English is my second language, and I’m getting tired of giving this troll so many lessons in usage of the language. Is there any way we can find out his address to send him the Elements of Style or some such?

    Trans: I love herpes and I promote it. That’s English.

  35. #35 Composer99
    July 27, 2011

    The troll-Blight continues unabated.

  36. #36 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Rene,

    1) Cytotoxicity during [acute] primary VZV infection, [So? Where did the infectious VZV come from?]{It came from unvaccinated individuals with an active infection.}

    Idiot. That would be number 2. It’s clear you’re ignorant about immunology when infection-induced cytotoxicity is elicited during the acute phase of the infection. That’s so disingenuous of you to delete “acute” from the original post.

    2) Cytotoxicity in naturally immune subjects [caused by wild-type VZV]{These are subjects who have since recovered from the infection. This is not during the infection. It is after the infection.}

    If this after the infection, then cytotoxicity is irrelevant. HMI would then be assessed. This means the naturally immuned subjects are the ones with active primary wild-type varicella infection.

    3) Cytotoxicity after vaccination. [caused by vaccine-type VZV]{This is not during an infection because there is none. This is not after an infection because there was none. These subjects are perfectly healthy subjects who were vaccinated.}

    Indeed, you are a germ-denialist. Worse, you even deny cytotoxic response.

  37. #37 Rene Najera
    July 27, 2011

    Troll, you’re not making any sense. How am I a germ-denialist? I’m both a germ and a denialist?

    Or did you mean a “germ denialist”, who is someone that denies germs? (Bad hyphen usage.)

    I suggest you take a break, clean off all the spittle from your keyboard, get some sleep, wake up tomorrow morning and go take some reading comprehension courses at the local community college, and then come back and try to argue moot points with the big boys. How about it, big guy? I know you can do that AND finish your potty training as well. Deal?

    There’s a treat in it if you do.

    And, for those of you keeping score at home, the score is Meaning Of The Word “Infection” 7 – Troll 0.

    (HINT: It has to do with disease states.)

    Lastly, calling Varicella zoster “herpes” is like calling me “orangutan” because we’re both in the same taxonomic family. (He should get some basic science along with those reading comprehension classes.)

  38. #38 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 27, 2011

    A little friendly* advice, Thingy—you’re talking to no-one but yourself with this nonsense, because no-one else here accepts your idiosyncratic definition of the word “infection” as: “anything to which the attention of your immune system has been called.”

    So if you have multiple sclerosis, have you been “infected” with myelin? If you have lupus erythematosus, have you been “infected” with collagen? If you have rheumatoid arthritis, have you been “infected” with synovial cartilage? I’ve got some news for you, Thingy—by your definition, you’ve been “infected” with tens of millions of different things in your lifetime. Better hide under the bed!

    *Not intended to be a factual statement.

  39. #39 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    CG,

    Or did you mean a “germ denialist”, who is someone that denies germs? (Bad hyphen usage.)

    That was intentional. It means you’re mercurial. You are an infection-promoter on one end and a germ denialist on the other end.

    I suggest you take a break, clean off all the spittle from your keyboard, get some sleep, wake up tomorrow morning and go take some reading comprehension courses at the local community college, and then come back and try to argue moot points with the big boys. How about it, big guy? I know you can do that AND finish your potty training as well. Deal?

    Big boys? Nah. Just boys(??) with big ego and tons of projection and reaction formation.

    Lastly, calling Varicella zoster “herpes” is like calling me “orangutan” because we’re both in the same taxonomic family. (He should get some basic science along with those reading comprehension classes.)

    “Herpes” sounds attractive than “zoster” like “priming” is to “primary infection”. Do you have any violent reaction to that or do you prefer the more common herpetic term called shingles? What now herpes-lover?

  40. #40 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Rev,

    A little friendly* advice, Thingy—you’re talking to no-one but yourself with this nonsense, because no-one else here accepts your idiosyncratic definition of the word “infection” as: “anything to which the attention of your immune system has been called.”

    Infection applies to pathogens or disease-causing microorganisms. Now, take another look at your inane examples as to why educated people would not call them infections. Neither do I.

    Got more fairytale examples?

  41. #41 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 27, 2011

    Now, take another look at your inane examples as to why educated people would not call them infections. Neither do I.

    “Educated people” on the one hand, you on the other—now you’re getting it, Thingy.

    Btw, the only reason my examples are “inane” is because they follow your idiotic definition of “infection”. Yes, they’re inane. Very good. You’re halfway there. Now tackle your circular definition of “pathogens or disease-causing microorganisms” as “things causing infection” and “things causing infection” as “pathogens or disease-causing microorganisms”. I’ll take question-begging for $200, Alex!

  42. #42 Th1Th2
    July 27, 2011

    Now that I don’t hear anymore grunting and squealing from these Science-deprived creatures, it only means they are full.

    It’s amazing how Science can solve world hunger.

    Till next time.

  43. #43 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 27, 2011

    Now that I don’t hear anymore grunting and squealing from these Science-deprived creatures, it only means they are full.

    Translation: “Lalalalala, I can’t hear you!”

    Sounds like I really penetrated her thick hide this time.

  44. #44 Rene Najera
    July 27, 2011

    Oh, I’m sorry? Is someone writing about infections without really knowing the true definition of the word?

    Just because you call something an infection doesn’t make it so, herpes-lesion.

    (See what I did there?)

  45. #45 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 28, 2011

    For anyone that’s confused about the experiment that the troll is misrepresenting, here is a summary in layman’s terms of what they did. They took blood from three groups of people: 1) those with an acute primary infection (wild-type), 2) those who had had an acute infection in the past (wild-type), 3) those who had been vaccinated in the past (LAV-type). They then cultured these blood samples, and added cells infected with VZV (wild-type). They then measured the ability of the white blood cells to kill the infected cells (cytotoxicity), as well as how indiscriminate they were in killing. Apparently, they were quite interested that the CD4+ T-cells were expressing CTL in all the groups – the last sentence of the abstract the troll quote-mined (he withheld about half of it) alludes to the long-lasting CTL memory and how it may have a role in preventing shingles.

  46. #46 StuartG
    July 28, 2011

    Back to Orac’s original…

    I’ve seen children hospitalised with varicella. I’ve felt helpless as one died in spite of everything we could do.

    The vaccine isn’t (yet) on the schedule here. When it is, I’ll be one of its greatest supporters. Anything that will prevent such distress and agony is worth it.

  47. #47 MikeMa
    July 28, 2011

    In spite of the admonitions to not feed the trolls, I skip their comments and still learn much from the responses. I do understand it gets tedious but it is still helpful.

  48. #48 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 28, 2011

    For anyone that’s confused about the experiment that the troll is misrepresenting, here is a summary in layman’s terms of what they did.

    Thank you, WKV! That clarifies a great deal, and as a side bonus, it does show how silly Goofus is when it insists that this abstract means all three groups are identical.

  49. #49 triskelethecat
    July 28, 2011

    @W. Kevin Vickland: nice summary but for those of us who either have not learned or forgotten their immunology, would you please explain what CTL is? I have forgotten most of the abbreviations.

    @StuartG: Yeah, I wish my kids could have had the vaccine over the disease. But I’m glad that they have at least aquired immunity. One of the saddest sights I saw in obstetrics was a young woman with chickenpox, near term, in the ICU fighting for her life (baby died of congentital chicken pox after birth, the mother barely made it with a lot of sequelae; don’t know if she ever fully recovered). I bet if you had asked her or her family, they would have jumped at the chance of a vaccine.

  50. #50 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 28, 2011

    Gah! I garbled the bit about CTL. I should know better than to post when I’m that tired. CTL are cytotoxic T-lymphocytes, aka killer T-cells, that kill off infected cells. After infection is resolved, most die off, but some are retained as memory cells, which are capable of quickly differentiating back into active CTL when a new infection is detected.

    Here’s the portion of the abstract most relevant to CTL:

    CD4+ CTL may function as an important primary host response in acute varicella. Immunization with live attenuated varicella vaccine induced VZV-specific, memory CTL responses comparable to those of naturally immune subjects. The demonstration of their persistence long after primary VZV infection may indicate a role for CTL in restriction of viral replication during episodes of VZV reactivation from latency.

  51. #51 René Najera
    July 28, 2011

    Mr. Vicklund, thanks for that. If I understand correctly, that study and others are clarifying the misconception that the vaccine causes shingles directly, or primarily. In other words, the live attenuated virus (LAV) doesn’t somehow reactivate later and cause shingles.

    Shingles comes from the wild-type infection remaining dormant. With less and less wild-type out there because of immunization, older adults do not get to “boost” their immune system and keep the wild-type virus at bay. This leads to shingles.

    The shingles vaccine, then, is an attempt to artificially do this “boosting”. Correct?

  52. #52 Todd W.
    July 28, 2011

    @Thing

    Still waiting for your answer as to the difference between the two statements. You asserted that “during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine” meant that vaccination caused acute primary VZV infection, but that is not at all what the paper stated. You messed up on your reading comprehension because you did not understand the structure of the sentence. So, again, tell me the difference in meaning between these two:

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine by using T cell cultures (TCC) generated by stimulating PBMC with VZV Ag and autologous VZV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cell lines as targets.

    and

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) specific cytotoxicity was investigated during acute primary VZV infection, in naturally immune subjects and after vaccination with the live attenuated varicella vaccine, by using T cell cultures (TCC) generated by stimulating PBMC with VZV Ag and autologous VZV-superinfected lymphoblastoid cell lines as targets.

  53. #53 lilady
    July 28, 2011

    @ W. Kenneth Vicklund: Thanks for the clarification of the CTL memory cells; your explanation jogged the memory cells in our brains to recall what we learned in immunology classes and in clinical practice.

    @ Rene Najeri: The ACIP Recommendations for zoster vaccine state that there is a boosting of immunity for adults who all had (estimated at 99 % by age 20) childhood chicken pox upon exposure to our children, who before licensing of the Varicella vaccine, acquired the disease. ACIP experts say these exposures boost our immune systems for approximately 20 years.

    Yes ACIP acknowledges that a slight bump up for the occurrences of zoster is to be expected because we lack the exposure to the pool of kids with chicken pox, since the wide-spread availability and use of varicella vaccine for young children past one year of age.

    Now, if we could only find out the secret location of the “chicken pox parties”, that anti-vax parents arrange to get their kids immunized with the far better actual virus, get ourselves invited to them and play with the kids with poxes, we could get the 20 year boosting benefit…just kidding.

  54. #54 W. Kevin Vicklund
    July 28, 2011

    @Rene 220

    Mr. Vicklund, thanks for that. If I understand correctly, that study and others are clarifying the misconception that the vaccine causes shingles directly, or primarily. In other words, the live attenuated virus (LAV) doesn’t somehow reactivate later and cause shingles.

    Not exactly. What it is testing for is whether the chickenpox vaccine will provide long-lasting protection against itself. Remember, this was back in 1989, when there was still a reasonable debate about whether to make the varicella vaccine part of the childhood schedule. One of the legitimate concerns was that it would provide protection from wild-type primary infection, but not from reactivation – the killer cells responding to the vaccination would not be able to target the types of cells that harbor latent VZV infection. This experiment provides evidence that they can, and that the protection is long-lasting. It’s a consideration that most vaccines don’t have to take into account.

    You can get shingles from the vaccine. That said, the incidence rate for shingles after vaccination is about 1/3 to 1/4 that of the wild-type incidence rate, the cases of shingles are much milder, and when DNA samples are taken, it is often wild-type virus that is actually causing the shingles (which means that the vaccine was only partially effective). Note that since the “due diligence” method the troll promotes has a failure rate of 90%+, the odds that a person will experience shingles more than doubles if they don’t vaccinate and live where VZV is endemic, and are many times more likely to experience a severe case.

  55. #55 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Beamup,

    Worse than that, actually. The Thing claimed that *1* and 3 were the same thing.

    It’s a known fact. Re-read #189.

  56. #56 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Kevin,

    For anyone that’s confused about the experiment that the troll is misrepresenting, here is a summary in layman’s terms of what they did.

    Layman’s terms? Then read #189 and #193.

  57. #57 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Kevin,

    Apparently, they were quite interested that the CD4+ T-cells were expressing CTL in all the groups – the last sentence of the abstract the troll quote-mined (he withheld about half of it) alludes to the long-lasting CTL memory and how it may have a role in preventing shingles.

    Dude, if you wanted to prevent shingles then you must prevent primary VZV infection. Apparently, the vaccinated and the naturally immune are already qualified for shingles. It’s just a matter of time.

    How fortunate are the unvaccinated and the uninfected.

  58. #58 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Rene,

    If I understand correctly, that study and others are clarifying the misconception that the vaccine causes shingles directly, or primarily. In other words, the live attenuated virus (LAV) doesn’t somehow reactivate later and cause shingles.

    Hahaha. I can smell the fear. Unfortunately sir, you’re carrying the indelible evidence of the virus. Sorry but you can always pray.

  59. #59 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Rene,

    Shingles comes from the wild-type infection [and from vaccines] remaining dormant. With less and less wild-type out there because of immunization, older adults do not get to “boost” their immune system and keep the wild-type virus at bay. This leads to shingles. The shingles vaccine, then, is an attempt to artificially do this “boosting”. Correct?

    Just looking at the ignorance of these people is simply amazing. Imagine that they have reached this stage of their adulthood and yet they are still full of superstitious beliefs and myths. Unbelievable. Please re-read #193.

    And kindly define “boost”? Is this some kind of a pogo stick? Talk in Science please.

  60. #60 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 28, 2011

    How fortunate are the unvaccinated and the uninfected.

    Of course, once enough are unvaccinated, everyone will get infected.

    Sorry but you can always pray.

    Yes, that will be your only recourse to try and stay uninfected once you’ve talked enough people into staying unvaccinated. Good luck!

  61. #61 herr doktor bimler
    July 28, 2011

    Then read #189 and #193.

    I’ve decided to wait for the movie.

  62. #62 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Todd W.,

    meant that vaccination caused acute primary VZV infection,

    Again, it’s a fact. Both the wild-type and the vaccine-type VZV cause primary VZV infection and shingles. Read 189 and 193. Sorry bad news for you and for your herd.

  63. #63 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    lilady,

    Now, if we could only find out the secret location of the “chicken pox parties”, that anti-vax parents arrange to get their kids immunized with the far better actual virus, get ourselves invited to them and play with the kids with poxes, we could get the 20 year boosting benefit…just kidding.

    Just kidding? No, go ahead and do it. Practice what you’ve been preaching here fool!

  64. #64 Krebiozen
    July 28, 2011

    How fortunate are the unvaccinated and the uninfected.

    Fortunate? They can never travel abroad, will never see the sun rise over the Nile, trek through the Thar Desert on camel back, or browse in a Moroccan souk, unless they either risk their lives or get vaccinated. They can’t travel by public transport or by airplane. They have to run, holding their breath, from the room if anyone coughs or sneezes. They have to live in constant fear of a return of diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox etc., that are extremely unpleasant or even life-threatening for adults. Fortunate my ass!

  65. #65 lilady
    July 28, 2011

    Thingy why don’t you get a new script? We are all so unimpressed with your broken record and your unique germ theories.

    Guess what Thingy you are harboring herpes zoster infection…it hangs out in basal ganglia cells of the peripheral nervous system. In your case with a damaged central nervous system, you might be harboring herpes zoster “lower down” where your rudimentary brain is located and where you pull your factoids out of.

    Now take your vile germ-ridden body back to the cave and your sock puppetmaster. Terminal disinfection doesn’t work for herpes zoster…or measles.

  66. #66 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Kevin,

    What it is testing for is whether the chickenpox vaccine will provide long-lasting protection against itself.

    Wha…wha…whaaat? So you gave them the virus and you’re also against the virus that you just gave. No wonder vaccination is a form of immunological masochism.

    One of the legitimate concerns was that it would provide protection from wild-type primary infection, but not from reactivation – the killer cells responding to the vaccination would not be able to target the types of cells that harbor latent VZV infection.

    Varicella vaccination would not prevent wild-type infection and latency because by the time the naive have acquired the vaccine virus, primary infection would set in, followed by latency and reactivation (caused by the vaccine-type VZV.)

    This experiment provides evidence that they can, and that the protection is long-lasting. It’s a consideration that most vaccines don’t have to take into account.

    Of course, because the vaccinated are sleeping with the enemy. They carry the virus that you’re promoting.

    You can get shingles from the vaccine.

    I wonder why the unvaccinated and uninfected can’t get shingles. Hmmm…must be…

    That said, the incidence rate for shingles after vaccination is about 1/3 to 1/4 that of the wild-type incidence rate, the cases of shingles are much milder, and when DNA samples are taken, it is often wild-type virus that is actually causing the shingles (which means that the vaccine was only partially effective).

    Liar. Here’s some Science dude:

    Epidemiol Infect. 2007 August; 135(6): 883–886.
    Published online 2007 June 11. doi: 10.1017/S0950268807008849

    The only explanation can be that zoster is due to reactivation of latent virus acquired during the primary infection. It is not caused by reinfection with VZV.

    Now stop barking up the wrong tree. You got the squirrel in your own backyard.

    Note that since the “due diligence” method the troll promotes has a failure rate of 90%+, the odds that a person will experience shingles more than doubles if they don’t vaccinate and live where VZV is endemic, and are many times more likely to experience a severe case.

    The unvaccinated and uninfected don’t qualify for shingles. We don’t have that you have…the squirrel. Sorry. Try again.

  67. #67 brian
    July 28, 2011

    Ah! The Firefox/Greasemonkey/killfile combination blocked seven posts by Th1Th2 in just over an hour! This is great.

  68. #68 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 28, 2011

    The unvaccinated and uninfected don’t qualify for shingles. We don’t have that you have…the squirrel. Sorry. Try again.

    Again with the freakin’ squirrels! Listen closely, Thingy:

    If. Enough. People. Fail. To. Get. Vaccinated. YOU. WILL. BE. INFECTED.

    End of story.

  69. #69 brian
    July 28, 2011

    Eight!

  70. #70 Th1Th2
    July 28, 2011

    Rev,

    Again with the freakin’ squirrels! Listen closely, Thingy:
    If. Enough. People. Fail. To. Get. Vaccinated. YOU. WILL. BE. INFECTED.
    End of story.

    You’re an infection promoter; that’s your job.

  71. #71 lilady
    July 28, 2011

    @ The Very Reverend: Thingy is infected and harboring herpes zoster…vile germ-ridden cave dwelling sock puppet.

  72. #72 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 28, 2011

    You’re an infection promoter; that’s your job.

    That’s some weapons-grade projection there, you imbecile.

  73. #73 Gray Falcon
    July 28, 2011

    Th1Th2 isn’t really aware that it’s possible to get infected without the use of vaccines.

  74. #74 lilady
    July 28, 2011

    @ The Very Reverend: If you analyze the fool’s statements such as:

    “You’re an infection promoter; that’s your job.” and compare them to Ugh Troll’s, you will come to the conclusion that Thingy is the sock puppet of the Ugh Troll.

    Thingy comes “out to play” when Ugh Troll does his frequent disappearing acts…usually when Ugh troll is queried about his education and gainful employment.

    Thingy/Ugh Troll will always offer support to other resident trolls who post here, but never supportive of each other’s postings…simpleton mind power at work…to think that throws us off the trail.

    Why am I even replying to the vile germ ridden, herpes zoster harboring Thingy…I feel dirty even looking at my laptop screen at the Thing’s postings. I have to “terminally disinfect” the laptop now.

  75. #75 Yoga Teacher Training
    July 28, 2011

    It is impossible to make a point to people who will ‘not be swayed by evidence, data, science, or reason.’ A senseless outcry, based on what they belief, may create repercussions that many people will suffer from. It is even possible that those who have no sound basis for their stand will be those who argue the loudest and become heard. Just my two cents…

  76. #76 Chris
    July 28, 2011

    Stupid spammer is still stupid.

  77. #77 lilady
    July 29, 2011

    @ Chris: Stupid sock puppet know-it-all spammer is still stupid sock puppet know-it-all spammer.

  78. #78 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    If you should ever find yourself lucky enough to go on a paradise yoga holiday, I urge you to get all the important vaccines. If for no other reason than they won’t let your kids attend the local nursery without them 😉

    As for Malaria tablets, yuk. I’ll take my chances with the mozzies (fine in Mysore or Koh Samui, don’t try try this in the Congo).

    This school (which I don’t work at) teaches woo-free yoga and Sanskrit : http://kpjayi.org/

  79. #79 Ashtanga London
    July 29, 2011

    Germ story:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=scientists-discover-that-antimicrob-2011-07-05

    Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick

  80. #80 Roger
    July 29, 2011

    Chris@61
    There are people like my sister and I who both had shingles for the first time,in our thirties.I’ve seen people here who have gotten it in their twenties.

    The younger you are the more relapses you get of it.I would say that it should be optional to people starting at college age.

  81. #81 Chris
    July 29, 2011

    Interesting point, Roger. Considering my biology professor got shingles as a graduate student. It happened during a particularly stressful period, which is common with those who get shingles.

  82. #82 Jarred C
    July 29, 2011

    Chris, an old girlfriend of mine had shingles in her teens. She still has shingle scars on her head near her right temple.

  83. #83 Chris
    July 29, 2011

    Jarrad C, yikes!

  84. #84 Politicalguineapig
    July 29, 2011

    *Raises hand* I’m one of the twenty-somethings that had shingles. Mine manifested as a case of Bell’s Palsy. One of the worst weeks of my life.

  85. #85 tielserrath
    July 29, 2011

    I remember intubating a previously well toddler who developed chicken pox encephalitis. It had been having continuous seizures for an hour when it arrived at hospital. A fit healthy child now severely intellectually disabled and need in 24hr care 12 years later.

    I think his parents would recommend the vaccine, too.

    Just a question (too much trolling upstream to search through; I’m at work and therefore no killfile), Are humans the only vector for these viruses? What’s the chance of eradication?

  86. #86 Th1Th2
    July 29, 2011

    tielserrath,

    Just a question (too much trolling upstream to search through; I’m at work and therefore no killfile), Are humans the only vector for these viruses? What’s the chance of eradication?

    Hey let me tell you something. This is not the right time to ask questions. Can’t you see they are in ignore mode and currently in a state of shock and disbelief of course this is after an ignominous defeat. So if I were you I’ll give your friends sometime to recover. Although I’m not optimistic they will recover.

  87. #87 TBruce
    July 29, 2011

    Troll1Troll2:

    Cineplex just called, you didn’t get the job.

    They said your projection skills are awesome, but you keep playing the same reels over and over – backwards.

  88. #88 Jarred C
    July 29, 2011

    As for Malaria tablets, yuk.

    Seriously. I had to take those for nearly a year as a preventative. Did you know that the medicine you take to treat malaria is the same medicine you take as a preventative? I had to take it when I was deployed to Iraq. My entire unit had GI problems the entire year. It was especially a problem when the only bathrooms we had available were miles away. And when you’re done, you have to take another medicine to counteract the malaria medicine (sorry, I don’t know what they’re called). Because of this second medicine, we were told that we were not allowed to donate blood for three years.

    Scientists Discover That Antimicrobial Wipes and Soaps May Be Making You (and Society) Sick

    Yeah, I’ve known about that for years. You’re basically creating super-bacteria. I was especially shocked when anti-viral wipes came out a few years ago! I don’t even know if they still sell/advertise those, anymore. As for the article’s basic premise – that antibiotic soaps actually cause people to be mildly sick more often – I’m really not surprised.

    The article also talks about triclosan. I’ve been told by Dr. Arlene Blum to avoid triclosan in toothpaste (this was a little over two years ago); apparently it’s used to battle gingivitis, but if you don’t have (or are not near having) gingivitis, then it does more harm than good.

  89. #89 Narad
    July 29, 2011

    If you analyze the fool’s statements such as: “You’re an infection promoter; that’s your job.” and compare them to Ugh Troll’s, you will come to the conclusion that Thingy is the sock puppet of the Ugh Troll.

    Nah. I’ve said it before, but I’ve spent enough time editing English-competent but nonnative speakers to pick up on some of Th1Th2’s tells. I don’t pay much attention to Augustine any more (viz., tell killfile to show his posts), but I don’t recall seeing any of the same markers.

  90. #90 novalox
    July 30, 2011

    @tielserrath

    AFAIK, I think that the varicella virus can also be carried by other primates, such as chimpanzees, orangutangs, and gorillas.

  91. #91 herr doktor bimler
    July 30, 2011

    Life is too short to conduct forensic textual analysis on comments just to tell if they’re coming from one annoying person or two.

    Are humans the only vector for these viruses?
    Wikipedia says that other primates are also prone to varicella.

  92. #92 Narad
    July 30, 2011

    Life is too short to conduct forensic textual analysis on comments just to tell if they’re coming from one annoying person or two.

    Oh, I have no intention of doing so. But those circuits ring all by themselves after thousands and thousands of pages.

  93. #93 Krebiozen
    July 30, 2011

    I came across this blog a while ago.
    Is this you Th1Th2?

  94. #94 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 30, 2011

    Yeah, I’ve known about that for years. You’re basically creating super-bacteria.

    Well, that’s only part of how antimicrobial soaps are apparently having deleterious effects in primary usage. Even if they weren’t exerting a selection pressure that encouraged the evolution of resistant strains, there’s indicators that they may be also damaging an already-existing defense against foreign bacteria.

  95. #95 Antaeus Feldspar
    July 30, 2011

    Krebiozen:  I can’t be sure, but I actually tend to lean away from the idea that they’re the same person, despite the very similar names and the similar dismissive attitudes towards vaccination.  

    Thingy has some very distinctive characteristics:  problems with English; an attitude that conversation is a bludgeon for hitting people over the head with what you believe rather than convincing others to believe it; her idiosyncratic belief that vaccination is infection.  That other blogger seems more fluent in English, seems to understand the value of putting together facts in an order aimed to support a conclusion (even if the facts and logic she employs are dubious), and most importantly, regards vaccines as something that could be made safely, a proposition our Thingy could never agree with.

    It’s rather a shame, actually; given the choice between the two, I’d rather have that other blogger here than Thingy.  We’d probably argue quite heatedly with her, but I’d rather argue heatedly with someone who can at least argue like an intelligent adult.

  96. #96 Th1Th2
    July 30, 2011

    This thread is done. The damage, unfortunately, is irreparable. I’ll go over at the SBM where my mythbusting continues and I’m expecting the same fate.

    Poor RI.

  97. #97 triskelethecat
    July 30, 2011

    So Brave Sir Robin is running away? Poor Thingy. Have fun on SBM where you also get your fallacies handed back to you in spades.

    I have always hated the proliferation of antimicrobial soaps, etc. I avoided them for years. My kids used plain (well, not so plain- Dove soap) to wash their hands before meals, etc. No unusual amount of illnesses as long as good hand-washing was in use. I can’t stand the women who run around with the wipes and Lysol. The scents make me ill, and I am waiting for the attack of the super bacteria.

  98. #98 Chris
    July 30, 2011

    On SBM she is claiming victory over RI, yet the only responses are reminders that she is a boring troll that should be ignored.

  99. #99 Lawrence
    July 30, 2011

    Of course, we could only be so lucky as to have her vacate the premises (for at least a while).

  100. #100 novalox
    July 30, 2011

    @Chris

    You have to admit, th1th2 delusional thinking and massive projection issues are worth a little chuckle, just to see how extreme to the Dunning-Kreuger curve she falls.

  101. #101 Jarred C
    July 30, 2011

    I can’t stand the women who run around with the wipes and Lysol.

    That was (still is) my mother. She also ran an in-home daycare center for nearly 20 years (newborn-3yo), with an average of 15 kids per day (mon-fri, 7am-6pm). So she was always a little obsessed with cleaning in order to help prevent illness among the day-care kids and her family.

    She’s retired now (which means that she only watches 2-4 kids per day), and every time I go back to visit her, she always apologizes for the mess in her spotless house.

  102. #102 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    July 30, 2011

    I honestly don’t think Augie and Thingy are the same person. Thingy is more obviously suffering from some psychological disorder, and probably isn’t American—at least English seems to be a second (or fifth) language for her. I suppose her deficit could be so profound it just seems that way.

    Augie is quite obviously an American, of a rather nasty right-wing Christianist type that would be fairly typical, except he’s chosen to identify with a movement that’s usually (rightly or wrongly) identified with the opposite end of the political spectrum. I suspect any signs of disordered thinking in his oeuvre are simply attempts to keep the cognitive dissonance from melting his brain.

  103. #103 Narad
    July 30, 2011

    Thingy is more obviously suffering from some psychological disorder, and probably isn’t American—at least English seems to be a second (or fifth) language for her.

    OK, I won’t visit the subject again. Th1Th2’s English is quite good, and, while having an idée fixe, it’s nowhere near as messed up as Augustine. If I had to, from the prepositional mix-ups, I’d guess German for Th1Th2. (I cannot rule out bias from having noticed its choice of INF-ß as an alter ego rather than finding an actual lc beta.) I haven’t noted any distinct issues with articles (swapping definite and indefinite, or simple omission), which mostly places it in Western Europe.

  104. #104 silvia
    August 2, 2011

    ..I read your article with great interest..I would like to understand how did you come to such ”comprehensive information” on this comprehensive site? Now what I would like to point out to you,which you might have missed,due to overwhelming data,when it comes to research,is one very obvious flaw in your posted article …If Varicella virus is not mild ,but truly dangerous & deadly..why is it then,that Varricella( CHicken pox) vaccine was never to this day part of UK’s vaccination shedule? This is interesting fact,that people in UK don’t need to be vaccinated,but people in the US (not sure about other countries),have mandatory Varicella vaccination??!…Now this brings me to my own conclusion-people in US must have different genetic makeup, to people in UK?..Now what about the rest of the world,it seems each country has got very different vaccination schedule…So what is very obvious here from this site,that person who wrote the article has not done their homework properly..Claiming Varicella being deadly in US..but mild enough in UK ( not used here) is very interesting fact indeed!..now I would like to scrutinize all vaccines & their schedules around the world..lets see what we”ll find..if this is science we need to rely on then I say..no thank you!

  105. #105 Chris
    August 2, 2011

    silvia:

    ..If Varicella virus is not mild ,but truly dangerous & deadly..why is it then,that Varricella( CHicken pox) vaccine was never to this day part of UK’s vaccination shedule?

    It is not because it is mild in the UK. Go up and read StuartG’s comment. It is apparently due to some strange fear of shingles, which is discussed in the previous comments.

  106. #106 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    @ Sylvia: I suggest you visit the U.K.’s equivalent of the CDC’s website, to ascertain the policy for not implementing varicella vaccine as a recommended childhood vaccine. We have many posters here from outside the United States…from Europe, the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand…to name just a few.

    The CDC has the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) with a huge number of experts on the actual committee as well as “advisors” who sit in on each quarterly meeting. The original recommendations for licensing for use and implementing their recommendations are available on their website, as well as all updated recommendations. Because the United States Public Health Departments (County and State) are all computerized any outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases is reported quickly to the local health department and outbreaks of a serious nature such as measles within local jurisdictions or multi-state are immediately fully investigated and reported to the CDC, via the “Epi Info” computerized program. BTW laboratories, treating physicians, hospital staff are required to report to the health departments evidence of an infectious disease.

    As vaccine preventable diseases approach extinction (polio and now measles) they have the highest priority for reporting.

    Localities, State Health Departments and the CDC have the ability to determine the true efficacy of the newer vaccines, once they are used widely, post licensing field testing. Any episodes of breakthrough with one shot, may be cause to re-visit the one shot for life dosage…hence the recommendation to increase measles vaccine to a two dose series and the recent recommendation to switch from one dose to the two dose series for varicella immunization.

    I hope you followed Stuart G,’s comment that Chris provided you and that you find comparable agencies in the U.K. that determine which childhood vaccines are “recommended”…which are not…and the reasons behind those decisions.

    Well nourished children in Western countries are not more susceptible to childhood disease and their potential serious consequences and there are no “genetic” gene differences between kids in the U.S. and the U.K. to account for any increased risk to children who are not immunized.

  107. #107 Silvia
    August 3, 2011

    @lilady..Varicella is not vaccinated in many countries-Slovakia,Czech republic,Poland.UK..feel free to find more.The real reason behind reasons to vaccinate it US is this:
    Merck the maker of said vaccine convinced the US powers that be that this vaccine would decrease incidence of chicken pox and so save 4 billion dollars every year, savings made when mothers / carers would not need to take time off work. It was not bought in as a health measure!
    The virus was initially obtained from a child with natural varicella, then introduced into human embryonic lung cell cultures, adapted to and propagated in embryonic guinea pig cell cultures and finally propagated in human diploid cell cultures (WI-38).” -just an example

    Do you really want human and animal DNA injected into a baby? And would you use a product that has no control group and no benign placebo?

    Japan also has this vaccine and in both countries the far more serious Shingles has increased!

    The other potential problem with this vaccine is that it is given with the MMR so 4 live virus vaccines are given together. And if you know a dozen parents of autistic children you will have heard at least one story that their child had or was recovering from chicken pox when they had the MMR…this is pure scaremongering of people,we don’t need ”needle health”-what is needed = educate people how to eat healthy,starting with educating parents on nutrition & well being…Not feeding kids nutrient depleted food( cooked in microwaves!) and topping it with ”needle health! False & misleading advertising promoting unhealthy food as healthy- tricky food labeling,which becomes a crystal maze for an average person..this is absurd health policy & it needs to change.
    Lastly,the common cold is dangerous to those with seriously compromised immune system !!!!!

  108. #108 Krebiozen
    August 3, 2011

    I can also vouch for the fact that varicella is no milder in the UK than anywhere else. A fit and healthy young colleague of mine contracted chicken pox, having somehow avoided getting it as a child, and was very ill indeed. He was off work for 3 months. There are about 30 deaths every year in the UK from chicken pox, mostly in adults.

    There are several reasons the varicella vaccine is not yet routinely used in the UK, mostly related to cost. Cost of the vaccine in children, the expected increase in shingles in older people which would lead to demand for a vaccine in those older people, which would lead to even more cost. Remember all this would have to come out of the public purse, which is not exactly full at present. BTW, from what I have seen, it is not strange at all to fear shingles – it doesn’t look very alluring to me!

    I’m sure UK policy makers are watching to see what happens in the US. Sooner or later I hope and expect the varicella vaccine to become part of the routine vaccination schedule in the UK.

  109. #109 Silvia
    August 3, 2011

    ’Well nourished children in Western countries are not more susceptible to childhood disease and their potential serious consequences and there are no “genetic” gene differences between kids in the U.S. and the U.K. to account for any increased risk to children who are not immunized.’’
    MY comment with regards to difference in genetic makeup between two countries was a sarcastic remark to point out the ridiculous so called ‘’dangers’’ of virus in some countries but not the others! Hope I cleared this little misunderstanding for you…
    Now that brings me to first part of your statement: ’’Well nourished children In Western world’’…
    The fact- kids are not well nourished –simply because they eat mostly junk, nutritionally depleted food. They are less fit than generation was 50 years ago-physically& nutritionally…yes people did’t have as much 50 years ago,but they didn’t eat so much of processed,irradiated & GM food, food laden with pesticides & herbicides,therefore they were much fitter with no chronic & degenerative disease..So to feed our kids nutritionally depleted food& then topping it with toxic cocktail & animal DNA-in vaccines is a recipe for disaster-I don’t have to look at statistics, I just need to look around-at kids with eczema, chronic ear infections, ADHD, allergies,hayfever ME, Autism, obesity, birth defects, rise in cancers…not my kids,not vaccinated no allergies,no eczemas,no ear infections..very strong & healthy.

  110. #110 JohnV
    August 3, 2011

    Oh no, animal DNA in vaccines? What’s the problem Silvia? Scared of homologous recombinaltion tiniker?

  111. #111 Militant Agnostic
    August 3, 2011

    Silvia

    I don’t have to look at statistics, I just need to look around

    Translation – Don’t bother me with with facts and evidence, I have prejudices and opinions!!!

  112. #112 Vicki
    August 3, 2011

    No chronic and degenerative diseases fifty years ago? Maybe your parents and grandparents were in great health all their lives, but plenty of other people were living with things like multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and heart problems. I can’t speak to the UK experience, but in the U.S. it’s not that we have more disabled kids than we used to: it’s that we don’t lock them up in institutions, they’re out and about, in school and on playgrounds and so on. That can look like “more degenerative diseases,” but it’s not.

    If you’re that worried about what your kids are eating, start a garden so you can give them food without the herbicides you’re worried about, and you can easily find a list of what they’d have gotten via rationing in 1946 or so. There is no law requiring you to go to the chip shop, or feed your kids Ribena or Coke or any of that stuff.

    You might also want to think about why my cat, in New York, is legally required to have a rabies vaccine, and my friend Maureen’s cat, in Kent, isn’t.

  113. #113 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    See no good deed goes unpunished. Unaware of Sylvia’s anti-vax feelings…and now other bizarre “theories”…I open a conversation with her and worked kinda hard to provided her with some great informative resources. See Sylvia, I am still on a learning curve about human nature…I don’t look for hidden agendas and devious human behavior…but I’m learning.

    Sorry guys, for being so trusting. Feel free to kick this troll around.

  114. #114 Th1Th2
    August 3, 2011

    ..If Varicella virus is not mild ,but truly dangerous & deadly..why is it then,that Varricella( CHicken pox) vaccine was never to this day part of UK’s vaccination shedule?

    Don’t expect Orac to respond to your query. He has since been hiding in latency. This thread died ages ago. Also, do your homework before posting questions because ignorant questions like that attract ignorant people.

  115. #115 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    Ignore delusional nasty troll who remains delusional and nasty.

  116. #116 Calli Arcale
    August 3, 2011

    Silvia:

    The fact- kids are not well nourished –simply because they eat mostly junk, nutritionally depleted food. They are less fit than generation was 50 years ago-physically& nutritionally…yes people did’t have as much 50 years ago,but they didn’t eat so much of processed,irradiated & GM food, food laden with pesticides & herbicides,therefore they were much fitter with no chronic & degenerative disease..

    It is a myth that children are generally undernourished in America today, with the exception of children in extreme poverty* and children who are being abused, who don’t get much to eat. They are getting enough of all the basic nutrients. The problem is that they’re getting too many of other things (e.g. calories, cholesterol, carbs, protein) and not nearly enough exercise.

    It is also a myth that kids fifty years ago didn’t eat”processed,irradiated & GM food, food laden with pesticides & herbicides”. Okay, maybe not much irradiated food, and the GM food was GM by the traditional method of selective breeding. But processed? Oh, my heavens yes. Ever seen a cookbook from this period? Pesticides and herbicides? Definitely. Fifty years ago was the 1960s, and pesticides were used much more indiscriminately than they are today.

    Kids definitely are less fit today, but I think the real culprit is our lack of exercise. We sit almost all the time now, and we do that to our kids too. In 1960, you might have half a dozen channels to choose from in a large market. Today, it’s hundreds. And we’re bored by most of them. We have huge DVD libraries, Netflix, On Demand, and also, of course, the Internet. Same thing we’re using here while we sit on our duffs and wonder why our kids are getting fat.

    That’s also probably a large part of why asthma, diabetes, and heart disease rates have gone up — lack of exercise is a significant risk factor for all three.

    * And there are more of these than most people realize. I fear that the current anti-obesity campaigns in school districts may be lethal to some of these kids, who currently get the majority of their nutrition through subsidized or free school lunches. If I had to pick, I’d rather have fat kids than starving kids, after all, but it’s not an easy thing to apply to a school lunch program.

  117. #117 triskelethecat
    August 3, 2011

    I want to know where Silvia grew up in the UK (and how old she is).IIRC, there was food rationing after WWII until the mid 1950’s. Those people weren’t getting good, healthy diets because the food wasn’t available.

    And, at least in the US in the 1960’s and 1970’s, I could easily point to

    kids with eczema, chronic ear infections, ADHD, allergies,hayfever ME, Autism, obesity, birth defects, rise in cancers

    I would say that diets were good in those days, at least in Silvia’s mind, few vaccines (DTP, smallpox) all her negatives didn’t (lol) exist back then.

    But I can name:

    kids with exzema (a classmate),
    chronic ear infections (myself),
    ADHD (several friends, not diagnosed as children but as adults – was not a “known” diagnosis back in those days), allergies and hayfever (my brother, several family members, many friends),
    autism (another classmate and several family members, not diagnosed but who surely fit the criteria of AS or Autism or PDD-NOS),
    obesity (several classmates),
    birth defects (she’s kidding, surely? WAY too many people/stories to relate),
    rise in cancers (OK – more kids live these days with cancer; in my childhood many of them died)

    Sure, good diets, exercise, modern plumbing all help. But they are not “alternative” in any way.

    It’s so nice that Silvia knows her children are protected because she has intelligent neighbors who immunize and therefore keep herd immunity up. I hope she never has to deal with the diseases she could have prevented.

  118. #118 lilady
    August 3, 2011

    @ Calli Arcale: Sylvia is a thick as a plank. Try asking “Plank” for some citations…then the fun and games will begin.

  119. #119 Chris
    August 3, 2011

    silvia:

    Do you really want human and animal DNA injected into a baby? And would you use a product that has no control group and no benign placebo?

    I answered you nicely and sincerely, and then you turned into this!

    There was probably a placebo research group for the varicella vaccine when it was developed more than twenty years ago in Japan. Though the children would not have been denied other vaccines.

    All you have to do is do a research of the relevant medical research in PubMed. But since you are just making a bunch of statements without providing any kind of evidence, I will assume that you prefer to make up or just parrot certain questionable websites.

  120. #120 Bronze Dog
    August 3, 2011

    I suspect the problem that leads to so many alties pining for the old utopias of the past is that they never really paid attention to their elders, in addition to ignoring the historical data.

    I remember back when I was a kid, reading the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, as well as some of my grandmother’s other Mark Twain books, how much disease came up as a topic.

    My grandmother grew up during The Great Depression, and she saw the face of disease throughout much of her life. She took college biology, so she understood what was going on, and she was also a geneology buff with some publications about local families, so she knew about children dying from preventable diseases, and she knew about “off” children ending up institutionalized, out of public view. It probably didn’t help that “blame the mother” was often the public’s null hypothesis when it came to psychological oddities.

    Life was much harsher than it’s depicted in the movies. When I read trolls wishing for the “good old days,” it seems like they believe health is taken for granted, like in movies, where no one gets sick unless the plot says so.

    Lack of neurological problems? Well, I’m pretty confident that there’s a genetic side: I have Aspergers (diagnosed just last year, as an adult). It’s not an official diagnosis, but we’re convinced my dad has it as well: We’re quite similar in our behavior and modes of thought, and my mother had to give me a lot of the same social lessons she gave to my dad.

  121. #121 LW
    August 3, 2011

    My mother nearly died of chronic sinusitis in the Forties. My uncle suffered with asthma his whole life, starting in the Forties. My grandmother was the youngest of four children; so far as I know none of them had chronic diseases, but it’s hard to tell because two died in infancy of (now) vaccine-preventable diseases.

    Ah, the Good Old Days when people were so much healthier and didn’t have chronic diseases.

  122. #122 Antiquated Tory
    August 8, 2011

    @triskelethecat,
    Don’t know if it’s true but it’s common wisdom that the ration diet was the healthiest diet that Brits have had, maybe ever. What was rationed? Fat, sugar, bread (briefly postwar), white flour, dairy, meat, bacon, imported fruit. What was not? Domestic fruit and veg, fish (though during the war am not sure how much fish was coming in.) At the same time, since food was distributed according to ration points rather than bought for money, poor Britons may have had increased access to meat and dairy. I’m sorry though, I cannot dig up a decent cite. I’ll have to go back through my copy of Austerity Britain to see if there are any references in there.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.