Whooping cough returns in Michigan

The other day, I noted a contrast between certain parts of the developed world (namely, Europe) where, thanks to fears of the MMR vaccine stoked by Andrew Wakefield and the credulous and sensationalistic British press, MMR uptake rates have fallen and, predictably, measles incidence has skyrocketed, and the rest of the world, where polio is now on the verge of being eradicated, thanks to vaccination campaigns. It’s evidence that the antivaccine movement, inspired by Andrew Wakefield and promoted by antivaccine groups like Generation Rescue, the National Vaccine Information Center, the Australian Vaccination Network, and Safeminds, has harmful consequences to public health. Of course, it’s entirely predictable that, where vaccination rates fall, vaccine-preventable diseases will tend to make a comeback. Indeed, it was antivaccine fear mongering based on religion and suspicion of Westerners that delayed progress in the eradication of polio, progress that is only now getting back on track.

Other vaccine-preventable diseases are also making a comeback, unfortunately, as I found out when I read Trine Tsouderos’ excellent article in the Sunday paper entitled Whooping cough returns as vaccine use drops, changes. The situation is a little more complex than that for the resurgence of measles due to catastrophic declines in MMR uptake in the U.K. and parts of continental Europe, but once again it’s a situation where less vaccination equals more disease. First, here’s the description of the success:

Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. — mostly babies and toddlers — were coming down with whooping cough each year when vaccines against “this menace,” as one newspaper called it, were introduced in the 1930s and 1940s.

A childhood scourge for centuries, this sometimes fatal disease seemed destined to become little more than a memory in the U.S. — with only about 1,000 cases nationwide over the next 40 years.

Now here’s the current situation:

In Michigan, 315 cases were reported in 2008, according to the state Department of Community Health. A year later, the incidence of whooping cough had nearly tripled to 902 reported cases. And by 2010, the number of reported cases in Michigan had risen to 1,564.

Similar outbreaks have been seen in other states as well. In California, nearly 10,000 cases of whooping cough were reported in 2010 — the most since the 1940s, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten babies died.

Here’s where the complicating factor comes in. Although, as Tsouderos points out, pertussis vaccination rates remain high, there are pockets of low vaccine uptake in many states. Moreover, there is evidence that pockets of unvaccinated children can easily form the nidus for outbreaks of pertussis, measles, and other vaccine-preventable diseases, it’s about more than just that. For instance, states with lax policies with regard to religious and philosphical exemptions to vaccination tend to have elevated pertussis incidence, and the risk of developing vaccine-preventable diseases is markedly elevated in those claiming exemptions. For instance, those exempted from vaccination have been 35 times more likely to have had the measles than vaccinated children. A recent study reported that unvaccinated children are 23 times more likely to get pertussis than vaccinated children.

So what’s the other part of the equation besides pockets of unvaccinated children that allow local outbreaks to occur? Trine Tsouderos explains:

The vaccine children receive today is different from the ones introduced 70 years ago. Some of the original immunizations were “whole-cell” vaccines, made from killed whole cells of the bacterium that causes whooping cough. Eventually, those old whole-cell vaccines led to the development of the diptheria-tetanus-pertussis shot, or DTP, which became a mainstay in the school immunization routine.

“That whole-cell vaccine works well at the beginning and it lasts and lasts and lasts,” said Dr. Roger Baxter, codirector of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center.

But, he added: “That fantastic immune response is accompanied by a, well, fantastic immune response.”

In other words, the body’s reaction to the vaccine sometimes included pain and fevers that could be, in extremely rare cases, high enough to lead to seizures, he said. “This was terrifying to parents,” Baxter said.

Of course, the fact that pertussis immunity can wane with time is touted by antivaccine activists as “evidence” that “natural” immunity is better than vaccine-induced immunity. Unfortunately, the price of “natural” immunity is a child’s actually getting the disease. That price in the pre-vaccine era was morbidity and, yes, mortality. There were 36,000 deaths from pertussis and pertussis-related complications between 1926 and 1930, and in 1934 there were 260,000 reported cases of pertussis. By 1976, thanks to the vaccine, there were around 1,000 cases. So, yes, “natural immunity” might be longer-lasting and more persistent, but the price of that “natural immunity” is death and suffering.

As is the case with so many vaccines, as the incidence, morbidity, and mortality from pertussis plunged, fewer and fewer parents had ever seen a case. Consistent with human nature, where a risk we can see is almost always more compelling than a risk we can’t, because parents didn’t know or know of parents whose children suffered–or even died–from pertussis anymore and didn’t see their children as being at risk for the disease, they became more suspicious of the vaccine and less tolerant of any possible side effects. When reports of seizures and encephalopathy from the whole-cell pertussis component of the DTP (diptheria-tetanus-pertussis) surfaced in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they led to a documentary written and produced by Lea Thompson entitled DPT: Vaccine Roulette, which first aired on a local NBC affiliate in Washington DC on April 19, 1982, and then ultimately was aired nationally on The Today Show, and then later to a book by Barbara Loe Fisher and Harris Coulter, DPT: A Shot in the Dark. Both used anecdotes over epidemiology and were very compelling at causing fear. As Steve Novella pointed out, later evidence did not support an association between the whole cell pertussis component of the DTP and encephalopathy, but the damage had been done.

Fortunately, scientists developed an acellular pertussis vaccine. These vaccines didn’t have the same side effects of fever, febrile seizures, and the like, but recent evidence suggests that they are probably not as good at producing long-lasting immunity as the old whole cell pertussis vaccine was. It’s a trade-off, as is all vaccine development. The very aspect of the whole cell pertussis vaccine that allowed it to produce longer-lasting immunity was the very aspect of it that also resulted in more side effects:

Developing vaccines can be a balancing act, trying to trigger as good an immune response as possible in as many people as possible for as long as possible without also triggering unacceptable side effects.

“You can make a safer vaccine and people have better trust in it,” said pediatrician Dr. Kathryn Edwards, director of the Vanderbilt University Vaccine Research Program, but the unwanted side effects — like fevers and pain — can be associated with better, longer-lasting protection.

Antivaccine activists use this observation as an excuse to claim that the pertussis vaccine “doesn’t work” and that “natural immunity” is much better. However, even immunity from a pertussis infection wanes over time, and, more importantly, as I pointed out earlier, the price of this “natural immunity” is the disease, with all its attendant risks, up to and including death. Faced with that tradeoff, I’d say that vaccination makes far more sense than taking the risk of disease. One has only to look back nearly 80 years, when a quarter of a million people per year were developing pertussis and thousands of them died. While it’s true that medicine has advanced a lot since then and the mortality rate from pertussis would likely not be nearly as high, the suffering from the disease is still incalculable, as anyone who’s seen a baby with pertussis coughing and struggling for breath would attest.

When it comes down to it, arguments from antivaccine activists that the pertussis vaccine “doesn’t work” and the argument that, if the vaccine is so effective, then why is pertussis making a comeback are a smokescreen. Vaccination resulted in a massive decline in incidence of pertussis. When reports 30 years ago suggested that the vaccine wasn’t safe enough, a safer vaccine was developed. The tradeoff was that its immunity is probably not as long lasting. However, given how safe the vaccine is, that characteristic of the vaccine only suggests that booster shots at an older age are a good idea, not that we should abandon the vaccine. Yet that is the argument that antivaccine activists are making, with their characteristic binary thinking: That if the vaccine isn’t perfect and doesn’t provide immunity as long-lasting as the disease, then we should abandon the vaccine and promote “natural” immunity. Just never mind the cost.

Comments

  1. #1 dedicated lurker
    January 22, 2012

    I wonder how thingy gets the brainpower to convert oxygen into carbon dioxide.

  2. #2 Narad
    January 22, 2012

    No, their routine is to discard any case of paralysis as not being polio if the stool presents with only vaccine-related poliovirus (OPV-like, more than 99% sequence homology).

    This is not responsive.

    NPEVs are discarded automatically as non-polio, well duh.

    “Duh,” indeed. Poliovirus+NPEV is broken out. Nonetheless, you’re stuck re AFP with “It’s a fictitious disease label invented by WHO to redefine poliomyelitis.”

    And why should you not give immune globulin to a not-so attenuated measles vaccine?

    No loitering allowed.

  3. #3 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    I’ve not been following closely, but is thingy saying that (let’s consider SSPE and measles), that when someone who is vaccinated presented with SSPE-like symptoms, that they will be discarded (from a study for instance) because their brain would contain the vaccine strains? (and using Thingy logic, the scientists would discount it as being SSPE).

    No, but for anyone without a history of measles prior to the receipt of measles vaccine will be discarded as nonvaccine-induced SSPE if they can correlate the mutant virus in the brain to the existing wild-type virus that might have caused the primary infection (i.e. during an outbreak or epidemic), otherwise, they will assign a new strain.

    I was looking at this small study from England and Wales here where they do brain biopsy’s on 5 of the cases, 2 of whom were vaccinated and had no prior known measles history. All 5 biopsy’s indicated they had exposure to the wild strain of measles. So they did not simply discard cases presenting SSPE and had been vaccinated out of hand.

    Their findings did not identify the original sequence of the wild-type measles virus that had caused the primary measles infection.

  4. #4 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    I’ve not been following closely, but is thingy saying that (let’s consider SSPE and measles), that when someone who is vaccinated presented with SSPE-like symptoms, that they will be discarded (from a study for instance) because their brain would contain the vaccine strains? (and using Thingy logic, the scientists would discount it as being SSPE).

    No, but for anyone without a history of measles prior to the receipt of measles vaccine will be discarded as nonvaccine-induced SSPE if they can correlate the mutant virus in the brain to the existing wild-type virus that might have caused the primary infection (i.e. during an outbreak or epidemic), otherwise, they will assign a new strain.

    I was looking at this small study from England and Wales here where they do brain biopsy’s on 5 of the cases, 2 of whom were vaccinated and had no prior known measles history. All 5 biopsy’s indicated they had exposure to the wild strain of measles. So they did not simply discard cases presenting SSPE and had been vaccinated out of hand.

    Their findings did not identify the original sequence of the wild-type measles virus that had caused the primary measles infection.

  5. #5 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    The CDC acknowledges cases of paralytic polio caused by OPV. As usual, Thingy lies even when presented with evidence of its lies.

    Which one? The OPV can cause two different paralytic polio.

  6. #6 Narad
    January 22, 2012

    No, but for anyone without a history of measles prior to the receipt of measles vaccine will be discarded as nonvaccine-induced SSPE….

    There is no vaccine-induced SSPE to be found. And your sentence construction has been slipping. Put down the Killepitsch and explain why SSPE incidence has been falling and why you promote reversing this.

  7. #7 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    This is not responsive.

    Here Narad. Learn.

    VAPP was defined as occurring in AFP cases if there was residual weakness 60 days after the onset of paralysis, if vaccine-related poliovirus was isolated from any stool sample, and if no wild poliovirus was isolated from any stool sample.

    h_ttp://www.who.int/bulletin/archives/80%283%29210.pdf

    Again how many paralytic cases were reported in India last year and where discarded as AFP because they have only isolated a vaccine-related poliovirus (no, Narad this is not the same as VDPV)?

    “Duh,” indeed. Poliovirus+NPEV is broken out. Nonetheless, you’re stuck re AFP with “It’s a fictitious disease label invented by WHO to redefine poliomyelitis.”

    Did you just realize I wasn’t even referring to NPEV? Well duh, because it’s irrelevant since these are viruses other than wild-type poliovirus and OPV.

    No loitering allowed.

    But you can always answer.

  8. #8 Narad
    January 22, 2012

    Here Narad. Learn.

    Learn what? Why are you bringing up VDPV? Repeating the obvious does nothing to defend your assertion that AFP is “a fictitious disease label invented by WHO to redefine poliomyelitis.”

  9. #9 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    Learn what? Why are you bringing up VDPV? Repeating the obvious does nothing to defend your assertion that AFP is “a fictitious disease label invented by WHO to redefine poliomyelitis.”

    You’re right, AFP is fictitious when they actually meant VAPP. So how many VAPP and VDPV cases are there in India last year Narad? Sorry I’m just trying to see if you know what to count.

  10. #10 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 22, 2012

    So how many VAPP and VDPV cases are there in India last year

    3163 and 7, respectively. Out of 57,552 patients tested. See, it is reported, contrary to your statement. Just on a different report. And no, it’s not listed as non-polio AFP.

  11. #11 Narad
    January 22, 2012

    Sorry I’m just trying to see if you know what to count.

    No, you’re just trying weasel out of an untenable situtation, something one might think you’d be better at by now. Oh, and it’s still time to man up and explain why you are an SSPE promoter.

  12. #12 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    3163 and 7, respectively. Out of 57,552 patients tested. See, it is reported, contrary to your statement. Just on a different report.

    I know they are being reported but where is VAPP classified under?

    And no, it’s not listed as non-polio AFP.

    I never said it was listed as “non-polio AFP”.

  13. #13 Agashem
    January 22, 2012

    G*d I hate idiots. Can we move on to something else? All I know is for SFB troll thinks that vaccines have eliminated nothing and we have been duped by the ‘reclassifying’ of all diseases so as to hide them. It doesn’t matter what else we say. I say we move on. Next I want SFB troll to outline her ideal of health care. She keeps hating on this one, so she must have some idea. But then again, she never answers questions either so I will remain frustrated.

  14. #14 Th1Th2
    January 22, 2012

    Oh, and it’s still time to man up and explain why you are an SSPE promoter.

    Save your time Narad by reading #336. You’re barking up the wrong tree again.

  15. #15 TBruce
    January 22, 2012

    You’re barking up the wrong tree again.

    That’s gotta be better than screwing the pooch, as you should know, Thingy.

  16. #16 Narad
    January 22, 2012

    I know they are being reported but where is VAPP classified under?

    Try again, this time in English, infection promoter.

  17. #17 Prometheus
    January 23, 2012

    Th1Th2 (#406):

    “Their findings did not identify the original sequence of the wild-type measles virus that had caused the primary measles infection.”

    This is a specious objection to the findings of this study (and many others). As has been mentioned numerous times, the genomic regions used to identify measles virus strains – including the all-critical distinction between vaccine strain and wild type – are not those that are mutated in SSPE-related strains. As a result, sequencing the viral genome will show whether or not the SSPE-related strain could have come from a vaccine strain.

    Th1Th2 is being intellectually dishonest when it insists that recovering the entire original genome sequence is necessary to identify the source strain of SSPE. This is no more valid than insisting that all ten fingerprints need to be recovered from a crime scene to identify the perpetrator. [Note: I realise that Th1Th2 can’t understand analogies, but it may be of some help to other people reading this thread.]

    Prometheus

  18. #18 greg
    January 25, 2012

    I read this blog and all its comments with great interest (it took a while). Let me begin by saying wow, I had no idea this movement had gained any creditability with anyone in the US or Europe. Anyway, I have a suggestion for all of the thoughtful scientists and physicians that have responded to the comments posted by the skeptics of vaccination; do not waste your time trying to convince them with scientific evidence. They are blinded by beliefs, and beliefs are emotional, and irrational, and often formulated without having any experience (i.e., none of these skeptics have had whooping cough, so it’s not bad and we should let people develop immunity through exposure), knowledge (e.g., they read an article, now they are an expert and should ignore those who have spent years studying vaccines) or evidence (yes, lets ignore all the data from many thoughtful, respected investigators and pay attention to one investigator that publishes results from poorly designed studies). You cannot change someone’s beliefs (e.g., you either believe in God or you don’t), so why try? But you did your best and it was a thorough job. Hopefully, your efforts have provided uninformed readers with information they can use to develop an informed opinion. Of course one could argue that is value of refuting the comments posted by skeptics in response to Orac’s post (an excellent post by the way), so I should shut up and let you get back to work.

  19. #19 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    As a result, sequencing the viral genome will show whether or not the SSPE-related strain could have come from a vaccine strain.

    Ooops.

    Figure 2. Phylogenetic relationships of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis(SSPE) strains. The neighbor-joining unrooted tree was plotted with Treeview 1.5.2. Reference measles virus strains are described (2). Wild-type (genotype C1 in 1991 and D6 in 1998) as well as post-vaccinal cases (genotype A) from the last two
    Argentine outbreaks were included (GenBank accession no.
    AF263841, 43, 44, 46, 52) (7). SSPE strains are highlighted in bold type (GenBank accession no. AY253332–37)

    Th1Th2 is being intellectually dishonest when it insists that recovering the entire original genome sequence is necessary to identify the source strain of SSPE. This is no more valid than insisting that all ten fingerprints need to be recovered from a crime scene to identify the perpetrator. [Note: I realise that Th1Th2 can’t understand analogies, but it may be of some help to other people reading this thread.]

    Except those fingers have mutated.

  20. #20 Science Mom
    January 25, 2012

    Figure 2. Phylogenetic relationships of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis(SSPE) strains. The neighbor-joining unrooted tree was plotted with Treeview 1.5.2. Reference measles virus strains are described (2). Wild-type (genotype C1 in 1991 and D6 in 1998) as well as post-vaccinal cases (genotype A) from the last two
    Argentine outbreaks were included (GenBank accession no.
    AF263841, 43, 44, 46, 52) (7). SSPE strains are highlighted in bold type (GenBank accession no. AY253332–37)

    Gee, didja miss this part?

    he children received measles vaccine;
    however, vaccinal strains were not found.

    I know it was in plain sight and all. Another entry for the “Thinglish Medical Encyclopaedia”

  21. #21 Krebiozen
    January 25, 2012

    Painful. Just painful.

  22. #22 Lucy
    January 25, 2012

    I do not know why nirad and crhis is picking on kesbump, but I fear that escalation will continue to the point where farting will abruptly commence. The attack will most definitely be silent and ozzing. The wets ones are the best kind. I once farted on purpose in class to interrupt a stupid professor from teaching the moronic mud to man theory of evolution. I blamed on an accieent, but I later confessed it was on purpose – after I was not in his class anymore. It wasn’t a permanent stoppage of this false doctrine, but it temporarily chnaged the subject in the classrooom. I urge all evolution deniers to fart at least once in the classroom and disrupt this negative ideology of evolution. It is better to use the wet silent deadly ones to clear other hippy liberals from the general area. Constant farting in class seems to put one’s self in corner wth alot of room away from the hippies who forget to take a bath.

  23. #23 Science Mom
    January 25, 2012

    @ Krebiozen, painful indeed and even moreso that it took her three days to come up with that little gem.

  24. #24 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012
    [T]he children received measles vaccine; however, vaccinal strains were not found.

    I know it was in plain sight and all. Another entry for the “Thinglish Medical Encyclopaedia”

    Oh gee, did you miss this part too?

    Our data show that these three patients had
    been infected with wild-type circulating D6 virus before immunization.

    And why is this important? Because SSPE is not caused by measles virus re-infection which explains why vaccinal strains were not found. But how about for those cases without history of measles exposure but vaccination? The answer is at #421.

    So did they find the original measles virus that could have caused SSPE? The answer is NO.

    Phylogenetic analysis of three SSPE cases from the last outbreak clustered with D6 genotype that circulated in Argentina in 1998. Although the original sequence of the wild-type virus that caused acute infection is unknown, we have a consensus sequence that summarizes the outbreak; therefore, we infer that changes may have occurred since then and contributed to the development of SSPE.

    Painful it is….for you.

  25. #25 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 25, 2012

    Surprise, surprise. Thingy can’t read a phylogenic tree.

    Figure 2. Phylogenetic relationships of subacute sclerosing panencephalitis(SSPE) strains. The neighbor-joining unrooted tree was plotted with Treeview 1.5.2. Reference measles virus strains are described (2). Wild-type (genotype C1 in 1991 and D6 in 1998) as well as post-vaccinal cases (genotype A) from the last two Argentine outbreaks were included (GenBank accession no. AF263841, 43, 44, 46, 52) (7). SSPE strains are highlighted in bold type (GenBank accession no. AY253332–37)

    If you look closely at the tree, none of the bolded strains are in the genotype A branch. When they say “post-vaccinal cases (genotype A) from the last two Argentine outbreaks were included,” they are talking about measles cases, not SSPE cases. This tree was constructed by taking consensus reference strains (A, B1, B2 C1, D6, etc), adding in measles strains [both wild-type and post-vaccinal] found during the last two outbreaks (non-bolded ARG####), and then adding in the SSPE sequences (bolded ARG##SSPE). Figure 2 in fact shows that the SSPE-related strains could not have come from a vaccine strain.

  26. #26 Narad
    January 25, 2012

    Painful it is….for you.

    I’m afraid that even your ability to cause laughter isn’t that strong.

  27. #27 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    When they say “post-vaccinal cases (genotype A) from the last two Argentine outbreaks were included,” they are talking about measles cases, not SSPE cases.

    To have an SSPE case, a case of primary measles infection is a MUST.

    I know what your problems are and I am not surprised. Check #336.

  28. #28 Science Mom
    January 25, 2012

    Surprise, surprise. Thingy can’t read a phylogenic tree.

  29. #29 Science Mom
    January 25, 2012

    Here’s some more text for SFB to torture:

    Although all three patients had been immunized according to the schedule, vaccinal strains were not detected in brain tissue. These results agree with those recently reported for SSPE patients in the United Kingdom and Papua, New Guinea (18,19). Our data show that these three patients had been infected with wild-type circulating D6 virus before immunization. This primary measles virus infection in nonimmunized infants may be the leading cause of the high rate of SSPE inferred from our data.

  30. #30 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 25, 2012

    To have an SSPE case, a case of primary measles infection is a MUST.

    Irrelevant (and if I’m guessing right as to what you mean, not accurate – there is nothing that prevents a second infection from causing SSPE). Not all primary measles infections lead to SSPE. The “post-vaccinal case” sequences refer to people who came down with measles after vaccination, not to people who came down with SSPE after vaccination. None of the genotype A sequences are bolded. Therefor, none of them are from SSPE patients.

  31. #31 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    Yes, Science Mom, you’re clearly showing utter ignorance regarding SSPE…even in the following paragraph you quoted. What a shame.

    Although all three patients had been immunized according to the schedule, vaccinal strains were not detected in brain tissue. These results agree with those recently reported for SSPE patients in the United Kingdom and Papua, New Guinea (18,19). Our data show that these three patients had been infected with wild-type circulating D6 virus before immunization. This primary measles virus infection in nonimmunized infants may be the leading cause of the high rate of SSPE inferred from our data.Emphasis mine. This should be a guilty pleasure but I just can’t muster the guilt with this one.

    This only makes sense because these patients have previously had wild-type measles infection prior to their receipt of the measles vaccine. You don’t get it do you? SSPE is NOT caused by measles virus re-infection or re-exposure.

  32. #32 Lawrence
    January 25, 2012

    I’m pretty sure insane troll doesn’t even understand what it is trying to say anymore…..

  33. #33 W. Kevin Vicklund
    January 25, 2012

    I see Thingy is desperately trying to drive attention away from the fact that it didn’t understand Figure 2.

    Note to Thingy: Figure 2 does not, contrary to what you implied, include cases where the only known measles exposure was the vaccine.

  34. #34 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    Irrelevant (and if I’m guessing right as to what you mean, not accurate – there is nothing that prevents a second infection from causing SSPE).

    What kind of a numbnut are you? SSPE is a persistent measles virus infection; it is NOT a secondary measles infection nor SSPE is caused by measles reinfection.

    Not all primary measles infections lead to SSPE.

    SSPE is rare but a primary measles infection is a prerequisite.

    The “post-vaccinal case” sequences refer to people who came down with measles after vaccination, not to people who came down with SSPE after vaccination.

    And the idiocy continues. SSPE will not result in the absence of a primary measles infection either caused by wild-type or vaccines, hence the postvaccinal genotype A.

    None of the genotype A sequences are bolded.

    For the very obvious reason that SSPE strains differ from wild-type and vaccine strains. Do you follow? Genotype A strains exist in both vaccines and wild-type.

    Therefor, none of them are from SSPE patients.

    Of course, because SSPE patients actually have mutated measles virus you call SSPE virus, which is neither a wild-type nor a vaccinal strain.

  35. #35 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    I see Thingy is desperately trying to drive attention away from the fact that it didn’t understand Figure 2.

    It looks though that you are the one who’s totally, no not confused but ignorant.

    Note to Thingy: Figure 2 does not, contrary to what you implied, include cases where the only known measles exposure was the vaccine.

    As you all know, those cases are accessible.

  36. #36 Prometheus
    January 25, 2012

    Th1Th2 (#421, #424, #428, #432 amd #434):

    Wow. Generally, when people demonstrate an “epic fail” in understanding papers they cite, the typical response is to either run away and hide (i.e. not comment on the ‘blog for a week or two) or (less commonly) forthrightly admit that they misunderstood what the paper was saying and apologise.

    It is the rare bird that tries to brazen it out in front of dozens of people who do know how to read scientific papers and who do understand how a phylogenetic tree works (and, more importantly, the molecular genetics behind it).

    I’d say that Th1Th2 was one of a kind, except that there are a couple others that irregularly comment on this ‘blog who are equal in their arrogant ignorance.

    You go, Th1Th2! Don’t let all of that sciency mumbo-jumbo about data get in the way of your “One True Path”!

    Amazing!

    Prometheus

  37. #37 Krebiozen
    January 25, 2012

    Painful it is….for you.

    It is painful for me to see someone completely misunderstand and misinterpret an elegant piece of science like that.

  38. #38 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    And it looks to me that these infection promoters just got some pretty painful whoopin’

    The title of this thread is fitting.

  39. #39 Th1Th2
    January 25, 2012

    It is painful for me to see someone completely misunderstand and misinterpret an elegant piece of science like that.

    The fat lady just sang.

  40. #40 Lawrence
    January 25, 2012

    Watching insane troll is like watching Custer declare victory at Little Bighorn…

  41. #41 lilady
    January 25, 2012

    Uh-oh…*SFB* Troll’s head is about to explode.

    I cleaned up this blog the last time when *SFB* Troll messed it up. It took me 24 hours, in a HazMat suit and…30 Red Bag Waste bags to clean up after Thingy.

    *SFB* Sh** For Brains

  42. #42 Narad
    January 25, 2012

    The fat lady just sang.

    Yah, but you’re playing the Bride of Lammermoor.

  43. #43 Science Mom
    January 25, 2012

    Wow. Generally, when people demonstrate an “epic fail” in understanding papers they cite, the typical response is to either run away and hide (i.e. not comment on the ‘blog for a week or two) or (less commonly) forthrightly admit that they misunderstood what the paper was saying and apologise.

    Yes, but look; Thingy takes (what should be) an embarrassing episode (for a sane person) and proclaims victory!

    And it looks to me that these infection promoters just got some pretty painful whoopin’

    This is awesome.

  44. #44 adelady
    January 25, 2012

    Normally I just find thingy’s brain droppings annoying.

    But …

    Strewth!

  45. #45 Sauceress
    January 26, 2012

    re 445
    I’ve been absent with work so I need to ask: Did I miss mm (Lucy) coming out of the closet?

  46. #46 Chris
    January 26, 2012

    Sauceress , who knows? It looks like he is drinking a bit earlier than he usually does.

  47. #47 Narad
    January 26, 2012

    I once farted on purpose in class to interrupt a stupid professor from teaching the moronic mud to man theory of evolution.

    Ah, Rob Hood, KE5BMP, the course load for an associate’s degree in Electronics Technolgy from Holmes Community College of Grenada, Mississippi, doesn’t include biology.

    But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.–Rev. 21:8

    Although I’m sure they’re proud of the credit you bring to the institution at every turn.

  48. #48 lilady
    January 26, 2012

    I see scat-talking, morphing-sockpuppet troll from Eupora Mississippi is back.

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