I’ve been so busy writing about things like Dr. Stanislaw Burzysnki’s highly exaggerated cancer claims, which have become a new favorite topic of mine despite the fact that Dr. Burzynski himself has been plying his “alternative” cancer treatments for over three decades, and one of my long time topics, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), that I actually missed a couple of vaccine-related posts that would normally affect me the way catnip affects cats. Also, after two days of doing even longer than the usual Orac-ian screeds, one of which required quite a bit of research, it’s time for a bit of lighter fare.

And, again, the anti-vaccine movement provides.

It’s always mildly embarrassing to me whenever bloggers whose usual areas of interest aren’t the antivaccine movement pick up on a particularly loony bit of anti-vaccine hysteria and are all over it before I am, given that I tend to pride myself on having my finger on the pulse of the anti-vaccine movement to the point where I normally am among the first to pick up on these things. Whether or not that is, in fact, anything I should actually be proud of is, of course, another question. Very long time readers might recall that many years ago (well, more than six, to be precise), I came across a book by an anti-vaccine activist who apparently fancied himself a science fiction writer. I’m referring to the hilarious conspiracy novel The Vaccine Aliens by Ray Gallup, which tells the tale of a father whose child develops autism after (of course!) getting the MMR vaccine and then who later stumbles upon the reason why. It turns out that not only does the MMR vaccine cause autism, but that it’s a plot by shape-shifting aliens to destroy the human race with vaccines. I kid you not. As I so frequently say about the loonier depths of the anti-vaccine movement, you just can’t make this stuff up. At least, I can’t, although apparently people like Ray Gallup can. David Icke, had he known of this novel, would have been proud.

However, camp like The Vaccine Aliens, as hilariously inept as it was, is far more amusing than it is dangerous. No one, not even anti-vaccine activists, takes it seriously, with the possible exception of David Icke, who is a crank that many other cranks like to look down upon in order to reassure themselves that, no matter how little respect they get, at least they’re not as ridiculed as David Icke. What’s not so amusing are books like this one, a children’s book by Stephanie Messenger entitled Melanie’s Marvelous Measles:

i-b066c20c705ad85c7da6343450dce4b8-measles.jpg


The blurb advertising the book reads:

This book takes children aged 4 – 10 years on a journey of discovering about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations, while teaching them to embrace childhood disease, heal if they get a disease, and build their immune systems naturally.

That’s right. What we have here is a children’s book designed to promote anti-vaccine views. Even worse, it explicitly tries to tell children to “embrace childhood disease.” Yeah, I’m sure children with whooping cough who are coughing so hard that they can’t catch their breath for hours on end, with haemophilus influenza type b who develop pneumonia or meningitis, with polio who develop paralysis, or with measles who develop pneumonia or subacute sclerosing panencephalitis will feel happy to “embrace childhood disease,” at least those who don’t end up dead, who can’t embrace anything other than the grave. Too bad such diseases don’t give them a chance to “build their immune system naturally.” As much as people like Messenger might, The Secret-like, wish otherwise, nature doesn’t listen to their fantastical thinking, and microbes that cause vaccine-preventable diseases are not swayed by their wishes.

From my perspective, sentiments like this one, which, deny it as they might, many anti-vaccine parents subscribe two, some of whom will even explicitly admit as much, strike me more than anything else as a twisted misunderstanding of evolution, in which it’s “survival of the fittest” combined with a Nietzschean “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.” This attitude boils down to, in essence: Screw all those other kids who suffer severe complications or even death due to vaccine-preventable diseases! If your child suffers such consequences, he must have been worthless and weak (no doubt thanks to your not using enough woo to “boost his immune system naturally), and maybe surviving a serious disease will make him stronger. Of course, as Christopher Hitchens so eloquently put it recently, the Nietzschean claim that “that which does not kill us makes us stronger” is such utter nonsense that it’s hard to understand why anyone can believe it otherwise. As Hitchens points out using as an example his own esophageal cancer that is not-so-slowly killing him, there “are all too many things that could kill you, don’t kill you, and then leave you considerably weaker.” Several vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses certainly fall into that category. SSPE after measles, for instance.

It’s also hard not to point out here that the very reason that parents of unvaccinated children can get away with not vaccinating and labor under the delusion that their children are so much healthier than vaccinated children (they aren’t) is because nearly everyone else does vaccinate. Herd immunity is a wonderful thing, and many anti-vaccine parents, either knowingly or not, “hide in the herd.” They might not be so blithe about the glories of vaccine-preventable diseases if they actually saw the complications diseases like the measles, pertussis, Hib, and the like, as our grandparents and great grandparents did. Or maybe they wouldn’t. After all, for some of these diseases serious complications are relatively uncommon, with most children surviving the disease with no sequelae, and for those in which such complications are not, think of the “natural immunity” the survivors develop! After all, that which does not kill us makes us stronger, right?

Most of the time, no.

Beliefs that living a healthy lifestyle, getting enough exercise, and taking the right vitamins and supplements will magically render their children “naturally immune” to diseases like the measles, pertussis, Hib, and other vaccine-preventable diseases are the happy delusions (to anti-vaccinationists) that allow the author of this book, Stephanie Messenger, to proclaim things like this:

I have 3 healthy, totally unvaccinated children, who have never had a childhood disease. Unlike their vaccinated friends who have often succumb to the diseases they have been vaccinated against. I kept these children fit and well using what is provided by nature – natural foods, clean water, sunshine, clean air, exercise, adequate sleep and a loving and nurturing environment.

Confirmation bias, much, Stephanie?

Of course, clean water, sunshine, clean air, exercise, adequate sleep, and a loving and nurturing environment are all good things, as far as children’s health goes. No one claims otherwise. They are not, however, enough. Messenger and her children are fortunate enough to live in a population where vaccine uptake levels are high, which is almost certainly the real reason why she’s been fortunate enough that her last three children have not contracted any vaccine-preventable childhood diseases. It’s been pointed out that Messenger is a friend of Meryl Dorey, founder of the rabidly anti-vaccine group, the Australian Vaccination Network and is active in the Australian anti-vaccine movement, having written a book with Dory herself entitled Vaccination roulette: experiences, risks and alternatives.

One aspect of this book that I haven’t seen anyone else touch upon is Messenger’s story as described on her website. To put it briefly, Messenger blames vaccines for the death of her child of a condition that isn’t identified and is unclear. The death of a child is a horrible thing, something no parent should have to watch and no child should have to suffer. Unfortunately, Messenger’s tragedy has led her to become an anti-vaccine activist because, searching for a reason for the death of her baby, she latched on to vaccines as the cause:

This is my journey….

I can’t say I believed in vaccination. I knew nothing about it, but had it done anyway. It’s what you do, right? You do what doctors and baby health clinics tell you and what your parents and the media advise you to do. Well I did it, without so much as a question or thought into it. Within moments of my son receiving his immunisations he was screaming. This continued for most of the day and when he wasn’t screaming he was crying. This was unusual as he was a very happy, placid baby, who was already rolling over at 8 weeks and gooing and gahing at the first sight of his mother. The doctor told me his reactions were ‘normal’ and he’d be OK in a couple of days.

After the first day he had almost recovered with only some irritability and restlessness noticeable. As the weeks passed he continued to reach milestones and all appeared OK.

So notice here that Messenger’s baby appears to have had a mild reaction to a vaccine that lasted a day or two, after which he recovered and continued to reach all of his milestones.

After the next round of vaccinations at four months of age, apparently her son started vomiting and having seizures, after which he began a slow deterioration that ultimately led to his death. it’s a sad story, and it’s hard not to sympathize with Messenger and her child, but let’s not let sympathy cloud our critical thinking skills and lead us to accept her anecdote uncritically or her conclusion that vaccines killed her baby. As is the case with most anecdotes, not enough information is given to let us know what happened. No diagnosis is given, and apparently doctors couldn’t come to a diagnosis. From what I could glean from Messenger’s story, my first thought was whether this child had an inborn error of metabolism of some kind, several of which first manifest themselves in the form of seizures in infancy. Whether that’s what Messenger’s baby had or not, who knows? It might explain why physicians had a hard time diagnosing it. These sorts of disorders are rare causes of seizures and neurologic deterioration, although many of them are associated with seizures. It’s certainly not clear from Messenger’s story whether her baby’s deterioration was cause by vaccines; confirmation bias likely clouds her memory. In any event, she is utterly convinced that vaccines killed her child:

Vaccination killed him, I have no doubt. If he crawled under the sink and drank the same poisonous concoction of heavy metals, formaldehyde, foreign proteins, multiple viruses and a host of other toxins, the emergency room would have called it poisoning. Because it was injected into his body, it’s called ‘a coincidence’! Funny about that, and I have since met many parents with similar stories.

She concludes:

My unvaccinated children are alive and well and my vaccinated child is dead! That’s what I know and live with every day.

Against an emotional response like this, all the skeptics in the world labor in vain. It is about as unlikely that we’ll ever convince Messenger that she is wrong about vaccines as it is that there is a single molecule of a homeopathic remedy being left in a 30C dilution. We can and must, however, combat her message. As sympathetic as we might be about her loss, that loss mustn’t stop skeptics from combatting Messenger’s spreading of anti-vaccine pseudoscience, such as claims that vaccines cause SIDS (they don’t; in fact they are probably protective against it) and flagrant use of the emotional power of her story to convince parents that vaccines killed her child and therefore they should not vaccinate.

The death of a single child, whatever the cause, is a tragedy. If we want to see a lot more of these tragedies, all we have to do is to be complacent and let the vaccination rate fall too far below herd enormity.

Comments

  1. #1 Science Mom
    December 18, 2011

    Well duh LW, public health measures to keep toddlers out of the dirt, away from each other and on side walks were implemented in 1969 and substantial uptake of said measures were finally achieved in the 1980’s.

  2. #2 LW
    December 18, 2011

    Ah, of course, thank you Science Mom. I knew there was a rational explanation that didn’t have anything to do with vaccination.

  3. #3 Narad
    December 18, 2011

    one thing that was notable is that prior to the measles vaccine, there were about fifty cases of SSPE per year in the U.S., but by the early 90s, a researcher was only able to turn up two in the previous four years even though, of course, the population has grown substantially since the early 60s

    THAT’S HOW THEY HIDE IT!!! It’s just like AFP, except for the parts where there’s nothing even resembling an increase in SSPE and laboratory results regarding the latter are immaterial through some sort of temporal inheritance but no stone may be left unturned for the former. Haha, you are hiding up the wrong barking squirrel! GAME OVER!!!

  4. #4 AdamG
    December 18, 2011

    I just love/hate it when Thingy attempts to wade into genetics and molecular biology. It’s highly entertaining and extremely depressing all at once.

  5. #5 Th1Th2
    December 18, 2011

    Pseudo-science Mom,

    Although measles is a monotypic virus, 22 genotypes of wild-type virus are recognized; many genotypes have been associated with endemic circulation of measles virus in certain geographic regions or have been documented in connection with an outbreak or epidemic in an area [4, 5]. The measles vaccine virus strains belong to genotype A and can be distinguished from wild-type virus of the same genotype by means of sequence analysis.

    Nothing extraordinary about that whatsoever. It’s just a comparison between VT and WT measles virus, not with the SSPE virus.

    Also the following findings below do not reveal anything new or unusual.

    Analyses of measles virus sequences in brain tissue samples obtained from patients with SSPE have identified only wild-type measles virus, and the virus genotypes identified have been consistent with the genotype of measles virus that circulated in the area where the patients lived and to which the patients had been exposed ⩾10 years before the onset of symptoms of SSPE [6, 9 –13].

    This would be true if the subject has had a history of primary measles infection caused by the wild-type measles virus prior to measles vaccination if there is any. Hence….

    Genetic studies have supported epidemiologic evidence that measles vaccine virus does not cause SSPE [6, 14, 15].

    Is true since SSPE is not caused by MV re-infection.

    In cases of SSPE that developed in children or adults who had no history of measles but who did have a history of vaccination against measles virus, analysis of measles virus sequences derived from the patients confirmed the presence of the wild-type genome, indicating that the individuals had an undiagnosed measles virus infection.

    Would only be true if primary measles infection caused by wild-type precedes primary measles vaccination.

    Wild-type measles infection, not measles vaccine strain.

    If the former precedes the latter in the order of occurence, yes.

    Oh what’s that SFB? Still quoting a 1960’s, pre-molecular testing, study? A case of correlation =/= causation given the lack of assays. SSPE was always a concern, since it’s identification.

    Of course, if SSPE was really a concern back then there would be an SSPE surveillance prior to the introduction of measles vaccine right? So when was it established?

    Also, this in 1969: h_ttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001185.htm

    A case of SSPE is defined by CDC as an illness with a compatible clinical course plus one of the following items of supporting laboratory evidence: 1) measles antibody detected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), 2) a characteristic pattern on electroencephalography, or 3) typical histologic findings in brain biopsy material or tissue obtained on postmortem examination.

    Schneck in 1968. Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality, p. 135

    The first report of SSPE in a patient with a negative history of measles but a positive history of vaccination with live attenuated measles vaccine was reported in 1968 (Shneck, 1968). The child had received measles vaccine with immune globulin 3 weeks prior to the onset of symptoms. The clinical course accelerated 10 weeks after vaccination, and the child died 18 months after vaccination. Serologic studies were not performed, but post-mortem histologic examination of the brain supported a diagnosis of SSPE.

    Ouch!

    And you can’t find a single shred of evidence that the vaccine virus causes SSPE. Keep trying though, your mental gymnastics are Olympic-grade and entertaining.

    A pig with a lipstick is still a pig.

  6. #6 Th1Th2
    December 18, 2011

    Game Over. Infection promoters!

  7. #7 adelady
    December 18, 2011

    Toddlers stay on footpaths. Out of the dirt? !!!

    Good to know that these little dog bowl lickers, sandpit samplers, potting soil connoisseurs will be free of all desire for contact with any non sterile substance in just a few short months.

    From Australia’s advertising industry … http://www.jalna.com.au/common/advertising.html (First one on the page.)

  8. #8 Krebiozen
    December 18, 2011

    Game Over. Infection promoters!

    Are you joking? How is the presence of one virus in the brains of people with a brain disease evidence that a different virus which wasn’t found in their brains actually caused the disease? And how is a dramatic decrease in the incidence of a disease after the introduction of vaccination evidence that the disease is caused by vaccination? Bonkers, absolutely raving bonkers…

  9. #9 Denice Walter
    December 18, 2011

    @ Krebiozen:

    I am starting to believe that Thingy is indeed a personification of an archetype of the collective unconscious**, emerging from the deep and shadowy recesses of time at the dawn of our species, as an amalgamation of humanity’s speculative-thought-gone-astray over the millenia which now steps forth to grace us with its appearance. Lucky us.

    ** non-existent but serviceable as a metaphor.

  10. #10 Science Mom
    December 18, 2011

    Nothing extraordinary about that whatsoever. It’s just a comparison between VT and WT measles virus, not with the SSPE virus.

    Oh, then let me help you (again, the same quote with emphasis added):

    Although measles is a monotypic virus, 22 genotypes of wild-type virus are recognized; many genotypes have been associated with endemic circulation of measles virus in certain geographic regions or have been documented in connection with an outbreak or epidemic in an area [4, 5]. The measles vaccine virus strains belong to genotype A and can be distinguished from wild-type virus of the same genotype by means of sequence analysis.

    I know these blindingly obvious statements of fact are easy to miss, but do try. Ooops, spoke to soon, must don my Captain Obvious cape for Colonel Oblivious here…

    Also the following findings below do not reveal anything new or unusual.

    Analyses of measles virus sequences in brain tissue samples obtained from patients with SSPE have identified only wild-type measles virus, and the virus genotypes identified have been consistent with the genotype of measles virus that circulated in the area where the patients lived and to which the patients had been exposed ⩾10 years before the onset of symptoms of SSPE [6, 9 –13].

    Oh, what’s that? No vaccine virus found? That isn’t going to stop shit-for-brains though, no way she knows TEH TWOOF.

    This would be true if the subject has had a history of primary measles infection caused by the wild-type measles virus prior to measles vaccination if there is any.

    Nah, it doesn’t matter that some subjects have had asymptomatic or unreported wild-type measles infection and doesn’t matter that vaccine virus has never been isolated and genotyped from an SSPE patient, SFB marches on…

    f the former precedes the latter in the order of occurence, yes.

    Pssst (and no this isn’t one of the voices in your head), no vaccine virus sequenced…ever.

    Of course, if SSPE was really a concern back then there would be an SSPE surveillance prior to the introduction of measles vaccine right? So when was it established?

    You keep thinking this is some sort of ‘gotcha’ but given the progression of identifying the illness and the presumption that the vaccine could theoretically cause SSPE, it isn’t surprising that a U.S. registry began in 1969. Yet, even your own cites do not support a vaccine-strain SSPE case and even archived tissue samples do not support a vaccine-strain SSPE case. Go ahead, find a single sequence in the literature or on GenBank that supports your claim.

    A pig with a lipstick is still a pig.

    That’s the only correct thing you’ve said but do use a mirror when you put that lipstick on, although clown face does suit you.

  11. #11 Narad
    December 18, 2011

    That’s the only correct thing you’ve said but do use a mirror when you put that lipstick on

    It hasn’t dragged this scavenged idiom out in a while. The last time, naturally, it managed to drive it over a cliff in amusing fashion:

    Whoever you are, you are funny. What is your evidence to prove that the pig with a lipstick is NOT a pig?

  12. #12 TBruce
    December 18, 2011

    That’s the only correct thing you’ve said but do use a mirror when you put that lipstick on, although clown face does suit you.

    That explains why the Thing regularly shoots herself in the foot – those big clown feet are hard to miss.

  13. #13 Marry Me, Mindy
    December 18, 2011

    Tangentially related –

    Speaking of vaccines, it would be really nice if there was a hand, foot, and mouth disease vaccine. I realize it’s generally not fatal or even serious, but man it’s a PITA for kids. Much rather get a vaccine.

  14. #14 notdrew
    December 18, 2011

    This is wonderful.Brave New World-wonderful. Evidence-illiterates up at arms over a children’s book while nary a peep about the CDC,FDA or the military-medical-pharmaceutical industrialists who consider them their useful idiots.

    I’m going to take a bet that no one on this site has the expertise or intellect of Maurice R. Hilleman,Ph.D…..right? All of you should defer to Dr. Hilleman, correct? Denise Walter? Lilady? LW? Come on, I’m sure all of you are really,really smart and stuff, but what about Dr. Hilleman? Won’t someone please think of Dr. Hilleman??!!!!?? Science Mom, you’re excluded; you’re obviously the smartest bitch around.

    “Maurice R. Hilleman Ph.D., a leading expert on immunization, developed over 40 vaccines and published more than 480 original articles on virology, epidemiology, immunology, and infectious diseases.
    Two years ago, a 1991 confidential memo from Dr. Hilleman to the head of Merck’s vaccine division was made public.(2) In the memo, Dr. Hilleman wrote “The regulatory control agencies in some countries, particularly Scandinavia (especially Sweden) but also UK, Japan, and Switzerland have expressed concern for thimerosal, a mercury preservative, in vaccines. Some countries require absence of thimerosal from single-dose package. This trend will probably spread… Sweden is requiring thimerosal free single-dose packaging of all products as soon as can be reasonably achieved. The deadline for DT is January, 1992… “The focal point for present concern is in Scandinavia… The immediate Merck concern is to be able to qualify for sale of single-dose products in Sweden and in Norway and Denmark… The public awareness has been raised by the sequential wave of experiences in Sweden including mercury exposure from additives, fish, contaminated air, bird death from eating mercury-treated seed grains, dental amalgam leakage, mercury allergy, etc… In some instances, public immunization programs may be endangered by public refusal to accept vaccines with thimerosal.”
    Dr. Hilleman went on,
    “For babies: The 25 µg of mercury in a single 0.5 ml dose and extrapolated to a 6 lb baby would be 25X the adjusted Swedish daily allowance of 1.0 µg for a baby of that size… If 8 doses of thimerosal-containing vaccine were given in the first 6 months of life (3 DPT, 2 HIB and 3 Hepatitis B) the 200 µg of mercury given, say an average size of 12 lbs would be about 87X the Swedish daily allowance of 2.3 µg of mercury for a baby of that size.”
    To put all this into perspective: In 1991, we have an international expert (and the # 1 US vaccine expert) on vaccines telling the chief of the vaccine division of the largest US vaccine manufacturer that it is imperative to immediately produce mercury-free vaccines for Scandinavian children in order to avoid exposing them to unacceptable levels of mercury and to guarantee a market share.
    All this while the CDC and the FDA were introducing a new mercury-containing vaccine and no one, including members of the medical profession, was uttering not a word and doing absolutely nothing, about the copious amounts of mercury that were being injected in American infants.”

  15. #15 notdrew
    December 18, 2011

    This is wonderful.Brave New World-wonderful. Evidence-illiterates up at arms over a children’s book while nary a peep about the CDC,FDA or the military-medical-pharmaceutical industrialists who consider them their useful idiots.

    I’m going to take a bet that no one on this site has the expertise or intellect of Maurice R. Hilleman,Ph.D…..right? All of you should defer to Dr. Hilleman, correct? Denise Walter? Lilady? LW? Come on, I’m sure all of you are really,really smart and stuff, but what about Dr. Hilleman? Won’t someone please think of Dr. Hilleman??!!!!?? Science Mom, you’re excluded; you’re obviously the smartest bitch around.

  16. #16 notdrew
    December 18, 2011

    “Maurice R. Hilleman Ph.D., a leading expert on immunization, developed over 40 vaccines and published more than 480 original articles on virology, epidemiology, immunology, and infectious diseases.
    Two years ago, a 1991 confidential memo from Dr. Hilleman to the head of Merck’s vaccine division was made public.(2) In the memo, Dr. Hilleman wrote “The regulatory control agencies in some countries, particularly Scandinavia (especially Sweden) but also UK, Japan, and Switzerland have expressed concern for thimerosal, a mercury preservative, in vaccines. Some countries require absence of thimerosal from single-dose package. This trend will probably spread… Sweden is requiring thimerosal free single-dose packaging of all products as soon as can be reasonably achieved. The deadline for DT is January, 1992… “The focal point for present concern is in Scandinavia… The immediate Merck concern is to be able to qualify for sale of single-dose products in Sweden and in Norway and Denmark… The public awareness has been raised by the sequential wave of experiences in Sweden including mercury exposure from additives, fish, contaminated air, bird death from eating mercury-treated seed grains, dental amalgam leakage, mercury allergy, etc… In some instances, public immunization programs may be endangered by public refusal to accept vaccines with thimerosal.”

  17. #17 notdrew
    December 18, 2011

    Dr. Hilleman went on,
    “For babies: The 25 µg of mercury in a single 0.5 ml dose and extrapolated to a 6 lb baby would be 25X the adjusted Swedish daily allowance of 1.0 µg for a baby of that size… If 8 doses of thimerosal-containing vaccine were given in the first 6 months of life (3 DPT, 2 HIB and 3 Hepatitis B) the 200 µg of mercury given, say an average size of 12 lbs would be about 87X the Swedish daily allowance of 2.3 µg of mercury for a baby of that size.”
    To put all this into perspective: In 1991, we have an international expert (and the # 1 US vaccine expert) on vaccines telling the chief of the vaccine division of the largest US vaccine manufacturer that it is imperative to immediately produce mercury-free vaccines for Scandinavian children in order to avoid exposing them to unacceptable levels of mercury and to guarantee a market share.
    All this while the CDC and the FDA were introducing a new mercury-containing vaccine and no one, including members of the medical profession, was uttering not a word and doing absolutely nothing, about the copious amounts of mercury that were being injected in American infants.”

  18. #18 TBruce
    December 18, 2011

    @notdrew:

    LOLWUT?

  19. #19 LW
    December 18, 2011

    Science Mom sort of alluded to this, but it is surprising to learn that the connection between the measles virus and SSPE wasn’t fully understood until 1968. After that, of course, it was subject to surveillance because of the fear — not justified, fortunately — that the measles vaccine virus, though attenuated, would still be able to cause SSPE.

  20. #20 notdrew
    December 18, 2011

    @TBruce
    aaaaaaaaaaaarahhhhhhhhh!!!!!Ha-ha! LOL! You got me! Maurice R. Hilleman doesn’t exist! I made him up! Let’s all resume our CDC bootlicking!

  21. #21 LW
    December 18, 2011

    Whoa, we got another live one!

  22. #22 Science Mom
    December 18, 2011

    Ah, what’s a quiet Sunday night without a hit of the ol’ http://www.whale.to/vaccine/hilleman_h.html

    And speaking of hits, methinks notdrew is toking on something other than the whale.

  23. #23 TBruce
    December 18, 2011

    I made the LOLWUT comment before comments 415 and 416 appeared. After reading them, and finding out that they were an uncredited cut’n’paste from whale.to, my comment remains:

    LOLWUT?

  24. #24 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 18, 2011

    Notdrew, you do realize that it’s bad form to cut and paste text you find from websites and not disclose where it came from, don’t you? Not to mention, when your source is whale.to, a site which also hosts the infamous anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, you won’t be as impressive as you think.

    The part of the Hilleman story which you seem to be ignorant of is that Hilleman was not saying “ZOMG, you gaiz, mercury is TEH EVILZ and every second it is in vaccines we are KILLING TEH BABIEZ,” he was saying “there is reason to be concerned, and to investigate, to find out if the mercury in vaccines is causing a problem.” The question was raised, the question was studied, and the results came back, but since the answer they gave wasn’t the one the antivaccine alarmists wanted to hear, they ignore that, and they leave out everything after “Brilliant Maurice Hilleman raised the question, therefore the answer is VAxxines IS EVUL! We describe every other scientist who has anything to do with vaccines as an evil agent of Satan, but anyone who says something we can quote-mine suddenly becomes a genius!”

  25. #25 Chris
    December 18, 2011

    notdrew, you do know that Ms. Messenger is in Australia. The CDC and FDA are American. The only thing they have in common is that they start with the letter “A.”

    And while Hilleman did actually exist, we will assume your comments about his actions will have been pulled out of thin air unless you back them up.

  26. #26 novalox
    December 18, 2011

    @notdrew
    Thanks for your unabashed stupidity. Your utter ignorance and spit-filled conspiracy-theory mongering is going to provide some welcome entertainment, child.

    So keep on rolling the stupid. I’ll be ready for the laughs at your pitiful expense.

  27. #27 notdrew
    December 19, 2011

    @novalox
    you’re not really interested in providing any evidence that thimerosal in vaccinations isn’t at all deleterious, no, you’re intellectual level is much more accustomed to throwing around terms like “conspiracy”.Stay in the shallow end.
    The LA Times verified the existence of the 1991 Merk memo that became the possession of Washington lawyer James Moody.

  28. #28 notdrew
    December 19, 2011

    @antaeus

    The alarming evidence of the dangers of mercury in vaccinations in the 1991 internal Merk memo has been independently verified in one instance by Dr. Rashid Buttar, whose son Abi made a full recovery from autism after mercury detoxification. As Dr. Bob Nash, Chairman Of The American Board Of Clinical Metal Toxicology stated, “when thirty-one children recover from the devastating disease by a simple transdermal treatment that detoxifies metals, then common-sense dictates that perhaps metals are involved”. That the military-petrochemical-pharmaceutical-industrial complex has no clothes is evident but to useful idiots who swallow what they are told.

  29. #29 Chris
    December 19, 2011

    notdrew, what thimerosal in pediatric vaccines? They were removed over ten years ago! Come join us in the 21st century, and argue something that is current.

  30. #30 novalox
    December 19, 2011

    @notdrew

    Yawn, you made the claim, you provide the evidence, though I doubt from your comments so far that you’ll ever provide any.

    And you cut-and-pasted your idiotic screed from a section of whale.to, so you lose the argument automatically, via Scopie’s law.

    But do keep paying the role of the ignorant fool, it makes for some mildly good and silly entertainment.

  31. #31 Delurked lurker
    December 19, 2011

    Interested in reading the thread RE the trolls. My 2 cents worth is, it’s best to adopt the sageous advice Chris gave, talk about them but not to them.

    I do prefer when Orac gets off issues to do with the anti vax crowd, far less odious brain dead trolls in the replies.

    Cheers 🙂

  32. #32 herr doktor bimler
    December 19, 2011

    And you cut-and-pasted your idiotic screed from a section of whale.to

    I suspect that if the commenters wanted to debate these interesting views, they would go to whale.to and try to change the mind of the actual author, rather than some lazy troll cut-&-pasting sections here. As they say, when you can talk to the organ-grinder, who wants to talk to the monkey?

  33. #33 lilady
    December 19, 2011

    I think I prefer to read current research about vaccines from real researchers, not the drivel posted on whale.to by its blog owner…the pig farmer.

    “when thirty-one children recover from the devastating disease by a simple transdermal treatment that detoxifies metals, then common-sense dictates that perhaps metals are involved”

    Want to expand on that “notdrew”…I’m especially interested in the “transdermal” treatment of “mercury” toxicity.

  34. #34 Denice Walter
    December 19, 2011

    Hilleman has been flung around recently @ GaryNull.com/ ProgressiveRadioNetwork.com):
    Null and Ashley, Deadly Injection: The Hidden Ingredients in Vaccines; 12/5/11
    Null and Ashley, Flu Vaccines- The Coverup- The Fraud; 11/30/11.
    “Oh what a tangled web we weave…..”
    I rest my case.

  35. #35 Krebiozen
    December 19, 2011

    I’m sure this has been discussed here before, and it’s really of historic interest only, but I always wondered about that quote from Hilleman’s memo, as it’s such an odd way of putting the cumulative dose of thimerosal. I can only assume he was pointing out that the numbers could be manipulated to be misleading to the ignorant:

    If 8 doses of thimerosal-containing vaccine were given in the first 6 months of life (3 DPT, 2 HIB and 3 Hepatitis B) the 200 µg of mercury given, say an average size of 12 lbs would be about 87X the Swedish daily allowance of 2.3 µg of mercury for a baby of that size.

    The LA Times, and many others, reported this to mean:

    6-month-old children who received their shots on schedule would get a mercury dose up to 87 times higher than guidelines for the maximum daily consumption of mercury from fish

    It’s understandable that some people lacking a background in science, like notdrew it seems (though I am too kind to refer to him as one of the “useful idiots who swallow what they are told “), thought that children were being given a daily dose of mercury 87 times higher than the safety limit.

    A closer reading shows this wasn’t what Hilleman said at all. He said that over the course of 6 months (about 180 days), a 12 pound baby was being given about 87 times as much mercury as would be safe for it to be given every single day. A better way of putting it, perhaps, would be that on average over six months that baby would have been given 1.1 µg of mercury a day, less than half the Swedish daily allowance of 2.3 µg a day for a baby that size. Also worth noting, a safety allowance like that means that the Swedes had determined that a baby that size could be given 2.3 µg of methylmercury every day forever without any problems. A large safety margin is built in.

    If someone consumed a bottle of wine every Saturday night, you could point out that over the course of six months they would have consumed 24 bottles of wine, which is considerably more than the recommended daily allowance of alcohol, and could be fatal if consumed in one day. This would clearly be a nonsensical non sequitur, but some people seem happy to swallow a similar nonsensical non sequitur where thimerosal in vaccines is concerned.

  36. #36 Krebiozen
    December 19, 2011

    I’ve been thinking of names for sequels (or should that be sequelae?) to ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’. I thought of ‘Eric’s Exciting Encephalitis’, ‘Natalie’s Nice Pneumonia’, ‘Harry’s Happy Hepatoma’, ‘Carrie’s Super Cervical Cancer’, ‘Mary’s Magnificent Maternal Rubella Syndrome’ or even ‘Fiona’s Fun Funeral’. The possibilities are almost endless…

  37. #37 Renate
    December 19, 2011

    How about “Iris’ Interesting Iron Lung”?

  38. #38 Th1Th2
    December 19, 2011

    Fake Science Mom,

    SSPE was always a concern, since it’s identification. A vaccine was developed that sharply declined SSPE incidence.

    You do realize, don’t you that you’re one of a kind delusional liar? Pure fantasy and wild imagination, only you know best.

    OK. Exactly when did SSPE become known as a disease of measles virus etiology. Let’s take a look, shall we? h_ttp://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/6/1334.full

    SSPE was originally described as three different neuropathological conditions in the 1930s and 1940s.4 A viral aetiology was suggested when the condition was first described in 1933, but it was not until 1967–69 that measles viruses were established as the cause. When live measles vaccine became available in the early 1960s, the aetiology of SSPE was therefore unknown.

    Now here’s Chris with her infamous measles reduction scheme and take note of the year when SSPE was first identified with measles against the incidence rate of measles since its introduction in 1963.
    _____________________________________
    Here is a table that sums it up (from CDC Pink Book Appendix G, with some editing):
    Disease: Measles in the USA
    Year__Cases___Deaths
    1961__423,919_434
    1962__481,530_408
    1963__385,156_364
    (^^ first vaccine licensed)
    1964__458,083_421
    1965__261,905_276
    1966__204,136_261
    1967___62,705__81
    1968___22,231__24
    1969___25,826__41
    1970___47,351__89
    1971___75,290__90
    (^^^ MMR licensed)
    1972___32,275__24
    1973___26,690__23
    1974___22,690__20
    1975___24,374__20
    1976___41,126__12
    1977___57,245__15
    1978___26,871__11
    (^^^ Measles Elimination Program started)
    1979___13,597___6
    1980___13,506__11
    1981____2,124___2
    Posted by: Chris | November 3, 2011 3:21 PM h_ttp://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/11/vaccine_injury_awareness_week_joe_mercol.php
    __________________________________

    Ahh at least I know who started SSPE. It has always been the infection promoters!

  39. #39 Science Mom
    December 19, 2011

    OK. Exactly when did SSPE become known as a disease of measles virus etiology. Let’s take a look, shall we? h_ttp://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/6/1334.full

    SSPE was originally described as three different neuropathological conditions in the 1930s and 1940s.4 A viral aetiology was suggested when the condition was first described in 1933, but it was not until 1967–69 that measles viruses were established as the cause. When live measles vaccine became available in the early 1960s, the aetiology of SSPE was therefore unknown.

    Yup, pretty much parallels what I said.

    Now here’s Chris with her infamous measles reduction scheme and take note of the year when SSPE was first identified with measles against the incidence rate of measles since its introduction in 1963.

    I’m feeling bold; is there a point here? It’s 2011, almost 2012 and what’s that? Still can’t produce a single nucleotide sequence from an SSPE patient that is measles vaccine virus? My work here is done as shit-for-brains has devolved even further down her rabbit hole and another batch of quotes from SFB generated to point and laugh at for years to come.

  40. #40 lilady
    December 19, 2011

    I see ***SFB Troll has posted again….yawn.

    Still delusional, still uneducated, still a disease-promoter and still a health-care-professional wannabe SFB troll.

    *** SH** For Brains

  41. #41 Dianne
    December 19, 2011

    Sigh. Thingy, the incidence of SSPE is much lower in the vaccinated population than in the unvaccinated population.
    Ref: http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/6685828/reload=0;jsessionid=PyaXyaw5lRVozUUzgoyh.86

  42. #42 Prometheus
    December 19, 2011

    There is a curious bit of “failure to comprehend” in comment #438, in which the commenter first cites the following:

    “SSPE was originally described as three different neuropathological conditions in the 1930’s and 1940’s.A viral aetiology was suggested when the condition was first described in 1933, but it was not until 1967–69 that measles viruses were established as the cause.”

    The commenter then states:

    “…take note of the year when SSPE was first identified with measles against the incidence rate of measles since its introduction in 1963.”

    Although the syntax is unclear, it appears that the commenter is claiming that even though the incidence of SSPE fell following introduction of the live-attenuated measles vaccine, the fact that the cause of SSPE was not identified until after introduction of the vaccine is somehow “proof” that SSPE is caused by the measles vaccine strain.

    The massive “failure to comprehend” comes from the fact that the commenter’s own citation clearly states that SSPE was a significant health problem “in the 1930’s and 1940’s”, well before the measles vaccine.

    No doubt, the commenter will next claim that this was “diagnostic substitution”, where the pre-1963 cause of SSPE simply “disappeared” and the measles vaccine strain caused an identical disorder, but at a much lower incidence.

    Of course, to believe this, we would have to ignore the fact that sequencing of SSPE-causing measles strains has never shown a case arising from the vaccine strain.

    Now, in past comments, this same writer has made much of the fact that measles, as an RNA virus, mutates very rapidly. This is true, but does not preclude using sequencing to differentiate between wild-type strains or between wild-type and vaccine strains. Perhaps this commenter should devote some time to reading up on which portions of the measles virus genome are used for strain typing and which parts are most prone to mutation.

    Prometheus

  43. #43 Th1Th2
    December 19, 2011

    Krebiozen,

    Are you joking? How is the presence of one virus in the brains of people with a brain disease evidence that a different virus which wasn’t found in their brains actually caused the disease?

    Simple. All they have to do in order to exonerate the vaccine of causing SSPE is to establish that a wild-type measles infection, asymptomatic or otherwise, had possibly occurred prior to primary measles vaccination. Read #367.

    And how is a dramatic decrease in the incidence of a disease after the introduction of vaccination evidence that the disease is caused by vaccination?

    Please read #438.

  44. #44 lilady
    December 19, 2011

    I see SFB Troll has posted again….yawn.

    Still delusional, still uneducated, still a disease-promoter and still a health-care-professional wannabe SFB troll. It needs “terminal disinfection”.

  45. #45 dedicated lurker
    December 19, 2011

    Prometheus, please remember this is the person who says “paralysis = polio.”

  46. #46 Science Mom
    December 19, 2011

    Simple. All they have to do in order to exonerate the vaccine of causing SSPE is to establish that a wild-type measles infection, asymptomatic or otherwise, had possibly occurred prior to primary measles vaccination. Read #367.

    Nope, genotyping the measles virus and none, thus far, being vaccine strain is what exonerates the vaccine. That is showing that a wild-type infection had occurred, asymptomatic or otherwise. The order of wild-type measles and vaccine is moot when no vaccine virus is found. You made the claim that the vaccine can cause SSPE so show that it does.

  47. #47 LW
    December 19, 2011

    I wonder how one explains the presence of wild-type virus in the brains of SSPE. Victims *other than* by prior infection with wild-type virus?

    But then, Who knows what virus lurks in the brains of men? The Thingy knows!

  48. #48 Narad
    December 19, 2011

    You made the claim that the vaccine can cause SSPE so show that it does.

    It seemed to be claiming that only the vaccine can cause SSPE before it staggered off to ramble about reinfection. Of course, it took nearly 300 comments for this to bubble up in the first place.

    Nonviable mutations: They’re what’s for dinner.

  49. #49 Antaeus Feldspar
    December 19, 2011

    you’re not really interested in providing any evidence that thimerosal in vaccinations isn’t at all deleterious

    That’s because it’s already been proven sufficiently that the burden of proof is now on those who think it is deleterious to provide falsifiable propositions, and explain how those propositions can be reconciled with the existing data, e.g., if thimerosal purportedly causes autism, why didn’t the mass removal of thimerosal from vaccines cause a massive drop in autism rates?   Why didn’t it cause any drop in autism rates?

    The LA Times verified the existence of the 1991 Merk memo that became the possession of Washington lawyer James Moody.

    So?  No one’s disputing the existence of the memo, or that Hilleman raised the concerns he did in the memo.  What we are saying is that the question Hilleman said in the memo should be investigated has been investigated.  Are you truly that incapable of following the issues, or is “you’re [sic] intellectual level … much more accustomed to throwing around terms like ‘conspiracy’?”

    The alarming evidence of the dangers of mercury in vaccinations in the 1991 internal Merk memo

    You seem unduly confused by this one point, so I’ll try to explain it again.  The memo is not evidence of the dangers of mercury, or of anything else.  The memo is evidence that someone thought the possibility should be investigated.

    If you applied for a government job, they would almost certainly do a background check on you, just to make sure you’re not an undercover agent for an enemy nation or something like that.  Such a check would almost certainly come back clean (unless there’s something you haven’t told us.)  How much sense would it make for someone to trumpet “Look, look!  They did this background check on him!  The fact that they did a background check is evidence that he is an undercover agent for an enemy nation!”?  That’s right:  very little sense.  And that’s how little sense it makes to pretend that the Hilleman memo is “evidence” of the dangers of mercury in vaccinations.

    has been independently verified in one instance

    Science doesn’t verify things in “one instance.”  A sample size of 1 is almost worthless in terms of proving anything.

    by Dr. Rashid Buttar,

    Bwahahahaha!  You’re joking, right?  Rashid “Prettybeads” Buttar??  The same Rashid Buttar who was brought before the North Carolina Medical Board for diagnosing and “treating” mercury poisoning in patients whose mercury levels were normal according to Buttar’s own testing??

    whose son Abi made a full recovery from autism after mercury detoxification.

    Let me show you something.  The argument you’ve just presented has a flaw, formally called the fallacy of affirming the consequent.  Your argument is:

    1) Buttar gave his autistic son a treatment that would allegedly counteract heavy metal poisoning.
    2) The son seemed to improve after the treatment.
    3) Therefore, heavy metal poisoning is what the son had.

    Sound convincing?  Let me show you an argument which is in the exact same form, which means that if you call the first one sound, you must do the same for this one:

    1) Buttar gave his autistic son a treatment that would allegedly counteract heavy metal poisoning which had been deliberately induced by his own father.
    2) The son seemed to improve after the treatment.
    3) Therefore, heavy metal poisoning deliberately induced by his own father is what the son had.

    So, are you ready to condemn Buttar for poisoning his child with heavy metals?  If not, then why not?  You were ready to condemn vaccinations on the exact same evidence!  Of course, the real lesson is not that Buttar poisoned his own son, it’s that arguments in the form “If A is true, then B is true; B is true; therefore A is true” are flawed and don’t prove bupkis.

    As Dr. Bob Nash, Chairman Of The American Board Of Clinical Metal Toxicology stated, “when thirty-one children recover from the devastating disease by a simple transdermal treatment that detoxifies metals, then common-sense dictates that perhaps metals are involved”.

    Wow, those are some very impressive credentials!  Except they’re not, since the American Board of Clinical Metal Toxicology is not and has never been recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.  Nash and like-minded folks could have just as easily called themselves the American Board of Clinical Alien Abduction Research; it wouldn’t mean they had any actual knowledge of the subject.  As for Nash’s argument, it’s another affirming of the consequent, and it loses its power when you realize that the same “recovery” Nash is referring to has been experienced by far more than thirty-one children who have received no treatment for alleged metals poisoning.

  50. #50 Th1Th2
    December 19, 2011

    Pseudo-scientific Mom,

    Nothing extraordinary about that whatsoever. It’s just a comparison between VT and WT measles virus, not with the SSPE virus.

    Oh, then let me help you (again, the same quote with emphasis added):

    The measles vaccine virus strains belong to genotype A and can be distinguished from wild-type virus of the same genotype by means of sequence analysis.

    OK This was your argument:

    They tested brain tissue samples dumbass, i.e correlation and causation. Try reading further into the study as well:

    What they have found from the diseased brain was a mutant measles virus hence it’s called SSPE virus. You’re confusing it with the wild-type measles virus that had caused the initial infection wherein they are genetically different from each other more so with the vaccine virus.

    Oh, what’s that? No vaccine virus found? That isn’t going to stop shit-for-brains though, no way she knows TEH TWOOF.

    It’s because you’re a dumbass for not knowing that SSPE is a consequence of primary measles infection. So if they have found the mutant measles virus to be of wild-type in origin obviously the primary measles infection was caused by a wild-type virus. Even if the individual was vaccinated is irrelevant since SSPE is not caused by subsequent re-infection. Of course, in the absence of natural measles but a positive history of measles vaccination, their strategy is to simply establish by asserting that a wild-type infection must have occurred prior to vaccination. Therefore, in order to establish the correlation, the unidentified mutant measles virus will be classified and assigned according to the genotype that had been in circulation during the hypothetical primary exposure. Hence, correlation does not mean causation. Yup it’s a guesswork but they badly needed that to exonerate the vaccine.

    This would be true if the subject has had a history of primary measles infection caused by the wild-type measles virus prior to measles vaccination if there is any.

    Nah, it doesn’t matter that some subjects have had asymptomatic or unreported wild-type measles infection and doesn’t matter that vaccine virus has never been isolated and genotyped from an SSPE patient, SFB marches on…

    Primary measles infection is the determining factor in the development of SSPE. And you know nothing about it.

    How fortunate are the unvaccinated and uninfected.

    Pssst (and no this isn’t one of the voices in your head), no vaccine virus sequenced…ever.

    They just don’t want to implicate the vaccine. As simple as that.

    You keep thinking this is some sort of ‘gotcha’ but given the progression of identifying the illness and the presumption that the vaccine could theoretically cause SSPE, it isn’t surprising that a U.S. registry began in 1969.

    Progression? Are you kidding me? They were clueless about measles and SSPE until 1968 which prompted them to establish a disaster management plan aka surveillance as a result of their continued infection-promoting agenda since 1963. How wonderful.

    Yet, even your own cites do not support a vaccine-strain SSPE case and even archived tissue samples do not support a vaccine-strain SSPE case. Go ahead, find a single sequence in the literature or on GenBank that supports your claim.

    Hey let me give you a clue.

    Biologic Plausibility

    SSPE is a recognized sequela of measles infection, and it is biologically plausible that it could occur after the administration of the live attenuated viral vaccine. Identification of the cause of SSPE as wild-type or vaccine-strain measles virus has not been possible. The viruses isolated from patients with SSPE differ from the known measles viruses. The viruses may have become altered by the prolonged residence in the brains of the patients, or they may have been different at the time of the original infection.

    Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality, p. 136

    Correlation does not mean causation. Meanwhile, you can continue with the guesswork.

  51. #51 Th1Th2
    December 19, 2011

    Pseudo-Science Mom,

    Yup, pretty much parallels what I said.

    No, you overshoot it by a mile.

    I’m feeling bold; is there a point here? It’s 2011, almost 2012 and what’s that? Still can’t produce a single nucleotide sequence from an SSPE patient that is measles vaccine virus?

    Yes there is a point. A vaccine was developed in 1963 despite their ignorance on SSPE. So don’t ever claim that there was a “sharp decline in SSPE incidence” as a result. That’s pure stupidity.

    Second, the evidence of causality between the measles vaccine and SSPE was established since 1968. Re-read #394 and #405. It was the basis for SSPE cover-up aka SSPE surveillance in 1969.

  52. #52 Narad
    December 19, 2011

    Somebody forgot to read the memo that tinfoil hats are a bad activity idea for art therapy, it seems.

  53. #53 Th1Th2
    December 19, 2011

    The order of wild-type measles and vaccine is moot when no vaccine virus is found. You made the claim that the vaccine can cause SSPE so show that it does.

    Yo’ blind? Schneck, 1968. Because ignorance about SSPE is priceless.

  54. #54 Lawrence
    December 19, 2011

    No, you’re just terminally stupid.

  55. #55 Narad
    December 19, 2011

    Yo’ blind?

    Are you under the impression that this is some sort of normal English idiom?

  56. #56 LW
    December 19, 2011

    You know, doctors are really amazing people.

    Doctors are so murderously dishonest that they will deliberately poison literally billions of people, including their own children and even themselves, for the greater good of Big Pharma.

    Doctors also are, and always have been, absolutely and infallibly knowledgeable about every aspect of human biology, so if one doctor in 1968, without the benefit of modern genomic sequencing, believed that SSPE could be caused by the measles vaccine, and could develop within three weeks of exposure (unlike the normal course of the disease, which takes years), why then that is The Truth and no later research could possibly find that one doctor to be in error.

  57. #57 Science Mom
    December 19, 2011

    Yes there is a point. A vaccine was developed in 1963 despite their ignorance on SSPE. So don’t ever claim that there was a “sharp decline in SSPE incidence” as a result. That’s pure stupidity.

    Second, the evidence of causality between the measles vaccine and SSPE was established since 1968. Re-read #394 and #405. It was the basis for SSPE cover-up aka SSPE surveillance in 1969.

    There there shit-for-brains; I’m sure it’s confusing when your delusions of adequacy have delusions of grandeur. But I have no doubt you will perverserate*.

    *Not a typo.

  58. #58 Lawrence
    December 19, 2011

    I can’t resist – insane troll claims that all modern medical science, doctors, researchers, etc. are all part of some giant conspiracy in support of “infections,” to what end, she cannot articulate……yet she will also attempt to use these so-called “biased” resources to support her position….too funny.

  59. #59 LW
    December 19, 2011

    I’m hoping I’ve got this sequence of events right.

    In the 1930s and 1940s, doctors reported three different diseases, all of which look exactly like SSPE and none of which they identified as being caused by measles. Doctors being always, absolutely, and infallibly right, those were in fact three different diseases but none of them were SSPE and none of them were caused by measles.

    Then in the early 1960s, the measles vaccine was developed, and three different not-caused-by-measles-not-SSPE diseases met with a Boojum and silently vanished away. Schneck, the only honest doctor who has ever lived in all of human history, then let the cat out of the bag by reporting that the measles vaccine causes SSPE to develop within three weeks of administration.

    Rather than do the logical things (murder Schneck, disappear his article, and claim that he was in league with the evil homeopaths), other doctors set up a registry to identify all cases of SSPE and publicized it. And then, instead of just blaming every case on one or another of the not-caused-by-measles-not-SSPE diseases previously identified, or just making up some more, they went through this whole charade of sequencing who knows how many cases of wild-type virus, measles vaccine virus, and SSPE virus, just so they could pretend that in every case the SSPE virus was derived from wild-type virus instead of measles vaccine virus.

    Really, these doctors need to attend remedial Evil Villain classes.

    But it’s okay — Who knows what virus lurks in the brains of men? The Thingy knows!

  60. #60 Pareidolius
    December 19, 2011

    Man, I go away for 24 hours and look at this place! 459 posts! What on earth have you been feeding the Thingy? There’s thingyshit all over the carpet and walls and how are we going to get that Jean-stench out of the drapes? Would somebody at least light some Respectful Incense™ (Rapturous Reason is my fave) and let’s try to get this joint cleaned up before ol’ Blinky Box shows up and reads us the riot act.

  61. #61 lilady
    December 19, 2011

    I am innocent!!! I scarcely fed SFB Thingy troll…I merely named it and baptized it with RI holy water.

    Yuck, the place reeks of Thingy’s brown brain matter…who knew that its head was going to explode.

    We really need to clean up the blog and “terminally disinfect” sh** for brains troll.

  62. #62 Narad
    December 20, 2011

    What they have found from the diseased brain was a mutant measles virus hence it’s called SSPE virus. You’re confusing it with the wild-type measles virus that had caused the initial infection wherein they are genetically different from each other more so with the vaccine virus.

    Somebody mark the tape.

    P.S. I’m amazed that it got through this rant without bothering to mention for the sake of passers-by that “primary measles infection” is meant to include any and all forms of measles vaccination.

    P.P.S. OK, I lied about the “amazed” part.

  63. #63 W. Kevin Vicklund
    December 20, 2011

    I should clarify something for the lurkers. Thingy, as is always the case, is abusing medical terminology. In this case, it is the term “primary infection.” She is incorrectly using it to mean first-time infection. However, the correct use of the term is to mean an infection that doesn’t occur during a pre-existing infection, or in the recovery period afterwards (the type of infection that does occur then is called a secondary infection). So let’s run some scenarios:

    1) An unvaccinated child is infected by wild-type virus: primary infection

    2) A child is vaccinated with an LAV vaccine: primary infection (by some but not all definitions of infection): primary infection

    3) A previously vaccinated child is infected by wild-type virus: primary infection

    4) An AIDS patient is infected by wild-type virus: secondary infection

    5) A child that was vaccinated with KMV (only possible between 1963-67): not an infection (though it would leave them vulnerable to wild-type measles primary infection unless they got an LAV vaccine more than three months after the last KMV shot)

  64. #64 Narad
    December 20, 2011

    She is incorrectly using it to mean first-time infection.

    I don’t think that’s quite the dungheap it’s staked out, not that I expect consistency:

    And what is primary infection? It’s what you dumb infection promoters often refer to as “priming”.

  65. #65 Science Mom
    December 20, 2011

    @ Pareidolius, [snort]

  66. #66 Th1Th2
    December 20, 2011

    Prometheus,

    Although the syntax is unclear, it appears that the commenter is claiming that even though the incidence of SSPE fell following introduction of the live-attenuated measles vaccine, the fact that the cause of SSPE was not identified until after introduction of the vaccine is somehow “proof” that SSPE is caused by the measles vaccine strain.

    Except that I did not claim that there was a reduction of SSPE following the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963. You made that assertion based on what you’ve perceived as a result of reduction in measles incidence. Despite the fact that there was a widespread inoculation with measles virus in the population and despite the fact that measles vaccine causes asymptomatic or subclinical measles infection, there’s no way you could claim that there had been  a reduction in SSPE when more people were put on risk in developing SSPE. Only in 1968, after five years of intense and massive  infection promotion concomitant with their ignorance about SSPE, have they realized that they had committed a grave mistake.

    The massive “failure to comprehend” comes from the fact that the commenter’s own citation clearly states that SSPE was a significant health problem “in the 1930’s and 1940’s”, well before the measles vaccine.

    And the reason they created the measles vaccine is because “SSPE was a significant health problem in the 1930’s and 1940’s? Is there also a reason as to why you’ve omitted the following knowledge deficit from the original quotation?

    When live measles vaccine became available in the early 1960s, the aetiology of SSPE was therefore unknown.

    No doubt, the commenter will next claim that this was “diagnostic substitution”, where the pre-1963 cause of SSPE simply “disappeared” and the measles vaccine strain caused an identical disorder, but at a much lower incidence.

    The blunder began in 1963 and the diagnostic substitution started in 1969 following the creation of SSPE Surveillance.

    Of course, to believe this, we would have to ignore the fact that sequencing of SSPE-causing measles strains has never shown a case arising from the vaccine strain.

    That goes to show wild-type measles virus has preceded vaccine virus in causing primary measles infection. You’re not arguing about measles vaccine-SSPE causation any more, are you?

    Now, in past comments, this same writer has made much of the fact that measles, as an RNA virus, mutates very rapidly. This is true, but does not preclude using sequencing to differentiate between wild-type strains or between wild-type and vaccine strains.

    The measles vaccine-SSPE causation was established in 1968 and that’s without sequencing. Valid? Yes.

  67. #67 Science Mom
    December 20, 2011

    The measles vaccine-SSPE causation was established in 1968 and that’s without sequencing. Valid? Yes.

    Nope. Hypothesised =/= Proven.

  68. #68 Th1Th2
    December 20, 2011

    Kevin,

    I should clarify something for the lurkers. Thingy, as is always the case, is abusing medical terminology. In this case, it is the term “primary infection.” She is incorrectly using it to mean first-time infection

    In immunology, that’s precisely what it’s meant. You don’t have to butcher it. In the vaccine world, it is the origin of the hackneyed term “prime” or “priming”

    However, the correct use of the term is to mean an infection that doesn’t occur during a pre-existing infection, or in the recovery period afterwards (the type of infection that does occur then is called a secondary infection).

    OK now you’ve lost me there. It appears that you have confused the first meaning to something that is being used in the aid of establishing medical diagnoses. The first definition of primary infection is strictly pathogen-specific hence re-infection by the same pathogen would result to secondary immune response (not to be confused with secondary infection). Now the latter definition of “primary infection” pertains to a primary or initial diagnosis of a disease or infection in which other non-specific diseases or infection which could arise from the original diagnosis are categorized under “secondary diagnoses” . Therefore,

    1) An unvaccinated child is infected by wild-type virus: primary infection

    True.

    2) A child is vaccinated with an LAV vaccine: primary infection (by some but not all definitions of infection): primary infection

    True.

    3) A previously vaccinated child is infected by wild-type virus: primary infection

    False. The child was “primed” to the disease and upon re-exposure to the same pathogen developed re-infection. Therefore, it’s no longer a primary infection.

    4) An AIDS patient is infected by wild-type virus: secondary infection

    True based on the primary diagnosis which is AIDS and the secondary diagnosis of a wild-type infection. This has nothing to do with primary vs secondary immune response against the same pathogen.

    5) A child that was vaccinated with KMV (only possible between 1963-67): not an infection (though it would leave them vulnerable to wild-type measles primary infection unless they got an LAV vaccine more than three months after the last KMV shot)

    It’s definitely a primary infection and upon re-exposure to wild-type measles virus, the result is a more serious case of measles infection called atypical measles.

  69. #69 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 20, 2011

    Per Wikipedia (not the best source, but hey…), “An infection is the colonization of a host organism by parasite species. Infecting parasites seek to use the host’s resources to reproduce, often resulting in disease.” A killed virus cannot colonize and does not seek to use the host’s resources to reproduce.

    Likewise, at http://science.education.nih.gov/supplements/nih1/diseases/guide/understanding1.htm it says “An infection results when a pathogen invades and begins growing within a host. Disease results only if and when, as a consequence of the invasion and growth of a pathogen, tissue function is impaired.” As a killed virus does not grow within the host, it is not an infection.

  70. #70 T-reg
    December 20, 2011

    Despite the fact that there was a widespread inoculation with measles virus in the population and despite the fact that measles vaccine causes asymptomatic or subclinical measles infection, there’s no way you could claim that there had been a reduction in SSPE when more people were put on [sic] risk in [sic] developing SSPE.
    Emphasis mine.

    There is a way to claim that there has been a reduction in the incidence of SSPE – surveillance i.e. actually finding out and recording how many cases of SSPE are diagnosed over the said time period.

    And about putting people at the risk of developing SSPE – it is a theoretical risk which actual observations have so far proved insignificant.

    That goes to show wild-type measles virus has preceded vaccine virus in causing primary measles infection. You’re not arguing about measles vaccine-SSPE causation any more, are you?

    When sequencing has never detected the vaccine virus in brain tissue of patients with SSPE but has detected the wild type virus always, how does that prove that the vaccine virus causes SSPE?

    Do you mean to imply that an infectious disease is caused even if the infection causing organism never infects the concerned tissue?

    I’d say Thingy is regressing. First it was: the mere presence of an infectious agent in the tissue causes an infectious disease (failure to understand the difference between disease and infection). Now it is: even the absence of an infectious agent from the concerned tissue can lead to an infectious disease.

  71. #71 Narad
    December 20, 2011

    In immunology, that’s precisely what it’s meant. You don’t have to butcher it. In the vaccine world, it is the origin of the hackneyed term “prime” or “priming”

    Etymology really isn’t your strong suit, kid.

  72. #72 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    December 20, 2011

    I am not a doctor, but in a quick Google search it appears that the term “primary infection” is used by some to mean “the first pathogen to infect an otherwise healthy person” and by others to mean”the first time one is exposed to a particular pathogen”. Much like bi-weekly means both twice a weak and once per fortnight.

  73. #73 Prometheus
    December 20, 2011

    More massive “failure to comprehend” incomment #466:

    “And the reason they created the measles vaccine is because “SSPE was a significant health problem in the 1930’s and 1940’s? Is there also a reason as to why you’ve omitted the following knowledge deficit from the original quotation?”

    When live measles vaccine became available in the early 1960s, the aetiology of SSPE was therefore unknown.”

    In my comment (#442), I mentioned that SSPE could hardly have been caused by the measles vaccine, as it was being intensely studied – according to the commenter’s own citation – in the 1930’s and 1940’s, decades before the measles vaccine was developed. Perhaps I wasn’t clear, but I’m not sure how anyone would have come to the conclusion that I meant the measles vaccine was developed to stop SSPE when the cause of SSPE, while suspected, was unknown at the time the measles vaccine was developed.

    In the same comment, there are indirect claims that SSPE was either unknown or that its incidence was unknown prior to institution of formal SSPE surveillance:

    “The blunder began in 1963 and the diagnostic substitution started in 1969 following the creation of SSPE Surveillance.”

    The sad fact is that SSPE does not have a subtle clinical presentation and it has rather characteristic pathological findings which make it unlikely to be missed. A progressive neurological disease that is universally fatal is not something that would have gone unnoticed.

    The final misapprehension in that comment was:

    “The measles vaccine-SSPE causation was established in 1968 and that’s without sequencing. Valid? Yes.”

    Establishing that measles causes SSPE did not require sequencing because the researchers only had to identify the “species” of virus, something that can be easily done with antibodies. Determining which strain of measles virus cauesed a specific case of SSPE requires sequencing, which was not available until about thirty years later.

    Again, much is made of the fact that the measles virus causing SSPE has mutated, which is true. However, there are genomic regions – even in SSPE strains – that cannot be mutated without rendering the virus incapable of replication, and those regions are used to identify the original strain of the virus.

    Clearly, the commenter in #466 is at the far left-hand side of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Prometheus

  74. #74 Th1Th2
    December 20, 2011

    Treg,

    There is a way to claim that there has been a reduction in the incidence of SSPE – surveillance i.e. actually finding out and recording how many cases of SSPE are diagnosed over the said time period.

    So where is this SSPE surveillance thingy that shows a reduction in SSPE incidence “thanks to vaccination” between 1963 and 1968? Well?

    And about putting people at the risk of developing SSPE – it is a theoretical risk which actual observations have so far proved insignificant.

    SSPE although rare is fatal. Don’t you just love/hate this gambit? “rare but serious”, “rare but deadly”?

    When sequencing has never detected the vaccine virus in brain tissue of patients with SSPE but has detected the wild type virus always, how does that prove that the vaccine virus causes SSPE?

    When the person had not had a history of natural measles but a history of measles vaccination as the primary infection. But then the virus found in the diseased brain is a mutant measles virus called SSPE virus which is genetically different from the two original viruses (i.e “We don’t know which to blame”). With this, the idea behind genome sequencing is to establish that a natural measles infection MUST have occurred (despite negative history) prior to measles vaccination and to correlate this mutant virus based on the then circulating wild-type measles virus throughout the course of the hypothetical exposure in order to absolve the vaccine of causing SSPE.

    I’d say Thingy is regressing. First it was: the mere presence of an infectious agent in the tissue causes an infectious disease (failure to understand the difference between disease and infection). Now it is: even the absence of an infectious agent from the concerned tissue can lead to an infectious disease.

    You don’t have any idea of what you’re talking about.

  75. #75 Pareidolius
    December 20, 2011

    Everyone run! The Thingy™ is has been set in a decompensating feedback loop and a core breach will result in an explosion resulting in stupefying levels of dumbfuckium235 contamination for several web nodes! I’m expendable, I’ll stay behind with some shiny things and try to keep the containment vessel from bursting, you save yourselves . . . tell mother, Bob and Angus I did my best . . .

  76. #76 Agashem
    December 20, 2011

    So let’s see:
    Polio is now AFP
    Measles is now SSPE
    So small pox is now????
    My daughter’s parotiditis was mumps
    TB is now COPD?? or Asthma?
    Am I getting the dance now?

  77. #77 dedicated lurker
    December 20, 2011

    No, polio is not AFP, it’s all paralysis ever. Please try to keep up with the crazy.

  78. #78 Narad
    December 20, 2011

    So small pox is now????

    Canonically, chicken pox. It’s really kind of sad to see Th1Th2 having to scrounge around for scraps of others’ crankery and then trying to “personalize” them like Sanda Lee gone awry.

  79. #79 Pareidolius
    December 20, 2011

    Seriously, guys, don’t be fooled by the silence. She’s gonna detonate any second now. Pressure has been building for more than two hours and containment integrity is down to 31.5% . . . and falling. Oh my god . . . it’s full of SARS!

  80. #80 Agashem
    December 20, 2011

    I think I am safe here in Canada, but I suggest the rest of you…..DUCK!!!

  81. #81 The Christian Cynic
    December 20, 2011
    In immunology, that’s precisely what it’s meant. You don’t have to butcher it. In the vaccine world, it is the origin of the hackneyed term “prime” or “priming”

    Etymology really isn’t your strong suit, kid.

    Hilarious. (The actual etymology is here.)

  82. #82 lilady
    December 20, 2011

    NOW…JUST…CUT…IT…OUT…GUYS. I’ve just climbed out of my hazmat suit and the decontamination shower…after a 24 hour cleanup procedure of this blog. I’ve hauled all the “red bag” waste to curbside and “terminally disinfected” the brown brain matter from the exploding SFB Thingy troll…and frankly, I am tired.

    Stop feeding the delusional, disease promoting, uneducated, health-care-professional wannabe troll!

  83. #83 Stu
    December 20, 2011

    I just want to state for the record: Thingy, DIAFF, you clinically insane misanthrope.

  84. #84 medical student
    December 22, 2011

    It saddens me that Mrs. Messenger lost her child. However, babies aren’t supposed to roll over until 4 months. Rolling over at 8 weeks is a sign of increased extensor tone. Opisthotonus may be evidence of diffuse cortical disease pre-vaccination. Orac, I’m not sure if an inborn error of metabolism can cause opisthotonus; my bet is a storage disorder, but I rotated on peds quite a while ago.

  85. #85 lilady
    December 22, 2011

    @ medical student: Apparently, Messenger stated in an interview that the consensus of her child’s specialists was the child had a genetic leukodystrophy…see my post at # 30 above.

  86. #86 Chris
    December 24, 2011

    Some ideas for last minute Christmas gifts:
    http://www.blissfulblightbooks.com/

    😉

  87. #87 LW
    December 24, 2011

    Those are wonderful, Chris. Such a pity they came out so late in the Christmas season. Perhaps there are eBook editions?

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