As hard as it is to believe, there was once a time when I (sort of) gave “Dr. Bob” Sears the benefit of the doubt. You remember Dr. Bob, don’t you? Son of the famous pediatrician Dr. William Sears, who was best known for his “Sears Parenting Library” and is a not infrequent guest on TV, where he goes by the name of “Dr. Bill.” Like his father, Bob Sears, likes to do the “Dr. First Name” thing and calls himself “Dr. Bob.” (What is it with pediatricians and this annoying affectation?)

Along with his wife Martha Sears, RN, Dr. Bill is known as a major proponent of “attachment parenting.” Unfortunately, the woo that Dr. Bob has chosen appears to be antivaccinationism. Oh, sure, he’ll deny it to high heaven, but a close examination of the book that made him famous, Dr. Bob’s The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child, reveals otherwise. Basically, Dr. Bob’s Vaccine Book advocates an “alternative vaccine schedule,” that strikes me more than anything else as being based on a favorite trope of the antivaccine movement, the claim that children receive “too many too soon.” (Indeed, Dr. Bob has even publicly admitted that it’s not evidence-based, meaning that he pulled it out of his nether regions, if you know what I mean.) Its rationale was deconstructed very well by—who else?—Paul Offit a while ago. John Snyder also did a detailed takedown.

Indeed, there was a time when I asked the question, “Dr. Bob Sears: stealth antivaccinationist?” No more. Now it’s not a question any more. I say that Dr. Bob definitely is an antivaccinationist. He’s tipped his hand on vaccines so many times now that I just don’t buy his weaselly denials anymore. I mean, seriouslyl, there appears to be no antivaccine trope that he won’t repeat. Dr. Bob has become antivaccine to the core, to the point where he’s even an admin on an antivaccine Facebook group.

So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised by Dr. Bob’s little rant on his Facebook page yesterday. It revealed a level of antivaccine stupid that was irresponsible and ignorant even by Dr. Bob’s standards. It was blatantly self-serving, too, even more so than Dr. Bob’s blather usually is. Indeed, it nauseated me to read Dr. Bob prove that he is utterly unworthy to be a doctor. I’m going to reprint the whole thing, in case Dr. Bob sends it down the memory hole:

Measles Epidemic . . . NOT!

Why is it that every time there are a few cases of measles, everyone panics? I just don’t get it. So, here’s the situation in the O.C., where I live and practice. Seven cases. Seven. That’s 7. Not 700, not a million. Seven. So, why do people panic? Here’s one reason: the ^$#@*&%&*$# media. News reports go out stating that there are outbreaks of measles, and everyone needs to be concerned. Everyone is quick to blame those who don’t vaccinate, AND those who don’t vaccinate start to panic. We’ve gotten dozens of calls to our office with people wanting to know if they should come in for the vaccine.

Here’s my take on it:

EVERY single year in the U.S. we have measles – between 50 and 150 cases. Last year there were two large outbreaks – 58 cases in New York and over 20 in Texas. Both those outbreaks died out. No one has died from measles in the U.S. in over 10 years. So, there is ALWAYS the potential for measles. ALWAYS. If you choose not to do the vaccine, then you just have to accept that fact, and not panic whenever you hear the “M” word. You’ve lived with this risk for years, so why panic just because there are 7 cases in the county you live in? This year there will be more than usual, the way it’s looking so far, but it’s not a reason to panic. Make your choice – do vaccine, or don’t do the vaccine.

So, when SHOULD someone worry? If an actual direct exposure has occurred from a known case, then you might be at risk. This doesn’t mean a case in the county in which you live: it means that you’ve actually been in the same room with someone who has had measles. Or, at the most, maybe the same building. But transmission almost always requires close proximity (same room). There have been a handful of cases over the decades in which someone sitting across a stadium has caught it, but that is almost unheard of. You have to be in the same room, people. If THAT happens, call me. If not, then just relax and go about your life as usual.

IF we see more cases, I’ll let you know. Actually, just to give you a heads up, we probably WILL see a few more cases. But virtually all measles outbreaks are limited to 10 to 20 cases in any given county. So, the chance that any one of your unvaccinated children is going to be a case is very very very very very small. I love you all, and love caring for you all. But just chill out. Measles will never go away – it’s always going to be a very small risk. If you aren’t comfortable with that, get the vaccine. If you don’t want the vaccine, accept the risk.

Remember, California is in the midst of a measles outbreak as Dr. Bob rants at his patients.Not surprisingly, the antivaccine political group The Canary Party loves Dr. Bob’s rant so much that it posted a copy on its Facebook page.

So Dr. Bob’s gotten dozens of calls at his office from parents asking whether they should get the MMR vaccine for their children? Good! The parents of Dr. Bob’s patients should be concerned! If Dr. Bob had even the slightest bit of responsibility as a physician, his answer would be, “Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes!” But, then, having observed him for a few years now, I’ve come to the conclusion that Dr. Bob takes no responsibility, has no honor, and no longer behaves like a responsible pediatrician—strike that, no longer behaves like a pediatrician or even a physician. He demonstrates that quite emphatically with is little rant above. My guess from the rant above is that his answer is not the correct one, but rather the weaselly one. In fact, the entire rant is a complete abdication of professional responsibility. Instead of urging his patients to get the MMR vaccine, he’s basically telling them they’re on their own. He’s washing his hands, telling them, in essence, “Well, if you’re worried, then just get the vaccine. Or don’t. I don’t care.” Yes, that sure is how he comes across.

The rest of his post is a pathetic list of self-serving excuses.

What do I mean by that? If you’ve read Seth Mnookin’s book The Panic Virus, you know that in his book Mnookin reported that “patient zero” in a major measles outbreak in San Diego in 2008 was a patient of Dr. Sears. Since then, Dr. Bob’s account of that incident has been—shall we say?—fluid. This is odd, given that his involvement with patient zero was not a secret. It was reported by This American Life and the Orange County Register. Basically, a then seven-year-old patient of Dr. Bob’s (unvaccinated, it would appear) went to Switzerland, where there is a big problem with antivaccinationists, and came back with the measles. Eventually, eleven other children were infected, and in the outbreak dozens more were quarantined (some for up to three weeks). It was the largest outbreak in California in almost two decades.

What amazes me about Dr. Sears is just how whiny he is. He has no one to blame for his situation but himself. He’s the one who’s become the darling of the antivaccine movement. He’s the one who thinks children get “too many too soon.” He’s the one who has at every turn downplayed the severity of the infectious diseases against which we vaccinate. He has spread messages that include, among others:

  • Vaccination Has Eliminated Infectious Diseases at the Price of Causing Chronic Diseases
  • Vaccine Safety Testing Is Insufficient
  • Natural Infection Is Better Than Vaccination
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Are Not That Bad
  • Vaccine Mandates Should Be Eliminated

Indeed, most recently, Dr. Sears was a vocal opponent (along with antivaccine comedian Rob Schneider) of California Bill AB 2109, which was an effort on the part of the state of California to make it more difficult for parents to obtain non-medical exemptions from vaccine mandates by requiring parents to have a physician (or certain other health care providers) counsel the parents and sign the waiver. That was it. The idea was that such parents should hear from physicians the actual medical science regarding vaccines before they are allowed an exemption from the requirement that their child be vaccinated before he can attend school.

Perhaps what’s the most irresponsible and, yes, despicable aspect of Dr. Bob’s rant is his complete dismissal of the seriousness of measles. The CDC lists the seriousness of the measles and its complications: 1 out 20 patients with measles get pneumonia; 1 in 1,000 will develop measles encephalitis; 4 to 11 out of 100,000 will get SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), a fatal neurodegenerative disease; 1 or 2 out of 1,000 will die. Before the measles vaccine was developed:

In the decade before the measles vaccination program began, an estimated 3–4 million people in the United States were infected each year, of whom 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis. Widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases in the United States compared with the pre-vaccine era, and in 2012, only 55 cases of measles were reported in the United States.

However, measles is still common in other countries. The virus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly in areas where vaccination is not widespread. It is estimated that in 2008 there were 164,000 measles deaths worldwide—that equals about 450 deaths every day or about 18 deaths every hour.

However, what’s worrisome is that in 2013 there were 189 cases of measles, the second largest number since measles was thought to be eliminated in 2000, including the largest outbreak since 1996 (58 cases), which occurred in an orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn. Dr. Bob might poo-poo the relatively few cases, but we know from experience in the UK that it doesn’t take much degradation of herd immunity for measles to come roaring back. In the U.K., for instance, thanks to Dr. Bob’s new buddy Andrew Wakefield and his stoking of fear of the MMR vaccine as a cause of autism, MMR uptake plummeted, and measles came roaring back, a process that still hasn’t been reversed, even after vaccine uptake has started to recover. In 2013 there were 1,843 confirmed cases of measles, compared to 56 cases in 1998, the year Andrew Wakefield first published his case series in which he implied that measles was correlated with autistic enterocolitis. We know that the numbers fluctuated a few years before continuing their upward march. In Europe the situation is even worse, with over 10,000 cases of measles in 2013, the vast majority in children who are either undervaccinated or unvaccinated. What health officials worry about is that a spike in measles cases or an outbreak like the one in Brooklyn might presage a massive surge in measles due to degradation of herd immunity.

Funny I should mention herd immunity. Dr. Sears has basically urged parents who don’t want to vaccinated to “hide in the herd,” telling parents who don’t vaccinate not to tell their neighbors about their fears of vaccines, lest those parents become afraid too and fail to vaccinate, leading to further degradation in herd immunity and increased risk of measles in the unvaccinated. Basically, Dr. Bob cynically urges vaccine-averse parents to mooch off the herd immunity maintained by those who do the responsible thing.

But what can Dr. Bob do when the herd becomes too thin to hide in anymore? Maybe one day his patients will hold him accountable. Unfortunately, given that they’ve listened to his scientific ignorance this long, I fear that they’ll continue to do so.

Comments

  1. #1 lilady
    March 25, 2014

    Our old pal Dr. Jay, was “tweeting” about the measles outbreaks…until Reuben at The Poxes blog posted a scathing article about the pediatrician to the stars and put up screen shots of Jay’s “tweets”:

    http://thepoxesblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/when-another-doctor-stops-behaving-like-one/

  2. #2 Chris Hickie
    March 26, 2014

    Measles cases at 21 in Orange County this am: http://cms.ocgov.com/gov/health/phs/about/dcepi/epi/disease/measles.asp

  3. #3 Shay
    March 26, 2014

    @Lawrence — that megachurch in Texas backtracked fast enough when their parishioners started getting sick. Some people can learn.

    Maybe.

  4. #4 Fergus Glencross
    March 26, 2014

    There is an interesting paper reported in Medscape this month.

    Summary, about 2500 parents were given scientific evidence of the safety of vaccines to see if their perception of safety was altered. Result – it didn’t make any difference.

    In the conclusion the authors state “”Given that parents rate their childhood’s doctor as their most trusted source of vaccine safety information,” future research could focus on exploring whether pediatricians “would be an especially persuasive source” for parents on vaccines.”

    and “”We suggest in the article that one of the most promising areas for research is to see whether clinicians might be more effective messengers because they are so trusted by parents,”

    Maybe not if your clinician is Dr Bob?

  5. #5 novalox
    March 26, 2014

    @Shay

    Unfortunately, adults and children will get sick, some will have lasting effects, and some will die in order to learn that VPDs are nothing to laugh at.

    A bit OT, but dealing with the same.

    Mumps outbreak spreads beyond Ohio State campus

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/24/health/ohio-mumps/index.html?hpt=he_c2

  6. #6 LIz Ditz
    Oh Bob's back at it again.
    March 28, 2014

    I know some of y’all don’t frequent Facebook, and I’d keep out if I could (long story, sort of job related)

    Anyway for all of your edification, here’s Bob’s latest self-justification. (Disclosure: I haven’t read it carefully. In fact, I haven’t even skimmed it )

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=688983454473475&id=116317855073374&stream_ref=1

    Orange County Measles Epidemic . . . Not (yet, anyway)!

    Wow. Who would have thought that a few simple sentences in my last post would cause such an uproar? If you missed it, check it out below. All it says is “don’t panic. If your child hasn’t had a measles vaccine, you can get one now. If you don’t feel comfortable with it, don’t panic, because there are only seven cases (at the time).” That’s it.

    But it’s interesting what people took from it:

    Some people seem to believe the post advises people to not get the vaccine, which the post clearly doesn’t say. The post says get the vaccine, or don’t – it’s up to you. I guess what the vaccine militants wanted me to say, instead, is that every single person, without fail, should get the vaccine no matter what.

    Some have attacked me for starting a measles outbreak seven years ago in my waiting room, which is false because no one with measles has ever even been inside my office (except for one child about 15 years ago who came down with a live measles infection from the vaccine, which is pretty rare but known to happen); so much for journalistic integrity for whoever wrote that (to be fair, most journalists do have integrity).

    Some took my post to say that the MMR vaccine causes autism. WTF? The post doesn’t even include the “A” word.

    Oh, and some thought my post said measles is harmless. My post didn’t even comment on the severity of the disease at all. Of course measles is sometimes harmless. It’s a tough disease. It’s no fun at all. The measles chapter in the book makes that very, very clear. My mistake though – I didn’t reiterate that in the post. So, for the record, measles CAN be very serious. It RARELY causes severe complications though. Almost everyone who catches measles here in the U.S. will be fine. You’ll be sick for a week, need to be quarantined, then you’ll be fine. IF your case is typical. BUT, in a small percentage of cases, even in the U.S. where we don’t have Vitamin A deficiency and protein malnutrition, complications can occur. About 1 in 1000 may die from it (studies vary – some say 1 in 3000, some say 3 in 1000). We haven’t had a measles death in the U.S. in over 10 years. But you know what? We will someday. May be this year. May be next. May even be here in the O.C. Every death from a vaccine-preventable disease is tragic. I’ve never said otherwise. So, just to make a few of you pro-vaccine militants happy, there you go. Measles can be bad. In developing countries with malnourished children, it’s even worse.

    But for most, it’s a harmless disease. Old pediatric textbooks call measles a harmless and routine disease of childhood. IN DEVELOPED, WELL-NOURISHED COUNTRIES, for most people, that’s true. But not for all.

    Finally, some love to blame me for the outbreak. As if people aren’t getting the MMR vaccine because of me. In the measles chapter of the book, AND in my alternative vaccine schedule, the MMR vaccine is very clearly listed at 1 year and 5 years. I very clearly recommend the vaccine in the book.

    The post was simple – there’s a small outbreak, don’t panic. Get the vaccine or don’t. Up to you. Perhaps I should have said, “It’s really NOT up to you. It’s your social responsibility to get your children fully vaccinated so you don’t infect others. That way, NO ONE would ever need to have measles.” Keep reading – more on this later.

    So, now we have about 21 cases in Orange County. We all knew it wouldn’t stop at seven. In my last post I gave a heads up that we’d see more. I thought maybe a few more, and didn’t think it would jump to 21. But it did. 5 cases are children, all unvaccinated. 5 are healthcare workers exposed to patients. They were vaccinated when younger, but the vaccine had worn off. As for the other 11 cases, I don’t know. Those details weren’t disclosed. But they are adults, according to the public health department notice. The outbreak won’t die out until everyone who’s been exposed either gets infected (which will be a very small few) or doesn’t, because they’ve been immunized or their immune system fights it off. Most outbreaks nationwide are restricted to a small number. The largest outbreaks from last year (58 in New York and 20 in Texas) occurred because the exposures were in large groups of unvaccinated people. Here in the O.C., almost everyone is vaccinated, so we are unlikely to see such a large outbreak. But it WILL extend a bit more. Who knows what the final number will be? But in the absence of a large unvaccinated group, it isn’t likely to spread much more than it has now. IF it hits a particular school or group where many are not vaccinated, it will likely spread through that group.

    Finally, a message to those who chose to not get the MMR vaccine. I would still say don’t panic. The chance that your child will be caught up in this small outbreak is still very low. I understand your reasons for not wanting the vaccine. Every parent is required to read the CDC-mandated list of side effects to every vaccine before it is given. And the list of side effects to the MMR vaccine is quite daunting, and would scare any parent. You’ve probably read this list and opted out of the vaccines. The CDC handout tones it down a bit, but the MMR vaccine product insert doesn’t. And that’s what is spelled out in the measles chapter of the book. I simply list the side effects as described in the vaccine product insert. So, if any mandatory vaccine militants are going to be mad at me for that, then what you are really saying is that parents should NOT receive informed consent about this medical treatment. They should NOT be informed of the risks of a vaccine; they should just be reassured that the risks are small, they don’t need to worry their pretty little heads about the details, and just go ahead with the vaccine. If that’s how you feel, then you are justified in being angry with me. For the rest of you who like to follow proper medical procedure and medical ethics, you provide informed consent for vaccinations. Allow the parents to be involved in this decision. Some will decide NOT to vaccinate; this puts their child at a small risk of disease, and it poses a risk of their child spreading the disease to other unvaccinated or too-young-to-be-vaccinated or those-who-got-vaccinated-but-it-didn’t work (I don’t think that was grammatically correct), but parents have that right to make that decision.

    If we could guarantee that every single dose of MMR vaccine would be harmless to every child who received it, then we could be justified in making the vaccine mandatory. Since that’s not the case, we must allow parents to decide.

    Bottom line: if your child has had one vaccine, then there is a 95% likelihood that he or she is protected. If two doses, it’s about 98 to 99%. So, you’re in good shape. You likely have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in this outbreak, some adults will lose their immunity, and may catch the disease. If you decided to not get the vaccine yet, then you have a decision to make. Read all the pros and cons. Understand the side effects of the vaccine as well as the disease. Consider the importance of public health protection. If you were planning to have your child get the vaccine at some point anyway, but you were waiting until an older age, maybe now’s a good time to consider it. But the outbreak is still small enough where you don’t have to rush into it. If you decide against the vaccine, the disease risk is still acceptably low. Stay tuned.

    And, on a completely unrelated note, the CDC just released new autism rates: 1 in 68 kids, and 1 in 42 boys. I still have to process this, and will blog next week. But don’t worry: it’s not a REAL rise. It’s just a pretend rise. Or, it’s not rising at all – it’s ALWAYS been 1 in 42 boys, right?

  7. #7 LIz Ditz
    March 28, 2014

    I am quite grumpy this evening over a number of things that have nothing to do with RI, or vaccine-preventable disease and the like.

    You know what I would like?

    I would like to take away Bob’s stethoscope and his bank account and make him take care of 3 or 4 measley kids, in series not in parallel, without a paycheck. In fact, without enough money to pay for additional diapers, because you know, diarrhea is one of the measles effects.

    In fact, with out a paycheck for the time that the kids’ daycare is closed because of some non-vaccinating OTHER numpty.

    Hey, Bob? Ever heard the phrase, “check your privilege”? No, I don’t think you ever have…or maybe even the majority of the people who use your services.

  8. #8 Narad
    March 28, 2014

    Anyway for all of your edification, here’s Bob’s latest self-justification.

    And lest anyone doubt his effect, the swooning comments are rolling right in:

    “Liz Gonzalez My son goes in for his one year check up tomorrow. Thus far we have been on an alternative vaccine schedule yet, I decided back at his 9 month check-up that I was going to delay his MMR until after 3 at least I was 100% sure I was going to delay it, than this outbreak happened and scared the crap out of me. Since, I have been so unsure of my decisions, I’ve been going back and forth but I FINALLY decided to go forth with my original decision and delay MMR 3. I’m way more afraid of all the crap in the vaccine, then him getting measles. Thank you for giving me the reassurance I need.”

    “Works at Nurse
    “Lives in Anaheim Hills”

  9. #9 lilady
    March 28, 2014

    Let’s clarify what Dr. Bob said about an accusation that his deliberately unvaccinated patient exposed children in Dr. Bob’s waiting room. Simply put, the last time his 7-year-old patient was discussed on a public forum, was my comment directed at him on the Ho-Po…and I definitely did not accused that child of exposing patients in Dr. Bob’s waiting room. That child, who was identified as the index patient responsible for the 2008 San Diego measles outbreak, exposed young patients in two other physicians’ waiting rooms…and in two hospital Emergency Rooms. The verbatim comments between me and Dr. Bob are available on the Ho-Po and available on Orac’s post here (along with the MMWR report about the child’s travel history to Switzerland, the secondary and tertiary transmissions from Dr. Bob’s patient, the genotyping of the measles virus implicated in the outbreak and the hospitalization of one infant infected during the outbreak, for supportive rehydration. Dr. Bob is still lying and I’m calling him out for his blatant lies:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/03/27/dr-bob-sears-vs-seth-mnookin-measles-out/

    You really know how to pique my interest by referring to a nurses comment on Dr. Bob’s FB page, don’t you Narad.

    I’ve got someone who claims she’s a nurse on a Skeptoid blog, who managed to pull some anti-vaccine sh!t. Stay tuned to see how I whup her butt. I take “nurse’s” dumb comments quite seriously…just in case you hadn’t noticed:

    http://skeptoid.com/blog/2014/03/26/international-vaccine-terrorists/

  10. #10 Helianthus
    March 28, 2014

    @ LIz Ditz

    Dr Bob Sears is either disingenuous, or has very poor communication skills. At the same time, we got:

    Some took my post to say that the MMR vaccine causes autism. WTF? The post doesn’t even include the “A” word.

    And, on a completely unrelated note, the CDC just released new autism rates

    Yeah, completely unrelated. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*

    OK, I guess it’s that we call pandering to the audience. And it answers my question about the level of his communication skills – and if he is disingenuous.

    On the other hand, he does acknowledge that the measles outbreaks are closely related to and finding traction inside unvaccinated populations.
    Something to throw at the passing trolls.

  11. #11 Chris Hickie
    To damn close to measles since half of AZ goes to CA for Spring Break
    March 28, 2014

    Sears won’t own that those unvaccinated children in his geographical backyard are directly due to his giving medically incorrect advice to parents in Orange County. So he backpedals–maybe enough reporters started bugging him about his AV stance. He is the most reprehensible of the AV crowd because he hides in either herd, depending on which herd suits him best.

  12. #12 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    March 28, 2014

    Exactly, Chris.

    He’s playing both sides for all the $$ and attention he can garner from them.

    He doesn’t care about the kids he sees. If he did, he’d encourage them to be vaccinated.

  13. #13 LW
    March 28, 2014

    @Liz Ditz, “I would like to take away Bob’s stethoscope and his bank account and make him take care of 3 or 4 measley kids, in series not in parallel, without a paycheck.”

    Ah, but you know his paycheck comes from caring for children, and he *loves* to care for them. A nice little measles outbreak among his unvaccinated victims — er, I mean patients — will give him the opportunity to do what he*loves*, and quite coincidentally fatten up that paycheck considerably.

  14. #14 ann
    March 28, 2014

    I simply list the side effects as described in the vaccine product insert. So, if any mandatory vaccine militants are going to be mad at me for that, then what you are really saying is that parents should NOT receive informed consent about this medical treatment. They should NOT be informed of the risks of a vaccine; they should just be reassured that the risks are small, they don’t need to worry their pretty little heads about the details, and just go ahead with the vaccine.

    He reserves that approach for measles, evidently.

    Maybe I’m old-fashioned. But I don’t think a family doctor should be saying “WTF” in publicly posted comments addressed to patients.

  15. […] It was entitled Measles Epidemic . . . NOT!, and his response boiled down to, in essence, “get the vaccine if you’re worried, but there’s no real reason to worry.” He also downplayed the significance of the measles outbreak in a fashion completely […]

  16. #16 Krebiozen
    March 28, 2014

    I wondered about this claim Dr. Sears made about the Orange County measles outbreak (my emphasis):

    5 cases are children, all unvaccinated. 5 are healthcare workers exposed to patients. They were vaccinated when younger, but the vaccine had worn off. As for the other 11 cases, I don’t know. Those details weren’t disclosed. But they are adults, according to the public health department notice.

    That isn’t quite what the Country of Orange Health Care Agency said yesterday:

    Five cases occurred in healthcare workers who cared for patients with measles, several of whom had previously been vaccinated. The MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is 99% effective, but occurrence of disease in some vaccinated individuals is not surprising, given that measles can spread in an airborne fashion and well over 1000 patients, their family and friends, and medical staff have been exposed to measles in hospitals, emergency departments and clinics where measles cases have been evaluated.

    There is nothing there about the vaccine having “worn off”. With a vaccine that is 99% effective, you would expect around 1% of those vaccinated to become infected when exposed to the virus because they didn’t develop full immunity from the vaccine, and this is exactly what we see.

    This may be a minor quibble, but this kind of spin is clearly designed to persuade people that measles isn’t so bad and MMR wears off anyway, which irritates me.

    I also think it very unlikely that there is no “protein malnutrition” in the USA. We certainly see it in the UK; low serum albumin and total protein is common in the very young, and in elderly and chronically sick people.

  17. #17 G Kaplan, MD
    Cleveland, Ohio
    March 28, 2014

    YES autism is an epidemic of great economic and emotional cost to society.
    Blogs ought to screen comments so as not to aggravate the prevalent misinformation.
    We know now VACCINES ARE NOT causing autism. Polio etc are on the rise, etc. Not vaccinating kids is irresponsible.
    New medial research suspects Autism is due to environmental and dietary etiologies. Look at most reputable medial journals: Lancet and Elsevier articles on gut flora that point to be one of the most serious causes. Dr. Natasha Campbell has done excellent work in this arena. Unfortunately, many try to criticize her work, but science is confirming her studies. It behooves us o start eating WHOLE organic plant food, and stay away from GMO’s processed foods filled with noxious substances and chemicals that are destroying our health and children. See movie of top physicians from Cleveland Clinic and Cornell U FORKS OVER KNIVES. Bill Gates and Bill Clinton who have access to best medical care have opted to follow this advice. It is time we stop the stream of misinformation and change our diets.

    courtesy lifewatchgroup

  18. #18 AdamG
    March 28, 2014

    It behooves us o start eating WHOLE organic plant food, and stay away from GMO’s

    Do you have any proof of this? If not, what makes you different than Dr. Bob?

  19. #19 janerella
    March 28, 2014

    “steps over the garbling troll”

    several of whom had previously been vaccinated.”

    Several? Bit wishy washy. Documented vaccination or merely assertations I wonder.

  20. #20 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    March 28, 2014

    I knew you could get through medical school without being able to write in cursive (I kid, I kid), but is it believable that a real MD could be quite as illiterate as “Dr.” Kaplan, above?

  21. #21 Krebiozen
    March 28, 2014

    @ G Kaplan #417,

    Dr. Natasha Campbell has done excellent work in this arena. Unfortunately, many try to criticize her work, but science is confirming her studies.

    Campbell-McBride is a quack who runs her “Cambridge Nutrition Clinic” out of her home in a village several miles from Cambridge UK. The name is clearly designed to make people think she is connected with the academic community in Cambridge, where I trained and qualified, which she is not. The “excellent” work she has done is apparently limited to applying her dubious theories to autistic experimental subjects and charging them for the privilege.

    A couple of years ago I started fact-checking a talk given by Campbell-McBride but gave up just a few minutes in as there was just so much inaccurate nonsense it quickly became obvious I was wasting my time. She claimed, for example, that salmon contains almost twice as much cholesterol as beef fat, lamb fat and dairy fat – which is blatantly untrue; it contains less cholesterol than even lean beef, lamb and cheddar cheese.

    Here’s a little amuse-bouche of Campbell-McBride’s idiotic advice:

    “Make no mistake, your body knows the nutrient composition of foods on this planet. ”
    “Respect your desire! Desire is your inner body intelligence talking to you, letting you know what it needs to keep you healthy, energetic and happy. If you listen to your desire every time you eat, you will be able to digest that food well and it will do you only good, because you have eaten it at the right time, just when your body asked for it.”
    “So, consume plenty of animal fats with your meals. In order to keep your blood sugar at a stable level between meals make a mixture of raw butter (or coconut oil) with some raw honey to taste, put it into a glass jar which you can carry with you, and eat a few spoonfuls every 20-30 minutes all day.”

    Is she unaware that obesity is epidemic in the developed world? Bonkers.

  22. #22 Krebiozen
    March 28, 2014

    Janerella,

    Several? Bit wishy washy. Documented vaccination or merely assertations I wonder.

    I wondered too. Don’t US hospitals insist on evidence of immunity to measles et al.? Even in Orange County? It might be interesting to see if there are records of antibody titers in those healthcare workers that succumbed to measles.

  23. #23 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2014

    Dr. Natasha Campbell has done excellent work in this arena.
    She’s a gladiator?

    Krebiozen:
    A couple of years ago I started fact-checking a talk given by Campbell-McBride but gave up just a few minutes in as there was just so much inaccurate nonsense it quickly became obvious I was wasting my time.

    Remember when she featured in her own RI thread?

  24. #24 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2014

    Buggrit. Campbell-Bride’s own RI thread.

  25. #25 Narad
    March 28, 2014

    I knew you could get through medical school without being able to write in cursive (I kid, I kid), but is it believable that a real MD could be quite as illiterate as “Dr.” Kaplan, above?

    Nonnative speaker.

  26. #26 herr doktor bimler
    March 28, 2014

    Blogs ought to screen comments so as not to aggravate the prevalent misinformation.
    Self-awareness is much over-rated.

  27. #27 Krebiozen
    March 28, 2014

    HDB,

    Remember when she featured in her own RI thread?

    I remembered (thanks to my chaotic notes) she had been mentioned here before, but I had forgotten she had been the subject of a whole post here. One day, perhaps, I will attain the strength of will to watch her entire talk without succumbing to the need to curse out loud.

  28. #28 lilady
    March 28, 2014

    Dear Dr. G. Kaplan, M.D. I suggest you read herr doktor bimler’s link to Orac’s post on Natasha Campbell-McBride, before you post any more comments here.

  29. #29 Shay
    March 28, 2014

    “Respect your desire! Desire is your inner body intelligence talking to you, letting you know what it needs to keep you healthy, energetic and happy

    Funny, when I listen to my body it tells me “Beer! Chocolate! Fried Okra! Braunschweiger!” I think it’s gone over to the dark side.

    (Please. No lutefisk comments).

  30. #30 herr doktor bimler
    March 29, 2014

    My body agrees on the beer but otherwise it’s demanding coffee, blutwurst and chillies. Some language, different dialect. One of these days my ambition is to write a best-selling nutrition guide announcing the Hanseatic Diet as the new pathway to health.

  31. #31 Renate
    March 29, 2014

    My body tends to scream: chocolat, nuts, fish, other sea-stuff, meat, noodles, tea and white wine.

  32. #32 Renate
    March 29, 2014

    And if we are talking about misleading names, in the Netherlands we seem to have a ‘Vaccinatieraad’, which would translate as ‘Vaccinationcouncil’, or something likewise. They could better name themselves ‘Vaccinationpanic’, because they tell all kinds of nonsence, even linking vaccinations with Shaken-babysyndrome.

  33. #33 Brook
    March 29, 2014

    I listened to my body and ended up with 5lbs of jellybeans. Fortunately my mind prevailed and I’ve got hungry co-workers.

  34. #34 herr doktor bimler
    March 29, 2014

    Orac’s post on Natasha Campbell-McBride

    On that whole gut-biota research area, I am reminded that Maddy Hornig (of rain-mouse fame) parachuted into it and was last seen promising dramatic results real soon now which will show that one’s gut bacteria cause CFS as well as autism. Judging on past performance, her enthusiasm was pretty much the knell of death* for any prospect of anything useful coming out of it.

    * Not to be confused with Death-Nell, a goth girl I used to go out with.

  35. #35 sheepmilker
    March 29, 2014

    HDB, you are truly Der König of the one liners!

  36. #36 squirrelelite
    March 29, 2014

    @Shay 429,
    My dad used to like braunschweiger!

    I talked my body out of a Black Forest cake yesterday, but it insisted on a molten chocolate cake with ice cream as compensation.

  37. […] published by Dr. Bob Sears on Facebook recently. In the first one, “Dr. Bob” basically ranted at the parents of his patients for getting all worked up (unnecessarily, in his mind, apparently) about the very same measles […]

  38. […] southern California given that their children are unprotected because they are unvaccinated—not just once but twice. Then we had our old pal, pediatrician to the antivaccine stars’ children Dr. Jay […]

  39. #39 IIBliss
    May 5, 2014

    “… In 2013 there were 1,843 confirmed cases of measles, compared to 56 cases in 1998, the year Andrew Wakefield first published his case series in which he implied that measles was…”

    “… that now can find a foothold in the US if the disease is spread to any of the increasing number of clusters of electively non-vaccinated children in the US. That foothold comes thanks to uneducated, ignorant, lying, deceitful, and just plain moronic anti-vaccine people like you.”

    Most children are vaccinated during their first year of life and allegedly obtain immunity so, how do you explain the large numbers of people succumbing to measles in the mostly vaccinated population?

    Also, any “foothold” gained by this virus would according to you be allegedly in the a tiny fraction of the population who have “elected” to go unvaccinated. So you don’t believe these people have a right to control what goes into their own bodies or the bodies of their children? Do you also believe in forced feedings of populations who you don’t think are eating proper food?

    It is extremely ignorant and unscientific to imply that Wakefield’s single article was the cause of the increase in measles cases (2013 in 1,843) without even substantiating the number of vaccinated vs unvaccinated cases in this group; how many in this group chose not to vaccinate due to this article; or even to mention the number of other health factors that could have influenced this increase in cases.

    Have you even read the vaccine package list of ingredients? People have the right to choose whether to inject known toxins such as formaldehyde and other “listed” ingredients contained in vaccines into their bloodstream or the bloodstreams of their babies. Stop trying to take away other peoples rights.

  40. #40 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 5, 2014

    IIBliss,

    The WHO provides percentages of 1 year old children who were immunized against measles by year by country at http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.A826?lang=en. For the UK (per the quoted numbers) in 1993-1998, the annual immunization rate was 92-92%; afterwards it started dropping to the mid-low 80s. Rates started to come back to 90% or above in 2011.

    Now, I for one would not say that Dr. Wakefield’s paper and the press coverage of it were the only reasons that UK immunization rates dropped so dramatically. However, the timing is interesting.

  41. #41 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    May 5, 2014

    IIBliss

    Most children are vaccinated during their first year of life and allegedly obtain immunity so, how do you explain the large numbers of people succumbing to measles in the mostly vaccinated population?

    If we were to examine the UK numbers, there were 13 years where 10%-20% of the children age 1 or under were not immunized. As measles is a highly contagious and easily transmissible disease, having as many as 1 in 5 children in an age group unimmunized is a substantial risk.

  42. #42 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    May 5, 2014

    @IlBliss

    In addition to what Mephistopheles O’Brien notes regarding UK immunizations rates, there are a couple other misconceptions you seem to be laboring under. First, while vaccines work quite well, they are not perfect. When you scale up to a large enough population, you find that there will be a large number of people who, despite having been fully vaccinated, end up not being immune. The outbreaks we see (e.g., of measles) are nearly invariably started by someone who is unvaccinated traveling abroad, getting infected, then coming back to spread it among their community. The outbreak largely consists of other unvaccinated people (either intentionally unvaccinated or too young to have been vaccinated) and a few who have been fully vaccinated. In the end, it’s a numbers game. For a look at how this all works, you might find this post educational.

    Second, you seem quite frightened of formaldehyde, which is certainly harmful in large enough doses. But that’s the thing: the dose matters. The amounts found in vaccines are not harmful. This post goes into that in a bit more detail.

    Finally, not a single vaccine on the childhood schedule is injected into the bloodstream. They are administered orally, under the skin (subcutaneously) or into the muscle (intramuscularly).

  43. #43 Chris,
    May 5, 2014

    IIBliss: “Most children are vaccinated during their first year of life and allegedly obtain immunity so, how do you explain the large numbers of people succumbing to measles in the mostly vaccinated population? ”

    Except, not for measles. The first MMR vaccine is only after the child’s first birthday, usually around fifteen months. Many babies have been infected in a doctor’s waiting room by someone bringing in a child with measles, which is very infectious.

    What is your plan to protect babies too young for the MMR vaccine from measles?

  44. #44 Dangerous Bacon
    May 5, 2014

    “And if we are talking about misleading names, in the Netherlands we seem to have a ‘Vaccinatieraad’, which would translate as ‘Vaccinationcouncil’, or something likewise.”

    Holy crap, I read that as “vaccinerated”.

    Now the antivax loons will have a new Scary Word.

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