Respectful Insolence

As I noted a few days ago, the antivaccine fringe suffered a major setback in the House of Representatives when Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, canceled a previously promised hearing about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, even after it had reached the stage of representatives from the antivaccine Canary Party giving a briefing featuring a boatload of misinformation about the NVICP and the Vaccine Court. Never let it be said, however, that the antivaccine movement can’t pivot on a dime to latch onto the latest bit of news as “proof” that vaccines are horrible. This time around, it’s a tragic case that was reported over the weekend.

This is the case of a young man named Chandler Webb, who was only 19 years old when he died earlier this month. While I have incredible sympathy for the parents of such a young man who died of an unexplained illness, I still feel obligated to examine the story in a skeptical fashion because the tragic story of this young man is being used by the antivaccine crank blog as evidence that flu vaccines are deadly. Here’s the basic story:

A Utah woman says a flu shot caused her son’s death.

Lori Webb put her assertion in her son’s obituary and is warning other families about what she believes are potential hidden dangers of vaccinations.

“I could not believe it,” Webb said. “I never in my life would ever think, ‘Your son is in a coma?’ How does it happen?”

Chandler Blake Webb, 19, was the perfect picture of health, his mother said, and was preparing to submit his papers for a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

However, the day after a physical, tuberculosis test and flu shot, the Brighton High School graduate turned very ill.

Within a few days, he was in the hospital for the second time. Within 24 hours of his second check-in, Webb said her son was in a coma.

We see the same claim reported in multiple news stories, such as this one from KUTV and this one from Fox and Friends:


These reports are definitely exploitative in that they prominently feature images of Chandler Webb in the intensive care unit, on a ventilator, with a tracheostomy tube, intracranial pressure monitor, and multiple IVs running. In particular, the Fox and Friends report plays this up, lining up Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Lori Webb, and images of Chandler Webb in the ICU in the same frame for nearly the entire interview, including pictures of Lori Webb lying with her son in the hospital bed to hug and console him. Only a heart of stone can resist such imagery. Unfortunately, blatant appeals to emotion do not equal scientific and medical validity. Looking at the various news stories, one thing thing that caught my attention is that apparently Webb went to one emergency room, was discharged because he was getting better, and then returned to another emergency room, after which his condition deteriorated. In every story, she repeats again and again that she thinks it was the flu vaccine, after listing all the things her son’s doctors looked for. In some stories, she points out that “only one doctor” ever suggested a potential connection with the flu vaccine, and then it was only near the end of her son’s hospital course, when it was becoming clear that it was unlikely he would survive. Lori Webb latched onto that comment, which was most likely a stray remark, like a drowning woman would latch onto a piece of flotsam. She hasn’t let go of it yet.

Reading between the lines of the various stories I found, I think it was clear that the doctors thought that Webb probably had some sort of infectious meningitis. They had him on broad spectrum antibiotics and various other medications, and most of his workup was clearly aimed at finding infection. His mother describes the workup on her Facebook page thusly:

Chandler had a brain biopsy, that is why I didn’t allow an autopsy. He was tested and tested by the infectious control, the CDC every test came back negative…negative for meningitis…negative for lymphoma, negative for tics. They even checked him for rabies. He was negative for every fungus, bacteria and virus. He was tested for tics, herpes, anything and everything…Everything NEGATIVE. Encephalitis is a secondary symptom, yes he did have that. People should be informed of the negative side effects that the inserts in each box of vaccine contain. Also, wouldn’t it be nice if when someone enters an ER with these symptoms, that the Dr.’s would ask if they had recently had a vaccine. This should have been the first thing they checked instead of the last. So So Sad.

But would it? I would argue that it probably would not have saved his life.

Throughout the stories, Lori Webb assumes that if someone had asked about whether her son had received any vaccines recently he would be alive today because the doctors would have known what to do. That is wishful thinking, to say the least, and the reason is that encephalitis due to flu vaccine, particularly so soon after vaccination, is what we in the medical field call a “zebra”; i.e., a very uncommon or rare diagnosis. There’s a saying that covers this: When you hear the hoofbeats, look for horses first, not zebras. Only look for zebras after you’ve ruled out horses. What this means is that, even if doctors knew that Webb had received the flu vaccine the day before, the differential diagnosis of encephalitis and the likelihood of each cause of encephalitis would mandate ruling out far more common causes with a workup that looks like this. These include diagnoses like bacterial meningitis due to bacterial, Rickettsial, fungal, parasitic, and viral causes, as well as non-infectious causes like lupus, lymphoma, leukemia, and several others, including, yes, vaccine-induced encephalitis. Note, however, that vaccine-induced encephalitis remains way down the list because of how rare it is.

Just out of curiosity, I went to the VAERS Database because I wanted to see how common reports of serious encephalitis after the influenza vaccine are. It turns out that they aren’t that common. In fact, they’re quite rare, even in the VAERS database, which is custom-designed for over-reporting regardless of whether a condition reported was related to the vaccine administered in the first place. Looking for all cases of encephalitis in adults receiving the the seasonal influenza vaccine, I was only able to find 115 cases over 23 years. If I narrowed the search criteria to include only life-threatening cases of encephalitis in adults age 18 or older that manifested themselves within one day after vaccination (remember, Webb’s reaction was reported to be less than a day after he received the flu vaccine), I found only ten cases; broadening the criteria to all life-threatening encephalitis reactions, regardless of time after vaccination, increased the number to 38 cases. When I narrowed it again only to include deaths, I found four cases, all in elderly people, the youngest of whom was 70 years old. None of the reports has enough detail to infer or reject the likelihood of causation. However, they do suggest how safe the flu vaccine is, as do other reports. For example, one of the stories about Webb’s death reports that 130 million Americans a year receive the flu vaccine, with only 140 people (0.0001%) report serious adverse events.

There are other reasons to think that it wasn’t the vaccine, as enumerated by Liz Ditz, not the least of which is that if there were a bad lot of vaccines responsible for Webb’s encephalitis then one would expect more cases than just one.

It’s understandable that when something like this happens, we as human beings want an explanation. Unfortunately, in the absence of evidence, Lori Webb has latched onto the flu vaccine as the One True Cause of her son’s death. It’s possible that it was, but, given how rare serious adverse events are from the influenza vaccine, it is unlikely that the flu vaccine was the cause of Chandler Webb’s death. It is not, however, impossible. There’s the difference between skeptics who apply science and reason to the claims of pseudoscience promoters like antivaccinationists and the pseudoscience promoters like antivaccinationists. I will concede that it is possible, however unlikely, that the flu vaccine killed Chandler Webb. I hope that Utah health authorities can figure it with a high level of probability out one way or the other. The antivaccine movement, however, will never concede the possibility that the flu vaccine didn’t kill Chandler Webb. Worse, confusing the issue Lori Webb refused to allow an autopsy of her son. I can understand somewhat why she might have made that choice. She knows what killed her son. Not needing any further confirmation (and subconsciously, likely doesn’t want to risk any disconfirming evidence coming to light), she doesn’t want her son’s body violated anymore, even after death.

Unfortunately, because there was no autopsy, we’re far less likely ever to know for sure what killed Chandler Webb, brain biopsy or no brain biopsy. Worse, without an autopsy, the merry gang of antivaccine cranks at Age of Autism will continue to have an easier time than they might otherwise have had having a field day exploiting the death of her son and her blaming the flu vaccine for her son’s death for their own purposes. Those purpose include the undermining of confidence in the US vaccine program.

Comments

  1. #1 Ren
    November 26, 2013

    Thousands of children die of vaccine-preventable diseases each and every day, and Age of Autism doesn’t bat an eye. (Imagine if they asked their followers for donations to UNICEF or Doctors Without Borders, even if earmarked not for vaccines.) One young man unfortunately dies of something from something but had the flu vaccine recently, and Age of Autism loses their mind.

    Figures, they don’t say anything about Wakefield’s attempt at a measles vaccine but then scream bloody murder at Dr. Paul Offit for his rotavirus vaccine.

  2. #2 AnObservingParty
    November 26, 2013

    Ren, like the 150+ kids who died last year of actual influenza? But to AoA, one is a tragedy to fight for. More than 150 moves into statistic range and is therefore something they can’t be bothered with.

    This man’s death is a tragedy, especially with the resulting exploitation, no matter what the cause. I hope it’s determined either way.

  3. #3 Eric Lund
    November 26, 2013

    Ms. Webb says that she did not allow the autopsy. Can we reasonably infer that she doesn’t want to know what killed her son?

  4. #4 Lawrence
    November 26, 2013

    @Eric – but she “KNOWS!” that’s good enough for her….and good enough to AoA to play down the severity of an illness (the flu) that kills thousands of people, including a few hundred children / babies every year – and vilify the vaccine that can help prevent a number of those deaths…..

    Even Cochrane points out that the flu vaccine is one of the safest vaccines on the market, with the lowest number of reported adverse events….but again, that doesn’t stop AoA from losing their damn minds….

  5. #5 palindrom
    November 26, 2013

    I did experience some chills and malaise starting about 12 hours after this year’s flu vaccine, which were completely gone after another 24 hours — it turns out this is a fairly common reaction, and I almost never get sick, so in this case it probably was “teh vaccine”. Much preferable to getting the actual flu, in my book.

  6. #6 Dorit
    November 26, 2013

    @Eric – I can see other reasons for not allowing an autopsy, including just a recoil from thinking about cutting into a son so recently dead. But if you refuse to allow examination facts, it’s problematic to advance an unproven claim of cause, especially when it can scare people from protecting themselves against something that, as pointed above, can demonstrably kill. And if she ends up suing, this decision should count against her.

  7. #7 Lawrence
    November 26, 2013

    @Dorit – “Facts! Evidence! Science!” Anti-vax need not these things…….

  8. #8 AnObservingParty
    November 26, 2013

    @ palindrom, welcome to the not-so-exclusive post-flu-shot-ickiness club! I get that every year, about 8-12 hours after the shot I get chills, aches, sometimes an actual low grade. One time I stayed home from work. I know it’s teh vaccine, but I also know it’s a harmless side effect that means my immune system is doing what it needs to and I will continue to receive the shot to protect myself and more importantly, those around me.

  9. #9 Michael Finfer, MD
    November 26, 2013

    If the authorities out there had enough of an interest in the case, the local medical examiner, if there even is one, could have performed an autopsy over the family’s objection. Since that was not done, it makes me suspect that there was no suspicion that this was anything other than a natural death, upsetting as that may be to the family.

  10. #10 Sarah A
    November 26, 2013

    So he had a physical and a TB test and a flu shot, but his Mom just assumes that its the flu shot that killed him? I wonder if the physical included a stress test. Don’t young people occasionally die from those because of some heart defect they didn’t know they had?

  11. #11 Sarah A
    November 26, 2013

    Sorry – looks like I forgot to close a bracket.

    To continue, its not impossible that her son really did die of some extremely rare complication due to the flu shot, but its just irresponsible to a) assume that’s the case without an autopsy, and then b) try to convince other parents that the flu shot is unsafe. Its like trying to convince people that driving is safer than flying simply because your child died in a plane crash. I realize there’s no “simply” about it when it happens to your child, but that’s no excuse for putting other people (including children) at risk.

  12. #12 Paul Morgan
    UK
    November 26, 2013

    Wonder if they tested him for anti-NMDA receptor antibody encephalopathy or anti potassium channel antibody encephalopathy? We’ve had a few cases of previously inexplicable encephalopathies – previously referred to as “SSE” (“some sort of encephalopathy”) – which in retrospect would fit well with the clinical picture we’ve subsequently seen in those in who we made the diagnosis.

  13. #13 Denice Walter
    November 26, 2013

    Fear and hysteria lead people to believe in the nearly impossible and to neglect the commonplace.

    Today I ran into two stories that further illustrate anti-vaccine faith in unlikely causation:

    TMR’s Ms Sunshine, who didn’t vaccinate, and her child both develop the consequences of the flu- she had a sinus infection and he developed pneumonia and was given antiobiotics and other meds. She wasn’t given medication because it was “probably viral”- thus she carps that he was OBVIOUSLY over-medicated – it’s the doctor’s fault!
    Something is very wrong here.

    Kim ( AoA) perseverates her trend towards exploitation of her daughters’ disabilities whilst disaproving of ND advocates- ALL at the same time.

    She posts her facebook meanderings and shrieking conversations alongside her oldest daughter’s classwork.
    ( Earlier she posted a video- which remains @ AoA side column – of her youngest struggling to speak).

    The classwork ( showing greater than) is illustrated with grinning doctors holding syringes- which launches her into a hissyfi/ tirade. She blame vaccines for her daughter’s inability to function at chronological age level in mathematics; she speaks about the mcg of Hg that produced the destruction of the life “she could have had”- which is telling, to me at least. Others agree with her and present their own tales. Enablement proceeds mutually- is that what these people do at Facebook?

    We should maybe re-think how we react to the anger and hatred spewn by the anti-vaxxers- better that the vitriol be directed at darkly visible, shadowy corrupt figures in someone’s mind’s eye than at real children who disappoint their mothers. It’s also unfair to parade teenagers’ disabilities to gather supporters to your cause or to show “how much you love them” or how “beautiful” they are.
    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

  14. #14 palindrom
    November 26, 2013

    Sarah A — I’ve never had a physical that included a stress test – the only time I had one was when I’d been having unexplained chest pains and they wanted to rule out heart trouble (which they pretty much did. I pushed 24x my base metabolic load at 176 BPM before I gave up. Not to brag, but I’m bragging.)

    More to the point, in all the cases I’ve heard of in which a young person died of an undiagnosed heart defect, death came suddenly, and usually during or just after exercise. IANAD, but this case doesn’t seem to fit that pattern.

  15. #15 Eric Lund
    November 26, 2013

    Its like trying to convince people that driving is safer than flying simply because your child died in a plane crash.

    In this analogy, there is a psychological factor at work. You are more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash, but plane crashes are Headline News, while car crashes might get a couple of paragraphs on page B5, if that, unless somebody famous was involved. Humans are notoriously poor at judging risks at these probability levels, so it’s easy to think that flying is dangerous. The flight insurance counters that used to be prevalent at US airports played into exactly this psychological tendency.

    With vaccines, the situation is less extreme, but the effect is still there. Somebody dying of flu is a “dog bites man” story. Somebody dying within 48 hours of a flu shot is a “man bites dog” story: as Orac points out in the OP, it’s rare enough that people will notice when it does happen, and ignore the orders of magnitude higher death rate from flu as long as it isn’t their friends or relatives who are dying. Add in a natural fear that many have of having needles stuck in their arms. Outfits like AoA feed off of fears like this, and as with flight insurance, some of the anti-vax crowd see a way to make a living. It’s not that the fears are rational, but they do exist, and there are people out there who are eager to feed those fears.

  16. #16 lilady
    November 26, 2013

    One of the AoA cranks, Lujene G. Clark, managed to post this comment on the obituary web page that the parents put up:

    “My deepest sympathies on the passing of your beloved son. The world will be a dimmer place without the light of such a beautiful soul. My heart aches for your family. My son also suffered an adverse reaction from the flu shot in 2002. Thankfully, he survived but still struggles with a damaged immune system as a result. Thank you for bravely and honestly sharing your son’s story as a warning to others. It will save countless lives and suffering. May God provide strength, comfort and peace to your family and friends during this sad, difficult time.
    — Lujene G. Clark”

    I couldn’t connect to Orac’s link to the differential diagnostic link, but here’s the current IDSA diagnostic and treatment guidelines for encephalitis. (This is the same link I provided to CIA, whenever she posts a comment about her infant’s “encephalitic cry” and CIA’s assumption that her baby had vaccine-induced encephalitis/encephalopathy)

    http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/47/3/303.full.pdf

  17. #17 Denice Walter
    November 26, 2013

    @ Eric Lund:

    There’s an entire area of research on this -subjective probability-. People are notorious bad at translating odds figures into planning for life-relevant events. Someone might truly believe that they’ll win the lottery even though the odds are in the *millions* against it. Or that they’ll be the unfortunate one to die in a plane crash or develop an extremely rare cancer. Emotions distort the ability to just look purely at numerical odds.

    Also superstitious beliefs may affect reasoning:
    subjects were given faux tickets to win a money prize- all were equally valued ( 1/1000) HOWEVER researchers discovered that if the subject were allowed to choose a ticket ( vs being given one) s/he valued it more highly ( thought it more likely to win) and asked more money for it when offered an opportunity to sell it back to the experimenter.

  18. #18 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 26, 2013

    I kinda doubt they tested for every single virus or bacteria. There are some that would just be very unlikely, barring contact with a person or animal from a different region. That said, one of the millions of viruses or bacteria that weren’t tested for may be the culprit. Or a genetic disorder. Or some other issue completely. Just not enough data to hand to determine for sure.

  19. #19 Mu
    November 26, 2013

    You only need 50% + a feather (according to the blinking light box) to win in vaccine court for a table injury. Getting an autopsy would have endangered a payout by potentially disproving the vaccine injury story.

  20. #20 AnObservingParty
    November 26, 2013

    Cultures may have been negative–potentially not surprising if he was on several broad spectrums–but what werre his CSF protein/glucose levels and WBC counts? Don’t they do those whenever a meningitis type picture is in the differential, to get at the very least a potential clinical diagnosis? I know I’ve submitted “aseptic meningitis” to our DOH in the absence of a culture-positive.

  21. […] introductory post about it. She links to a post by Orac over at ScienceBlogs, and Orac points out that this is a tragic death, but it’s unexplained. As in, the mother insists it was the influenza inoculation, but that is not consistent with the […]

  22. #22 lilady
    November 26, 2013

    Perhaps a better explanation for the possibilities of the infectious agent/testing for the infectious agent can be found here. In the absence of an autopsy and examination of the brain parenchyma, we may never know what caused the encephalitis.

    http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Encephalitis-and-Meningoencephalitis.htm

  23. #23 Dorit
    November 26, 2013

    Mu – for a table injury, you don’t even need to show that. Causation is presumed. You’d need more likely or not if you wanted to go beyond the table.
    But I’m going to give the mother the benefit of the doubt and assume that so soon after death, it’s not about money. At any rate, it’s not clear this decision won’t work against her in court.

  24. #24 Adr Born
    November 26, 2013

    The fundamental problem here is that the mother did not think. She emoted. Her subconsicous mind controlled her conscious.
    This is a very simple fact of the subconscious mind and human nature. It learns by temporal association without judgement or understanding why. If two things happen in close temporal proximity, the subconscious mind immediately assumes that they are casually connected.
    This and copying successful survivors are the only two available learning strategies for survival that are available to a person when they do not have the scientific knowledge base to habitually deal with the world using theoretical understanding.

  25. #25 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 26, 2013

    In other (somewhat related) news, people are citing a Liberty Beacon story about how scientists “finally admit H1N1 vaccine causes Guillain-Barré Syndrom”. This is a rehash of a recent Natural News story, which is about a study out of Quebec last year that found that among the population studied, there was a risk of 0.0002% of GBS following H1N1 vaccination, compared to the background rate of 0.0001%…if you were over 50. Under 50 years old? No increased risk.

  26. #26 AnObservingParty
    November 26, 2013

    Todd, Is the background rate of .0001 encompassing all age groups? Or is that the specific background rate for the >50 crowd?

  27. #27 lilady
    November 26, 2013

    Here’s the PubMed Abstract for that Guillain Barre study from Quebec:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22782419

  28. #28 AnObservingParty
    November 26, 2013

    Thanks lilady, I have JAMA access so I got the whole thing from your link. They conveniently leave out how the authors also finally admitted how influenza caused hospitalization and death, at a rate of the individual risk of hospitalization following a documented influenza A(H1N1) infection was 1 per 2500 and the risk of death was 1/73000 .

  29. #29 Krebiozen
    November 26, 2013

    I have had enough arguments with antivaxxers to know that many of them would rather see 1,000 children die from flu than have one die due to a vaccine reaction. I suspect some unusual psychology about the consequences of action versus the consequences of inaction may be involved here.

  30. #30 Jeff1971
    November 26, 2013

    The mother was possibly counseled very quickly by an attorney.

    In alleged vaccine injury cases there is often a reluctance to have tests done. A panel of genetic tests, for instance, will commonly be refused.

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    November 26, 2013

    I’d also guess “unusual psychology” as well.

    I think they just can’t accept that autism is intrinsically part of their child- not a plague instilled from without by EXTERNAL malevolent forces.

    If you listen to these folks, you’d think that they HAD a perfect
    child who was DESTROYED by outside forces rather than having a child who happens to have differences in physiology and/ or genetics from that of their own soul likeness (i.e. perfection) reborn who only existed in their minds.

    No one has perfect child except in imagination.

  32. #32 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    November 26, 2013

    In alleged vaccine injury cases there is often a reluctance to have tests done. A panel of genetic tests, for instance, will commonly be refused.

    Forgive me for being sceptical about this claim but I am. What purpose would this serve? It isn’t in the claimant’s best interest to do this as medical records and expert testimony are required for vaccine cases in which other causes are more than likely.

  33. #33 Spectator
    November 26, 2013

    “and Age of Autism loses their mind.”

    Can’t lose what ya don’t have.

  34. #34 Narad
    November 26, 2013

    There’s a saying that covers this: When you hear the hoofbeats, look for horses first, not zebras. Only look for zebras after you’ve ruled out horses.

    Yah, and that’s how the zorses get away with it every time.

  35. #35 Amy
    November 26, 2013

    I wonder if any of the cultures will still end up being positive. I work in a clinical microbiology lab, and some organisms would not yet have had sufficient time to grow. Fungal cultures can be held for 6-8 weeks, and I would suspect that, given the circumstances, even the bacterial cultures will have extended incubation (usually 21 days). Just because the preliminary report comes back “negative” does not mean they will not eventually grow.

  36. #36 ebohlman
    http://turnipsandpotatoes.wordpress.com
    November 26, 2013

    Eric, Denice, Krebiozen: It all comes down to the perception of control. A driver, as compared to an airline passenger, believes (not entirely consciously) that he/she controls all the risks involving the mode of transport (here in the US we call that personal responsibility) and therefore minimizes their perception of them (largely due to cognitive dissonance and self-serving bias).

    This control fallacy is what causes people to overestimate the risks of doing and underestimate the risks of don’ting.

  37. #37 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2013

    When you hear the hoofbeats, look for horses first, not zebras.
    Am I excessively cynical if I look first of all for a guy with a pair of coconut shells?

  38. #38 Krebiozen
    November 26, 2013

    Talk of medical zebras reminds me of this website which searches for rarer medical conditions if you input symptoms. Of great potential use for physicians, but not recommended for hypochondriacs.

  39. #39 herr doktor bimler
    November 26, 2013

    When you hear hoofbeats in the night, take a homeopathic preparation of zebra until symptoms disappear.

  40. #40 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    November 26, 2013

    Am I excessively cynical if I look first of all for a guy with a pair of coconut shells?

    And if there is a coconut shell, was it brought by a swallow? Or perhaps two swallows tied to the coconut with twine?

  41. #41 Sarah A
    November 26, 2013

    An African swallow or a European swallow?

  42. #42 Politicalguineapig
    November 26, 2013

    Adr Born:
    The fundamental problem here is that the mother did not think. She emoted. Her subconsicous mind controlled her conscious.

    And people wonder why I distrust emotion so much.

  43. #43 Denice Walter
    November 26, 2013

    @ ebohlman:

    Sure. That’s a part. There is some research about personality styles( mastery orientation/ helplessness) – when people habitually think of themselves as “agents’ while others think of themselves as ‘pawns’- internal vs external locus of control. Of course, their attributions match their style.

    Also kids progress towards seeing external/ environmental influences on how people behave rather than attributing it only to personal qualities ( “He did wrong because he’s bad”). An odd situation may occur where the subject explains his/her own actions as being due to external influences ( Anyone would do the same if in the same position) BUT attributes others’ actions to long-standing personal traits. Heh.

    There are tons of related material in attribution and social cognition / person perception research.

  44. #44 Denice Walter
    November 26, 2013

    @ PGP:

    I can’t see us as only slaves to emotion-

    So here’s a question for you-
    I’ll preface it with saying that probably most people do things in the heat of anger ( or other strong emotion) that they later regret…

    but were you ever TRULY in a situation where you felt no real control over your own actions because of emotions?
    OR is it more worry about that possibility that upsets you?

    In truth, I have to say I have NEVER felt totally out of control despite having strong emotions and being involved in real catastrophes, danger and nightmarish social situations.

    Don’t be afraid of yourself. You’re alright.

  45. #45 Chris,
    November 26, 2013

    “In truth, I have to say I have NEVER felt totally out of control despite having strong emotions and being involved in real catastrophes, danger and nightmarish social situations.”

    I have. Try as I might, I am flawed. Sometimes the strong emotions have to do with my children.

    Which is why I can identify with the mother. As a bystander, I can see the flaws in her conclusions. But I can kind of understand where she came up with her conclusions.

  46. #46 Alain
    November 26, 2013

    And people wonder why I distrust emotion so much.

    PGP, You need to learn about the bell curve. There’s the normal emotion range which occur 95% of the time and there’s the outliers. You need to distrust the outliers, not the emotions themselves.

    Alain

  47. #47 Sarah A
    November 26, 2013

    I would argue that the bigger problem is not that an individual let her emotions get the better of her (we’re all of us human, after all), but that our society actually glorifies her grief-stricken need to find something to blame as some sort of infallible “Mommy instinct” that obviates the need for empirical evidence. Beneath the “girl power” facade, the whole Mommy instinct/woman’s intuition thing is just another way of perpetuating the stereotype that women are fundamentally irrational (or perhaps arational.)

  48. #48 Harriet Huestis
    November 27, 2013

    Correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is that it is impossible to get encephalitis from the flu shot because it is a killed virus(actually only partial proteins, not even whole virus) Flu mist does have live virus but the reports are saying he had a shot. I don’t know of a live virus shot. It is of course possible to have autoimmune encephalitis.

  49. #49 lilady
    November 27, 2013

    The New York Daily News has a blog up with another video of Chandler’s mother, interviewed the night before his funeral, as featured on KSTU TV (bottom video). Toward the end of the video is an Interview with the Utah State Epidemiologist. The 3 minute video ends with a few comments by the TV reporter.

    “Johns Hopkins and the CDC are still running tests. While the mother refused an autopsy, she is considering taking legal action”.

    I posted two comments on the website.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/utah-mom-healthy-19-year-old-son-died-flu-shot-article-1.1528847

  50. #50 Krebiozen
    November 27, 2013

    PGP,
    Having suffered bouts of depression characterized by the inability to feel anything at all, either positive or negative, I feel very strongly that our emotions are for the most part our friends. Like our sense of smell, we only really notice how pervasive and important our emotions are when they disappear.

    Imagine looking at a beautiful sunset and feeling nothing, imagine having no sexual feelings, no interest in food other than a desire to satisfy hunger pangs, no ability to appreciate art, literature, human company or even science. It is emotions that give us purpose and motivation and add meaning to our lives.

    You are setting yourself goals that are not only unattainable but also undesirable, I promise you. Mastering your emotions is a more worthy and realistic goal. I don’t usually go for ‘self-help’ books, but I have just started reading one out of curiosity, simply because it is recommended by a number of successful Olympic athletes. It’s ‘The Chimp Paradox’ and I think you might find it useful. It is based on a model in which we have two minds, a human (rational) mind and a chimp (emotional) mind, and explains how to manage them, keeping the chimp under control. The paradox referred to in the title is that emotions can be extremely useful, but can also lead us into disaster. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking the former.

  51. #51 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 27, 2013

    @PGP

    To add to what Krebiozen said: no emotions, no empathy. No empathy, sociopathic.

  52. #52 AnObservingParty
    November 27, 2013

    @ PGP,

    I 100% get what you’re saying, and I’ve wished the same things. But Kreb is right, the worst are the depressions…I find them MUCH worse than the mania (or hypomania to be more exact in my case). The fall can be a relief, but at least before it it’s something, after is NOTHING. And too, the cycles won’t necessarily take away the ability to think logically, which makes it even worse because even logic says emotions are normal. I’d like to second Kreb’s book recommendation.

  53. #53 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2013

    @ Chris:
    Notice I say “totally”?
    HOWEVER I do DO well in this area but then people come to me with their catastrophes. *C’est la vie*.

    @ Alain:
    That’s a very good way of looking at the situation.

    @ Sarah A.:
    Agreed. There’s even more of that @ Stagliano’s comments today after a psych grad student with AS diagrees with them.

    @ Krebiozen:
    Sure.
    re sunset/ feel nothing. See Coleridge, ST: “Dejection: an Ode”. He sees but doesn’t feel.

    PGP:
    Did you ever think that perhaps you’re perfectly fine as you are but just need to pick up a few skills that will allow you to get what YOU want in life? YOUR choice.If you want the treasure, you need a map.

    Everyone wants certain things and they may be based on intellectual skills or social skills or both- there’re ways to get to your goals-
    I would guess that most people don’t want to be alone, most people want to be able to use their education or skills in a fulfilling way, most people want security and money and to see new things and places.

    I know guys who teach tennis professionally-
    they have a chart in their office that outlines what they teach ( for parents to read)-
    it’s quite dense with material and lists age groups of kids: for each category, shows what is taught as a physical skill ( in tennis) and what is taught as an emotional skill ( dealing with people and emotions related to competition) .

    Unfortunately, people may think that skills in the latter category- not just in tennis- just “happen” or are”inborn” but really, they are developed. They can be directly taught or emulated by following others- either formally or self-initiated.

  54. #54 Calli Arcale
    November 27, 2013

    Krebiozen:

    Allie Brosh, of “Hyperbole and a Half”, wrote about depression and she described that feeling too, of her emotions being essentially broken. The two-part post on that topic is reprinted in her new book as well. (Which is quite hilarious, and I recommend it to everyone who doesn’t mind a bit of salty language.) She describes how her depression took her right on through self-loathing and into a total lack of feelings . . . and then how, as she got better, the feelings returned in unpredictable ways. Seriously, go read it. It’s illuminating.

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2011/10/adventures-in-depression.html

    http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

  55. #55 Johanna
    November 27, 2013

    Seconded re: Allie Brosh. I’ve had friends who – lucky devils – never quite “got” how depression can screw up a person’s head (mine included). I shared that comic with them and most of them had a lightbulb moment promptly thereafter. It’s a great bit of work…

  56. #56 AnObservingParty
    November 27, 2013

    Thirded on Allie. She also has a book that’s delightful. Her description of what it’s like if/when you manage to claw out of it is spot on too. “Maybe it’s not all hopeless bullsh*t”

  57. #57 Interrobang
    November 27, 2013

    Denice Walter — I can say I’ve truly been in situations where my emotions left me out of control over my own actions (basically getting snappy at people who were ticking me off when I’d normally keep my mouth shut), but I know there were biological problems causing that (hormone imbalance and untreated anxiety). With appropriate medical care, I’m in control. So it can happen…

  58. #58 Denice Walter
    November 27, 2013

    @ Interrobang:

    Of course.

    I was actually referring to more serious consequences–
    ( accident, serious injury, death, jail) which I doubt PGP ever experienced because she emoted- and “no REAL control”.

  59. #59 Kelly M Bray
    November 27, 2013

    Semi OT, semi not OT. This thread about HPV has brought out the full court press of loons and antivaxers. If anyone would like to chime in it would be helpful. The derpery is overwhelming.

    http://katiecouric.com/2013/12/04/the-hpv-vaccine-controversy-rosie-perez/?fb_comment_id=fbc_393852724079327_1957613_394155560715710#f2031804c49e52a

  60. #60 lilady
    November 27, 2013

    @ Kelly M. Bray: Unfortunately, I don’t post on blogs where I use my real name. The mother who claims her daughter made a major score for “vaccine injuries” (chronic fatigue syndrome), associated with the HPV vaccine is a liar.

    The daughter who is “permanently disabled” according to her mother reached an agreement (stipulation), with the Vaccine Court and the settlement was $7,500:

    http://www.uscfc.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/opinions/GOLKIEWICZ.WAYMAN.102811.pdf

  61. #61 Narad
    November 28, 2013

    The daughter who is “permanently disabled” according to her mother reached an agreement (stipulation), with the Vaccine Court and the settlement was $7,500

    It occurs to me that I have no adequate associations upon which to base expectations of a law firm whose second name partner is (was) E.D. Hieronymus, 32nd-Degree Mason.

  62. #62 lilady
    November 28, 2013

    It was a nuisance case Narad. I guess the “permanently-disabled- with-CFS-by-Gardasil-vaccine” petitioner may have to get a J.O.B.

  63. #63 Narad
    November 28, 2013

    It was a nuisance case Narad.

    I said adequate associations. Not to worry, though, as it all comes together at some point.

  64. #64 lilady
    November 28, 2013

    I was preoccupied with the attorney’s demise 64 years after graduating law school…thinking he was ancient…until I remembered the year that the DH graduated.

  65. #65 Toby
    November 28, 2013

    Where there’s smoke……

  66. #66 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 28, 2013

    @Toby:

    Where there’s smoke

    There may be a fire, or a smoke machine, or it may just be a really thick mist and not smoke.

  67. #67 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2013

    These days it usually turns out to be some dude vaping on his e-cigarette.

  68. #68 martin
    November 28, 2013

    @ Paul Morgan #12

    Hard to say, when we do not know more. Anti-NMDA encepalophathy is said to have usually prominent psychiatric symptoms, which were (?) not present here and perhaps more protracted course. Would ADEM (Acute demyelinating encephalomyelitis) be a plausible diagnosis (although it is predominantly the disease occurring in childhood) ? If somebody speculated about ADEM in front of Mrs. Webb, it might explain, why she focused on vaccines. ADEM is thought to be triggered by an infection or a vaccination.
    (Note: neuroimmunology is really not my speciality, the above can be wildly off the mark).

    Martin

  69. #69 lilady
    November 28, 2013

    I’m still “trying to get over” the fact that Chandler’s mother refused an autopsy…and if the reporter is correct “she is considering legal action”. (The night before Chandler’s funeral)

  70. #70 TBruce
    November 28, 2013

    Where there’s smoke……

    …there’s mirrors?

  71. #71 dingo199
    November 28, 2013

    Apropos of nothing, I see that our favorite school of Public Health (GWU), spiritual home of our favorite son, has declared that H1N1 pandemic flu killed 10 times more people than first thought.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/11/26/h1n1-pandemic-killed-10-times-more-than-thought/3758711/

  72. #72 Denice Walter
    November 28, 2013

    @ TBruce:

    You are correct.
    And-btw- I am not worthy etc
    (adopts proper bowing-and-scraping posture)

  73. #73 herr doktor bimler
    November 28, 2013

    Do not invoke Tezcatlipoca, TBruce.

  74. #74 TBruce
    November 29, 2013

    Thought I was invoking the Wizard of Oz, but Tezcatlipoca is one bad-ass deity. I will be careful.

  75. #75 I. Rony Meter
    November 30, 2013

    We can all rest soundly now, Dan Olmsted is on the case:

    There is one other factor I picked up in reading press accounts — Chandler got a tuberculosis shot at the same time. That shot is not on the schedule in this country, but it is in others, and I presume it was given based on where he was headed on his mission.

    The TB shot is a live virus vaccine, and the flu shot usually contains mercury as well as aluminum and a lot of other gunk.

    Another factor he might consider is that TB is a bacterium, not a virus. Let’s see how long it takes for that to change on AoA, with no note that a correction has been made.

  76. #76 Chris,
    November 30, 2013

    I. Rony Meter, quoting that “bastion” of scientific knowledge Dan “ain’t no Amish with autism” Olmsted: “There is one other factor I picked up in reading press accounts — Chandler got a tuberculosis shot at the same time.”

    Um, no, according to the above article quoted by Orac, with added bolding: “However, the day after a physical, tuberculosis test and flu shot, the Brighton High School graduate turned very ill”

    The test was most likely a Mantoux tuberculin skin test. Which as far as I can tell uses a bacterial extract. It is not like Mr. “what Clinic for Special Children” Olmsted uses Google just as well as the phone book in Pennsylvania.

  77. #77 I. Rony Meter
    November 30, 2013

    Ah, should have read the comments. Someone already pointed out that TB is a bacterium. Followed by this comment in defense of Olmsted:

    The TB Vaccine is a live virus vaccine. The name of the vaccine is “BCG Live” because it is a live virus vaccine. I know for a fact it is a live virus vaccine.

    “knows for a fact”

    The vaccine contains live bacteria…

    Oh, and in case the all-knowing AoA commenter wants to check the US vaccine:

    BCG VACCINE for percutaneous use, is an attenuated, live culture preparation of the Bacillus of Calmette and Guerin (BCG) strain of Mycobacterium bovis.

    In case “mycobacterium” isn’t enough for the good AoA reader to conclude that s/he’s wrong about the whole virus thing:

    Bacillus

  78. #78 I. Rony Meter
    November 30, 2013

    TB test, not vaccine? Oh, geez, even worse.

    Olmsted’s been phoning it in for years. His one attempt to regain his past “glory” was his “Tics and Toxins” series. He and Blaxill decided to take on a story about kids in NY state who were developing tics. Of course, it was due to toxins.

    Except it wasn’t.

    Fourteen of the 19 tic-ing girls sought treatment at Dent Neurologic Institute, where they were eventually diagnosed with mass psychogenic illness, a rare form of conversion disorder in which an emotional response to stress can manifest in physical symptoms, such as tics. They have all since recovered, their doctor, Dr. Jennifer McVige, told ABCNews.com.

    It appears as though the attention Olmsted and Blaxill were giving the case made the situation worse.

    But, hey, AoA readers don’t need to hear about the kids getting better. Olmsted and Blaxill just dropped the series. Once the facts went clearly against them.

  79. #79 I. Rony Meter
    November 30, 2013

    Oops. Bad formatting.

  80. #80 I. Rony Meter
    November 30, 2013

    Fourteen of the 19 tic-ing girls sought treatment at Dent Neurologic Institute, where they were eventually diagnosed with mass psychogenic illness, a rare form of conversion disorder in which an emotional response to stress can manifest in physical symptoms, such as tics. They have all since recovered, their doctor, Dr. Jennifer McVige, told ABCNews.com.

    It appears as though the attention Olmsted and Blaxill were giving the case made the situation worse.

    But, hey, AoA readers don’t need to hear about the kids getting better. Olmsted and Blaxill just dropped the series. Once the facts went clearly against them.

  81. #81 Chris,
    November 30, 2013

    Also, the AoA crowd including Mr. “no Amish autism” Olmsted forget that the BCG vaccine is not used in the USA except for those with a higher risk (as noted in your FDA link).

  82. #82 tanya
    new york state
    November 30, 2013

    Perfect reporting as might be written and funded by the vaccine manufacturers themselves. Gardisil, like most vaccines was NEVER tested in an adequate manner. Most people, including this reporter, have no clue that vaccines are never tested in double blind studies. What this means is that the alleged control group is given other vaccines or the range of adjuvants, fillers and preservatives–all of which carry their own high level of toxicity.

    Inflammation of the brain is a common reaction to many vaccines as they cross the blood-brain barrier and cause damage. The extent of the damage varies widely; the dramatic cases ending in severe long-term debility or death are only a small number of the cases with harmful reactions to vaccines.

    Fast tracking of vaccines, thank you GW Bush, has increased the likelihood of chronic damage to the immune system and the development of young brains. The rate of diagnosed regressive autism is up to 1:50 where in 1990 it was 1:10,000.
    The numbers of ADD and ADHD and many auto-immune deficiency diseases is also skyrocketing.

    How can anyone with half a brain not understand that the more toxins you pump into a body, the greater the damage. Mercury (yes it is still in many vaccines), aluminum (another neurotoxin), formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and numerous other toxic ingredients fill up a vaccine to at least 50% of the dose. These toxins are cumulative in the body which is why a healthy baby suddenly goes regressive as the level of poison reaches the tipping point in the brain and nervous system. They also affect the gut bacteria which handles about 75-85% of the body’s immune system. Destroying the healthy bacteria, which is critical for our healthy survival, aggravates the toxic conditions of the vaccines.

    Further, most of these vaccines have never been proven to do what they claim.

    And added to this is the fact that many of these vaccines are being used to create illness. Witness the latest Merck fiasco with the MMR vaccine revelations: the vaccine was always known to cause long term illness and not provide life-long immunity.

    Then we can add the fact that as children are prevented from getting childhood diseases, they become more susceptible to chronic illnesses later in life. Childhood diseases are appropriate to get in childhood and confer life-long immunity. No vaccine does this despite the mythology sold to the public.

    And please don’t pull out the polio vaccine as the holy grail of the pharmaceutical industry. It never did anything. First we had no polio epidemic. Yes, there were cases of neurological syndrome and a few people were crippled. Most people with the disease had nothing more than a mild cold or flu type illness. When the vaccine came out the CDC statistics, which are still available, showed the disease in the population had diminished to a very low number. The vaccine not only did not lower that number, but all cases of polio after the vaccine were from the vaccine.

    Today we call that symptom syndrome by another name so as not to trample on the mythology of vaccine usefulness.

    So now we come to Gardisil. It has killed and maimed many young people and who knows what long term effects we will see in those who survived the shot. But vaccines are the big money maker for big pharma. They are not responsible for damages from their product. They can fast track it with shoddy, if not downright fraudulent research. Their money has bought most of Congress and, like Monsanto with food, is trying to own all the public’s health care.

    Sounding reasonable does not make the argument so. This article is like that: reasonably sounding while spewing forth mythology, falsehoods, and major propaganda spin. This is not reporting.

  83. #83 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 30, 2013

    Tanya:

    Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so may statements strung together at once, not a single one of which was true. Congratulations! You are the the new Thingy!

  84. #84 Chris,
    November 30, 2013

    tanya: citation needed, for everything.

    “When the vaccine came out the CDC statistics, which are still available, showed the disease in the population had diminished to a very low number. ”

    Then please explain these numbers from Twentieth Century USA Census Data:
    Year…. Rate per 100000 of polio
    1912 . . . . 5.5
    1920 . . . . 2.2
    1925 . . . . 5.3
    1930 . . . . 7.5
    1935 . . . . 8.5
    1940 . . . . 7.4
    1945 . . . 10.3
    1950 . . . 22.1
    1955 . . . 17.6
    1960 . . . . 1.8
    1965 . . Less than .05
    1970 . . Less than .05
    1975 . . Less than .05
    1980 . . Less than .05

    And the CDC Pink Book Appendix G:
    Disease: Polio in the USA
    Year__Cases____Deaths
    1950__33,300___1,904
    1951__28,386___1,551
    1952__57,879___3,145
    1953__35,592___1,450
    1954__38,476___1,368
    1955__28,985___1,043
    1956__15,140_____566
    1957___5,485_____221
    1958___5,787_____255
    1959___8,425_____454
    1960___3,190_____230
    1961___1,312______90
    1962_____910______60
    1963_____449______41
    1964_____122______17
    1965______72______16
    1966_____113_______9
    1967______41______16
    1968______53______24
    1969______20______13
    1970______33_______7

    Now tell us again when polio diminished to a very small number before 1955. Why did it drop by more than 90% from the 1950s to the 1960s?

    And seriously, why should believe your assertions?

  85. #85 Lawrence
    November 30, 2013

    Tanya just scored anti-vax bingo….so much stupid.

  86. #86 AnObservingParty
    November 30, 2013

    Then we can add the fact that as children are prevented from getting childhood diseases, they become more susceptible to chronic illnesses later in life

    Because they weren’t killed by childhood diseases during their childhood?

    Actually, no, that implies what statement has any truth to it. I should’ve stopped reading after blood-brain-barrier.

    Also, Tanya, since you brought it up: “mercury” is in the few vaccines it is still in in very, very, VERY small amounts, in the form of the compound thimerosal. Now, anyone with any background in basic chemistry knows that compounds may not maintain the properties of their original elemental components. Tell me, do you eat salt?

  87. #87 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 30, 2013

    Tell me, do you eat salt?

    Possibly not. A Lot of these anti-vax, anti-GMO, cruchy-granola types hate anything that adds flavor or makes anything more pleasurable. Misery is an objective good to them. I blame John Calvin.

  88. #88 Krebiozen
    November 30, 2013

    tanya,

    Gardisil, like most vaccines was NEVER tested in an adequate manner.

    That’s not true, there are lots of studies on PubMed and a good Cochrane review of them.

    Most people, including this reporter, have no clue that vaccines are never tested in double blind studies.

    That is most definitely not true.

    What this means is that the alleged control group is given other vaccines or the range of adjuvants, fillers and preservatives–all of which carry their own high level of toxicity.

    It’s not true that adjuvants, fillers and preservatives are highly toxic in the minuscule amounts present in vaccines.

    Inflammation of the brain is a common reaction to many vaccines as they cross the blood-brain barrier and cause damage.

    Absolutely untrue. Some vaccines may very rarely cause these reactions, so rarely we can’t even be sure they are responsible, but at least 1,000 times less often than the diseases they prevent e.g. measles.

    Fast tracking of vaccines, thank you GW Bush, has increased the likelihood of chronic damage to the immune system and the development of young brains.

    There is no evidence that vaccines damage anyone’s immune systems.

    The rate of diagnosed regressive autism is up to 1:50 where in 1990 it was 1:10,000.

    There is a large amount of evidence against the hypothesis that vaccines cause autism.

    The numbers of ADD and ADHD and many auto-immune deficiency diseases is also skyrocketing.

    Even if that is true, it has nothing to do with vaccines.

    How can anyone with half a brain not understand that the more toxins you pump into a body, the greater the damage.

    How can anyone not understand that extremely small amounts of substances are not toxic even if they are toxic in very much larger doses. Salt will kill you if you take too much at once, does that mean that a sprinkling on your food is deadly.

    Mercury (yes it is still in many vaccines),

    In tiny amounts – do you realize that it would take 8,900 doses of a thimerosal-containing vaccine to make up the same volume of mercury as a single drop of water? I’m sure you have been told before that if you eat a tin of tuna you will probably ingest more mercury in a more dangerous form than there was ever in any vaccine.

    aluminum (another neurotoxin),

    Less of which is absorbed into the blood than from our daily diets, and hundreds of times less than you would absorb from a single dose of an aluminum-containing antacid.

    formaldehyde (a known carcinogen)

    As much as your body produces naturally every hour through normal metabolism, and far less than you would get in a glass of orange juice.

    These toxins are cumulative in the body

    No they are not, they are all easily metabolized and/or excreted in urine and feces.

    which is why a healthy baby suddenly goes regressive as the level of poison reaches the tipping point in the brain and nervous system.

    Absolutely untrue.

    They also affect the gut bacteria which handles about 75-85% of the body’s immune system. Destroying the healthy bacteria, which is critical for our healthy survival, aggravates the toxic conditions of the vaccines.

    That’s a new one. Please, do explain how gut bacteria “handle” the body’s immune system and how vaccines injected intramuscularly destroy our healthy gut bacteria.

    Further, most of these vaccines have never been proven to do what they claim.

    Not true at all, PubMed has thousands of studies that demonstrate the efficacy of various vaccines.

    And added to this is the fact that many of these vaccines are being used to create illness. Witness the latest Merck fiasco with the MMR vaccine revelations: the vaccine was always known to cause long term illness and not provide life-long immunity.

    This is also news to me. Please give a reference to these revelations which, if they exist, must contradict many studies by independent researchers.

    Then we can add the fact that as children are prevented from getting childhood diseases, they become more susceptible to chronic illnesses later in life. Childhood diseases are appropriate to get in childhood and confer life-long immunity. No vaccine does this despite the mythology sold to the public.

    The mythology is that natural infections are somehow good for us and that they confer lifelong immunity when vaccines don’t. This is simply not true.

    And please don’t pull out the polio vaccine as the holy grail of the pharmaceutical industry. It never did anything.

    That’s a flat lie. How can you possibly claim that in the face of the huge amount of evidence that it is very effective?

    First we had no polio epidemic. Yes, there were cases of neurological syndrome and a few people were crippled. Most people with the disease had nothing more than a mild cold or flu type illness.

    It’s true that only 1% of those who contract polio suffer paralysis, but at the peak of the epidemic in the US in the 1950s there were thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of cases of paralysis every year. The 1952 polio epidemic alone resulted in 57,628 cases, 3,145 deaths and 21,269 people were left with mild to disabling paralysis, in one year. Do you really count tens of thousands of people as “a few”? How can anyone claim this did not happen when there are still people alive today who are still paralyzed?

    When the vaccine came out the CDC statistics, which are still available, showed the disease in the population had diminished to a very low number. The vaccine not only did not lower that number, but all cases of polio after the vaccine were from the vaccine.

    None of this is true, as Chris has demonstrated.

    Today we call that symptom syndrome by another name so as not to trample on the mythology of vaccine usefulness.

    That’s yet another lie. There is such a thing as vaccine associated paralytic polio, but it is extremely rare, one case for every million doses of oral polio vaccine administered. In comparison wild polio leads to paralysis in one in a hundred cases, which you apparently think is just fine. The live oral vaccine is no longer in use in the developed world, by the way.

    So now we come to Gardisil. It has killed and maimed many young people and who knows what long term effects we will see in those who survived the shot.

    No it hasn’t! Gardasil is a remarkably safe and effective vaccine which will undoubtedly prevent many deaths from cancer. It only contains the protein coat of the virus so it stimulates the immune system without any risk of infection. Look at the deaths on VAERS and you will see deaths from accidents, car crashes and drownings, and some from blood clots in young women taking the oral contraceptive pill, which is an unfortunate known side effect of the pill. There is no evidence supporting claims of deaths and injuries due to Gardasil, despite large scale post marketing surveillance of the vaccine.

    But vaccines are the big money maker for big pharma.

    Not really, they would make far more money selling drugs to treat the diseases vaccines prevent, but they don’t want to see the return of vaccine preventable diseases any more than any other sane people do.

    They are not responsible for damages from their product.

    Yes they are, if they were negligent in its production.

    They can fast track it with shoddy, if not downright fraudulent research.

    Citation?

    Their money has bought most of Congress

    Any evidence for that?

    and, like Monsanto with food, is trying to own all the public’s health care.

    Personally I’m in the UK which is following the US lead in vaccines, despite having socialized medicine and doctors and hospitals having no motive to vaccinate people apart from the fact that they are proven to save lives and prevent illness.

    Sounding reasonable does not make the argument so. This article is like that: reasonably sounding while spewing forth mythology, falsehoods, and major propaganda spin. This is not reporting.

    Yet everything Orac writes is supported by large amounts of reliable evidence, while almost everything you have written above is demonstrably untrue. Not just untrue, but wildly, ridiculously untrue. Polio epidemics never happened? That is one of the silliest things I have ever read, and that’s saying something.

  89. #89 Khani
    November 30, 2013

    #82 tanya

    “Gardisil, like most vaccines was NEVER tested in an adequate manner.”

    Citation needed, please.

    “Most people, including this reporter…”

    Orac is not a reporter. He is a surgeon.

    “What this means is that the alleged control group is given other vaccines or the range of adjuvants, fillers and preservatives–all of which carry their own high level of toxicity.”

    Please give examples of every time an identical amount of the identical substances in vaccines, by themselves, have resulted in a “high level of toxicity.” You will not be able to do this, because in those amounts, the substances are not toxic.

    “The rate of diagnosed regressive autism is up to 1:50 where in 1990 it was 1:10,000.”

    These numbers are blatantly false, as has been discussed on this very blog multiple times.

    “The numbers of ADD and ADHD and many auto-immune deficiency diseases is also skyrocketing.”

    Statement has nothing to do with vaccination, but a lot to do with increased awareness, testing and available treatments.

    “Mercury (yes it is still in many vaccines), aluminum (another neurotoxin), formaldehyde (a known carcinogen) and numerous other toxic ingredients fill up a vaccine to at least 50% of the dose.”

    Citation is needed for that. You don’t have a very good understanding of how “toxins” work, do you?

    Did you know water is a toxin? Yes. It can kill you if you drink enough of it. This illustrates that dose makes the poison.

    Are you aware that phosphorus and chromium are contained in multivitamins? Are you aware that both of those substances in larger doses are poisonous? Are you therefore railing against supplement companies because they are selling “toxins”?

    “These toxins are cumulative in the body which is why a healthy baby suddenly goes regressive as the level of poison reaches the tipping point in the brain and nervous system.”

    This is not the least bit true. Where on earth are you getting this stuff?

    “They also affect the gut bacteria which handles about 75-85% of the body’s immune system.”

    Really? I thought the skin was the major preventer of infection. Please provide a citation.

    “Destroying the healthy bacteria, which is critical for our healthy survival, aggravates the toxic conditions of the vaccines.”

    Vaccines don’t destroy anything other than their targets. Citation needed, again.

    “Further, most of these vaccines have never been proven to do what they claim.”

    Actually, they are tested long, long before they are allowed to hit the market, and there’s even available rates of efficacy so that people can find out exactly how effective particular vaccines are. Quite simple to find that information too, if you look for it. Why aren’t you looking for it?

    “And added to this is the fact that many of these vaccines are being used to create illness.”

    By whom? No, not “big pharma,” I would like some specific names of specific people, please. People who apparently do not have any children, nor aged relatives, nor relatives with chronic illnesses who are vulnerable. Please, name specific people who are involved in this worldwide conspiracy, and please, offer proof that they are.

    “Then we can add the fact that as children are prevented from getting childhood diseases, they become more susceptible to chronic illnesses later in life.”

    Again, please cite the scientific study that shows this. As far as I know, most of the prevalence of chronic illness can be traced to two things–one, with vaccines, people with chronic illnesses (who are often susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases) don’t die as young, two, diagnosis of chronic illness has improved greatly, and three, many treatments are now available to treat people with chronic illnesses, even if they don’t cure them .

    “Childhood diseases are appropriate to get in childhood and confer life-long immunity.”

    So it’s okay that some kids die, go blind or become infertile due to diseases that can easily be prevented?

    Also, often, getting the disease does not actually confer life-long immunity. By the way, vaccines often don’t either– that’s why there are booster shots on the schedule. Which, by the way, is also available if you search for it, but you didn’t bother to look at it before you made a bunch of false statements here, did you?

    “First we had no polio epidemic.”

    Wow, so it was all faked? All those people aren’t really paralyzed? All those victims were really just liars, and so were all the medical professionals? And newspapers of the times were in on it too, because they reported all about the polio epidemics.

    “Yes, there were cases of neurological syndrome and a few people were crippled.”

    But what’s a few cripples here or there? Who cares about them, right?

    “Most people with the disease had nothing more than a mild cold or flu type illness.”

    I’m sure the people who were paralyzed for life are very comforted by that. Oh, wait, they were lying and faked their paralysis, right?

    “The vaccine not only did not lower that number, but all cases of polio after the vaccine were from the vaccine.”

    Citation *really* needed.

    “So now we come to Gardisil. It has killed and maimed many young people and who knows what long term effects we will see in those who survived the shot.”

    Citations, please.

    “But vaccines are the big money maker for big pharma.”

    Completely false.

    “They are not responsible for damages from their product.”

    Also completely false. Vaccine court was actually made to streamline the responsibility process and make it easier for real victims to be compensated.

    “Their money has bought most of Congress and, like Monsanto with food, is trying to own all the public’s health care.”

    Name specific names, please, with specific documentation of specific payoffs, with amounts, dates and details of specific agreements between specific people. How many people are in on the conspiracy, precisely?

    Clearly none of them have children, grandchildren or family of their own who could be sickened, or even large sums would probably not convince them to go in on such a thing, right?

    “Sounding reasonable does not make the argument so.”

    Yet you can’t even manage that.

    “This is not reporting.”

    It’s not reporting because Orac is not a reporter. You can’t even get that right!

  90. #90 Krebiozen
    November 30, 2013

    I’m running short of question marks and may have omitted to use some in the appropriate places in my rant above. I’ve heard a rumor they may be worth as much as BitCoins in a few years.

  91. #91 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2013

    Goodness me, Tanya @82 likes to talk about Gardasil. A lot. In a thread about purported side-effects to flu vaccine, where no-one was talking about Gardasil before Tanya. It is as if Tanya REALLY NEEDS to vent about Gardasil and doesn’t really care whether it is relevant to a given conversation.

    I suspect that she doesn’t get invited to parties very often.

    Mercury … aluminum … formaldehyde … and numerous other toxic ingredients fill up a vaccine to at least 50% of the dose.

    By my rough reckoning that leaves less than 50% of the dose for a solvent. I have to wonder how anyone can squeeze the resulting solid gloop out through the syringe.

  92. #92 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2013

    Most people with [polio] had nothing more than a mild cold or flu type illness.

    For family reasons, Tanya is cordially invited to die in a fire. I’m sure it will be nothing worse than a mild cold or flu type illness.

  93. #93 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    November 30, 2013

    I’ve heard a rumor they may be worth as much as BitCoins in a few years.

    I guarantee that is 100% accurate.

  94. #94 Narad
    November 30, 2013

    Gardisil, like most vaccines was NEVER tested in an adequate manner. Most people, including this reporter, have no clue that vaccines are never tested in double blind studies. What this means is that the alleged control group is given other vaccines or the range of adjuvants, fillers and preservatives–all of which carry their own high level of toxicity.

    Leaving aside the Salk trials, this is the part where you get to start babbling about the “so-called saline placebo” in HPV-018, Tanya.

  95. #95 herr doktor bimler
    November 30, 2013

    Narad, I suspect that you give Tanya too much credit for having researched the subject on which she is babbling. She seems to follow the school of thought that the less you know on a subject, the more valuable your opinion.

  96. #96 lilady
    December 2, 2013

    Anne Dachel has a new post up. She’s interviewing Dr. Mitchell Fleisher an MD/Homeopath; the short Skype snippets and printed interview are 24 karat comedy gold.

    http://www.ageofautism.com/2013/12/dachel-qa-with-dr-mitchell-fleisher-on-integrative-medicine.html

    Go to the link to his website where he “sells” unlimited access to his portal for homeopathy treatments for every disease/disorder including autism for the unbelievable !!!! rock bottom !!!! price of $59.95/yearly subscription !!!!

    http://www.alternativedrmcare.com/

    For vaccine “truth”, he refers his patients to Babs’ National Vaccine Information Center.

    He also provides homeopathic treatments for autism to children and adults. Doesn’t Anne Dachel claim there are no autistic adults?

  97. #97 I. Rony Meter
    December 2, 2013

    “Doesn’t Anne Dachel claim there are no autistic adults?”

    She thinks there is a homeopathic adult population–so few that there are essentially none ;)

  98. #98 Denice Walter
    December 2, 2013

    @ lilady:
    @ I. Rony-

    I think that the mind-altering Dachel is refers to *young* adults- i.e. the children who were “destroyed* by vaccines in the 1990s- including AJW’s subjects (objects?), Kim S.’s and other AoA mavens’ teenagers and 20 year-olds…
    as well as near-adults they fret about endlessly.

  99. #99 lilady
    December 2, 2013

    @ Denice Walter: Aha, got it. Anne Dachel is referring to her own twenty-something child who was diagnosed with an ASD at age seven and is “vaccine-damaged”.

    Dr. Fleisher really is a licensed medical doctor. According to the information he provided to the Virginia Medical Licensing Board, he sees patients three days a week, has no hospital affiliations and accepts no insurance coverage. That must be some lucrative practice with a cash only-upfront fee structure.

    http://www.vahealthprovider.com/results_generalinfo.asp?License_No=0101037274

  100. #100 I. Rony Meter
    December 2, 2013

    Lookie, Dan Olmsted edited his piece and left no comment that he corrected it:

    The sad news this week about the death of Chandler Webb, 19, after a flu shot is a reminder of the reality of what the medical professionals call an idiosyncratic reaction. (He also got either a TB test or shot, depending on the account.)

    Gee Dan, can’t admit a mistake?

  101. #101 Krebiozen
    December 2, 2013

    Quote from ‘The Tunnel’, yet another version of the Danish/Swedish TV drama ‘The Bridge’, this time focused on the Eurotunnel between Britain and France:

    You can always spot an idiot from their views on vaccination.

    Who was it who said we are losing the PR war? Oh yes, an idiot.

  102. […] A tragic as yet unexplained death, exploited by antivaccinationists (scienceblogs.com) […]

  103. #103 Keltner
    December 5, 2013

    I’ve never seen a site with so many pro-vax fascists. NOBODY can deny that vaccines have been given a huge pass in the pharma industry from development to effectiveness, to repercussions after inoculation. The narrow window of HPV strains Guardasil “protects” against is laughable. As is the amount of toxic junk and now genetically modified material delivered in these shots (hello Flublock). If everyone on this site and people like Kreblozen took a hard look around, you’d realize that your Pro-Vax agenda is on it’s way out. Welcome to the age of democratized news and informed consent.

  104. #104 Chris,
    December 5, 2013

    Oh, Keltner, you have devastated us all with that eloquent and well thought out message on how we are so wrong. Thank you for setting us straight.

    But, I am wondering: do you have any actual evidence for what you just posted?

  105. #105 AnObservingParty
    December 5, 2013

    The narrow window of HPV strains Guardasil “protects” against is laughable the ones it does cover cause the majority of HPV-related cancers. Which is the point.

    If everyone on this site and people like Kreblozen took a hard look around, you’d realize that your Pro-Vax agenda is on it’s way out.

    Really? Because while there may be pockets of misinformed, undervaccinated people, the US is still doing pretty good as a whole. The silent majority gets vaccinated at they should.

    informed consent We very much like informed consent! With facts. Please cite your source as to what exactly makes FluBlock different from any other vaccine, without screaming INSECT EGG DNA!!! Because there isn’t any. Buzzwords with no meaning do not equal informed consent.

  106. #106 Calli Arcale
    December 5, 2013

    Keltner:

    Welcome to the age of democratized news and informed consent.

    A couple of quick points:
    1) If you’re really in favor of democratized news, you shouldn’t object to us getting to express our opinions. It’s funny how the folks who shout the loudest about free speech tend to be the last ones to recognize that it cuts both ways.

    2) If you want informed consent, you shouldn’t be so gleeful about misinforming people.

  107. #107 Johanna
    December 5, 2013

    @Keltner

    The key part of “informed consent” is, y’know, information. Accurate information.

  108. #108 Krebiozen
    December 5, 2013

    Keltner,

    I’ve never seen a site with so many pro-vax fascists.

    I can guess the sort of places you have been hanging out from that comment. I think you have been grossly misinformed, but this is your chance to discover the truth.

    NOBODY can deny that vaccines have been given a huge pass in the pharma industry from development to effectiveness, to repercussions after inoculation.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “a huge pass”, but I suspect you mean the US Vaccine Court. The reasons for vaccines being given this “huge pass” is that they are extraordinarily safe and effective, but the industry was being threatened by unfounded litigation, and vaccine manufacturers were in danger of stopping vaccine manufacture which would have been a disaster.

    You should take a look at some vaccine safety and efficacy studies – search the Cochrane Summaries to read some interesting reviews – to see just how thoroughly vaccine safety and efficacy has been studied.

    The narrow window of HPV strains Guardasil “protects” against is laughable.

    That’s not true. Gardasil protects against HPV-16 and HPV-18 that cause 70% of cervical cancers, 80% of anal cancers, 60% of vaginal cancers, 40% of vulvar cancers, most HPV induced oral cancers, and some other rare genital cancers. It also protects against HPV-6 and HPV-11 that cause 90% of genital warts. What is remotely laughable about that?

    As is the amount of toxic junk and now genetically modified material delivered in these shots (hello Flublock).

    What toxic junk? Which specific substances do you think are present in Gardasil in quantities anywhere near great enough to be toxic? The “genetically modified material” is the whole point of Gardasil, that it used genetically engineered baker’s yeast to produce just the protein coat of HPV, which triggers an immune response with zero risk of infection. The minuscule amounts of DNA that may (or may not) be present are of no concern at all.

    Flublok, by the way, is a brilliant innovation that allows a flu vaccine to be produced more quickly, making it more likely to match circulating strains and greatly improving efficacy.

    If everyone on this site and people like Kreblozen took a hard look around, you’d realize that your Pro-Vax agenda is on it’s way out.

    I am constantly looking around, very hard indeed, and it seems very clear to me that the provax message is getting out. That reference in the drama I mentioned is just one small piece of evidence. High vaccine uptake is another more important piece. Sadly it may take a major outbreak of pertussis or measles in some parts of the US to make some parents truly aware of what a dangerous gamble they are taking with their children’s lives by refusing vaccines. That seems to have worked in Europe where MMR uptake has never been better since several nasty measles outbreaks.

    Welcome to the age of democratized news and informed consent.

    Why is it always someone who repeats a number of easily exposed lies that spouts some nonsense about informed consent along with the misinformation?

  109. #109 herr doktor bimler
    December 5, 2013

    NOBODY can deny that vaccines have been given a huge pass
    And yet I deny it!

  110. #110 Dangerous Bacon
    December 5, 2013

    “I’ve never seen a site with so many pro-vax fascists.”

    The uniforms and shiny black leather accessories are irresistible.

  111. #111 flip
    In the land of catch-up reading
    December 28, 2013

    I’m sorry that such a young person died, and the mother has an understandable need to look for reasons why.

    Having said that, even if she is right: so they check to see if he had a vaccine… then what? I mean, how do they ‘reverse’ the effects? It’s not like a snake bite where you just go and get an antidote. (What form would the antidote be in anyway? An injection?)

    Just because you say “oh he has an infection from the vaccine” doesn’t mean you can somehow magically cure the infection. Whatever happened, it sounds like things were too far along and to obscure for the doctors to do much for him.

  112. #112 For Mo
    Utah
    February 3, 2014

    First let me make this clear, I do not know Chandler’s family but I was very interested in her story since my son also passed away after a flu vaccine but it was on November 20th, 2009. It was thirty two days after receiving the 2009 H1N1 Flumist vaccine from Myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart caused by a recent viral infection. Yes we had an autopsy and the medical examiner said it would have been caused by the flu he had in Oct. We had asked her to check for the vaccine in our first conversation and every week until we received the results in Feb 2010. He didn’t have the flu in Oct he had the vaccine on Oct 19. On Nov 4th he had sent a message to his girlfriend that he had a little bit of a sore throat and felt tired but the next day he was fine. Myo often mimics flu-like symptoms but the vaccine can’t give you the flu, right? so maybe it is Myo? (I still have not received a medical or scientific explanation for that question).
    Christopher was nineteen, he had always been healthy and active. He had never received a regular flu vaccine and did not get the regular flu vaccine at that time either. He debated about getting the H1N1 vaccine and had gone back and forth about it for a few weeks before deciding to go ahead with it.
    Just to eliminate any comments about vaccine court, we were banned from filing with VICP because the 2009 H1N1 vaccine fell under a pandemic declaration and therefore had to be filed under the rules set by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program aka CICP, and they were not decided until Oct 2011. I had one year to file so my deadline was Oct 19, 2010. I spent several months contacting attorneys all over the country trying to get help and one, yes ONE called me back to tell me they did not handle those types of claims. They referred to another attorney and he had never heard of CICP. He did explain VICP rules to me and that helped in writing the reconsideration letter after we were denied but we were still denied. See under CICP you have to prove that the injury was a direct result of the vaccine. They admitted that I proved a temporal relationship but not a direct cause. I was limited on what I could send in, everything had to be a medical or scientific backed piece of evidence. I could not send his FB messages about how he felt two weeks after the vaccine or our conversations. Since he was healthy all that I had was his wellness check from 2008, a mid 2009 middle of the night emergency room visit after a bad experience with a fast food dinner, he was given a nausea pill and sent home and was fine the next day, (no lab tests were conducted I know because I requested all information and we were never billed for any lab tests), the vaccine record and the autopsy. If he had run to the doctor for his sore throat in Nov 2009 I could have included that in the reconsideration, but since he felt fine the next day he didn’t seek medical attention so the FB message was not allowed. I was also not allowed to include pictures that were taken prior to the vaccine, after the vaccine and a week before his death. To them he was just a CICP claim number. Oh and your judge and jury are employees of HRSA.
    I think all pharmas and any company that could possibly face an injury lawsuit, would be happy with those types of rules, the lawyers might not like it, but think of all the lawsuits that would never come in to play if everything fell under the CICP rules. Your judge and jury would be made up of employees of the company you were suing, WOW, Merry Christmas to them. Just think no more class action lawsuits, no frivolous lawsuits, the only way you could sue is if you could prove “willful misconduct” and that is only if a government official instigates an investigation. Under CICP it is Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
    So, the compassionate side of me says, I don’t feel all vaccines are completely unsafe, I do have a concern about the schedule and there will be children that are injured and there should be an easy way to seek compensation for future medical issues for ALL vaccines, countermeasures or routine and they should fall under the same rules. FYI, the smallpox and anthrax vaccine that is routinely given to our troops falls under CICP rules and the smallpox vaccine has been found to cause Pericarditis, also an inflammation of the heart but it affects the lining instead to the heart muscle. The CDC admits that vaccines are “unavoidably unsafe.”
    And then there is the vindictive side of me that hopes that every person that has looked at me and said, “It couldn’t have been the vaccine”, “although it may have been vaccine,maybe you can find peace if you think of all the people it saved”, or the “anti-vaxxers that think the loss of one child to a vaccine injury is a big deal when it saves hundreds” I hope you get the opportunity to walk in the same shoes I have been walking in for the last 1536 days. I think it will give you a little different perspective.

  113. #113 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    February 3, 2014

    @For Mo – I am sorry for your loss.

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