Gobsmacked by germ theory denialism. Again.

People believe a lot of wacky things. Some of these things are merely amusingly wacky, while others are dangerously wacky. Among the most dangerously wacky of things that a large number of people believe in is the idea that germ theory is invalid. Perhaps a better way of putting it is that among the most dangerously wacky of nonsense is germ theory denialism; i.e., the denial that germs are the cause of disease. Few theories in medicine or science are supported as strongly by such a huge amount of evidence from multiple disciplines that converge on the idea that microorganisms cause disease, supporting it with an interwoven web of evidence that bring germ theory about as close to a fact as a scientific theory can be. True, for different diseases it's not always clear what the causative organism is or even if there is a causative organism, but these examples all fit into the general framework of the germ theory of infectious disease.

Yet, as is the case with other incredibly well-supported scientific theories, such as evolution, a shocking number of people still assert that microbes don't cause disease, among them Hollywood celebrities like Bill Maher. I thought it might be worth considering the question: How on earth could people seriously deny the germ theory of disease, given how much success the application of this theory has demonstrated in decreasing mortality? Think about it! Antibiotics, modern hygiene and public health measures, and vaccines have been responsible for preventing more deaths and arguably for saving more lives than virtually any other intervention, preventative or treatment, that science-based medicine has ever devised. What "inspired" me to revisit this topic was my coming across a couple of screeds against the germ theory of disease and Louis Pasteur that remind me just how much of "alt med" is permeated with germ theory denialism.

Before we get to the fun of the screeds, the first thing I should clarify is just what we mean by the "germ theory of disease." In most texts and sources that I've read, the germ theory of disease is stated something like, "Many diseases are caused by microorganisms." We could argue whether viruses count as microorganisms, but for purposes of the germ theory they do. (Most biologists do not consider viruses to be true living organisms, because they consist of nothing more than genetic material wrapped in a protein coat and lack the ability to reproduce without infecting the cell of an organism.) Now, let's take a look at the latest germ theory denialist idiocy I've come across. The first one, not surprisingly, I found on NaturalNews.com. Surprisingly, it was not written by Mike Adams, but rather by someone named Paul Fassa, who proclaims You have been lied to about germs. It should have been called "You are about to be lied to about germs."

First, though, since this article wasn't by the usual science-hating loon Mike Adams, I was curious just who Paul Fassa is. I had never heard of him before. It didn't take long to find Fassa's Twitter account and then from there his blog Health Maven, which bills itself as an "escape from the medical mafia matrix." Interesting. Why does it appear that any time I come across a germ theory denialist like Fassa, he's someone who uses terms like "medical mafia matrix"? I don't know, but such people also tend to write introductory paragraphs like this:

We have been taught to fear germs, pathogens, viruses, and bacteria that invade us from out there. This is the Pasteur model of disease contagion. This creates a dependency on Big Pharma to protect us from invading microbes, each having one form (monomorphic) and creating one specific disease.

Pasteur`s model of disease won over rival Claude Bernard`s more accurate argument of the inner terrain. Pasteur`s declaration, though serving the coffers of Big Pharma, creates more questions: How come some get a disease that`s going around and others don`t? How do all these new bugs come out of nowhere to haunt us? Why do vaccines and antibiotics ultimately fail and create super bugs?

These questions are answered by understanding the inner terrain and pleomorphism.

Note how Fassa first misrepresents the Pasteur model of disease. This is common among germ theory denialists, in my experience. They tend to assume that germ theory states that pathogenic microbes are 100% infectious and always cause disease. Consequently, when people are exposed to pathogenic microbes and don't become ill, people like Fassa point to that as evidence that germ theory is invalid. After all, the germ didn't cause disease, at least in this one case! That must mean that all of germ theory is wrong! Concrete thinking, thy name is Fassa (and other germ theory denialists.) It's rather odd that even most teenagers can understand that catching an infectious disease is dependent not just on the microbe but each person's resistance to that microbe. This is the same thing that mystifies HIV/AIDS denialists, who seem to view the observation that most exposures to HIV do not result in AIDS as some sort of devastating indictment of the hypothesis that HIV causes AIDS. Add to that a long asymptomatic period and highly variable rates of progression, and HIV/AIDS denialists, who are--let's face it--really nothing more than a subtype of germ theory denialists who deny vehemently that one particular germ causes disease have all the doubt they need.

But I digress.

Also notice Fassa's early and immediate invocation of the pharma shill gambit. If there's another thing about germ theory denialism, it's that those who cling to it tend to be extremely distrustful of big pharma. I realize that in many cases big pharma deserves a lot of mistrust; its record in many areas demands it. What distinguishes many of these germ theory denialists is that they take healthy skepticism and take it to a pathological extreme. They also seem to think that the reason that antibiotics ultimately fail is because germ theory is invalid, which reveals an incredible ignorance of how antibiotics work. Helloooo! Evolution? Ever heard of it? Bacteria are incredibly good at evolving under the selective pressure of antibiotics. That's what creates superbugs, that and our tendency to overuse antibiotics. But what is the "inner terrain" and pleomorphism? This is where we find the "intellectual" basis of rejection of germ theory. As is the case with many alt-med beliefs, this basis harkens back to "ancient" knowledge (or at least 150 year old knowledge). It harkens back to Antoine Béchamp, who did indeed postulate nearly the exact opposite of what Pasteur did: that microorganisms were not the cause of disease but rather the consequence of disease, that injured or diseased tissues produced them and that it was the health of the organism that mattered, not the microorganisms.

Basically, Béchamp's idea, known as the pleomorphic theory of disease, stated that bacteria change form (i.e., demonstrate pleomorphism) in response to disease, not as a cause of disease. In other words, they arise from tissues during disease states; they do not invade from the external world. Béchamp further proposed that bacteria arose from structures that he called microzymas, which to him referred to a class of enzymes. Béchamp postulated that microzymas are normally present in tissues and that their effects depended upon the cellular terrain. Ultimately, Pasteur's theory won out over that of Béchamp, based on evidence, but Béchamp was influential at the time. Given the science and technology of the time, Béchamp's hypothesis was not entirely unreasonable. It was, however, superseded by Pasteur's germ theory of disease and Koch's later work that resulted in Koch's postulates. What needs to be remembered is that not only did Béchamp's hypothesis fail to be confirmed by scientific evidence, but his idea lacked the explanatory and predictive power of Pasteur's theory. Fassa is sort of correct about one thing, though. Béchamp's idea was basically something like this:

The inner terrain includes our immune system, organ tissues, and blood cells. Those who stepped out of line from Pasteur`s dogma asserted that the inner terrain was more vital for remaining disease free than searching for new antibiotics and vaccines to kill bacteria and viruses.

As an analogy, flies don`t create garbage. But garbage attracts flies that breed maggots to create even more flies. Removing garbage is more effective than spraying toxic chemicals, which endanger human and animal life, around the house. Similarly, adding toxins to humans is not as effective as cleaning out the inner terrain.

As I said, there's a grain of truth there, namely that the condition of the body and a person's immune system does matter. Specifically, it is true that the condition of the "terrain" (the body) does matter when it comes to infectious disease. Debilitated people do not resist the invasion of microorganisms as well as strong, healthy people. Of course, another thing to remember is that the "terrain" can facilitate the harmful effect of microorganisms in unexpected ways. For example, certain strains of the flu (as in 1918 and H1N1) are more virulent in the young because the young mount a more vigorous immune response. However, latter day Béchamp worshipers fetishize this idea to the point of claiming that the "inner terrain" is all that matters and that bacteria and viruses are manifestations, not causes, of disease. It goes beyond that, though. According to Béchamp, it's said:

Blood is alive. It is not a liquid, but a mobile tissue (Béchamp was the first to describe blood thus). The things in our blood are alive. And one thing modern medicine does not accept is that something like a bacterium can change into a yeast that can turn into a fungus that can turn into a mold. We've talked about this in previous newsletters; it is called pleomorphism. Pleo meaning many and morph meaning form or body.

This is, of course, complete nonsense. Bacteria cannot change into yeast or vice-versa, while yeasts are organisms in the kingdom Fungi. Dimorphic fungi can exist as a mold/hyphal/filamentous form or as yeast, but this fact does not invalidate the germ theory of disease. Indeed, some of these fungi are pathogens, such as Blastomyces dermatitidis, Histoplasma capsulatum, and Sporothrix schenckii. The misunderstanding of microbiology required to accept the rejection of germ theory in favor of Béchamp's ideas is staggering. Yet they remain very influential. Not among scientists, of course. Science moved on a long time ago. Rather, they remain influential among cranks.

But why?

I think there are a couple of reasons. First, If it isn't bacteria or other microbes that cause infectious disease, then vaccines are not necessary. Although their rhetoric against vaccines is often cloaked in appeals to "strengthening the immune system" or similar words, much of it, when you strip away the obfuscation and come right down to it, often denies germ theory. Second, germ theory tells us that there are some things we cannot control, and alt-med is all about the illusion of control. Germs, after all, are scary. You can be perfectly healthy, and an infectious disease can strike you down--possibly even kill you--through no fault of your own. By denying that the germs are the cause of disease, germ theory denialists can tell themselves that if they just eat the right diet, do the right exercise regimen, take the right supplements, germs can't hurt them. Righteous living triumphs!

Too bad the real world isn't like that and infectious diseases can kill.

More like this

It's strange that a person who can deny the existence of God, based on the abundance of evidence which does not require a supreme being in order to explain our existence, can also IGNORE the ample evidence of germ theory.

Human beings can be strangely inconsistent.

Orac took several swings at the middle, like the "garbage" analogy. I not sure that denial is the issue in a lot of cases, as much as (equal) priority.

If someone has a blood sugar of 150-200 mg/dl, blood vitamin D of under 10 ng/ml 25OH-D3, their recurring bronchitis may need more than just ~800 mg of ligament popping fluoro whatever "daily supplement". Yet the both parts may be surprising common, inadequately dx'd or tx'd, with far too much allowance of carbs and oxidized PUFA.

"Where do I sign up to become a pharma shill? How do I get me a piece of that action?...
Hungry residents by the deli tray in the Student Doctors Lounge?

You can be perfectly healthy and an infectious disease can strike you down, even kill you.

Denying that is at the heart of Big Woo. How do you market a high dollar health regimen, if even the healthy among us are at risk

If someone has a blood sugar of 150-200 mg/dl, blood vitamin D of under 10 ng/ml 25OH-D3, their recurring bronchitis may need more than just ~800 mg of ligament popping fluoro whatever "daily supplement".

Are you high? Primary care physicians are all about controlling blood glucose in diabetics in order to avoid complications, among which are infections. Seriously. The debate about how tight diabetic control has to be to prevent complications is a debate that's been going on since long before I went to medical school, but that's a debate about the actual numbers a patient should shoot for not a debate that glucose control isn't very important in preventing complications like infections. As for vitamin D, that's still an area in evolution, but I know a lot of PMDs who routinely check their patient's vitamin D levels.

The point is not that the terrain doesn't matter. The point is that germ theory denialists claim that the "terrain is all" and that microbes don't matter. The consequences of that belief are discussed in the post.

Soo...if these people are not bothered by germs or viral particles, it will be OK if I hire them to clean up after the next outbreak of Ebola? And no need for complicated biohazard labs or protective suits, just send in the denialists to do the job. I anticipate a strong evolutionary pressure to reduce the average stupidity among the survivors.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

I sometimes wonder how the germ theory denialist aspect of woo coexists with the claim that certain germs cause all manner of disease not acknowledged by the "medical mafia". Cast in point - the dreaded Candida. Or the agent(s) of Morgellons disease, or whatever the parasite-of-the-month club has dreamed up to explains its chronic symptomatology.

Either the "medical mafia" is busy medicating us for no reason, or it's denying us powerful antibiotics to treat nonexistent infectious diseases. Nothing could be more sinister.

By the way, I first entered the nightmare world of Pharma Shilldom the day in med school when we were given little blue notebooks produced by the Squibb company to use for, well, taking notes.* A small thing, but I'm sure it led inexorably down a fatal path of endorsing vaccines and all kinds of "medical mafia" horrors.

Thankfully, Orac is our wartime consigliere.

*still in use.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

I'd simply challenge a germ theory denialist to be placed in a sealed room while perfectly healthy for a month. During the first 15 months, we make sure they're healthy and don't have anything incubating. During the second 15 days, we unleash microbiological nightmares upon them... And let the best germ win.

No need to worry if germs don't cause disease and their "inner terrain" is squeaky clean, right? Right? Riiiiiiiight.

During the second 15 days, we unleash microbiological nightmares upon them.

You mean a you put a bunch of vaccinated, ear infected, antibiotic taking, low activity, anti-depressant, anxiety pill popping, Mcdonald's eaters in the room?

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

test

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

You mean a you put a bunch of vaccinated, ear infected, antibiotic taking, low activity, anti-depressant, anxiety pill popping, Mcdonald's eaters in the room?

Really Augustine, you shouldn't just take your Pastor's word regarding clean and unclean things. He might be wrong.

Woo rests on the foundation of germ theory denialism** and the festishisation of natural substances, and thus vehemently opposes vaccines and pharmacological intervention, most especially ARV's ( HAART) for HIV/AIDS. Freud wrote about "those wrecked by success", here the very successes of SBM make prime targets for its detractors..

Years ago, I had to communicate ( via word and brochure) how "things that you can't see can hurt you" : not the easiest concept to convey to certain populations. Like pulling teeth. I catch a glimpse of the same attitude when I read Adams and his cronies, and alas! even Montagnier, whose recent views have made him a quotable sources for HIV/AIDS denialists.

While woo-meisters ( largely un-educated and un-trained in the life sciences by any reasonable standard) have certainly contributed to acceptance of germ theory denialism, they are not alone : there are DO's and MD's on the web who accept or tolerate these ideas, and some like Dr. Oz who broadcast twaddle.

** Maher has kept his gob shut about alt med this season; I doubt he's opened his mind.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine wrote:

You mean a you put a bunch of vaccinated, ear infected, antibiotic taking, low activity, anti-depressant, anxiety pill popping, Mcdonald's eaters in the room?

Incoherent troll is incoherent.

By Andreas Johansson (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Orac, you forgot to mention parasitic infections such as those caused by various parasites such as giardia lamblia, cyclospora, malaria and cryptosporidium ...to name just a few.

@prn: Individuals who have diabetes are classified as being immune-suppressed, as are pregnant women, infants who have immature immune systems, those with immunocompromising diseases and genetic disorders and the elderly. During major food-borne illness outbreaks, they are the ones who succumb. If you read the epidemiology studies of West Nile Virus (caused by vector mosquito bites, take special note of the deaths in the elderly/elderly with immune compromising co-morbidities. Dietary control and weight loss are always the first line of treatment prescribed by physicians, for control of elevated blood glucose levels.

Vaccines to prevent the transmission of Hepatitis B and HPV are the best preemptive strike against liver failure, liver cancer and cervical cancer.

Augie, I love your Luddite views regarding modern medicine.

As for vitamin D, that's still an area in evolution, but I know a lot of PMDs who routinely check their patient's vitamin D levels.

Orac, prn is heavily into Vitamin D and biomarkers regarding all sorts of topics, including but not limited to vaccines, cancer, and infectious disease.

Trouble is, prn has cited papers that purport to come to the conclusion that high Vitamin D levels cause cancer, and others that conclude high Vitamin D levels cure cancer. Methinks the almighty D proves way too much.

I'm amused by people who firstly deny germ theory then complain that antibiotics and vaccines cause "super bugs". So what? If germs don't cause disease, why are super bugs a problem?

Can we take it as read that even though Orac didn't mention them, there are other things besides germs that cause some diseases or things that could reasonably look like diseases? These things include, but are not limited to, poisons, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune disorders, venom, and parasites. Oh, yes, and the entire realm of psychological disorders.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Pasteur`s declaration, though serving the coffers of Big Pharma, creates more questions

It's almost enough to make one wonder: how did Big Pharma get all of its untold billions of dollars in the first place? Maybe... I dunno... by selling things that cure diseases based on Pasteur's theory?

Some aspiring poet should do a version of Dante's Inferno where the narrator is guided by Beauchamp through the various levels of hell (vaccinated children, unwitting pharma shills, vaccinating pediatricians...) all the way down to the centre of hell, where the demon Big Pharma is flapping its wings trying to escape a frozen pool of thimerosal, holding the bodies of Paul Offit, Louis Pasteur and James Randi in its gaping maw.

Seriously... someone go do that. I would, but I'm just super-busy right now.

We have been taught to fear germs... each having one form (monomorphic) and creating one specific disease.

And here I foolishly believed that all those different serotype numbers like Vibrio cholerae 01 through 139 actually meant something.

Pasteur`s declaration... creates more questions: How come some get a disease that`s going around and others don`t?

Pathogenicity of the agent. Host immunity (esp. acquired by vaccination.) Degree of exposure. Duration of exposure.

How do all these new bugs come out of nowhere to haunt us?

They don't come out of nowhere. Pasteur torpedoed spontaneous generation. Bacteria divide mitotically to make clonal colonies. Viruses hijack host cell machinery to make DNA/RNA/proteins.

Why do vaccines and antibiotics ultimately fail and create super bugs?

Bacteria evolve antibiotic resistance by natural selection and pass around resistance factors in plasmids like sharware. Vaccines "fail" because the self-appointed referees make spectacularly bad calls to rig the game.

I invite any germ theory denialist to drink a thermos full of Vibrio cholerae 01 and snort a liquid culture of methicilin-resistant Staph. aureus up his nose with a straw.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

I know it's poor form to comment off topic but I am desperately keen to draw everyone's attention to the Australian homeopath Fran Sheffield and her (self)promotion of homeopathic remedies for radiation exposure in light of the reactor developments in Japan. See news article here: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/homeopaths-radiation-remedy-rubbish-say…].

Sheffield runs a homeopathy clinic in NSW called Homeopathy Plus, and a related Facebook page by the same name. She is a big supporter of Meryl Dorey's Australian Vaccination Newtork and happily promotes homeoquackery for everthing whether it's fixing broken bones or protecting against malaria.

Scott Cunningham,

I invite any germ theory denialist to drink a thermos full of Vibrio cholerae 01 and snort a liquid culture of methicilin-resistant Staph. aureus up his nose with a straw.

Try inoculation and you will find out that vaccine apologists themselves are the number one germ denialists.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Note how Fassa first misrepresents the Pasteur model of disease. This is common among germ theory denialists, in my experience. They tend to assume that germ theory states that pathogenic microbes are 100% infectious and always cause disease. Consequently, when people are exposed to pathogenic microbes and don't become ill, people like Fassa point to that as evidence that germ theory is invalid. After all, the germ didn't cause disease, at least in this one case! That must mean that all of germ theory is wrong!

Heh; by this logic, sex has nothing to do with pregnancy. After all, most of the time when two people have sex, no pregancy results, even if no precautions are taken. Thus, we must deny Big Prophylactic's fraudulent sperm theory! :-P

As an analogy, flies don`t create garbage. But garbage attracts flies that breed maggots to create even more flies. Removing garbage is more effective than spraying toxic chemicals, which endanger human and animal life, around the house. Similarly, adding toxins to humans is not as effective as cleaning out the inner terrain.

One of the major problems with this analogy is that if he really thinks this way, he'd suck as an exterminator. Yes, cleaning up attractants will reduce housefly problems, but if you have a serious problem, your options will be much more limited, and there are a hell of a lot more pests than just houseflies. Absolute hygeine will do nothing to prevent a plague of boxelder bugs, and oh lookie here, we're coming up on the spring boxelder season! The days will start getting warm enough for them to come out of hibernation, but the nights are cold and so they'll see shelter -- and yes, that will include in your house! Since all they want is shelter, a clean house will be fine by them. If you want them out, you will need to attack them directly. Unfortunately, chemical options are of limited effectiveness, since the 200 you kill today may be replaced by another 200 from your neighborhood tomorrow. How about wasps? Can you get rid of a yellowjacket infestation by removing garbage? Well, no. They're using your house for shelter -- same reason you like your house, actually. They aren't attracted to garbage; they actually prefer places with good access to nectar-bearing flowers. Or sugar water; be careful about leaving open cans of soda out, or you could get a nasty surprise. An entirely healthy house is fine and dandy to them; in fact, they may prefer it. You can strip out your flower gardens, but since they'll roam many miles for nectar, this is pretty futile. If you want to rid your house of them, you'll have to locate and destroy the hive -- and chemical weapons are definitely recommended unless you enjoy being stung repeatedly or are willing to wait until they either abandon the hive or winter comes along.

And then there are termites. One of the most destructive household pests in the US, termites don't care if you keep a clean household. They're not interested in garbage. They are interested in the house itself, and will gradually eat it from the inside out until structural members are on the verge of collapse. Hopefully, you will find them and kill the colony before something breaks. But killing the colony is not easy. As with ants and bees and wasps, where you find one, there are many more. Stomping one may be satisfying, but meaningless in the overall war. And war it will be. Your only hope is to kill the colony's queen, and to do that, you can try poisoned bait, hoping it gets delivered to her before it gets eaten, but you may well need to fumigate.

The pest control analogy is actually perfect for germ theory -- not that Fossa knows that. Not every ant is an infestation, but if you have an infestation, simply tidying the place up isn't going to solve the problem. Yes, you can usually keep houseflies to a manageable level (it'll never be zero) by keeping things tidy, but most pests aren't so obliging. After all, while the terrain attracts them, in many cases it's the very same terrain that you want.

Blood is alive. It is not a liquid, but a mobile tissue (Béchamp was the first to describe blood thus).

Wha-huh? Blood's not a liquid? He must have a very strange definition of "liquid". I've always felt that the surest sign of an intellectually bankrupt argument is that it relies on nonstandard definitions which aren't immediately shared with the audience. It certainly is alive and is a tissue, but not a liquid? That's just plain silly, and I don't understand how it advances his argument against germ theory in the least -- or even what it would have to do with the supposed ability of bacteria to turn into fungus.

(And why do Bechamp supporters stick so much to what *he* thought was pleomorphism? The world turns out to be a good deal more interesting than they realized, and genuine pleomorphic life forms do exist. Slime molds, for instance. Or the angler fish. Or many species of parasitic worm. I wonder -- they deny the pathogenicity of bacteria, but do they recognize what parasites are doing?)

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Th1Th2 - you have so completely mis-characterized the discussions you've had with folks way more knowledgeable than I am on the topic of whether an immunization is necessarily an infection that it's clearly willful. You choose not to discuss the topic honestly.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Scott Cunningham,

I invite any germ theory denialist to drink a thermos full of Vibrio cholerae 01 and snort a liquid culture of methicilin-resistant Staph. aureus up his nose with a straw.
Try inoculation and you will find out that vaccine apologists themselves are the number one germ denialists.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

=============
This from the guy who thinks everything taken up by antigen-presenting cells is infectious, simply by vitue of the fact that it was taken up.

That argues strongly for the infectious nature of glucose and potassium as well.

By Dr. Steve (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Fun fact: Michael Crichton was also a germ denialist. In one of the final chapters of his autobiography "Travels" he proclaims that the truth of an alleged microbial cause of illness had never been demonstrated to his satisfaction, and that it might very well be a case of greedy hospitals just trying to make money off peoples' fears.

I love pointing that out to wingnuts whenever they parrot Crichton's global warming denialism at me. "Travels" is full of 24-karat-kookery like that--also endorsing psychics and exorcists--a marvelous demonstration of "crank magnetism." It's a shame the popularity of his fiction and the letters M.D. after his name lent this ignorant celebrity activist entirely undeserved credence on major science issues.

@ Rohan G. You're forgiven. There are also two articles posted on the Huffington Post about the threat of radiation fallout from Japan in the United States.

The first one written by an MD/psychiatrist recommends that people keep Potassium Iodide pills or liquid "on hand". As a counterpoint another article written by a self-styled nutrition "expert" advocates miso soy preparations for the "natural" cure. The California Department of Health has issued an advisory against taking any Potassium Iodide preparations... something about screwing around with thyroid function...but that doesn't prevent the scam artists on the internet from selling the supplement at jacked-up prices.

QFT:

I've always felt that the surest sign of an intellectually bankrupt argument is that it relies on nonstandard definitions which aren't immediately shared with the audience.

We're looking at you, Th1Th2.

By T. Bruce McNeely (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Pasteur`s model of disease won over rival Claude Bernard`s more accurate argument of the inner terrain.

Gah? Claude Bernard was a physiologist whose work established that is now known as homeostasis - the fact was the inside of a living organism is shielded from outside influence, and internal conditions maintained as constant as possible. As far as I know, he was not against the idea that micro-organisms may breach this "inner terrain".
And as far as arguments from authority go, he was certainly not a specialist in microbiology like Pasteur.
Pasteur's "model" didn't "won" over Bernard's model, both have been accepted (and refined) and each address different biological topics.

I love the Wikipedia entry on Claude Bernard. Plenty of quotes from Claude Bernard warning against arguments from authority. Or against holding to one's hypothesis despite facts telling otherwise.
Mr Fissa may do well to become more acquainted with the work of Claude Bernard.

Speaking of which, does Mr Fissa know that Claude Bernard was a zealous vivisectionist? OK, Iâm poisoning the well here, but seriously, does he really understand what Claude Bernard did?

@ Calli Arcale

One of the major problems with this analogy is that if he really thinks this way, he'd suck as an exterminator.

Seconded.
Last year, we had a strike of the city's employees in charge of garbage removal, in the middle of Summer, and as a result my building was infested with cockroaches and other vermins. Two months after the end of the strike, I was still having plenty of unwanted visitors in my kitchen, despite all my cleaning efforts. It took chemicals to stop the invasion.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Well said, Orac. Good point about control in the last paragraph. I'd like to see that unpacked a little more. Why are people so desperate for surety that they turn of their brains (I have some speculations about that from Theory-land, but no time today to note them).
I do wonder if you're being a _little_ too hard on Maher. He is, after all, a gadfly comedian, not masquerading as an expert. Alas, the transcript from the 3/4/05 show seems to be offline. But I found a YouTube clip of Maher challenging Wlliam Frist on the swine flu vaccine. Frist brought up the success of vaccines in eradicating polio and smallpox, and Maher countered, 'yes, but viruses are different.'
So I don't see him attacking the 'germ theory of disease' sui generis at all here, only questioning the effectivity of one treatment against one category of disease. (About which he may be utterly wrong, but it's a relatively limited wrong.)
By the same token, the points he makes about systemic health issues - our lifestyles making us sick â stike me as plausible, if overstated (as one would expect from a gadfly comedian...) Forgive me if he has stated otherwise elsewhere, but in the exchange with Dr. Healy I don't hear Maher endorsing colon blowouts or any other new age cures. I hear him saying "we're screwed.' And if a key element of woo is the false reassurance, Maher's offering none of that that I can see. Regardless of his stand on this issue or that, his overall _tone_ is one of skepticism: He offers no illusion of control. To those who make promises he replies "Too bad the real world isn't like that."
Orac wrote

From this sort of scientifically and biologically flawed thinking, it's only a short step to advocating colon flushes or chelation therapy to eliminate vague and undefined "aggregate toxins" or "heavy metal poisoning."

C'mon, Doc, Slippery Slope arguments are textbook logical fallacies.
'Aggregate toxicity' may not stand as science, but could it not be a trope for some things that do ail us? Not that I _agree_ with Maher. I line up for my flu shot every year. But when Maher says:

Even the food people think is good for them, is bad, and I'm not presenting myself as a paradigm. I do cruddy things to my body too and I enjoy them. But when I do them, I'm not in denial. I'm not eating fat free cheese and saying: "You know what, I'm healthy for eating this." I'm saying: "Oh yeah, this is chemical goop and this is killing me.

that rings a bell as I look in my own fridge.
I leave you with some lyrics by obscure dada-rocker Tonio K. (Who later, sadly, became a Jesus freak. So it goes.)

well there's a riot in the courthouse, there's a fire in the street
there's a sinner bein' trampled by a thousand pious feet
there's a baby every minute bein' born without a chance
now don't that make you want to jump right up and start to dance?
let's do the funky
the funky western civilization
it's really spunky
it's just like summertime vacation
you just grab your partner by the hair
throw her down and leave her there
they put jesus on a cross, they put a hole in j.f.k.
they put hitler in the driver's seat and looked the other way
now they've got poison in the water and the whole world in a trance
but just because we're hypnotized, that don't mean we can't dance
we've got the funky
the funky western civilization
it's really spunky
it's just like summertime vacation
you just drag your partner through the dirt
leave him in a world of hurt

Ol nurselady

Augie, I love your Luddite views regarding modern medicine.

And I love your strawman argument and slippery slope ideas.

Vaccines to prevent the transmission of Hepatitis B and HPV are the best preemptive strike against liver failure, liver cancer and cervical cancer.

I also love your bottom of the barrel scum bucket view you have of people from your public health perch. Your "treat every one the same" view. Treat them as the lowest common denominator view. If all or most people got liver failure, liver cancer, or cervical cancer then you'd have a better argument for your philosophical approach. But fortunately most people don't get those things.

There all diseased little pigs to you. So treat em all like pigs.

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Frist brought up the success of vaccines in eradicating polio and smallpox, and Maher countered, 'yes, but viruses are different.'

Polio and and smallpox are viral diseases. This just shows how clueless Maher is.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Sadmar:

Are you actually defending Maher by saying that, when told that vaccines had eradicated polio (in most of the world) and smallpox, he said "but viruses are different"?

Sure they are. The way cats are different from cats.

Smallpox and polio are (or were) viral diseases. Arguing that vaccines don't work against viruses is evidence of ignorance. Ignorance at a level such that he shouldn't be talking about the topic beyond advising people to consult their doctors or the Mayo Clinic website.

By Vicki, Chief A… (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Dr Steve:

This from the guy who thinks everything taken up by antigen-presenting cells is infectious, simply by vitue of the fact that it was taken up.

No, no, it's anything taken up by antigen presenting cells and then presented on the surface. You have to keep these things straight if you want to understand Th1Th2.

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

sadmar,

C'mon, Doc, Slippery Slope arguments are textbook logical fallacies.

Except that's no slippery slope; that's taking things to their "logical" conclusion. For example, saying germ theory denialism leads to AIDS denialism is not a slippery slope argument, since one follows directly from the other.

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augustine, you're missing the point on public health - it's all about the lowest common denominator. One Augustine to not was his hands, one Th1Th2 to crap into the pool, one Jen to cough into everyone's face, and the germs march on. But we know the idea of "common good" is as alien to you as germ theory.

@augustine

I also love your bottom of the barrel scum bucket view you have of people from your public health perch... There all diseased little pigs to you. So treat em all like pigs.

Dude. 26.8% of American women have HPV. That's one person in four. HPV serotypes 16 and 18 together account for 70% of cervical cancer. (US National Cancer Institute data www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes/hpv) Cervical cancer is one of the biggest killers of young women, up there somewhere behind car accidents.

People with HPV are not the "lowest common denominator" and a "healthy lifestyle" will not help. Break-ups are indeed an innocent fact of adult life. And the virus is widely prevalent enough that that alone is enough to keep it around in high numbers in our inevitably serially-monogamous population.

So yes, vaccinate everyone for it. Nobody goes looking for that STI, and it's so prevalent that absolutely anyone could get it.*

From Orac's post:

Righteous living triumphs!

Attitude in evidence. And so false.

*Yes, I'm aware most people opposed to the HPV vaccine live under the illusion that they or their kids will immediately marry for life and never ever change partners or have a partner with any history, but the data says that's as unlikely a fantasy as that we'll all win the lottery some day and live in a flying castle made of candy corn.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augustine, you're missing the point on public health - it's all about the lowest common denominator

No. I understand completely the philosophy of public health individuals. I understand that public health (currently) is committed to the masses and not necessarily any individuals health. For some individuals their recommendations are uneccessary and for some they are downright dangerous and deadly. It's just a numbers and public relations game.

I guess you must believe in some sort of merit system that says if I help more than I hurt then I must be a good person.

Guess what? I'm not the lowest common denominator! Public Health's media strategy is to convince everyone that they are.

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Remember, as long as it doesn't actually kill Augie the Idiot himself, it's completely irrelevant and nobody should care at all.

Augustine I'm pretty sure that there are many criteria for which you are the lowest common denominator.

Augie, this bugs me for a reason.

Guess what? I'm not the lowest common denominator!

Neither was my 2nd year University flatmate's fiancee, and she died of cervical cancer. She cught HPV from my flatmate, who caught it from an ex girlfriend. Neither of them were the bottom of the barrel in any sense.

And still she died.

Good luck out there with the infectious diseases roulette game, Augie. We never know what statistic we will be until our number's up.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Scott Cunningham

Neither was my 2nd year University flatmate's fiancee, and she died of cervical cancer. She cught HPV from my flatmate, who caught it from an ex girlfriend. Neither of them were the bottom of the barrel in any sense.

Why didn't the ex-girlfriend also die from cervical cancer. Has your flatmate also died from anal cancer and penile cancer? Did your flatmate's mate smoke or take contraceptives? Was she malnourished? Did she have multiple sex partnersa? What was her fasting glucose? Did her mother take DES?

The scienceblog standard has been set. NO ANECDOTES!

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

No Augie, public health is not all about the numbers; a very large portion of professional activities have to do with investigating individual cases of infectious diseases, providing education and prophylaxis to contacts, consulting with treating physicians and educating the public. Sometimes we have patients with sexually transmitted diseases and they are NOT the lowest common denominator. That was the best part of my job because I was dealing with real people on a one-to-basis.

The worst part of my job was dealing with ignorant miscreant Luddites.

I don't know, but such people also tend to write introductory paragraphs like this...

Another dead giveaway is Mr. Fassa's use of the grave accent (`) in place of the apostrophe. Apparently he's also rallying against the linguistic mafia matrix?

Well, my bad on the viruses. I was under the impression that the epidemiology of influenza is different enough from smallpox or polio to allow some room for discussion.
I was not 'defending' Maher in any absolute sense. I said "I do wonder if you're being a _little_ too hard on Maher." Note the qualifying verb 'wonder' and the emphasis on 'little.'
Again, the responses fail to address my central points: as a comedian Maher exaggerates everything and his audience understands that; he offer no false hopes; on the contrary his Casandra-ish attitude is anathema to the woo mindset. I did listen to the Frist/Maher podcast and Maher did not assert anything like 'vaccines don't work against viruses.' His assertion, rather is "I do not trust the assurances by the authorities that the health benefits of this particular vaccine outweigh it's potential risks.' Again, he may be wrong, but you are reducing his position to a cartoon (or a Straw Man as we say in rhetoric).
And the poster with the gibberish handle ought to review the 'slippery slope'. First, just because you assert something is a 'logical' conclusion, doesn't mean it is. Show your work, as my math teacher used to say. As it happens, your example IS a valid deduction:

Bob denies 'germ theory' in toto.
AIDs is spread by a virus passed via human contact.
The proven facts of AIDS transmission fall into the category of 'germ theory.'
Bob will deny how AIDS is spread.

The problem is that valid deductions are not Slippery Slopes, and your example is not analogous to what Orac asserted. You've basically just claimed that "All men are Socrates."

Bob believes flu vaccines don't work.
Germ theory deniers believe flu vaccines don't work.
Bob is a germ theory denier.

Bill uses the phrase 'aggregate toxicity' on a comedy program.
Quacks use the phrase aggregate toxicity in their propaganda.
Quacks propose colon flushes as cures for aggregate toxicity.
Bill will propose colon flushes as a cure for aggregate toxicity.

Er, no, and... no.
People who can't parse a basic syllogism might want to be careful about calling other people ignorant.

Sadmar:

People are responding to the part of Maher's presentation that you quoted. If this is misleading, whose fault is that?

In terms of syllogisms, you are asserting that Socrates was not mortal, or maybe that he wasn't a man. The actual syllogism here is

Germ theory deniers deny that germs cause disease.
AIDS is a disease.
Therefore, germ theory deniers deny that germs cause AIDS.

By Vicki, Chief A… (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Great post, I learnt a lot from it - in particular it filled in some holes in the anti-vaccine arguments that I keep encountering (or more specifically, revealed the holes). I always learn a lot from the comments too. Even the trolls amuse me, but only because of the replies they get - both serious and piss-taking - from the more-informed (and sane) commenters.

If all or most people got liver failure, liver cancer, or cervical cancer then you'd have a better argument for your philosophical approach. But fortunately most people don't get those things.

As ever, augustine has no least idea of the fundamentals of probability, causation, or risk.

You mean a you put a bunch of vaccinated, ear infected, antibiotic taking, low activity, anti-depressant, anxiety pill popping, Mcdonald's eaters in the room?

To quote the great actor and first-rate drag queen (when in character, of course), Tim Curry, in the movie adaptation of the board game "Clue": No.

I mean just throwing you in there. Your ability to troll like it's your meal ticket should make anyone sick.

Augie,

Why didn't the ex-girlfriend also die from cervical cancer.

70% of cervical cancers are caused by HPV but not everyone with the virus gets the cancer. Only people with a genetic predisposition to develop the cancer if infected with the virus.

Has your flatmate also died from anal cancer and penile cancer?

See above, and note that while those cancers are possible following infection, they aren't as common.

Did your flatmate's mate smoke or take contraceptives? Was she malnourished? Did she have multiple sex partnersa? What was her fasting glucose? Did her mother take DES?

You're fishing for lifestyle causes so you can assure yourself you can ask not for whom the bell tolls, because it won't be you. No, yes (hormone contraceptive pill), no, no, normal, no.

And very classy of you to blame the victim.

The scienceblog standard has been set. No anecdotes![capslock removed]

So follow the web address back to the source of the 26.8% incidence statistic I quoted earlier, from the US National Cancer Institute at www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/causes/hpv and look up HPV incidence, or anything else you want. Or search the internet for any other government health agency you wish.

I used an anecdote only to illustrate that diseases do not discriminate, not to establish cause and effect in place of an RCT. Righteous living does not triumph.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Blockquote fail. Whoops.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Has anyone explained why these wonderful pleomorphic cellular by-products are no longer manifesting as smallpox virions?

obscure dada-rocker Tonio K.
I rate for "Life in the Food Chain".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Rene

I mean just throwing you in there.

My reference was to the microbial nightmares.

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

For today, I am defining 'infection' as a green-handled salad fork. I trust Th1Th2 will use the word appropriately.

By Roadstergal (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Scott Cunningham

Dude. 26.8% of American women have HPV.

And 95% of HPV infections clear on their own.

Only people with a genetic predisposition to develop the cancer if infected with the virus.

The medical "g" word. In essence it means you don't know but "I'll say something that sounds like I know". And to expose your ignorance I invite you to tell us what this single gene is and when was it identified? How many with cervical cancer have this gene? How many without cervical cancer have this gene?

Answer: "Uh, er, I don't know. It's genetic don't you get that. It's genetic. You're just too stupid to understand. All you people who are opposed to this wonderfully unproven cancer vaccine are just too stupid!"

HPV became the virus dejour because Merck came out with the vaccine dejour.

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augie the Moron thinks that "genetic" means only single-gene effects.

It's better than the movies...

Mephistopheles O'Brien:

@Th1Th2 - you have so completely mis-characterized the discussions you've had with folks way more knowledgeable than I am on the topic of whether an immunization is necessarily an infection that it's clearly willful. You choose not to discuss the topic honestly.

Remember, Th1Th2 lives in its own reality. One where toddlers never fall and stay on sidewalks, and words mean whatever it wants them to mean. Do try to ignore it.

Speaking of microbes, Vincent Racaniello is up to producing three separate podcasts. There is one dedicated to virology, another to parasites and the newest is "This Week in Microbiology." It is a great way to absorb information on all sorts of germs. Even though much of it is over my head, they people he gets together have good conversations and I do learn stuff (usually when I doing mundane stuff like commuting, dishes, gardening, etc). All three are available at his blog: http://www.virology.ws/

Time to leave the library (where scienceblogs has been restored). I have been able to see the blog with anonymouse, but I'm not confortable commenting (plus the ads are a bit annoying). I will be re-emailing my home IP address from home. Bye for a while.

Sometimes we have patients with sexually transmitted diseases and they are NOT the lowest common denominator.

Sometimes? How nice of you. Do you mean their daddy has a good job? or they don't have multiple sex partners? Or they aren't IV drug users? etc.,

I doubt people who pursue health are pursuing your public health nursing services. Nor would you be qualified.

The worst part of my job (health care worker) was dealing with ignorant miscreant Luddite.

When you see the worst in man then it's hard to not develop a confirming gevernmental philosophy that is condescending and paternal.

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

I heard from a Quack apologist who told me disease was caused by a persons PH level. If a person takes in food or other substances that are too high in acidity, then that gives bacteria and disease perfect environment to spontaneously generate.

I might also note that this same person had a lack of basic science knowledge as far as evolution was concerned. He explained evolution to me as if he was reading directly from Jean Baptiste Lamark.

He thought I was crazy when as I explained gene mutation and variation. He also thinks the FDA, Big Pharma, Mcdonalds, and the corn industry are in collusion with each other to keep us sick.

He would fit right into the augustine and Th1th2 crowd. Lack of basic scientific knowledge is the key to the delusion.

I also love your bottom of the barrel scum bucket view you have of people from your public health perch. [...]

There all diseased little pigs to you. So treat em all like pigs.

Can this comment really be from the same person who earlier wrote this?

You mean a you put a bunch of vaccinated, ear infected, antibiotic taking, low activity, anti-depressant, anxiety pill popping, Mcdonald's eaters in the room?

Surely someone is nym-stealing. Shame, shame.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augie the Moron thinks that "genetic" means only single-gene effects.

Ok, beamup, Name the multiple genes that are involved. How often is this pattern found in cervical cancer? How many people with cervical cancer do not have this pattern? How many without cervical cancer have it?

Beamup: "Uhh, I don't know! It's genetic damnit"

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

sadmar,

The problem is that valid deductions are not Slippery Slopes, and your example is not analogous to what Orac asserted. You've basically just claimed that "All men are Socrates."

What the hell? I know that valid deductions aren't a slippery slope argument; that was my whole point. Also, it's bad form to quote from an ancient post without at least giving a link. So here's how I see Orac's thinking:

Bill believes that "aggregate toxicity" is the sole cause of sickness
Bill doesn't want to get sick (this is asssumed, yes)
Chelation therapy, colon flushes, et al. are the purported "cures" for aggregate toxicity
Bill will use/support chelation therapy, colon flushes, or another treatment that purports to cure aggregate toxicity.

There is no legit medical treatment for unspecified "aggregate toxicity." There is only woo.

And finally,

People who can't parse a basic syllogism might want to be careful about calling other people ignorant.

I can parse syllogisms well enough (though it has been a while), and I never called you ignorant.

By https://www.go… (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

@ Beamup: Way better than the movies!

Poor Augie, he still thinks that Hepatitis B is transmitted only by having unprotected sex or sharing dirty needles and that people should be penalized and treatment withheld because or his narrow-minded criteria.

Ok, beamup, Name the multiple genes that are involved.

I do not see a specific gene pattern in the research I found, however having a family member with cervical cancer increases the risk of a woman developing it by a power of two or three.

How often is this pattern found in cervical cancer? How many people with cervical cancer do not have this pattern?

For the second, probably most of them, as the familial inheritance pattern doesn't appear to dominate cases of cervical cancer. For the first? Unless most patients get screened for some sort of genetic pattern, there's no way to tell.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

And 95% of HPV infections clear on their own.

And the five percent that don't can just go rot, right auggie?

When you see the worst in man then it's hard to not develop a confirming gevernmental philosophy that is condescending and paternal.

Yeah auggie, your posts have that effect on me too.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

a bunch of vaccinated, ear infected, antibiotic taking, low activity, anti-depressant, anxiety pill popping, Mcdonald's eaters

When you see the worst in man then it's hard to not develop a confirming gevernmental philosophy that is condescending and paternal.

Repeated, out of a love of irony.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Glad to see we can add genetics to the list of things augustine is too stupid to understand.

Ol nurselady

Poor Augie, he still thinks that Hepatitis B is transmitted only by having unprotected sex or sharing dirty needles

Poor ol nurse lady thinks every woman giving birth is a sexually transmitting Hep B vector and if not then her offspring will surely become a prostitute of IV drug user?

Therfore her rationale is to vaccinate everyone. Cause you just never know!

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

JohnV

Glad to see we can add genetics to the list of things augustine is too stupid to understand.

Oh, I see JohnV would like to back up this statement!

Only people with a genetic predisposition to develop the cancer if infected with the virus.

I didn't think so!

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

scott: "I heard from a Quack apologist who told me disease was caused by a persons PH level. If a person takes in food or other substances that are too high in acidity, then that gives bacteria and disease perfect environment to spontaneously generate."

Acid-base nuttiness is one of the founding principles of Woo. A whole bunch of diseases (not just infectious) are supposedly explained by improper bodily acidity, which you too can correct at home via diet and/or supplements. Orac had a good article awhile back debunking these ideas and explaining the body's rigorously regulated acid-base homeostasis. Search the topic online and you'll find scads of idiotic claims on the subject, not surprisingly including NaturalNews.

"It now turns out that we have a better shot at long-term health if our body's pH is neutral or slightly alkaline."

Actually, if your body's pH is neutral instead of the normal 7.35-7.45 range for any length of time, you have a reasonable shot at death.

But at least the bad germs won't get you then, assuming you believe germs are anything to worry about.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

#16 Can we take it as read that even though Orac didn't mention them, there are other things besides germs that cause some diseases or things that could reasonably look like diseases?

Since this post isn't about those other things, I'm guessing that's why Orac doesn't mention them...

By starskeptic (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

JohnV @65

Glad to see we can add genetics to the list of things augustine is too stupid to understand.

I think a much shorter list would be the things augustine is capable of understanding.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

#16 Can we take it as read that even though Orac didn't mention them, there are other things besides germs that cause some diseases or things that could reasonably look like diseases?

Since this post isn't about those other things, I'm guessing that's why Orac doesn't mention them...

By starskeptic (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

I finally figured out who the ultimate "guests" should be for Dr. Oz; Thingy, Augie, Jen and....

Then we could all enjoy their germ theories, conspiracy theories, naturopathy/homeopathy theories all wrapped up in talking to the dead and creationalism.

All you Pharma Shills have to purchase a bible "textbook".

Most cases of HPV might resolve on their own, but that doesn't make it any less terrifying when you get the call. I read recently (sorry I can't quote the study) that 30% of women don't return calls to their health care providers even if they were told it was because of a negative test result.

Also, the treatment for my HPV was quite expensive. I think I was in the special gold and diamond room because the cost of the treatment room alone was approximately $1,200.00.

The people that laugh off the HPV vaccine remind me a lot of the parents that think it is fine for their kids to get measles because it is good for them.

By Taradiddles (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Hey augie, I got a question for you.

Exactly how does having multiple sex partners increase the risk of disease?

We germ theory folks have a mechanism: multiple partners increases the chance of being exposed to pathogens. What's yours?

(For the advanced augustine: Why does having sex with someone with syphilis but not AIDS sometimes result in getting syphilis but never results in getting AIDS?)

By Mithrandir (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

There's a new "strain" of alt-med I've been watching develop: DNA Deniers.

Why Your Genes Don't Determine Your Health (from HuffPo, of course).

This is just one of a recent series I've noticed. Michael Pollan hopped on board with a piece of this too. This all happens to hybridize nicely with the need for vitamins, detoxifiers, and organic foods....hmm....

@ Mary : I was going to write about the woo-meisters who expand *beyond* germ theory denialism to deny the influence of genetics** if ( and only if) the "terrain" is spectacularly enhanced by mega-vites, minerals, green products ( which they usually *just* happen to sell) and arcane practices. However, Hyman wasn't the first on my list.

** in this case "germ" denialism in 19th century usage-"germ plasm", i.e. genes.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

From a rhetorical standpoint, I think we should avoid using the phrase "big pharma". It relies on their framing of the issue, and we should never let our ideological opponents frame it. It creates the image of a corrupt, and evil organization.

Just call them pharmaceutical companies.

Genetics? I'm surprised Auggie understands enough about feeding itself not to starve!

Mary

There's a new "strain" of alt-med I've been watching develop: DNA Deniers.

And since ORAC has started this post with a strawman argument, then I shall call science blogger regulars "epigenetic deniers".

By augustine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Will #77,

On the contrary, we have seized the phrases like "Big Pharma" and "Pharma Shill" and have run with them like a bubblegum-stealing kid, blowing them up out of all logical proportion to highlight the ridiculousness of the labels. I find it a much more effective stratagem. :)

(*hzzt* Glaxxon PharmaCom Agent 000007 reporting a successful argument, Lord Draconis! *click*)

By Melissa G (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine:

Poor ol nurse lady thinks every woman giving birth is a sexually transmitting Hep B vector and if not then her offspring will surely become a prostitute of IV drug user?

Therfore her rationale is to vaccinate everyone. Cause you just never know!

Just curious -- do *you* know who will later be at risk of Hepatitis B exposure? Do *you* know which babies will grow up to be nice people and which will not? Do *you* know which ones will fall in love with abusive and/or unfaithful partners? Do you know which ones will be infected as a result of a miscreant in the hospital or clinic setting? (Yeah, it's happened.) Do you wish society to bear the cost of a significant portion of the population being infected with Hepatitis B, all because their mothers were too proud to let them be vaccinated against it, believing wrongly that Hep B only infects bad people, and their children would not be bad people, and furthermore, they themselves were not bad people and could not possibly be carriers themselves?

If you do, perhaps you could offer your services as a prognosticator to the leaders of the world. That seems like a remarkable gift.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

I eat Ebola for breakfast.

Mr. Schecter, we all know you do not eat Ebola for breakfast. Yet another one of your lies.

Speaking of lies, I particularly enjoyed your misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 3:17. Being a man well-versed in the matters of this world (as all commodities traders are), you should know that the writer of the letter to the Corinthians was, in fact, speaking about the Church, not someone's body, not someone's arm, just the Church. It was about corruption within the Church of the time; something that reverberates to this day.

But no, you went out of your way to make it sound like Paul, a couple of thousand years ago (or so), was talking about vaccines. Okay, okay, I'll give you a pass and give you the benefit of the doubt that maybe you thought he meant a physical body of a human being. Maybe.

That doesn't take anything away from the disturbing fact that you are now quoting scripture to promote your anti-vaccine agenda. It really is scary... Mostly because Westboro and other such cults begin down the dark path by trying to bend and massage passages of the holy books. Next, you'll start telling your Legion (see what I did there?) that God orders us not to vaccinate, not to seek medical care, and not to listen to reason.

Oh, yes, Mr. Schecter, we are watching. We are watching with great interest the spread of fear and irrationality you are bringing to the world.

By Reuben Gaines (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Bill Maher " and I have watched his show for years" has a different view on health, he belives that a good diet, regular excersize and keep ones body free of toxins leads to good health, which is a very smart position to hold. Skepticism of the effectiveness or safety of vaccines is not quakery, show me the data on the vaccine with projected complications across a lifetime plus the actually gained immunity.

Not that many women die of cervical cancer. Many die from breast cancer.

cancer kills people and its likely the HPV is just a mitigating factor with some sort of underlying immuno insofficiency etc ad nauseum.

We really don't understnad how all the microbiology interacts enviromentally and how certainly people have higher and lower risk factors.

What can be said with a great deal of confidence is that by and large HPV is a realtively harmelss infection that self mediates.

It is what it is and sometimes letting the biology of the planet consume some of the genetically susceptiable people isn't always a bad thing.

Stop living in fear of the air.

By AntiVaccine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augie never leaves the house, and would never travel to a foreign country where he might need medical attention and sterile techniques might not be that sterile. And, we know that augie is not professionally at risk of finger sticks because he disses everyone who is a licensed professional.

I've already prompted him on other posts to bring his unique expertise to the attention of the CDC and to the Japanese Ministry of Health and report back to us about his success.

Calli Arcale has also made a suggestion to Augie about sharing his remarkable gift of prognostication with world leaders.

I'll be checking the help-wanted ads to search for a slot for an ignorant miscreant Luddite.

Cervical Cancer Statistics
Cervical cancer used to be the leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. However, in the past 40 years, the number of cases of cervical cancer and the number of deaths from cervical cancer have decreased significantly. This decline largely is the result of many women getting regular Pap tests, which can find cervical precancer before it turns into cancer.1 For more information, visit HPV-Associated Cervical Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity.

In 2007 (the most recent year numbers are available)â

12,280 women in the United States were diagnosed with cervical cancer.*2
4,021 women in the United States died from cervical cancer.*2
*Incidence counts cover approximately 99% of the U.S. population. Death counts cover 100% of the U.S. population. Use caution in comparing incidence and death counts.

http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/statistics/

seriously ? more people die falling down stairs.

don't let facts get in the way of fear. Its not rational.

By AntiVaccine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

From OP:

Helloooo! Evolution? Ever heard of it?

You realize, don't you, that many of these people don't stop at Germ Theory denialism.

@calli:

I know you probably don't mean "bad people" in the sense you're using it, but people who use drugs or sleep around are not "bad people". It's their life, to live as they see fit - as long as they don't hurt anyone else. And I think that it's important that we acknowledge that mothers that don't get vaccinated for HBV are laying down a very harsh rule on their children. That is, "If you use or you have too much sex, I'm going to make sure you suffer" (this is, of course, ignoring the "blameless" routes of HBV infection). This also applies to HPV.

I know that almost no-one wants their child to start shooting heroin, and very few people want their children to sleep around. But these behaviors have enough consequences in and of themselves - do you need to add to it? Do you need to make sure that your child dies at age 50 as result of prior "indiscretions", even if they've long since learned their lesson? The interesting thing about children is that they're actually people, who are going to go on and lead their own lives.

Brian I think you missed the irony and sarcasm in Calli Arcale's posting directed at Augie.

Brian above you post are the actuall statistics for cervical cancer in the united states.

More people win the lottery every year then get cervical cancer. Get a bit of perspective.

By Antivaccine (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Both theories have valid points.

By The Analyst (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

First, I shall commit a major logical fallacy. It seems clear to me that "Antivaccine" who is proclaiming the Pap Smear to Be The End All And Be All of cervical cancer prevention has never had one.

Because I just can't imagine how if you've been having Pap smears regularly, year in year out regardless of risk factors as has been recommended for years and years until just recently, why on earth you might imagine they're really awesome. Really, Antivaccine? How many Pap smears have you actually had?

That said.

Hmm. Pap smear. Invasive procedure (cervical cells removed from patient's body). Detects damage in those removed cells from infection by virus. Damaged cell in smear implies other cells (not yet removed) have also been damaged via infection, and the treatment is another invasive procedure to find and remove the rest of the damaged cells.

The cool thing is that the Pap smear detects the infected cells at a state of damage before there's enough of them to kill you. We can go back in there and remove them before (again, before) there's enough of them to kill you. But in order for a Pap smear to prevent cervical cancer, the patient with the irregular Pap smear must underdo another procedure removing the pre-cancerous cells.

Bottom line: diseased cells removed before disease progresses. Note that those cells were already damaged by infection, and then the treatment is removing them.

The Pap smear by itself does not prevent cervical cancer.

The Pap smear is a highly effective means of identifying individuals in need of treatment. That's all.

Now, moving on:
Hmmm. Vaccine. Prevents infection.

Which one is the better idea?

Preventing, or treating?

Augustine, feel free to answer, but please keep in mind that I'm asking you this hypothetically, without context, since I do understand that HPV is one of your pet peeves. Please, just pick the approach you think is better:

Prevent, or treat?

Please pick one.

Vicki wrote:

People are responding to the part of Maher's presentation that you quoted. If this is misleading, whose fault is that?

Really? The only thing I actually quoted was Maher's assertion that people have shitty diets. I did use a single quote mark 'like this' to reference a paraphrase, as distinguished from an actual quote which would be the standard double quote mark or an HTML blockquote. That may have confused people. But the main issue seems to be an editing mistake in my paraphrase of Maher's response to Frist's observation that vaccines had eradicated smallpox and polio. Maher actually made no declarative assertion in response. I infer his meaning, if anything overstating it by putting it in declarative form.
I should have typed:

Frist brought up the success of vaccines in eradicating polio and smallpox, and Maher countered, 'yes, but influenza viruses are different.'

but instead typed:

Frist brought up the success of vaccines in eradicating polio and smallpox, and Maher countered, 'yes, but viruses are different.'

If you want to pillory me for dropping a word, well hurray for your pettiness. But, you know, if you think I'm ignorant then you have no business taking my word for anything, including representing Maher accurately one way or another. It's not my responsibility to check YOUR facts before you pontificate. So to answer your failed attempt at a rhetorical question capper: It's YOUR fault. Somebody demanded a hyperlink? For crissakes, go to YouTube, search "Maher Frist" and it's the first hit.
And no Vicki, your 'syllogism' does not represent the situation. I did leave the referent off of the Orac quote, but I figured you all would know. To recap, Orac was responding to the fact Maher had used the phrase "Aggregate toxicity" Orac wrote:

"Aggregate toxicity"?... From this sort of scientifically and biologically flawed thinking, it's only a short step to advocating colon flushes or chelation therapy

You have rendered this logic as parallel to:

Germ theory deniers deny that germs cause disease.
AIDS is a disease.
Therefore, germ theory deniers deny that germs cause AIDS.

Which, first of all, is false, relying on the same language trick TV lawyers use to define anyone who has ever been caught in contradictory statements as 'a liar.' To make your 'syllogism' truthful, you would need to use more precise language, stating your major premise as "Germ theory deniers always deny that germs cause disease." (or more straightforwardly as "Germ theory deniers assert that germs do not cause disease"
"https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawnvZelo-rplzwSgrOKYNlLFGU…" (dude: put a handle in the 'Name' field) also pulls a logic fail:

Bill believes that "aggregate toxicity" is the sole cause of sickness
Bill doesn't want to get sick (this is asssumed, yes)
Chelation therapy, colon flushes, et al. are the purported "cures" for aggregate toxicity
Bill will use/support chelation therapy, colon flushes, or another treatment that purports to cure aggregate toxicity.

There is no deductive warrant for the leap from the third premise to the conclusion. We cannot infer Bill's position about 'X' because 'X' is purported (by sources unidentified) to address Bill's concern. To check the logic, substitute real diseases and other woo claims:

I believe that esophageal cancer will kill me.
I do not want to die.
Laetrille is purported to cure cancers that cannot be treated via other means.
If I am diagnosed with esophageal cancer, I will take Laetrille.

But, no I won't. (I do have Barrett's IRL, BTW.)
The primary problems though, with Vicki and No-handle's adventures in 'logic' is that they start with major premises which assume facts not in evidence. Do you have a cite for Bill Maher claiming that germs do NOT EVER cause diseases? Do you have a cite for Bill Maher claiming "aggregate toxicity" is the SOLE cause of sickness? No? (Again, do the substitution to check the logic: If I believe germs cause illness, that does not mean I believe germs are the SOLE cause of illness.) No-handle sez "There is no legit medical treatment for unspecified 'aggregate toxicity.' There is only woo." Do you have a cite showing Maher believes there IS a medical treatment for 'aggregate toxicity'?
I'm not being purely rhetorical with these questions. I don't know everything Maher has said about this topic. Do enlighten me if he has said what you infer, because I will agree that he's off his nut if so.
But the YouTube clips I saw were posted by Skeptics for the purpose of criticizing Maher, and thus, I have to assume any more-damning comments he might have made would have been included or cited. And in those clips he asserts ONLY that behavior and environment CAN lead to 'aggregate toxicity', and he advocates ONLY various behavioral choices as a means of AVOIDING or LIMITING 'aggregate toxicity'. At no point does he suggest that there is any effective form of treatment for people already stricken with this 'problem.'
He does say he advises pregnant women NOT to receive swine flu vaccinations. If you want to criticize him for that, well, have at it. It doesn't matter much why he advocates that. If it's dangerous, then he's wrong. But it does not follow that he is necessarily proposing 'woo' as an alternative, and indeed I see no evidence of Maher promoting quacks, as Dr. Oz has re: the previous thread.
And I might point out that Maher was talking to Bill Frist, to whom he was being mainly respectful and complementary, despite the fact that Frist is a scum-sucking parasite who ammassed his great wealth as the head of HCA, which more or defines everything wrong with the for-profit health care system. From Wikipedia:

On March 19th, 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company. Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Rick Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO. He was paid a settlement of $9.88 million, and left with 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million.
In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies. They admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space.
HCA also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors "loans" never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.
In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims. In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.
On July 1, 2005, Senator Frist sold all of his HCA shares two weeks before disappointing earnings sent the stock on a 9-point plunge. Frist claimed that he sold his shares to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest if he ran for president. Shareholders sued HCA in a lawsuit alleging that the company made false claims about their profits to drive up the price which then fell when the company reported disappointing financial results. The lawsuit was settled in August 2007 with HCA agreeing to pay $20 million to the shareholders.

Oh yeah, and Frist was the guy who insisted Terry Schiavo was NOT in a persistent vegitative state based on his viewing of an edited videotape. Sounds pretty 'woo' to me. Maybe he got schooled in remote diagnosis skills by John Edward.
In the face of this, you want to rip on a comedian... that's just pathetic. If you can't see the difference between Maher and a genuine quack-flack like this Paul Fassa fella, your rage has made you blind. (You did read that I began my original post by complimenting Orac's attack on Fassa, right?)

@Reuben

"The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

@Sid
"Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?"

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 17 Mar 2011 #permalink

Holy cow ORAC almost got this right. The truth is that both Pasteur and Beauchamp were right. There is not question the germ theory is correct but what Western Medicine once again fails to understand is the constitution of the individual (Beauchamp)> There is no question that the immune system is a complex network (which in my opinion supports ID as the origins of life) For instance Vitamin D3 levels can make or break the outcome based on immune system strenght. Magnesium levels affect outcomes of disease since it is closely tied to over 400 enzyme functions including immunity. And of course there are many other factors that support or weaken immune system health (glutathione production etc).

There are studies showing that many people live with Malaria without major complications whereas others die rapidly. Beauchamp could have been right in terms of less vicious pathogens whereas the immune system could break but in more virulent pathogens, his theories fail. This is the point that most people do not get.

augustine writes:

then I shall call science blogger regulars "epigenetic deniers".

Praise the Lord, another rich comic vein to mine!

OK, augustine, have at it: What's your "understanding" of DNA vs epigenetics and how this relates to 'science blogger regulars'?

Brian above you post are the actuall statistics for cervical cancer in the united states.

More people win the lottery every year then get cervical cancer. Get a bit of perspective.

Posted by: Antivaccine | March 18, 2011 12:55 AM
===================
HPV does not only cause cervical cancer. It also causes the cervical dysplasia that leads to cervical cancer. These are the cellular changes detected by PAP testing.
That, in turn, leads to colposcopy and the always pleasnt cervical biopsy and endocervical curretage. If the cellular changes are advance enough, this may prompt cervical cone biopsy, cryotherapy, laser cone biopsy, or even hysterectomy.
These are surgical procedure with varying degrees of risk but all have the potential to impair fertility and cause other complications.
Preventing the root cause of the cervical epithelial changes by vaccinating against HPV would spare a lot of women from these surgeries - which are every-day occurences in just about every gyn office practice in America.

By Dr. Steve (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Brian above you post are the actuall statistics for cervical cancer in the united states.

More people win the lottery every year then get cervical cancer. Get a bit of perspective.

Posted by: Antivaccine | March 18, 2011 12:55 AM
===================
HPV does not only cause cervical cancer. It also causes the cervical dysplasia that leads to cervical cancer. These are the cellular changes detected by PAP testing.
That, in turn, leads to colposcopy and the always pleasnt cervical biopsy and endocervical curretage. If the cellular changes are advance enough, this may prompt cervical cone biopsy, cryotherapy, laser cone biopsy, or even hysterectomy.
These are surgical procedure with varying degrees of risk but all have the potential to impair fertility and cause other complications.
Preventing the root cause of the cervical epithelial changes by vaccinating against HPV would spare a lot of women from these surgeries - which are every-day occurences in just about every gyn office practice in America.

By Dr. Steve (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Dr. Steve

Not to mention the fear and anxiety involved. But then, those of a denialist bent tend to focus on something like death (or some other worst possible outcome) as the only thing to worry about. Since good medical care can prevent those worst-case outcomes, the statistics are relatively small, allowing the denialist to say, "See? It's not that common. So why worry about it?"

There is no question that the immune system is a complex network (which in my opinion supports ID as the origins of life)

Yet another fellow so personally humble about his knowledge of the natural world that "If the great and wonderfool ME can't understand how this works, those thousands of scientists who claim to have worked it out in some detail must be full of crap, therefore GAWD." I'm sure the Deity will be pleased to know you think he has nothing better to do than go around sticking little propellers on the butts of bacteria.

BTW, in the likely event you don't know, the immune system is a particularly horrible attempted example of ID. Michael Behe was eviscerated on cross-examination in the Dover trial attempting to defend the immune cascade as an example of 'irreducible complexity' and therefore intelligent design. He testified on direct examination that there was no logical scientific way in which the immune system could have evolved. Then on cross-examination, confronted with 58 separate peer-reviewed articles and several widely used textbooks piled two feet high explaining the evolution of the immune system in detail, including specific mutations along the way, Behe declared that this entire accumulation of research failed to meet his personal standards for scientific validity. (This from a fellow who testified in the same trial that his personal definition of science included astrology.)

A transcript of Behe's cross-examination on this point, as well as a photo of the two-foot-high pile of articles and textbooks, is at http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/dover/day12pm.html .

It is what it is and sometimes letting the biology of the planet consume some of the genetically susceptiable people isn't always a bad thing.

Hello there, Mr. Eugenics. We haven't seen your ugly face for a while; it should have been longer.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

There is no question that the immune system is a complex network (which in my opinion supports ID as the origins of life)

Given that our immune system often turns on us, sometimes with fatal results (cytokine storm, lupus etc.), it seems to be more of an example of inebriated design than intelligent design.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Will the shill wrote:

From a rhetorical standpoint, I think we should avoid using the phrase "big pharma". It creates the image of a corrupt, and evil organization. Just call them pharmaceutical companies.

So having been to Fassa's blog, seeing how frequently he deploys the term, and not wishing to be associated with his BS in any way, I too shall seek alternative phrasing. The etymology of 'big' as an adjective here is pretty obvious, articulating a kind of populism that crosses the ideological spectrum. But it's not properly descriptive. It frames the pharmaceutical companies as a monolith, which acts more or less the same ways at all times.
Now, while I have not done extensive research into the pharmas, my sense is that these corporations do some things that are very helpful to mankind, and some things that are very, very immoral. My sense is also that some firms are better than others. And what would be the alternative to 'Big Pharma?' Small Pharma? A medical maryjane vendor in Echo Park?
So I want a term that references the corrupt and evil practices of pharmaceutical corporations and is thusly narrower, without an inference that all these firms act this way all the time. As such, I shall now use the term 'Pig Pharma' to refer to those tendencies within the pharmaceutical industry to abdicate morality and decency in the name of wanton greed, but only to those cases, and I shall use 'the Pharmas' to refer to the industry in a more global way. Do join me, won't you?

herr doktor bimmler wrote:

obscure dada-rocker Tonio K.
I rate for "Life in the Food Chain".

Woot! A Tonio K. fan! I'm getting to like herr doktor bimmler! I hope that doesn't ruin his reputation around here.

sadmar writes:

As such, I shall now use the term 'Pig Pharma' to refer to those tendencies within the pharmaceutical industry to abdicate morality and decency in the name of wanton greed, but only to those cases, and I shall use 'the Pharmas' to refer to the industry in a more global way. Do join me, won't you?

And we shall refer to you as 'happymar.'

so if my grand partents drank alot, smoked alot and where overwieght went through boughts of maluntrtion because of peeky things like world wars 1 and 2 and the great depression and they lived to be 85,89, 78, and 85 with there brother and sisters living to 80's and 90's then they prove that drinking, smoking and eating to much don't kill you since it is not 100% death rate this is awesome i think i should take up smoking party on dude ;) i think i can like this denial thing i need to find other things i think i will try gravity next flying would be so cool

By historygeek (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

so if my grand partents drank alot, smoked alot and where overwieght went through boughts of maluntrtion because of peeky things like world wars 1 and 2 and the great depression and they lived to be 85,89, 78, and 85 with there brother and sisters living to 80's and 90's then they prove that drinking, smoking and eating to much don't kill you since it is not 100% death rate this is awesome i think i should take up smoking party on dude ;) i think i can like this denial thing i need to find other things i think i will try gravity next flying would be so cool

By historygeek (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

OK, Sadmar, I will stipulate that you are not a reliable source for anything except your own personal opinions and experience.

I don't think we have anything else to say to each other, since you prefer to attack me for not double-checking your assertions, rather than say that you made a mistake and are sorry for the resulting confusion.

Vicki, I suspect sadmar just likes to hear his keyboard goes clicky-clack. More than likely he has a brand spanking new degree in philosophy, and is working a dead end job while he attempts to get into grad school. So he has to come here and pretend to be smarter than the rest of us. I just skim over his long screeds.

"AntiVaccine" (#85):

"Not that many women die of cervical cancer. Many die from breast cancer."

Many women also die in car crashes (as do many men); is that a reason to ignore the morbidity and mortality from HPV-caused cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer?

If we were talking about possibly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to prevent a single case of cervical cancer, this comment might make some sense. However, the vaccine, while expensive, is quite cost-effective, considering the cost of treating a single case of cervical cancer (or even cervical dysplasia).

Oh, and to throw another variable into the mix, what about the larygotracheal papillomatosis seen in children born through a HPV-infected birth canal? These kids require repeated (and dangerous) laser ablation of the growing papillomas to keep from suffocating. How many of those do we have to prevent to make the HPV vaccine worthy in the eyes of people like "AntiVaccine"?

Prometheus

Hello there, Mr. Eugenics. We haven't seen your ugly face for a while; it should have been longer.
Posted by: Antaeus Feldspar | March 18, 2011 9:25 AM

I have no idea who Mt Eugenics is. But that is certainly not me. I am not for eugenics "which is mans willful removal of genetic variation by active govermental or social action".

I do not have a problem with accepting the consequences of natural evolution and selection.99% of all the species that ever existed are extinct. When its our time to go and for us to be replaced, its time for us to go. Just like we replace neadrethals.

Get a grip, its going to happen sooner or latter.

By AntiVaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Antivaccine:

I do not have a problem with accepting the consequences of natural evolution and selection.99% of all the species that ever existed are extinct. When its our time to go and for us to be replaced, its time for us to go. Just like we replace neadrethals.

That is a form of eugenics, especially if you want to withhold safe proven medical prevention from anyone.

Chris (sincerely, please read rather than skim):
I shall cut to the chase. I stumbled into this blog while doing an unrelated Google search. I have stayed because the subject interests me, in large part because I think what Orac is trying to do matters. (Or maybe I should say what I think he's trying to do...) That is, as Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan wrote about one of his townsfolk who died prematurely after having been 'cured' by a faith healer, there are real stakes here.
People are getting sick, or dying, because of the quacks and their woo. That makes me sick (figuratively). I want to see this kind of thing stop, or at least get pushed-back significantly. I'm assuming that's what Orac and the folks who post here want as well. However, I think you are making serious strategic errors in pursuit of this goal. My posts so far have indirectly pointed to some of these. My goal, as I've said before, is to write a more direct critique of Skeptic rhetoric - in the hopes that it might help the campaign against quacks and faith-healers become more effective.
For the record, I am 57 years old. I received my PhD in Cultural Studies from an R1 university in 1992, and after a 30+ year stint in academia I am now disabled due to chronic health problems. I have lost my career, and am essentially unemployable due to my age and condition.
Although I have an advanced degree in 'studies', my primary field and teaching area has been practice and production in media, communication and performing arts. In my younger days I worked as an advertising copywriter, and a movie reviewer. I've co-created several award-winning documentary films. I have taught filmmaking, film analysis, web design, public speaking and the occasional upper level seminar in cultural theory.
I would not assert, in any global sense, that I am smarter than you (plural). I probably know more about 'hard' science than most people, but only a thimble-full compared to people here I would guess. But this blog is not a scientific discussion. It is about how questionable and potentially harmful ideas have become rooted in our society, and how to address that problem. That, sir, is MY turf, and, yes, I DO know a hell of a lot more about argumentation, persuasion, communication, ideology etc. than you do.
So let me ask you, in all sincerity, why are you here? Do you really want to drive the quacks back into their holes, or are you content to just gather your friends and bitch about how stupid all this woo is?
Wearing my rhetorician's hat, I do not see 'preaching to the choir' as a put-down. 'Maintaining the base' is an important part of any social effort. Though not to be scoffed at, since it is necessary, it must be balanced by the acknowledgment that it is not enough. If you want to get someplace, we should talk. If you just want to be Master of Your Own Domain (not that there's anything wrong with that) then, no, there's no point to further exchanges.
sincerely,
sadmar
(BTW, the handle means nothing. It's just a string of characters I can remember for a random reason).

Militant Agnostic

Given that our immune system often turns on us, sometimes with fatal results (cytokine storm, lupus etc.), it seems to be more of an example of inebriated design than intelligent design.

As my T lymphocytes attack the alveoli of my lungs while I sleep, I have to agree with you.

By Scott Cunningham (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

I have no idea who Mt Eugenics is. But that is certainly not me. I am not for eugenics "which is mans willful removal of genetic variation by active govermental or social action".

That's like saying "I'm not racist; racism is when people are discriminated against on the basis of their racial origin and I'm only advocating such discrimination; since I'm not actually going out to put the discrimination I advocate into practice, it's not actually racism." It's a BS excuse.

I do not have a problem with accepting the consequences of natural evolution and selection.99% of all the species that ever existed are extinct. When its our time to go and for us to be replaced, its time for us to go. Just like we replace neadrethals.

And what does that have to do with the subject, which is your eugenicist view that those who are, quote, "genetically susceptiable," could be replaced faster than the rest of us and the deaths of those people wouldn't be a bad thing, even if adequate medical care would have prevented those deaths? Talking about how sooner or later, almost all species go extinct is not a justification for talking about how certain people could be eliminated on the basis of their genetics for the benefit of the race, any more than saying "no one lives forever" justifies "hey, let's kill Billy and split his money among the rest of us." That sentiment is murderous and monstrous, whether it is carried out or only talked about; your statement that it "isn't always a bad thing" to let people die from easily prevented diseases, if they're "genetically susceptiable," is eugenicist and monstrous, whether you carry it out or only talk about it.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Vicki, Vicki, Vicki...
You wrote:

I don't think we have anything else to say to each other, since you prefer to attack me for not double-checking your assertions, rather than say that you made a mistake and are sorry for the resulting confusion.

This sentence contains two examples of what we in the reality-based community refer to as LIES. First, in posts 43 and 94 I DID admit to making mistakes, and I DID take responsibility for what confusion resulted (which does not absolve you of your responsibility to be well-informed on the content of YOUR posts.)
Second, I did not 'attack you'. That language clearly implies that I was the aggressor. In fact, my post 43 is largely a response to your post 31, and I begin by stating 'My bad on the viruses.' I say nothing at all about you in post 43, but instead point out the flawed logic offered by 'No-handle.'
However, in post 44, you reply with a snarky rhetorical question laying all fault at my feet, and insult my intelligence with a ludicrous denunciation of my deductive reasoning, supported by blatant sophistry revolving around what the definition of 'is' is. In reply, I DEFENDED MYSELF.
And I have to say, it's hilarious that YOU accuse ME of not admitting to error, since not only have I clearly done so, but no one attacking Maher has shown the slighest bit of humility, or even admitted the possibility that they may have overstated the case.
And YOU, dear Vicki, are on the top of the list of people who might want to admit a mistake, since I thoroughly schooled your lame ass on your flawed 'logic,' to which you have no rebuttal whatsoever.
Your discourse is at the level of Fox News, and so, no, I don't have to be a genius to be way smarter than that.
Read my post to Chris above. If you have a constructive reply to that, do post it. Otherwise, don't waste my time.

:That's like saying "I'm not racist; racism is when people are discriminated :against on the basis of their racial origin and I'm only advocating such :discrimination; since I'm not actually going out to put the discrimination I :advocate into practice, it's not actually racism." It's a BS excuse.

Last time I checked, Nature did not care about skin color. Your trying to make a logical distinction that simply does not exist. I did not say, let all the brown people die. That would have been advocating for eugenics. I did not say seperate the people and kill off delibrately those with aliments, did I ?

I siad let the ecosystem do its job. That not eugenics. In fact its jsut the opposite of eugenics. If nature does act in a discriminatory way, I have yet to see it.

:And what does that have to do with the subject, which is your eugenicist :view that those who are, quote, "genetically susceptiable," could be :replaced faster than the rest of us and the deaths of those people wouldn't :be a bad thing, even if adequate medical care would have prevented those :deaths? Talking about how sooner or later, almost all species go extinct is :not a justification for talking about how certain people could be eliminated :on the basis of their genetics for the benefit of the race, any more than :saying "no one lives forever" justifies "hey, let's kill Billy and split his money :among the rest of us." That sentiment is murderous and monstrous, :whether it is carried out or only talked about; your statement that it "isn't :always a bad thing" to let people die from easily prevented diseases, if :they're "genetically susceptiable," is eugenicist and monstrous, whether you :carry it out or only talk about it.

No it means that I don't honestly belive that man should always tamper with his enviroment. MRSA is a great example of man tampering with his enviroment to his detriment.

No disease is easily prevented. there is a cost to be paid somewhere. But the best form of disease prevention can be found as follows.

clean drinking water
enviroment with minimal or no toxicity
Quality nutrition
Excersize
Proper rest
Exsposure to sunshine "sunshine is actually good for you"

Its like the logical fallcys about cancer. First and foremost cancer is cuased by a poorly performing immunue system. everyone has cancer, the best way to prevent cancer is to increase by natural methods the power and ability of the immune system. Every person reading this blog today HAS CANCER. Its not a debate. everyone always has cancer. the issue becomes in how the immune system deals with cancer.

A healthy body with good genetic make up and resistance to disease via nutrion and excersize will avoid 99% of potential aliments and maybe more.

But there are conditions which do require treatment. the question become is polluting the gene pool with non survival traits over thousnads of generations a good idea ?

I think if your honest with yourself you can easily see the anwer is no. Not fo the long term survival of the species.

We have to accept that some people will die for various cuases and just move on.

By AntiVaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

sadmar:

So let me ask you, in all sincerity, why are you here? Do you really want to drive the quacks back into their holes, or are you content to just gather your friends and bitch about how stupid all this woo is?

Because I like what Orac writes. I "met" him on Usenet over ten years ago when I was finding information about the alt-med world and anti-vaccine zealots. Despite the length of the articles, I find them entertaining and informative.

My son had seizures as an infant, and more from a now vaccine-preventable disease. He has a severe speech disorder, that even with ten years of speech therapy is evident, and a learning disorder. So I was on an email listserv for his disability at the time the Mercury Militia and quackery proponents were starting to infiltrate that listserv.

Actually, I had one member try to get me kicked off that listserv when I politely pointed out on a thread about MMR that her note about thimerosal was unnecessary (all the email I sent said "Note: MMR does not contain thimerosal." I also got lots nasty grams for sending an email calling chelation a bad idea.

I left when I found out one parent was shilling for Dr. Bradstreet. It was about a week before Roy Kerry murdered a five year old boy through chelation. The boy was actually strapped to the table and the chelator was being pushed into his veins. The boy's only crime was that he was born autistic.

Before I had kids I was an aerospace engineer and subscriber to Skeptical Inquirer, which probably kept me from getting sucked into the idiocy that desperate parents get foisted upon them. Believe, I heard plenty as I had a kid with medical issues and absolutely no speech. The one I hate the most is the lie that Albert Einstein was a late talker. I also like to read, and one can get lots of reading in the waiting rooms of neurologists, speech therapists, cardiologists, psychologist, etc.

Perhaps you should do some more reading. I would suggest some of these:
Plagues and People by William McNeil
Flu! by Gina Kolata
The Great Influenza by John Barry
Microcosm by Chris Mooney
The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson
Polio: An American Story by David Oshinsky
Vaccinated by Paul Offit
Mosquitoes, Malaria and Man by Gordon Harrison

... and there are more, but you should check out the books on Scienceblogs BookClub site, plus the weekly suggested on the podcasts produced by the author of this blog: http://www.virology.ws/ .

Let me guess, antivaccine, you and your wunderkind just need more breathing room, right?

sadmar writes:

However, in post 44, you reply with a snarky rhetorical question laying all fault at my feet

Blaming others for his entire failure to be clear....

Use of the term "snarky" to describe others' legitimate criticisms....

Gasp...sheldon101, is that you?

sadmar writes:

That, sir, is MY turf, and, yes, I DO know a hell of a lot more about argumentation, persuasion, communication, ideology etc. than you do.

Either you do not know as much as you think you do, or you have the devil of a time using all that knowledge to help express yourself clearly. For example:

However, in post 44, you reply with a snarky rhetorical question laying all fault at my feet, and insult my intelligence with a ludicrous denunciation of my deductive reasoning, supported by blatant sophistry revolving around what the definition of 'is' is.

Holy crap, is that actually supposed to mean something?

Now, about Maher: The man's show is watched by millions. He frequently expresses tremendous skepticism about vaccines that is utterly unsupported by science. This reinforces biases of the credulous against having themselves or their loved ones vaccinated, which, tragically, results in people dying.

Got any problem with folks who don't like that?

Let me guess, antivaccine, you and your wunderkind just need more breathing room, right?

Posted by: JohnV | March 18, 2011 2:31 PM

I don't know what kind you think I have, but I am certainly fairly alone in my dispassionate view towards the survival our species. We are tampering with things we do not fully understand. We simply don't know what doing this for 100+ generations will cuase.

Its a blatant ignorance that I find filled with devistating outcomes.It reeks of arrogance "of which humanity generally has a abundance of"

I am ok with millions dying every year, so long as billions survive and our specices can propogate and evolve. basically we don't know what we are doing and thats the truth of it.

They say a little information is a dangerous thing, this have never been more true then with antibiotics and vaccines.

By Antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Chris @121, I highly recommend Microcosm also, but it's by Carl Zimmer rather than Chris Mooney. Was there a Mooney book you wanted to recommend as well?

Brian,

I know you probably don't mean "bad people" in the sense you're using it, but people who use drugs or sleep around are not "bad people".

I entirely agree. There is a very human tendency, sometimes displayed by a few people on this site, to fall back on the ancient belief that people only get sick if they *deserve* to get sick, and that if anything bad happens to you, it must be your fault. Got malaria? You were such an idiot to travel to mosquito-infested swamps. Got your leg crushed in an earthquake? You should have known better than to live in an earthquake-prone region. Family murdered during a civil war? Serves you right for deciding to grow up in a country falling apart, since if your parents had really cared about you, they would have left. These are all completely false, of course, but it is remarkable how often people think them. I think it must give a certain comfort to believe we have some control over our destinies, though me, I prefer accepting that I do not have control. After all, as Marcus Cole put it on Babylon 5,

I used to think it was a terrible thing that life was so unfair. Then I thought, 'what if life *were* fair, and all of the terrible things that happen to us came because we really deserved them?' Now I take great comfort in the general unfairness and hostility of the universe.

When we talk specifically about Hepatitis B, there are those who believe that it's a disease of bad people, or at least bad choices. Your child will *never* do anything you disapprove of, right? So why vaccinate against Hepatitis B? ONly immoral people need that protection, and damned if I'm gonna pay for them to be protected, because they should have known better and people just don't take *responsibility* for themselves anymore. (Apparently, responsibility means hurrying up and dying to reduce the surplus population, not that most people will admit that.)

It's a repellant line of thought, but a more common one than most people realize. Even a lot of people repelled by what I just said hold that viewpoint to some extent; it's very human. It's why universal health care has been such a battle in this country, and when it comes to antivaccination, this is a harder nut to crack than the simple misinformation one. It's hard to talk people out of condemning others.

So my aim is instead to show people that even if they think it's not their responsibility to care about other people, they will still pay the price if they don't. If someone is the sort of person who thinks only bad people get Hep B, so it's okay if we don't vaccinate, then perhaps that person's sense of self-preservation can be appealed to. It will be more expensive in the long run if we give up on so-called "bad" people than if we do the right thing and treat them as human beings rather than as object lessons.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Antivaccine wrote (not using blockquote, because it doesn't seem to work well for more than one paragraph):

clean drinking water
enviroment with minimal or no toxicity
Quality nutrition
Excersize
Proper rest
Exsposure to sunshine "sunshine is actually good for you"

.....

Uh, huh. Like we haven't seen similar lists like that before. At least it doesn't say "avoid epidurals."

Please be specific what constitutes "toxicity." Does it include the toxins inside bacteria? Like the stuff Botox is made from?

What is defined as proper nutrition? Who is providing that definition, and does it involve the selling of supplements?

Okay, about the sanitation bit: how does that work with measles? Both Japan and the UK had reduced measles in the 1990s to the fraction of what it had been just a couple of decades before. Then it became endemic in both countries. How did that happen? Has the UK suffered some kind of change in sanitation policies, or was it something else? The numbers of measles in Japan has started to decrease since a severe outbreak just a few years ago, but the number of mumps has increased. Ignoring the recent events, what caused that?

Why has the incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type B been reduced so dramatically in the last two decades? Have the levels of sanitation, toxins and bad food changed much in the USA since 1990?

How much sunshine? What is the evidence that sunshine has an effect on polio, measles, pertussis, etc?

You seem to have all the answers, so these questions should be trivial for you.

@Antivaccine

Y'know, it's interesting that you should cite evolution and nature as reasons to avoid things like antibiotics and vaccines.

Let me ask you, do you cook your food? Do you get your water from the tap or straight from a well/river/lake/pond? If you have a serious illness, do you seek out medical attention or just let your body's natural processes work things out?

Dear Antivaccine,

You are a sadistic creep. That is all.

By Raincitygirl (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

We have to accept that some people will die for various cuases and just move on.

No way - what even with a good diet and...plenty of sunshine!

You aren't a medical professional, are you?

The Onion had it right: ttp://www.theonion.com/articles/world-death-rate-holding-steady-at-100-percen…

Yeah, well, Mr/Ms "proper medicine makes you ill" - mankind has had plenty of sunshine for millenia, especially in that, even-today, bastion of health and longevity, Africa, and it must be just a coincidence that even where the diet was OK and the well water clean, they all died young.
Must be the the enviornment with minimal or limited toxicity - Ah wait, that's us, now - thanks largely to vaccines and proper medicine!

And would it be too much to hope that you use a spellcheck on your posts? But perhaps I'm just being unfair - maybe English, like thinking, isn't your first language ;)

Jud:

Chris @121, I highly recommend Microcosm also, but it's by Carl Zimmer rather than Chris Mooney. Was there a Mooney book you wanted to recommend as well?

Oops, my bad. No, I just keep mixing Mooney and Zimmer up.

Y'know, it's interesting that you should cite evolution and nature as reasons to avoid things like antibiotics and vaccines.
Let me ask you, do you cook your food? Do you get your water from the tap or straight from a well/river/lake/pond? If you have a serious illness, do you seek out medical attention or just let your body's natural processes work things out?

I just let things run there course. I do take good care of my teeth though.

I have a well, I found that flouride cuase hypothiroidism "in my case many are unffected"

I don't get seriously ill, I haven't had the flu in around 5-6 years. I eat right, get excersize and try to practice clean living. I realize that man is at the end of all statements, essentially powerless at the hands of communicable disease.

There is no vaccine for AID, the common cold or even the bubonic plague.

the truth is any of these virus's could mutate at any time and become fare more lethal to. viraligists would be essentially powerless to do anything about it when people died in mass's in 48-72 hours whiping out 2/3rds of the worlds population.

People worry to much. We are all going to die eventually. enjoy the time you have and try to be a responsable citizen of the planet while your here. worrying about plagues and virsus and bacteria accomplishs nothing and is essential futile. they will evolve faste then we can stamp them out.

I again point to MRSA which is nearly impossiable to eradicate and it now becoming a serious problem.

Bill Maher has a good point, if your unselfish enough to here it.

By AntiVaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

[Uh, huh. Like we haven't seen similar lists like that before. At least it doesn't say "avoid epidurals."

Please be specific what constitutes "toxicity." Does it include the toxins inside bacteria? Like the stuff Botox is made from?

What is defined as proper nutrition? Who is providing that definition, and does it involve the selling of supplements?

Okay, about the sanitation bit: how does that work with measles? Both Japan and the UK had reduced measles in the 1990s to the fraction of what it had been just a couple of decades before. Then it became endemic in both countries. How did that happen? Has the UK suffered some kind of change in sanitation policies, or was it something else? The numbers of measles in Japan has started to decrease since a severe outbreak just a few years ago, but the number of mumps has increased. Ignoring the recent events, what caused that?

Why has the incidence of Haemophilus influenzae type B been reduced so dramatically in the last two decades? Have the levels of sanitation, toxins and bad food changed much in the USA since 1990?

How much sunshine? What is the evidence that sunshine has an effect on polio, measles, pertussis, etc?

You seem to have all the answers, so these questions should be trivial for you.]

virus's come and go with no real apparent direction except that certain segments of the population are more or less susceptiable at any given time.

BTW the thing left out of many of the NHS of the UK studys is the vaccine uptake rate was extremly high in most patients who contracted the virus.

Vaccines when truly challenged, don't really seem to actually be able to provide any real protection against disease and becuase every virus mutates with every host it encounters, it makes it nearly impossiable to vaccinate for. you can vaccinate for a similar or generic strain, but given the way protien encoding works, If person A contracts mesealse then person B contracts and modifys the carriers in the protien structures.

Vaccines themselves are garbage science and have rarely been chellenge tested in significant quantitys to have any real proveable immunity boosting effect.

Not only that, its arrogance on our part to think that with our limited understanding of our biology and the way it interacts with the rest of th eplanets biolgy that we can actually do anything about it in the first place.

Arrogance I tell you. arrogance.

By Antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

AntiVaccine

A healthy body with good genetic make up and resistance to disease via nutrion and excersize will avoid 99% of potential aliments and maybe more.

Evidence needed.

And

We have to accept that some people will die for various cuases and just move on.

When I first read this, in context of your views, I almost laughed, since I'm pretty sure you meant "of" or "from" various causes, not "for." However, it's not really funny. Innocent children have already died for your cause. Maybe you consider those acceptable losses. Many other people do not.

@AntiVaccine

Do you cook your food? And I didn't ask "when you have been seriously ill". I asked "If you have a serious illness". In other words, supposing you suffered from a serious illness for which medical treatment could cure you, would you seek out such treatment?

I have a well, I found that flouride cuase hypothiroidism

You realize that fluoride is naturally occurring in groundwater, right? And that in some communities, it is actually removed before it enters the drinking supply?

There is no vaccine for AID, the common cold or even the bubonic plague.

A vaccine against HIV is in the works to prevent AIDS. The common cold is caused by too many different viruses that mutate rapidly to make a vaccine worthwhile. Bubonic plague, apart from being extremely rare, is easily treatable with a short course of antibiotics and so, also, is unlikely to have a vaccine developed.

enjoy the time you have and try to be a responsable citizen of the planet while your here.

Part of the joy I derive from life is, y'know, being alive. Modern medicine helps that. And tell the kid dying from measles-induced encephalitis to just "enjoy the time" they have.

worrying about plagues and virsus and bacteria accomplishs nothing and is essential futile. they will evolve faste then we can stamp them out.

Not really. Worrying about those things has enabled far more people to actually survive childhood to "enjoy life" and "be a responsible citizen". As for evolving faster than we can stamp them out, well, some will. Then there are others, like smallpox, which we have eradicated. Polio and measles could also be done away with completely.

AntiVaccine:
I just let things run there course. I do take good care of my teeth though.

I notice you didn't answer the question of whether you cook your food or eat it in its natural state. As far as letting things run their course, this is usually fine, and indeed, for most diseases, the correct treatment is what they call "supportive care" -- keep the person alive and as comfortable as possible until their bodies can fight off the infection. In the case of the common cold, any treatment will usually be for comfort alone. In the case of severe diarrhea, IV fluids may be required or the patient may die before their bodies can fight off the disease.

What is your position on supportive care?

I have a well, I found that flouride cuase hypothiroidism "in my case many are unffected"

I see you did answer the question about water, at least. You do not drink lake water, as our naturally-evolved ancestors did naturally for millions of years. (Getting fun things like guinea worm and giardia!) So clearly you do recognize that sometimes a technological solution is better than just doing what we did for millions of years. Do you know that many wells have flouride in them naturally? And many others have radon? I do not say this to be alarmist; generally these things are not really a problem. But unless you've had your wellwater tested, you don't know.

I don't get seriously ill, I haven't had the flu in around 5-6 years. I eat right, get excersize and try to practice clean living. I realize that man is at the end of all statements, essentially powerless at the hands of communicable disease.

Well, good for you! My grandma also never got seriously sick -- until she came down with West Nile Virus. It damn near killed her. She had to be hospitalized for weeks so they could keep her alive until her immune system could finish off the disease.

There is no vaccine for AID, the common cold or even the bubonic plague.

This is true. So what? If there is no cure for AIDS, then all vaccines are worthless? Look at it this way -- the planet Pluto has never been visited by a spacecraft; would you therefore argue that no planets have ever been visited by spacecraft? Of course not -- it's absurd.

the truth is any of these virus's could mutate at any time and become fare more lethal to. viraligists would be essentially powerless to do anything about it when people died in mass's in 48-72 hours whiping out 2/3rds of the worlds population.

Not unless we can kill it first. Smallpox didn't have the chance to mutate to a more lethal form; we killed it first. If you get them all, there are no virions left to mutate. Still, it's true that viruses mutate, some more rapidly than others. Does that mean we should give up?

People worry to much. We are all going to die eventually. enjoy the time you have and try to be a responsable citizen of the planet while your here. worrying about plagues and virsus and bacteria accomplishs nothing and is essential futile. they will evolve faste then we can stamp them out.

What a dreadfully nihilistic attitude -- eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die?

I again point to MRSA which is nearly impossiable to eradicate and it now becoming a serious problem.

It's a serious problem, but it's a mistake to say it's impossible to eradicate, or even nearly impossible. It is not actually from the planet Krypton, invulnerable to everything except plot devices. The trick to beating a MRSA infection is a keen knowledge of evolution and how to pin it down between two conflicting evolutionary pressures (multiple antibiotics, in other words) -- the idea is to get it so that evolving resistance to one makes it vulnerable to the other. Swift and decisive action is also required. You can't be namby-pamby with the treatment, because you want to kill every last one of them so they don't have the chance to produce another resistant generation. Antibiotic resistance only occurs if you miss some.

Bill Maher has a good point, if your unselfish enough to here it.

On the contrary, Maher's attitude is pretty selfish. So is yours, actually. "Other people die horribly, but I haven't gotten very sick yet, so I just don't care. I'd rather be happy and go play than worry about stuff like plagues."

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Calli Arcale

But unless you've had your wellwater tested, you don't know.

But well water testing would not be natural, either.

@AntiVaccine

BTW the thing left out of many of the NHS of the UK studys is the vaccine uptake rate was extremly high in most patients who contracted the virus.

That's because it's a numbers game. There are more people who have been vaccinated than have not. Therefore, in an outbreak, there are more who contract the disease that have been vaccinated than have not been. Let's illustrate with an example from Chris:

Take 1000 people (ignoring the infants under 2 months who cannot be vaccinated, or babies under a year who can only be partially vaccinated), if 5% refuse vaccines then the numbers are:

950 vaccinated persons (assuming full schedule)
50 unvaccinated persons

The pertussis vaccine is actually only 80% effective at worse, so the numbers are:

760 protected persons
190 vaccinated but vulnerable persons
50 unvaccinated persons

There is an outbreak and it gets spread to 20% of the population, then:

760 protected persons without pertussis

38 vaccinated persons get pertussis
152 vaccinated person who may still get pertussis

10 unvaccinated persons get pertussis
40 unvaccinated persons who may still get pertussis.

Understand how that works, now?

I have a well, I found that flouride cuase hypothiroidism
You realize that fluoride is naturally occurring in groundwater, right? And that in some communities, it is actually removed before it enters the drinking supply?

There is no vaccine for AID, the common cold or even the bubonic plague.
A vaccine against HIV is in the works to prevent AIDS. The common cold is caused by too many different viruses that mutate rapidly to make a vaccine worthwhile. Bubonic plague, apart from being extremely rare, is easily treatable with a short course of antibiotics and so, also, is unlikely to have a vaccine developed.

enjoy the time you have and try to be a responsable citizen of the planet while your here.
Part of the joy I derive from life is, y'know, being alive. Modern medicine helps that. And tell the kid dying from measles-induced encephalitis to just "enjoy the time" they have.

worrying about plagues and virsus and bacteria accomplishs nothing and is essential futile. they will evolve faste then we can stamp them out.
Not really. Worrying about those things has enabled far more people to actually survive childhood to "enjoy life" and "be a responsible citizen". As for evolving faster than we can stamp them out, well, some will. Then there are others, like smallpox, which we have eradicated. Polio and measles could also be done away with

I have a well, I found that flouride cuase hypothiroidism
You realize that fluoride is naturally occurring in groundwater, right? And that in some communities, it is actually removed before it enters the drinking supply?

There is no vaccine for AID, the common cold or even the bubonic plague.
A vaccine against HIV is in the works to prevent AIDS. The common cold is caused by too many different viruses that mutate rapidly to make a vaccine worthwhile. Bubonic plague, apart from being extremely rare, is easily treatable with a short course of antibiotics and so, also, is unlikely to have a vaccine developed.

enjoy the time you have and try to be a responsable citizen of the planet while your here.
Part of the joy I derive from life is, y'know, being alive. Modern medicine helps that. And tell the kid dying from measles-induced encephalitis to just "enjoy the time" they have.

worrying about plagues and virsus and bacteria accomplishs nothing and is essential futile. they will evolve faste then we can stamp them out.
Not really. Worrying about those things has enabled far more people to actually survive childhood to "enjoy life" and "be a responsible citizen". As for evolving faster than we can stamp them out, well, some will. Then there are others, like smallpox, which we have eradicated. Polio and measles could also be done away with

You guys are hilarous. I will actually sit down and show you in plain math how absolutely wrong your infection rates are.

The first thing about your infection rate that is wrong, is that likely many infection for which people have been vaccinated are often ruled out of diagnostics.

Vaccinated and non vaccinated rates are roughly equal in term of infection.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Todd

The pertussis vaccine is actually only 80% effective at worse

You don't know that unless you have some type of real time data. So how long does 80% effectiveness last? Uh, tell me again what a booster shot is for.

Your example is a hypothetical of what you think would or should happen. It's not reality. It's an inference that you can't back up.

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@augustine

See this document (p. 8 of 18) for the efficacy range.

So how long does 80% effectiveness last?

Vaccine immunity wanes after 4-12 years, immunity from infection wanes after 4-20 years. (PMID 15876927)

@ Orac

Was there another hackers' attack on scienceblog this morning? I was unable to load RI at my workplace.
(on the plus side, it reduced my possibilities for procrastination)

@ Antivaccine

Bill Maher [...] belives that a good diet, regular excersize and keep ones body free of toxins leads to good health

And so are all the physicians my family consulted (assuming that "toxins" means various form of chemicals we can go without, like nicotine or lead).
What's so smart about this?

It's a bit like saying that keeping your car's brakes and your tires' pressure in good order will minimize your risks of car accident. It's true, and it's a very good idea to do it, but if you believe that you will never have an accident with a car in perfect condition, you are sadly mistaken.

I did not say seperate the people and kill off delibrately those with aliments, did I ?

No, you just say let's just stand aside and let's Nature kill them. Which, for some of us, is no different.
If you tie someone at low tide on the beach and let the high tide drown him, Nature may be the one killing him, but you are a murderer nonetheless.
If you watch someone being mauled by a bear and you happen to have a loaded rifle in your hands, some may say you are a murderer as well. In many countries, you may actually be arrested for manslaughter if you don't help someone in a deadly situation.
So, please excuse us if we have some issues with your laissez-faire ethics.

You also seem to believe that the most important quality in a human being, the one which should be selected for, is the stamina to resist all forms of illnesses. A number of historical and not-so-historical figures may wish to disagree. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Stephen Hawking, to start with. In a less prestigious way, my type I diabetic colleague.

You also seem to believe that such a quality could be selected for, while at the same time stating that viruses (and I suppose, other pathogens as well) are mutating so fast that any vaccine will lose efficiency almost as soon as produced, i.e. in a matter of months.
As an aside, an important step of a vaccine creation is precisely to isolate the parts of a pathogen which are too important for the virus' pathogenicity to be subjected to much change though genetic mutations. Without surprise, it's one of the main issue against the creation of a stable vaccine for viruses known to change a lot, like the flu viruses, or the HIV.
But also, make your mind: if viruses outcompete vaccines in months, how can we outcompete them then we have 20 years between two human generations?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

You guys are hilarous. I will actually sit down and show you in plain math how absolutely wrong your infection rates are.

Oooh math!!! I can hardly wait.

The first thing about your infection rate that is wrong, is that likely many infection for which people have been vaccinated are often ruled out of diagnostics.

I see words, apparently put together at random. I see nothing resembling meaning.

No math, though. What a let down.

By T. Bruce McNeely (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Brucy Pucy,

It's called diagnosis bias. It's been recognized.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4014097

This study demonstrates that the diagnosis of pertussis is often missed or delayed because clinical findings are similar to those of other respiratory infections in infancy. Suspicion of the diagnosis in children with nonspecific respiratory illness is required for early diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of spread to susceptible individuals.

If the doctor assumes that the symptoms are not pertussis because of vaccination status then an actual case of pertussis will be dismissed. It will effect the outcomes of studies like the ones you use which compare relative rates. Non vaccinated status symptoms will be more diligently followed up to rule out pertussis.

Brucy

Oooh math!!! I can hardly wait.

Stick that in your calculator!

@Todd

http://eprints.maths.ox.ac.uk/375/1/157.pdf

In some cases vaccination is unreliable. For example vaccination against pertussis has comparatively high level of primary and secondary failures. To evaluate efficiency of vaccination we introduce the idea of effective vaccination rate and suggest an approach to estimate it. We consider pertussis in New Zealand as a case study. The results indicate that the level of immunity failure for pertussis is considerably higher than was anticipated.

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

callie

I think it must give a certain comfort to believe we have some control over our destinies, though me, I prefer accepting that I do not have control.

Trying to force/coerce an entire population into mass vaccination is absolutely 100% about control. It is about the human need for certainty (albeit settling for probability) It is about the human need for security. Fear is involved heavily.

For you to say you have no control you sure have a funny way of showing it.

"Well we just don't have control. So let's try to control." "We just don't know who will die from infectious disease so let's just vaccinate 'em all."
"Who cares if some of them die". I'd rather have control."

This ENTIRE issue is about control. People don't won't you and your health policies "controlling" them because you have some need for security.

Some self reflection is in order.

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

mankind has had plenty of sunshine for millenia, especially in that, even-today, bastion of health and longevity, Africa, and it must be just a coincidence that even where the diet was OK and the well water clean, they all died young.

This is obviously wrong since I am informed by unimpeachable sources that our early ancestors had lifespans like 930 or even 969 years.

There is no vaccine for [...] the bubonic plague.
the truth is any of these virus's could mutate

Yersinia pestis is a virus? I have learned something new today.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

hoho a jpands reference. good start to the weekend.

@149 - especially in a comment comparing pro-vaccination to pro-religion. There goes another irony meter.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

a very human tendency, sometimes displayed by a few people on this site, to fall back on the ancient belief that people only get sick if they *deserve* to get sick, and that if anything bad happens to you, it must be your fault. [...] These are all completely false, of course, but it is remarkable how often people think them.

One appeal of the "Just-world" cognitive mistake is as a strategy for reducing cognitive dissonance. This is how it works:

(a) Something bad is happening to people somewhere in the world (earthquake, poverty next door, whatever). I could be doing something to mitigate their suffering...
(b) But I do not, because that would involve effort or money, both of which I prefer to retain for myself...
(c) Yet I like to think of myself as a nice person.
=> Cognitive dissonance.

Whereas if one accepts
(d) They were bad people for some reason, and deserved their suffering, then the lack of assistance from me no longer matters. No cognitive dissonance.

The specific reason why they brought their suffering upon themselves can be filled in at a later date.

I don't know if anyone has studied whether a tendency to accept the Just-world error is correlated with political alignment.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

I did not say seperate the people and kill off delibrately those with aliments

I am glad that no-one is proposing to force-feed people to death. That would be MONSTROUS.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine: "This ENTIRE issue is about control. People don't won't (sic) you and your health policies "controlling" them because you have some need for security."

antivaccine: "We have to accept that some people will die for various cuases (sic) and just move on."

All we need now is for Sid to add another semiliterate comment on the order of "the weak can go sicken and die before you'll stick any sharp pointy needles in ME", and we'll have the (sic) libertarian demento trifecta.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Antivaccine:

Arrogance I tell you. arrogance.

Yes, I noticed that in you. You did not even attempt to answer my questions. Why?

He/she continues:

so what say you of this ? I assume more herracy. It is amazing how the pro vaccination crowd is so behavioraly similar to the pro religion crowd. Not really suprising actually.

Out of curiosity, what is your level of education? Did you know that there are online dictionaries and spellcheckers for internet browsers? I don't want to call you out for your spelling, but saying that those who use science and evidence are just like the religious (who seem to ignore evidence) is actually quite silly. Why should we take you seriously?

Also, the AAPS paper does not make a very good argument, especially with the table from 1970 to 1994, and the emphasis only on death not incidence of measles. It ignores that medical interventions prevented deaths, but not incidence (or even the disabilities from getting measles). Which is why I present this table and ask what caused the incidence of measles to decline 90% between 1960 and 1970. The excuses for not answering the question are highly amusing:

From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4
1965 . . . 135.1
1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1

""We just don't know who will die from infectious disease so let's just vaccinate 'em all.""

Well, yeah auggie. That's the idea of preventative medicine.

Antivaccine - besides the fact you desperately need to learn how to run spellcheck, the bubonic plague isn't transmitted from person to person. You can only get it from an infected animal. And unlike tetanus, it's not present in soil or dirt.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Possibly some good news ( push-back against anti-vaxxers)

from njsensdems.com: Loretta Weinberg's( D- Teaneck;Chair Senate Health Committee) bill to clarify exemptions from immunization was approved and will move to the full senate. House Health Committee Chair Conaway ( D- Burlington) sponsored a counterpart.

Needless to say, anti-vaxxers don't like either legislator ( NJ Coalition for Vaccination Choice/ LKH). Weinberg is not to be taken lightly: I had phone coversations with her years ago and was impressed. I don't impress easily.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine cites this study - http://eprints.maths.ox.ac.uk/375/1/157.pdf . In so doing, once again, without even understanding what he's quote-mining enough to realize it, augustine points to research that utterly blows anti-vaccine arguments (including his, if you want to dignify them with the term "arguments") out of the water. In fact augustine to my knowledge has never managed to cite a study that's done anything but completely contradict his position. Kind of sad, really - one almost wishes for a better class of crank.

So what did this particular study find? It found, not at all surprisingly, that the effectiveness of the immunity conferred by vaccines declines over time. Therefore the number of vaccine doses was increased, and this was extraordinarily successful:

For example, in the United States after the introduction of mass vaccination the 2-year cycle of measles turned into 4â6-year cycles and the infection level dropped by about ten times (US Department of Human Services, 1994). According to Eq. (4), three times longer inter-epidemic period (6 years instead of 2 years) implies nine times lower susceptibles influx, i.e. the rate of successful vaccination is about 85â90% of the newborn. A similar resultâa 9-year inter-epidemic period and a decline of the infection level of about ten timesâhas been achieved in the US for rubella (US Department of Human Services, 1994). Mass vaccination against mumps also was accompanied by a decline of the infectivesâ level of about ten times and prolongation of the inter-epidemic period to 7 years (US Department of Human Services, 1994) (perhaps even longer, since the available time series are not long enough). Similar results have been observed in other countries and for other diseases.

The study also found, more surprisingly, that pertussis vaccine has an initial effectiveness that is quite low. For example, in the '60s and '70s:

Hence, the effective vaccination rates in the United Kingdom in this period were also about 23% of newborns.

Multiple doses raised the percentage of children with effective immunity, so that in New Zealand in the period from 1980-2000 the effective rate was somewhere in the range of 33-50%, perhaps 43-44%. That of course is still surprisingly low in comparison to virtually all other childhood vaccines.

This leaves two possible alternatives for increasing effectiveness - improve the vaccine (due to the age of the research and the particular studies it cites, I don't know whether a more effective vaccine is already in use in the U.S.), or administer more doses.

So who'd'a thunk it - augustine supports too many, too soon!

[Yes, I noticed that in you. You did not even attempt to answer my questions. Why?]

No arrogance assumes the correct position or knowledge posed or intellect is superior. I have made none of those assertions. I don't have a position on the effectiveness of vaccines or the safety of them. I question the validity of the statistical modeling process because it is inherently flawed. For it to be reasonably deterministic you would have to control exposure in both vaccinated and non vaccinated populations and to get a true measure of effectiveness you'd want a sample size that is both demographically and genetically representative of the local/nation/global populations. What you might find out is the some populations are more prone to certain infectious diseases like measles and the same group is resistant to polio.

[Out of curiosity, what is your level of education? Did you know that there are online dictionaries and spell checkers "you misspelled this I corrected it for you spellchecker is not one word" for internet browsers? I don't want to call you out for your spelling, but saying that those who use science and evidence are just like the religious (who seem to ignore evidence) is actually quite silly. Why should we take you seriously?]

My official level of education is largely irrelevant. The status of education denoting intelligence is largely laughably anecdotal evidence, but its a nice try on your behalf to attempt a deflection of the conversation and discredit the opponent. Which in certain instances could go to substantiating credibility. In the case of medical professionals I see little credibility however as the methods to determine the effectiveness of treatment often do not meet the basic test's of the scientific method or the model upon which it is built. Variability of response being a large factor in providing statistically anomalous data.

[Also, the AAPS paper does not make a very good argument, especially with the table from 1970 to 1994, and the emphasis only on death not incidence of measles. It ignores that medical interventions prevented deaths, but not incidence (or even the disabilities from getting measles). Which is why I present this table and ask what caused the incidence of measles to decline 90% between 1960 and 1970. The excuses for not answering the question are highly amusing:]

the APPS paper simply points out some serious flaws in the methodology used to certify the effectiveness of vaccines. It simply points out the truth of the matter. Most disease were far in decline long before any amount of commercial vaccination was remotely possible for many disease. It points to the fact that sanitation and nutrition have been historically the largest factors of disease control and outbreak.

Imagine how much different the bubonic plague would have been if there had been DDT to treat clothing and lice.

[From http://www.census.gov/prod/99pubs/99statab/sec31.pdf
Year.... Rate per 100,000 of measles
1912 . . . 310.0
1920 . . . 480.5
1925 . . . 194.3
1930 . . . 340.8
1935 . . . 584.6
1940 . . . 220.7
1945 . . . 110.2
1950 . . . 210.1
1955 . . . 337.9
1960 . . . 245.4

1965 . . . 135.1

1970 . . . . 23.2
1975 . . . . 11.3
1980 . . . . . 5.9
1985 . . . . . 1.2
1990 . . . . .11.2
1991 . . . . . .3.8
1992 . . . . . .0.9
1993 . . . . . .0.1
1994 . . . . . .0.4
1995 . . . . . .0.1
1996 . . . . . .0.2
1997 . . . . . . 0.1
Posted by: Chris | March 18, 2011 7:43 PM]

I like the lack of the comma there to make the number look more statistically relevant. given the amount of malnutrition the the polution of the water supply and the levels of sanitation of the time period. those numbers are not surprising to any one with a brain. disease always flourishes in squalor. Its not some massive secret protected by the government. although finding that actually infection rate data is.

As to your chart. the interesting part is that measles vaccines did not reach market till 1962-1965 and general deployment was to narrow up until 1970 to have had a reasonable effect on the infection rate.

also getting measles is not some death sentence, if we use basic extrapolation of data you infection instance denotes a very low rate of side effects and there is little data to suggest other wise.

also don't forget mitigating factors like medical treatment that can cause poor outcomes in case of measles "like chickenpox" where fever suppressants create far more problems then the solve.

so lets not be dishonest here. Lets be frank. There is little actually data that says any vaccine is effective at preventing disease. If a scientist would like to take the challenge and actually produce data with controlled population and exposure for controls. I would be lad to read about it. But that means equally sized data sets for both vaccinated and non vaccinated and it requires a control group for both single strains and multi-strain vaccine protocols. the blatant lack of reliable data in and of itself is condemning enough and would not survive real peer review in the field of science research if it was a chemistry experiment.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Nice try Dr. Jud. Too bad you didn't help Todd out in your haste to bluff and spin. You lose everytime.

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

antivaccine-moron, please explain the eradication of smallpox.

antivaccine-moron, please explain the eradication of smallpox.

Posted by: Lawrence | March 18, 2011 8:45 PM

Please prove that vaccines had anything to do with it. Seems like it killed alot of native americans and other non europeans for a long time. Once those suscepticable to it had died off, it seems to have done what every other infectous disease in history had done. Fade away into obscurity.

I expect more then anecdotal evidence. I want hard studies showing effectiveness, dispersement,genetic profiles of susceutability.

good luck in your hunt. you are going to be holding a empty bag.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Jud

In fact augustine to my knowledge has never managed to cite a study that's done anything but completely contradict his position. Kind of sad, really - one almost wishes for a better class of crank.

That is standard anti-vaxxer operating procedure. My hypothesis is that they rely entirely on Google or Google Scholar searches, but they either never read even the abstracts or are incapable of understanding them. Any paper that turns up in a search of say "vaccination causes autism" is evidence of a connection between the two even if abstracts says "The hypothesis that vaccines cause autism is popular among whackaloons. We examined this and found there was no correlation, never mind causation. Again."

At least Antivaccine found an actual anti-vax paper. Of course it then had to accuse us of being just like the "pro-religion crowd" after citing a paper in a fundamentalist Xtian crank journal.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

At least Antivaccine found an actual anti-vax paper. Of course it then had to accuse us of being just like the "pro-religion crowd" after citing a paper in a fundamentalist Xtian crank journal.

Posted by: Militant Agnostic | March 18, 2011 8:51 PM

blindly beliveing in something without substantial proof and or methodology is no different from religion.

Of which I do not subscribe. I am a atheist.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

"My hypothesis is that they rely entirely on Google or Google Scholar searches, but they either never read even the abstracts or are incapable of understanding them."

Indeed. I am reminded of a high profile vaccine skeptic who posted a list of 'studies that support Wakefield'.

Out of the ones I randomly selected to look at, none supported Wakefield, one expressly refuted his findings in the abstract, and another had the exact oppositie findings to what would be required to support Wakefield.

I recall that the thread was shut down very quickly, yet other threads where they expressed offensive and derogatory ideas were not - at least until people started showing them to be wrong.

Antivaccine:

I like the lack of the comma there to make the number look more statistically relevant. given the amount of malnutrition the the polution of the water supply and the levels of sanitation of the time period.

Lack of comma where? In the USA we use a period to denote a decimal point. The dots are to deal with the blog software, since I did not feel like using non-breaking spaces. So the numbers of reported measles cases in 1960 were 245.4 per 100000 in population, then in 1970 they went down to 23.2 per 100000.

What does water pollution and sanitation have to do with that? I will remind you that the clean water act was not until 1972.

Now do try to make better sense.

BTW the thing left out of many of the NHS of the UK studys is the vaccine uptake rate was extremly high in most patients who contracted the virus.

Did most patients who contracted the virus have ten fingers and ten toes?

They did, right?

So does that prove any connection, positive or negative, between the "normaldactyly" rate and contraction of the virus? No, of course not. It simply reflects the fact that having ten fingers and ten toes is common in the general population.

The question is not "are vaccination rates high in the population of people who contract a virus?" but "are rates of contracting a virus higher among vaccinated people or unvaccinated people?" I wouldn't expect someone who can't understand an analogy to understand that, frankly, nor to know that the answer is "among the unvaccinated."

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Lack of comma where? In the USA we use a period to denote a decimal point. The dots are to deal with the blog software, since I did not feel like using non-breaking spaces. So the numbers of reported measles cases in 1960 were 245.4 per 100000 in population, then in 1970 they went down to 23.2 per 100000.

What does water pollution and sanitation have to do with that? I will remind you that the clean water act was not until 1972.

Now do try to make better sense.

Posted by: Chris | March 18, 2011 9:02 PM

there is absolutely no way you are this dense, it simply isn't possiable. When reffering to santitation and water quality one must understand that raw sewage was often dumped into resivors, aqufers,wells,and other water sources like rivers before the mid 1930's. It was essentialy sewage treatment and chlorination of the pulibic water supply that started during the dust bowl years that lead to the reduction in massive disease infection rates. also there was a great deal of change in the production of high protien and colorie foods and goverment food assistance programs that brough a end to nutritional challenge issue.

your ignorance of history is why you don't understnad the argument. Its not surprising you are likely under 50 yars of age so you don't get it.

history learn some.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Antivaccine,
You said a vaccine for bubonic plague doesn't exist. I showed that it does (both from personal experience and with a citation). The proper response is to admit your error and move on.

If you want to claim that the vaccine is ineffective, that's your right - but it'd be helpful for you to show some research on that. However, that's a separate issue.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

BTW the thing left out of many of the NHS of the UK studys is the vaccine uptake rate was extremly high in most patients who contracted the virus.
Did most patients who contracted the virus have ten fingers and ten toes?

They did, right?

So does that prove any connection, positive or negative, between the "normaldactyly" rate and contraction of the virus? No, of course not. It simply reflects the fact that having ten fingers and ten toes is common in the general population.

The question is not "are vaccination rates high in the population of people who contract a virus?" but "are rates of contracting a virus higher among vaccinated people or unvaccinated people?" I wouldn't expect someone who can't understand an analogy to understand that, frankly, nor to know that the answer is "among the unvaccinated."

Posted by: Antaeus Feldspar | March 18, 2011 9:06 PM

what is the difference in not only contraction between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of infection but what is the difference in the rate of serious complications. No such reliable data exists. I know I have looked for a decade none has been found and the CDC keeps fighting freedom of information request about it. As does Merk and several other manufacturers.

2 possiabilitys exist

1. they have the data and it is ambigous
2. they don't have any data.

thats pretty much it.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

av @ 169:

Its not surprising you are I am likely under 50 yars of age IQ points so you I don't get it.

FIFY

Its not surprising you are I am likely under 50 yars of age IQ points so you I don't get it.
FIFY

Posted by: NJ | March 18, 2011 9:25 PM

I am a meber of mensa. Whats your point now ?

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

I like the lack of the comma there to make the number look more statistically relevant.

Man, I actually had been hoping that the torrent of incredibly stupid shit I've been hearing for the past week might be easing off.

Antivaccine:

there is absolutely no way you are this dense, it simply isn't possiable. When reffering to santitation and water quality one must understand that raw sewage was often dumped into resivors, aqufers,wells,and other water sources like rivers before the mid 1930's.

And this has to do with the period between 1960 and 1970 how? Sewage treatment was available then. I asked you to try to make more sense, but you seem to devolving into gibberish.

And the words are spelled:
possible
referring
sanitation
reservoirs
aquifers

You said a vaccine for bubonic plague doesn't exist. I showed that it does (both from personal experience and with a citation). The proper response is to admit your error and move on.

If you want to claim that the vaccine is ineffective, that's your right - but it'd be helpful for you to show some research on that. However, that's a separate issue.

Posted by: Mephistopheles O'Brien | March 18, 2011 9:18 PM

Test it and find out if its really a vaccine or a chemical soup.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

And this has to do with the period between 1960 and 1970 how? Sewage treatment was available then. I asked you to try to make more sense, but you seem to devolving into gibberish.

And the words are spelled:
possible
referring
sanitation
reservoirs
aquifers

Posted by: Chris | March 18, 2011 9:30 PM

about the period from 1900-1960. Its just as important. why the decline absent the presence of vaccines ?

Hmm, you are now chery picking data that doesn't agree with your assertion. You can't just disregard the massive decline in infection rates prior to vaccines as non consequential.

BTW I don't really bother to spell check for such absurdity. Medical practices rergarding vaccination are scientificly unproven and would not withstand real peer review outside of the medical community becuase you have massively anomolous data sets that IGNORE the fact that infectous disease like measales,mumps rubella all were fractional representations of the infection rates from 1900 compared to 1960 when vacination posed no statiscal signifigance to the actual infection rate.

Your data is flawed,If you can't figure out how or why, your mentally ill.

don't let basic facts get in the way of your belife systems.

By antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Of which I do not subscribe. I am a atheist.

Oh noes! Auggie, it's another of those people! Where's your attempt at a smackdown?

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Antivaccine:

about the period from 1900-1960. Its just as important. why the decline absent the presence of vaccines ?

What decline of incidence? There were cyclic periods where the measles cases ranged between 200 to over 500 cases per 100000. How is that a decline?

Why did the number of measles cases go from 245 per 100000 in 1960 to less than a tenth of that in 1970, and have never hit the half of the 1970 level since?

The data is from a census report, I provided the link.

I am a meber of mensa.

This, however, I'm willing to believe.

antivaccine - When I look at those numbers, I see between 1925 and 1930 the rate of measles went up. Did they stop duming sewage, and then resume? Or did everyone start eating badly? The sun didn't come out as often?

I can't imagine that the meal I'm having tonight (skinless chicken breast, steamed peas, rice) has a better nutritional value than it would in 1900. All right, maybe the chicken, if you didn't kill it yourself.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

av @ 173:

I am a meber of mensa. Whats your point now ?

Mensa has no 'mebers'. Your marked lack of ability to spell or construct grammatical sentences, however, is strongly suggestive that you found them via a 'Goggle' search rather than a meeting.

Meanwhile, address the real question on the table by Chris:

Why did the number of measles cases go from 245 per 100000 in 1960 to less than a tenth of that in 1970, and have never hit the half of the 1970 level since?

NJ:

Your marked lack of ability to spell or construct grammatical sentences,

Which makes the comment about not using a mysterious comma even more ironic and comical!

@162 militant Atheist:
"They do this and they do that. And this is how you identify 'them' and so on and so on?"

Blah ,blah, blah ad hominem this ad hominem that!

Hey, Militant Atheist!

MA: "What?"

You lose too!

(hint:if science blogger cultist want to play by the rules that you have set up then you should know. No logical fallacies. Your standards have been set.)

Only the stupid ignorant every day citizen can use logical fallacies. Elitist arrogant intellectuals (don't flatter yourself most on here aren't that even though they wish they were) can't.

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Why did the number of measles cases go from 245 per 100000 in 1960 to less than a tenth of that in 1970, and have never hit the half of the 1970 level since?
Posted by: NJ | March 18, 2011 9:56 PM

again with the data cherry picking, what was the number in 1935 ?

becuase it shows a similar trend. Face it your argument is at best volatile.

BTW mensa mebership requires invite. but since your not a member you wouldn't know that.

I can spell, but why bother. Its not worth the effort. I am not the troll, you people who are for vaccine however are the trolls. Putting the rest of us in jeopardy with your misguided logically falacys and blaring misunderstanding of what the data actually tells you.

vaccine proof would first require explination of the decline from 1900 to 1960 before any further analysis could be done.

you must first understand the anomolys in your data before trying to draw conclusions from that data.

all in all its been ryling you turds up though. but seriously. your data is flawed find out why.

your accepted answer does not withstand scrutiny.

By aintvaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

what is the difference in not only contraction between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of infection but what is the difference in the rate of serious complications.

Notice how Goofus dishonestly changes the argument. He tried arguing that a high rate of vaccination among people who contract a virus, by itself, constitutes sufficient data to prove vaccination ineffective. When it was shown that this was untrue, did he concede the fact? Did he attempt to clarify his position?

No, he moved on to an entirely different claim. And even alleged that on that entirely different claim, the side he doesn't favor hasn't collected enough data - this, immediately after switching from a subject where he was not even looking at the right data.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

BTW mensa mebership requires invite. but since your not a member you wouldn't know that.

Do they give out "colors" in the sympathy-fuck SIG?

Antivaccine:

again with the data cherry picking, what was the number in 1935 ?

What year within ten years is the rate of measles incidence one tenth of the level in 1935?

By the way, that was an epidemic year. What was also happening in the 1930s that might affect infection rates? Here is a hint: it starts with "The Great..." In addition there was a very special "Bowl" that is discussed about that era, I believe John Steinbeck wrote a book about it.

You were the one who said "history learn some." Do educate us on that.

Now please tell us why the 1970 level of measles infections were one tenth of 1960 level, and have not been as high since. I assume you know something about that decade.

AF @ 187:

No, he moved on to an entirely different claim.

Goalpost moving. It's not just for creationists anymore!

Chris

99.99+% chance of not dying from measles before the vaccine was used. Period. No amount of propaganda changes that.None. Zilch. Nada.

More people died in england before wakefields paper than after. No amount of emotional slippery slope pleas changes that.

And of those 450 in the U.S. you still have to ask the question what was their health status, nutrition status, living conditions, etc.,

Vaccine propagandist always try to sell the lowest common denominator medicine to everyone. "We don't know who is the bottom of the barrel healthwise, therefore we have no choice but to treat you all like the worst of the worst. For your own good of course.

Insert anecdote or exception here:

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

AntiVaccine (assuming it's you, since now you've managed to misspell even your own name):

I can spell, but why bother. Its not worth the effort.

You were spelling better earlier in the day; are you really so easily exhausted that spelling correctly is now too much effort?

I am not the troll, you people who are for vaccine however are the trolls.

And now you resort to "I am not, you are." How old are you, emotionally? 12?

vaccine proof would first require explination of the decline from 1900 to 1960 before any further analysis could be done.

For someone who claimed he'd show us the math and the error in our numbers (we're still waiting, by the way), this is particularly stupid. For someone who claims to be extremely intelligent, this is particularly stupid.

The death rate dropped between 1900 and 1960. But the infection rate remained stable. The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival. Upthread, I mentioned that fighting viruses is often more a matter of keeping the patient alive long enough for their body to fight off the virus; with measles, this can be a serious challenge, and mechanical ventilation is not that unusual. Prior to the invention of the ventilator, a patient that desperately ill would die surely. Other major advances included intravenous fluids and nutrition, cortisone to treat lung damage (measles is a respiratory virus), and antibiotics to treat secondary infections which often killed people struggling to clear the measles virus.

So between 1900 and 1960, doctors got better and better at keeping people from actually dying of measles. But they still kept getting it, and two weeks in ICU is both unpleasant and carries significant potential for long-term morbidity. Time was, measles encephalitis was a major cause of developmental delay. It's almost unheard of now, and why? Not because we're good at keeping people from dying; the ICU care can't prevent that, no matter how much they'd like to. Because of vaccination.

You say smallpox died out because the susceptible patients had died out. That's I suppose remotely plausible, except that vertebrates do not evolve that rapidly in response to a pressure that's been with them since the beginning of recorded history and probably a good deal longer. In order for your explanation to be correct, the entire human species would have had to abruptly evolved total resistance (not just partial resistance but total resistance) to the virus at exactly the same time, even though many of these people are completely unrelated to one another, after thousands of years of not evolving any resistance at all. (The Native Americans actually were not more genetically susceptible, but they were immunologically naive. Case in point; Native Americans in 1600 died like flies when smallpox was introduced, but in 1900, they were as resistant as anybody else in a smallpox-endemic community.) A quarter of the European population could be expected to catch smallpox a century ago; now nobody catches it. Why? It's a hell of a coincidence that it disappeared at the same time a global eradication by vaccination campaign was underway.

And it's amazing how the course of polio has changed in countries with a mass vaccination campaign. Odd, isn't it, how people seem to evolve just when a vaccine shows up? With that kind of luck, I would expect to be able to win the lottery every day of my life.

Measles deaths went down before vaccination was introduced, and that was a very good thing. But people didn't stop *catching* measles until after widespread vaccination.

Here in Minnesota, four unvaccinated children came down with measles recently. (Three had parents who declined vaccination; the fourth was a baby too young to be vaccinated.) Three were hospitalized in intensive care. They haven't died yet, and probably won't; life support has gotten very good. But their lives hang by a thread right now, and these are bona fide cases showing just how fragile the extirpation of measles from a community really is -- until recently, Minnesota had very good measles vaccination rates, and it took very little decline for the disease to reenter the community.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@ Narad "The torrent of incredibly stupid shit" will probably peek tomorrow night when the moon is in full phase...and also orbiting closer to the earth than usual. Maybe then the philosopher, antivaccine aka aintvaccine and other "mebers" of Mensa will be baying at the moon before crawling back to their crypts.

Test it and find out if its really a vaccine or a chemical soup.

Let's assume for a moment that I were about to do this. What evidence would I have to produce that would convince you? How is this different from the evidence that already exists and is available?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

"The torrent of incredibly stupid shit" will probably peek tomorrow night when the moon is in full phase...and also orbiting closer to the earth than usual.

THAT'S JUST GOING TO SUCK THE FALLOUT INTO THE JET STREAM!

Callie Arcale

The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival.

Nice grasp at the straw. So how many were saved on a ventilator specifically from measles? How many of those were malnourished or had poor living conditions?

Oh, you don't know? You mean you pulled that out of your rationality minus your evidence hat? You mean you made that up because it fit your view?

Do science blogger always bluff?

Just for a little contextual balance for your information:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_four-infants-die-after-vaccination…

Four infants die after vaccination in Gujarat town

"The reaction time was very little, and the babies died within 5-10 minutes after being administered the vaccine," he said.

By augustine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

lilady:

Maybe then the philosopher, antivaccine aka aintvaccine and other "mebers" of Mensa will be baying at the moon before crawling back to their crypts.

So I am not the only one who thinks Mensa is a colossal joke? The pass a silly test, and then you know everything scam. Just about as bad as the engineers who think that they are experts where they are not (Andy Cutler, Gary Goldman, Amy Lansky, and many more!).

Calli Arcale:

You were spelling better earlier in the day; are you really so easily exhausted that spelling correctly is now too much effort?

Ethanol may be involved.

augustine:

Nice grasp at the straw. So how many were saved on a ventilator specifically from measles? How many of those were malnourished or had poor living conditions?

Did you even bother reading the previous posts? The death rate went up during the Great Depression, yes, but it dropped dramatically after the vaccine was developed. Pay attention to the evidence.

Do science blogger always bluff?

Here's a hint: Don't call a bluff after the hand's been shown.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

@ Calli Arcale

The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival.

Nice grasp at the straw. So how many were saved on a ventilator specifically from measles?

So now we have to prove to Augustine that intubation and mechanical ventilation help someone with a lung infection to survive.
Next step: prove to him that the Sun rises from the East. That's gonna be tricky.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon, no fair giving answers to questions posted to the credulous Antivaccine person! Even though s/he/it is now sleeping off whatever made it illiterate, s/he/it will be here in the morning.

It is no surprise that Little Augie knows nothing of early twentieth century history. Considering his religious leanings, even if he is in his late teens he may be denied the contents of the first few pages of The Grapes of Wrath, and perhaps all of the works of Steinbeck.

Twin Cities.com (6 hours ago) reports that there are now a total of six cases of measles confirmed in Hennipin County during the past month...including the five new cases confirmed this week.

Health Department officials state that unwarranted fears of vaccines safety have caused the overall vaccination rates to fall. The youngest case is one month old; another infant is nine months old; too young to have received measles vaccine. Three of the cases were old enough to have received the vaccine but parents refused vaccines. The sixth case's immunization status is unknown at this time.

Two of the three children whose parents refused the vaccine are Somalis. (A few weeks ago I posted or RI that Andrew Wakefield was in Minneapolis meeting with Somali parents to discuss the vaccine-autism link because of the "alarming incidence of autism in the Somali population.")

Of the six children

The death rate dropped between 1900 and 1960. But the infection rate remained stable. The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival. Upthread, I mentioned that fighting viruses is often more a matter of keeping the patient alive long enough for their body to fight off the virus; with measles, this can be a serious challenge, and mechanical ventilation is not that unusual. Prior to the invention of the ventilator, a patient that desperately ill would die surely. Other major advances included intravenous fluids and nutrition, cortisone to treat lung damage (measles is a respiratory virus), and antibiotics to treat secondary infections which often killed people struggling to clear the measles virus.

So between 1900 and 1960, doctors got better and better at keeping people from actually dying of measles. But they still kept getting it, and two weeks in ICU is both unpleasant and carries significant potential for long-term morbidity. Time was, measles encephalitis was a major cause of developmental delay. It's almost unheard of now, and why? Not because we're good at keeping people from dying; the ICU care can't prevent that, no matter how much they'd like to. Because of vaccination.

You say smallpox died out because the susceptible patients had died out. That's I suppose remotely plausible, except that vertebrates do not evolve that rapidly in response to a pressure that's been with them since the beginning of recorded history and probably a good deal longer. In order for your explanation to be correct, the entire human species would have had to abruptly evolved total resistance (not just partial resistance but total resistance) to the virus at exactly the same time, even though many of these people are completely unrelated to one another, after thousands of years of not evolving any resistance at all. (The Native Americans actually were not more genetically susceptible, but they were immunologically naive. Case in point; Native Americans in 1600 died like flies when smallpox was introduced, but in 1900, they were as resistant as anybody else in a smallpox-endemic community.) A quarter of the European population could be expected to catch smallpox a century ago; now nobody catches it. Why? It's a hell of a coincidence that it disappeared at the same time a global eradication by vaccination campaign was underway.

And it's amazing how the course of polio has changed in countries with a mass vaccination campaign. Odd, isn't it, how people seem to evolve just when a vaccine shows up? With that kind of luck, I would expect to be able to win the lottery every day of my life.

Measles deaths went down before vaccination was introduced, and that was a very good thing. But people didn't stop *catching* measles until after widespread vaccination.

Here in Minnesota, four unvaccinated children came down with measles recently. (Three had parents who declined vaccination; the fourth was a baby too young to be vaccinated.) Three were hospitalized in intensive care. They haven't died yet, and probably won't; life support has gotten very good. But their lives hang by a thread right now, and these are bona fide cases showing just how fragile the extirpation of measles from a community really is -- until recently, Minnesota had very good measles vaccination rates, and it took very little decline for the disease to reenter the community.

Posted by: Calli Arcale | March 18, 2011 10:53 PM

Wrong answer. the infection rate went down.

By Yourstillnotli… (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Nice grasp at the straw. So how many were saved on a ventilator specifically from measles? How many of those were malnourished or had poor living conditions?
Did you even bother reading the previous posts? The death rate went up during the Great Depression, yes, but it dropped dramatically after the vaccine was developed. Pay attention to the evidence.

Do science blogger always bluff?
Here's a hint: Don't call a bluff after the hand's been shown.

Posted by: Gray Falcon | March 19, 2011 12:21 AM

the record does not indicate deaths, just reported infections. Severe complications from measales were exceedingly rare and death was extremely infrequent.

again

FACT use them, they are important and all of you abuse and attempt to twist them.

the rate is not deaths in 100K its infection rates in 100K

Jesus can you people actually fucking read ?

By Antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Yourstillnotlistening:

Wrong answer. the infection rate went down.

Not really. What data do you have to dispute that?

Antivaccine:

Jesus can you people actually fucking read ?

We are actually looking for evidence that you can both read and spell. It also looks like you are starting to employ a sock puppet.

Now please explain why the levels of measles infection in 1970 is one tenth that of 1960, and had never been at a level even one half that of 1970. Thank you.

http://www.whale.to/a/bystrianyk3.html

ths provides real citied deaths, and infection rates of most common viral infections that are vaccinated for today. there alot of great data.

but the results and the conclusion won't fit the dogma.

Now I have had my fun, and you still won't learn anything.

By Antivaccine (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

Don't let the Ley lines burn your bum moron. You are either a troll or you are mentally ill.

This clown is headed for time cube territory. Will the the next web site sited by Alex Jones or David Icke, King of Bullshit.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

You provided an "investigative report" written in 2001 by the "noted scientist" Roman Bystrianyk who is one of the "experts" on the Health Sentinel website. Health Sentinel has articles authored by such luminaries as Suzanne Somers and Jenny McCarthy. None of the editors of Sentinel Magazine have any undergrad or post graduate degrees in any of the sciences and none of them are "memers" of Mensa.

Please provide us with prevalence and incidence rates in the United States from the CDC and prevalence and incidence worldwide from the WHO...for the decade immediately prior to licensing of the measles vaccine versus the decade since the licensing of the vaccine.

Antivaccine,

The link you provided trough www whale.to is full of non scientific thinking. They can't seem to grasp any scenario other then their very own brand of dogmatic thinking, which is that vaccines don't work and living conditions and sanitation must be the only possible answer for why disease infection numbers dropped.

They don't make any attempt to rationally consider any other possibilities. Nothing they say refutes anything some of your opponents on this site have mentioned. Instead its like they ignore the possibility that modern medicine and scientific advancements had something to do with it.

That is one of the biggest woo sites I've ever seen. And the one link I clicked on took me to another woo site.

Dude, I'm sorry to say that your absolutely brainwashed and all of your arguments will be reduced to absurdity.

I know there is probably nothing that will change your mind, but then again, nothing I said to the two Mormon missionaries that knocked on my door today changed their minds either. They just presented ignorant information about how Joseph Smith was all that, and ignored anything that contradicted their belief.

Just like you.

@ Militant Agnostic "You are either a troll or you are mentally ill"

Trollism and mentally ill are not mutually exclusive; they are co-morbidities, along with dysgraphia and being grammatically-challenge.

Antivaccine:

Dude,I went back and looked at that Healthsentinel site some more. That is a bunch of pseudo scientific nonsense.

It was like going to an anti evolution site and watching how they try to rationalize their incoherent beliefs.

When I see sights like that it breaks my heart to think that there are some parents out there that believe that crap. And they unintentionally neglect their children proper health care. Its almost like religious people neglecting child health care in favor of prayer.

Listen here, take the fucking blinders off and look at the damned evidence, I'm talking about the evidence that translates into facts, which translates into the truth. After all the truth is what were all really after, right?

Kids will die because of people who think like you do. I already know your going to try to reverse everything I say and try to rationalize it away, But your flat out wrong. You look like a fool here and you probably have a grin on your face thinking your bitch slapping us all around. Wrong again.

Your nothing but a pseudo skeptic and conspiracy theorist. Doesn't get much more dangerous than that. Educate yourself.

After all the truth is what were all really after, right?

You're kidding, right? Staunch antivaccinationism is almost invariably a straight-up hobby, with the middle ground being a path to those who lie awake shedding bitter tears for all the foreskins in heaven that they'll never meet.

Jesus can you people actually fucking read ?

Jesus can you fucking spell?

Can you fucking use blockquotes?

Can you fucking find sources that aren't complete jokes?

The other mebers would be distraught at your behavior and ineptitude.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 18 Mar 2011 #permalink

In order to seriously consider antivaccinationism, you STILL must answer why it is that while polio has still been running rampant in the third world for hundreds of years, it has been nearly wiped out WITHIN A YEAR of the vaccine arriving to a village, except in those who were already infected.
Pretty soon, we're going to be due for an outbreak, since, as this article points out: http://www.unitedspinal.org/publications/action/2011/01/21/polio-outbre… , immunization rates are much lower than they used to be. WHEN it comes, I challenge you to look up the statistics of infection and determine how many infected were actually immunized and how many weren't. I'm willing to bet my life that my immunization will work; are you that confident that, as a nation, we've somehow evolved past polio?

By the power vested in me by my dogs (who think I am Napoleon), I hereby proclaim a new Internet Law that anyone who proclaims their membership (or mebership) in Mensa as an argument from (personal) authority has lost all credibility and can henceforth be disregarded. I propose to call this Meber's law.

My experience with Mensa members in meatspace has been that anyone who tells you they are a Mensa member is a whackaloon and or a complete idiot. If you discover that someone is a Mensa member without them telling you, it is quite possible that they are sane and intelligent. those who have the need to loudly proclaim Mensa "mebership" are inevitably doing so in order to convince you that despite all appearances to the contrary they are not idiots.

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Hi Chris:
Thanks for the genuine background post. I do feel for the issues you have gone through as a parent. It must both hurt and be enraging to have people attacking the way you raise your son from positions of ignorance and/or exploitation.
I appreciate the reading list, but alas, one of the consequences of my current 'issues' is that I have lost the capacity to read at a sustained length (articles OK, books no). I was a voracious reader as a kid, and this is a real drag. I find I can listen to audiobooks, but there's not that much published in that form.
Politely, I would like again to pose the part of my question you didn't answer directly: "Do you really want to drive the quacks back into their holes?" Given your history with your son, I'm assuming the answer is 'yes,' but I don't want to rest on assumptions.
I'm hoping that if we can agree on a shared goal, then we can have a rational, productive discussion about strategies in achieving that goal, which might include vigorous debate but still be rooted in mutual respect.
best wishes,
s.

@ Militant Agnostic :
I totally agree : at grad school** the absolutely worst walking case history I've ever encountered in a class was an member and invited *me* ( perish the thought!) to join.

** she didn't last too long amongst the piranas native there.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

So now we have to prove to Augustine that intubation and mechanical ventilation help someone with a lung infection to survive.

If you want to substantiate a pulled out of her butt science blog claim then yes. Yes you do.But not just any lung infection. MMR caused lung infection.

Heliantius, You've got nothing.

Gary Falcon

but it dropped dramatically after the vaccine was developed. Pay attention to the evidence.

It also was dropping BEFORE the vaccine. Your point is? You can't turn a blind eye to that. The vaccine didn't do that. It didn't exist. It's logic. It's a blackspot for scienceblogger mass vaccinationists.

By augustine (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augustine:

It also was dropping BEFORE the vaccine. Your point is? You can't turn a blind eye to that. The vaccine didn't do that. It didn't exist. It's logic. It's a blackspot for scienceblogger mass vaccinationists.

It rose again during the Great Depression, and you completely ignored this question:

Why did the number of measles cases go from 245 per 100000 in 1960 to less than a tenth of that in 1970, and have never hit the half of the 1970 level since?

We will keep asking you that until you provide an answer.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Jud wrote:

Now, about Maher: The man's show is watched by millions. He frequently expresses tremendous skepticism about vaccines that is utterly unsupported by science. This reinforces biases of the credulous against having themselves or their loved ones vaccinated, which, tragically, results in people dying.
Got any problem with folks who don't like that?

I'm happy to field a clarifying question.
No. I don't have a problem with people who don't like that.
I have a problem, first of all, with people who do not present Maher's position accurately. I think this is wrong on several grounds, but the one I shall note here is that it damages the credibility of Maher's critics, making their counterargument less effective with the relevant audience.
Second, I have a problem with Orac dragging Maher into his critique of Paul Fassa, as it undermines the attack on Fassa for anyone who is not already squarely in the 'skeptic' camp. Focus is an important principle in persuasion. You do not want to distract or antagonize your audience over points that are trivial to the purpose at hand.
You may dislike Maher, and make strong arguments against him, but a critique of Fassa is the wrong place to do so. Their positions are too different to be conflated. Consequently, and of key importance, many members of the public who would potentially go along with the critique of Fassa and other quack flacks will also like Bill Maher overall, will recognize the difference between his position and Fassa's, and thus be put off.
Watch the Frist Maher exchange on YouTube. As I noted, Maher does not endorse any 'woo' remedies. More importantly though, he is sitting on stage having a discussion with someone who can be considered a highly credible and expert spokeperson. (Frist is no Christine O'Donnell.) Maher interrupts him frequently, and uses his polish as a media performer to his advantage, but the staging and camera-work frame the two men as equals, and by the end of the segment Frist has gotten his say out onto the table.
A propagandist would NEVER do that. (You never see that on Fox News for example. No guest on Bill O'Reilly is ever presented as an equal to O'Reilly, and Billo totally controls the 'conversation.')
So, introduing Maher into the discussion is an example of what I used to refer to with my studentsas 'the luggage problem' : a word-play on the ideas of 'excess baggage' and 'pandora's box.' You never want to bring in casual mentions of things your audience really cares about one way or another. Once that suitcase gets opened you have to unpack all of it, because the audience will be distracted, going down that path whether you want them to or not. The ultimate paradigmatic example of this is abortion. You cannot make an aside or casual reference to the abortion debate without utterly derailing whatever you wanted the audience to think about.
Finally, I have a problem with consigning Maher to the status of 'enemy.' It is not necessary to villify him to critique his position on vaccines. Nor, given his position on other issues, or even on this issue, is it wise to consider him as a lost cause, someone who is absolutely immune to persuasion. (Of course, here we are talking not just about Maher as an individual, but also his fans.)
Maher is skeptical of kooks, but he is also skeptical of large institutions that wield great power. Especially given what has been going on in Japan lately, not to mention the WMD hoax used to gin up support for an unjustified war that led to a 6 figure body count, such skepticism can hardly be considered unjustified. It seems fairly obvious 1) that charlatans harness healthy skepticism diverting it to nefarious ends, 2) healthy skepticism has the potential of going off the rails on its own (I would probably put the 9/11 Truthers here...) But you don't want to toss out the baby with the bathwater...
Jud also wrote, quoting my post #199:

However, in post 44, you reply with a snarky rhetorical question laying all fault at my feet, and insult my intelligence with a ludicrous denunciation of my deductive reasoning, supported by blatant sophistry revolving around what the definition of 'is' is.

Holy crap, is that actually supposed to mean something?

Yes. And if you'd actually read post #94, you'd know what. (And also if you'd had your head out the sand, your butt crack or wherever during the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal.)

@ Augustine

Heliantius, You've got nothing

Oh, I have got 10 years' worth sitting at academic biology courses, and a full university library close at hand. But it's a bit difficult to fit all of it in the comment box.
Because, whatever we say, you are going to deny it and ask for more proof.

MMR caused lung infection.

MMR being the acronym for a vaccine, as far as I know the MMR vaccine seldom causes lung infection.

Oh, you mean measle infection? That's so different about measle infection that mechanical ventilation is not going to help someone in respiratory distress, compared to all other cases where this symptom relief technique is used, including for other viruses infection, like nasty bouts of flu?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

herr doktor bimmler wrote:

I don't know if anyone has studied whether a tendency to accept the Just-world error is correlated with political alignment.

I don't know if anything quantitative has been done. I'm sure there's some media criticism. This would be a question where I'd probably take the anecdotal evidence as so strong that I'd fall into the 'who needs a study to figure that out' camp.
Pat Robertson re: 9/11
Hillsboro Baptist re: Gulf War casuaties
Limbaugh and Beck re: Tsunamis
'the germs killed the Native Americans, not the colonists'
'slaves were better off in America than they would have been in Africa'...
Or were you just being ironic, and meaning your query to be a subtle way of saying 'Duh!'
Great post either way, hdb!

sadmar:

"Do you really want to drive the quacks back into their holes?" Given your history with your son, I'm assuming the answer is 'yes,' but I don't want to rest on assumptions.

I did not answer because it was a silly question. Mostly what I can do is engage in debate and influence the fence sitters. It can be entertaining with those who just question our intelligence and refuse to answer simple questions, which you can see with the appearance of "Antivaccine." Who just left in a blaze of satanic ley lines by invoking Scopie's Law. Little Augie is just tiresome, who just repeats stuff even though he has been corrected several times (I can tell from Gray Falcon's response Little Augie is unclear on the difference between numbers of cases versus deaths).

BTW mensa mebership requires invite. but since your not a member you wouldn't know that.

Heh! Mebers say the darnedest things!

But seriously, your posts are completely incoherent, grammatically, syntactically and philosophically. When you consistently demonstrate such a poor grasp of thinking skills is it any wonder you are mocked?

It's a bit like the terminally dull (in both senses) augie, parroting a range of fallacies to "criticise" the anti-nonsense majority here blithely unaware of how many he commits himself, or how his clearly inadequate basic education seriously impacts his argumentation.

However you are not entirely wrong: I would suggest that you are, genuinely, a member - and no one here will question that.

[The death rate from measles] also was dropping BEFORE the vaccine. Your point is? You can't turn a blind eye to that. The vaccine didn't do that. It didn't exist. It's logic. It's a blackspot for scienceblogger mass vaccinationists.

It's not, of course. It's not even a secret among the science-based that the death rates for many diseases declined before vaccines were developed for those diseases. What it isn't is the whole of the story.

As we've already discussed in detail on this blog, there is a big difference between the death rate and the incidence rate of a disease. Antivaxxers often point to a declining death rate in a disease and claim "see? the disease is going away, even before the vaccine!" That's completely wrong. The number of people getting the disease could be going up, even if the death rate is going down; it only means fewer of the people who get the disease are dying from it. (It doesn't mean people aren't going blind, deaf, or mentally disabled from the disease either; they're just not dying.)

When a disease is actually going away, it means the incidence rate is going down, not just the death rate. People aren't just getting the disease but living through it; they're not getting the disease to begin with. Can better sanitation and nutrition (what antivaxxers traditionally want to give credit to) be the explanation for some decrease in the incidence rate? Yes; especially with diseases such as typhoid that are primarily spread through food, improvements in sanitation and nutrition will decrease incidence rate.

But antivaxxers write as if it was an either-or: either nutrition and sanitation have some sort of effect, or vaccines do, and don't you dare suggest that both could be true! Well, it's not too hard for an intelligent person to see that both are true; but where nutrition and sanitation can lower disease incidence rates some, an effective vaccine lowers incidence rates drastically. We've already seen the statistics for measles on this thread, and no matter how they dance around, the antivaxxers can't deny it: Up until 1965, the measles incidence rate never goes any lower than 110.2 per 100,000 population; from 1970 on, the incidence rate never goes any higher than 23.2. There's no wonderful amazing advance in sanitation or nutrition you can point to being implemented in that timeframe which explains that drastic and lasting decrease.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

I don't care about measles incidence nor more than I care about chickenpox, HPV, or herpes incidence.

Most people don't. That is EXACTLY the reason you have to bring up the DEATH numbers. Because you want the people who don't care to actually get scared. Scared about the incidence rate. It's a bait and switch tactic. It's dishonest. And it's scaremongering.

By augustine (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Actually, Little Augie, harping on the deaths is being dishonest. There are several factors that contribute to the decline of mortality: actual medical with respirators, antibiotics for secondary infections and prevention through vaccination. There is only one thing that leads to the decline of measles (or chicken pox and HPV, but not herpes yet): prevention through vaccination. Obviously you are not going to understand that because it goes against your reality (which at best we can figure, you live on Htrae). But those are the facts on this planet.

Here is something that can explain it a bit: The Benefits of Ten Years of Measles Immunizations in the USA. I don't expect Little Augie or the Mensa "meber" Antivaccine to understand that article, or even to care. It is for those who do care, have an open mind and are willing to learn.

Though it is amusing how much bluster, blast and sheer nonsense some go through in order to not answer a simple question: why was the rate of reported measles cases in 1970 one tenth of what they were in 1960, and have never been higher than one half of the rate of 1970 ever since (even during the 1990 outbreak)? The problem is that there is only one real answer, and it started in 1963. Any other answer is a lie.

But antivaxxers write as if it was an either-or: either nutrition and sanitation have some sort of effect, or vaccines do, and don't you dare suggest that both could be true! Well, it's not too hard for an intelligent person to see that both are true

Then again, Tony, as Chris points out, it isn't even necessarily all that correct to credit "improved nutrition and sanitation" for the drop in measles deaths. Much/most/perhaps almost all of the improvement actually resulted from improvement in medical care. Things like improved treatment of secondary infections like pneumonia - you know, the stuff about measles that actually kills.

And, of course, those improvements haven't come from the efforts of wackaloon naturopaths or cranks, but through the efforts of those evil allopathic doctors practicing "western medicine**"

**although it's not just "western" doctors that have contributed

The antivaccine stupid in this thread is so great I feel like someone left the manhole cover of the Internet's sewer and I fell into it.

@Calli Arcale

Please show some evidence relating to your claims that medical treatments were responsible for the dramatic drop in measles mortality

Why did the number of measles cases go from 245 per 100000 in 1960 to less than a tenth of that in 1970, and have never hit the half of the 1970 level since?

Easy. Just determine the number of people who were inoculated with the measles virus and that is how you derived the number of primary measles infection in addition to natural cases. Vaccination has just created a new batch of infected carriers.

Id1id2: your comments make no sense. Chris points out how the incidence of measles dropped five-fold when the measles vaccine was introduced - in the specific places where it was introduced - and then you, one of the four current mebers of MORON who infest this blog, give us nothing better than this word salad:

Easy. Just determine the number of people who were inoculated with the measles virus and that is how you derived the number of primary measles infection in addition to natural cases. Vaccination has just created a new batch of infected carriers.

Clearly your reading skills never got as far as the letter "R".

Prior to the introduction of the measles vaccine, the only way people can acquire the measles virus is through natural infection. The vaccine only serve another method of transmission and infection of measles virus among its new recruits who otherwise would have been infected naturally, hence the decrease in natural cases. These people who were inoculated were in fact infected intentionally because it is a must for primary immune response. They just don't get diagnosed properly.

That is EXACTLY the reason you have to bring up the DEATH numbers. Because you want the people who don't care to actually get scared. Scared about the incidence rate. It's a bait and switch tactic. It's dishonest. And it's scaremongering.

Augustine wants us to talk about vaccines, medical procedures designed to prevent illnesses and the potential results of illness, which include death, without using the words illness, sequels, death, or Semprini.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

AnthonyK,

Chris points out how the incidence of measles dropped five-fold when the measles vaccine was introduced - in the specific places where it was introduced[...]

Case in point. The measles vaccine has introduced measles infection in a population which never had any prior exposure to measles at all.

Subclinical measles infection in vaccinated seropositive individuals in arctic Greenland.

Measles vaccination was performed in the arctic district of Scoresbysund, Greenland in 1968, which had never been exposed to natural measles. More than 90% of the total population was vaccinated and a 94-100% seroconversion was obtained. During a serological survey to examine the immunity status of the vaccinees, it was discovered that a temporary increase in measles antibodies took place in the majority of the population 2-4 years after the vaccination. This was not accompanied by clinically observed measles. Most likely, it was due to an inapparent measles infection in a population considered highly immune after vaccination.

140

You guys are hilarous. I will actually sit down and show you in plain math how absolutely wrong your infection rates are.

Did I miss where this happened?

Nope, you didn't, Ben S, because it still hasn't happened. Well, unless antivaccine thinks a whale.to link counts as showing us "in plain math".

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 19 Mar 2011 #permalink

Wow. I'm off for a bit and the thread turns into a flood, and AntiVaccine still hasn't answered whether or not he/she/it cooks their food. Very simple question that I would have expected they could have answered by now.

As to AntiVaccine's claim of being in Mensa, I highly doubt it. For one, their claim about membership being by invitation only is, well, to put it simply, wrong. From the Mensa web site on how to become a member:

Membership in Mensa is open to persons who have attained a score within the upper two percent of the general population on an approved intelligence test that has been properly administered and supervised. There is no other qualification or disqualification for initial membership eligibility.

I'd say that AntiVaccine is either a dedicated Poe, delusional, compulsive liar or sadly ignorant. But, I'm not a psychiatrist, so there may be any number of other reasons for them to be so wrong.

AntiVaccine seems to have left the building, possibly with satanic ley lines chasing after his silly bum.

If you only knew how many minors are inculcated with these ideas already. And- I have to be as gentle as possible when I try to dissuade them from buying into what they are repeating. I am tired of explaining to minors that I or another person do NOT have green boogers or naseous stomachs because we are stressed...rather we are stressed because we are ill. And- the homeopathy - aaaarghhhhhhhhh. Really? I also have a card that hooks me up with someone who can put a helmet on my head and it tells me what is wrong with me- everything- and I will be so much happier if I go. WTH????? Where is this stuff coming from? Right now the latest rumour is that the H1N1 vaccine is a government plot to sterilize the population. I think that they are mixing up the show V with real life, and have said as much....and again- WTH???

gmm, what kind of dressing to you want with that word salad?

@Calli Arcale

Let us know when you want to let loose with that fusillade of citations about how the modern medicine saved us from the measles. I just know you can do it.

Chris, I think gmm is being cranky that so many young folks these days believe pseudoscientific nonsense memes, such as homeopathy and scientology and conspiracy theories. I can empathize with that! I don't know if ethanol or other substances may have been involved in why gmm didn't write it more clearly.

Hey gmm: Next time the minors start harassing you about your health, just tell them to mind their own business.

I had asked Chris (twice):

Do you really want to drive the quacks back into their holes?

Chris replied:

I did not answer because it was a silly question. Mostly what I can do is engage in debate and influence the fence sitters.

Thank you for the reply (2nd sentence). Since it was a sincere question, I do have a reason for asking, and therefore it is not silly to me. I would ask you not to be so judgmental as to assume that something that seems trivial to you is necessarily trivial in a universal sense.

@ gmm : "Where is this stuff coming from?"

A great deal of this stuff comes from people on the web will something to sell or an axe to grind. ( NaturalNews; Gary Null, Dr. Mercola, Age of Autism, ad nauseum). Articles and interviews are passed around amongst the faithful like an organic, mind-numbing joint.

Since the so-called theories being discussed are not based on real research or logic, they must rely on conspiracy. This is an example of "cascade logic": in order for such a gigantic ruse and necessary secrecy to be maintained, increasingly larger pools of willing participants would have to be involved . Think about it : wouldn't most scientists, doctors, universities, journals, media, pharmaceutical companies, and govermental agencies have to be complicant to keep up the "myth" of vaccine safety or HIV/AIDS? That's *how many* people? Lots.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

That should be "complicit"....sorry

Heliantius

Oh, you mean measle infection? That's [what's] so different about measle infection that mechanical ventilation is not going to help someone in respiratory distress, compared to all other cases where this symptom relief technique is used, including for other viruses infection, like nasty bouts of flu?
O

Blah,blah, blah.Nice non answer. Do you have something to substantiate CAllie Arcale's claim?

No. You don't.

Helantius, You've got nothing!

If you do, then go to that big ol library with that big ol head of yours and put your 10 years of student life to work.

It's best that Callie and you quietly go away on this one. You're going to ruin your objective,critical thinking, evidence based reputation because of an emotional outburst that neither of you can back up.

Just admit that because of your belief system you subconsciously fill in the holes of what you think happened when you actually have no evidence.

The need to be right and forcefully correct others is strong in the skeptic atheist. So you should be willing to take the criticism you put out and examine your own epistemology.

By augustine (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

Dencie Walter

Think about it : wouldn't most scientists, doctors, universities, journals, media, pharmaceutical companies, and govermental agencies have to be complicant to keep up the "myth" of vaccine safety or HIV/AIDS? That's *how many* people? Lots.

I'm thinking about it. I'm thinking "how did all of those Germans collectively become compliant with the ideals of how the world should work and how it should "advance". What happened to the minority that said "wait a minute, what about this".

They were "censored".

What do the force mass vaccinator atheist skeptics want to do to the people who question vaccine necessity and safety? Censor them!

You should try to convince a fish he's not in water. When you're in a paradigm. You don't know you're in a paradigm.

People are killed and maimed by vaccines effectively by the the will of the people or the elect.Not everyone needs vaccines. No amount of rationalization of why this must happen can change that fact.

Vaccination should be a transparent and informed choice.

By augustine (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

sadmar:

I would ask you not to be so judgmental as to assume that something that seems trivial to you is necessarily trivial in a universal sense.

Pot, meet kettle. You are the last person to ask others to not be judgmental.

@248

I would challenge that comment about censoring but it seems to have done that for me by being present on this blog.

What do the force mass vaccinator atheist skeptics want to do to the people who question vaccine necessity and safety? Censor them!

Wow. Did I stumble into Bizzaro world or something? From its vantage point on Thrae, augie seems to suggest that someplace like Age of Autism is the epitome of free speech and Respectful Insolence is a totalitarian dystopia where nary a contrary word is allowed to see the light of a computer screen anywhere. That, or he is changing the definitions of words on us.

Todd, be careful: it is Htrae. It does seem to be Little Augie's residence.

Though I wonder if he knows anything about the reference. Though this reveals some of my reading literature as an adolescent (which I note is similar to Dr. Mark Crislip).

Oh, you mean measle infection? That's [what's] so different about measle infection that mechanical ventilation is not going to help someone in respiratory distress, compared to all other cases where this symptom relief technique is used, including for other viruses infection, like nasty bouts of flu?

Blah,blah, blah.Nice non answer. Do you have something to substantiate CAllie Arcale's claim?

The fallacy Goofus is employing here is called "special pleading." We have no reason to think mechanical ventilation will be any less effective in respiratory distress caused by measles infection than it is in respiratory distress from any other cause. But Goofus tries to insist that for no reason he can spell out, measles infection might be 'different' and mechanical ventilation might be of no value for respiratory distress caused by measles infection.

The fallacy of special pleading is at its base about misplacing the burden of proof. Goofus' claims that no one has presented evidence relevant to the special case of "respiratory distress caused by measles infection" are absolutely nonsensical unless and until he documents that it is a special case.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

There's a reason why vaccine apologists resort to pure diatribes at all times because they hate it when science prove them wrong. It's so easy for them to just bail out on the discussion than being exposed as the real germ denialists.

@ Todd W. : or perhaps it's "Through the Looking Glass" world. To me, it's always blithely entertaining that "world-wide conspiracies" and "COI's" are being revealed by "investigative reporters" and "truth tellers" with mail-order degrees who either sell supplements, self-published books, or web site advert-space through the internet.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2:

There's a reason why vaccine apologists resort to pure diatribes at all times because they hate it when science prove them wrong. It's so easy for them to just bail out on the discussion than being exposed as the real germ denialists.

Of course either alternative world works (Htrae and Alice's Wonderland) when this kind of anti-reality is spouted. I don't recall anytime that any of those guys showed us where science proved us wrong.

And it was Antivaccine who bailed out without showing us the real math or how the number of reported measles cases went to one tenth in the USA between 1960 and 1970 (and has never been even half as high since). Hey! He never even told us what was so special about 1935!

Of course this is the world where toddlers do not fall and scrape their knees, and know to stay on sidewalks.

I am now waiting for one of them to tell us the Minnesota kids who are in the hospital with measles don't count because they are mostly Somali.

Th1Th2 is quite the "meber".

By Militant Agnostic (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2 is like some amusing contrary clown. Reading its posts is like watching a train wreck in slow motion on some alternate Twilight Zone universe designed by Salvador Dali, complete with narration by Rod Serling.

Chris,

And it was Antivaccine who bailed out without showing us the real math or how the number of reported measles cases went to one tenth in the USA between 1960 and 1970 (and has never been even half as high since). Hey! He never even told us what was so special about 1935!

Then let's find out what really happened during that period (1960-1970).

Measles has long been recognized as one of
the "inevitable traumas of childhood" (356). Although
the advent of a successful vaccination
program during the past decade has greatly
reduced the incidence of "clinical" measles infections
(24, 180, 198), research on measles virus
has recently received increased attention.

Again, how may people were inoculated with the measles virus and were intentionally excluded from the diagnosis of asymptomatic and/or inapparent measles infection? You will deny this never happened because it will exposed you as a real germ denialist. You wouldn't even dare to comment on #235.

In the case of measles vaccine-induced rash, how many people have received a different diagnosis simply because you're-protected-and-it-should-not-happen opinion-based screening?

Have you ever asked yourself as to where the vaccine-type measles virus end up after inoculation? I guess you are the same as those uninformed vaccinees during that time who have no idea as to what they were getting from the vaccines so they never asked such question because of a non-thinking process called faith, not knowing they have became infected carriers.

So what really happened in the 1960's despite millions of measles vaccines have been given? It opened up the gateway for persistent and latent measles virus infection through widespread inoculation.

See what I mean? Completely divorced from reality and creating its own morphing world of shapes melting into each other. Fascinating.

A few lines to precise my previous comments.
When I was boasting on my 10 years of learning and my academic library, I was awkwardly trying to say that the resident trolls are asking us to summarize in one blog comment the biological knowledge (with full references) that most students will learn over the course of 3 years or more. I felt like I would end up having to upload a full book on immunology, and it's not something I intend to do.
It's a feeling I started to get with Cynic in another thread, and this thread is going the same way.
We may as well put a link to the Encyclopedia Britannica and close the thread.

That being said, I am aware that I should be working on putting more references behind my "diatribes". I'm way too lazy on this.
And again, I don't feel like that any reference will satisfy the hard antivaccine believers, they will just keep coming with more requests.

@ Augustine

then go to that big ol library with that big ol head of yours and put your 10 years of student life to work.

This is a teacher's job, and any job deserves wages. No way I will do this on my free time, you will have to pay me.

There is nothing special about my big head. Anyone can follow on my steps and get an education in biology. Or simply go wander in a library. The knowledge is not mine, it's all over there, free to the taking.

I'm sorry if I look arrogant because I have some diplomas tucked somewhere in my house. My apologies for having put the efforts to learn. You are right, however, I am arrogant. I know it. But there is an easy way to get my respect: show that you are willing to learn. It does wonders.

In short: get an education.

That being said, to show my own willingness to improve myself, and for the short-of-time people (nothing wrong with being short of time, we all are), I could do 5 minutes of Google search and fetch up one or two references.

To be continued in a follow-up comment, this one is too long already for my tastes.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

My promised follow-up on mechanical ventilation and measles.

I hope that this study will be evidence enough that mechanical ventilation is sometimes needed to help people suffering from the respiratory distress resulting from measles-induced pneumonia.
Not often, but often enough if we are talking about the early part of the 20th century, when almost everybody (>90% of adult population, if I remember CDC numbers) was getting measles, and complications were showing more often than today (more often in terms of hard numbers, not necessarily in terms of proportion of infected peoples).
I won't hold my breath, though.

A logical and honest person, if agreeing that mechanical ventilation (or any other medical procedure) is, today, helping keeping infants with measles alive, would therefore agree that without this technique, a number of these people would die of measles.
The same person would then realize that before this technique was invented and put to use, people suffering from the same issues would not have received as much help as today. In case of mechanical ventilation, Wikipedia tells us that this technique was developed between 1908 and the end of WWII.
At this point, this person would not reject out of hand Calli Arcale's claim that the implementation of mechanical ventilation (and of plenty of other medical innovations during the first decades of the 20th century, including, oh surprise, better sanitation in hospitals) would have diminished the number of people dying from measles.
At least, this person would provide some reason why this could not explain the decrease in mortality.

And also, Calli Arcale did not pull it out of her ***, as our dishonest troll implied. In a previous thread last year, Orac already mentioned supportive care as explaining the drop in mortality of contagious diseases.

See? Just to answer one tiny question, I had to write these walls of text. I admire people who are way more concise and precise in their answers. Teaching is an art which, sadly, I barely grasp.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

@ Th1Th2

So let's answer your comment #235.

So, basically, your point was that by receiving the measles vaccine, the population in your quoted article (and by extension, any population inoculated with the vaccine) got the measles illness.
I don't necessarily agree, the wild virus could have been introduced at the same time or later by foreigners visiting this isolated community. Like the Europeans unwittingly introduced measles to the Inca civilization.

But let's accept your hypothesis.
I noted this passage in the study you quoted:

This was not accompanied by clinically observed measles. Most likely, it was due to an inapparent measles infection

In other words, if we follow your hypothesis, the use of measles vaccine results in the population having subclinical infections instead of the full-fledge measles. I would assume that unapparent measles infection also mean that neither measles complications or deaths are observed.

Could you explain to me why this is a Bad Thing?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

Heliantius, Helantius, Helantius,

You do try don't you. A for passion. F for content. Unfortunately you don't even know what you set out to do in the first place.

Callie Arcale claimed that the invention of the mechanical ventilator caused a huge leap in survival for measles. She pulled this out of her @$$. She's been called out. So you go out of your way to argue a strawman about the mechanical ventilator not working at all. So you pull out an article that says it works. Then you say "HA! I've shown you!"

I hope that this study will be evidence enough that mechanical ventilation is sometimes needed to help people suffering from the respiratory distress resulting from measles-induced pneumonia.

You see, no one said that mechanical ventilation has never helped anyone or saved someones life. Your statement does not support Callie Arcales claim.

Helantius

You are right, however, I am arrogant. I know it.

Your arrogance has blinded you. But that doesn't make you special.

So if you want to try and rectify your failure you can. You can also ask Chris to help you. She goes to the library a lot for some strange reason. Lilady can help you too with her pink book bible.

Unfortunately, for your ego's, you won't find the evidence you're looking for.

Like I said earlier. You should have let this one quietly slip away.

By augustine (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

Heliantus,

I don't necessarily agree, the wild virus could have been introduced at the same time or later by foreigners visiting this isolated community. Like the Europeans unwittingly introduced measles to the Inca civilization.

Now you're creating your own hypothesis. The result from the study is straightforward.

But let's accept your hypothesis.
I noted this passage in the study you quoted:

This was not accompanied by clinically observed measles. Most likely, it was due to an inapparent measles infection

"[...]in a population considered highly immune after vaccination." You intentionally omitted this at the end to suffice your reckless hypothesis.

Now can you create an hypothesis that refute the fact that the vaccinee do not acquire the measles virus from the vaccines?

I would assume that unapparent measles infection also mean that neither measles complications or deaths are observed.

Will you also observe these events from the unvaccinated or non-exposed individuals not to mention they don't have the evidence of measles infection?

Do you deny that vaccine-induced inapparent measles infection not a measles infection?

You can bail out anytime you want rather than be exposed as a germ denialist.

Your arrogance has blinded you

God, you're dumb. And your self-awareness quotient, if anything has decreased since you've been trolling here (though I do note that after...ooh, maybe a year, you learnt to use blockquotes.)

She goes to the library a lot for some strange reason

You do know what a "library" is, right? (Mrs Crabopple: "Bart do you know your multiplication tables?" Bart: "I know of them...") If so, it might enter your enfeebled mind that there is a good reason why someone might go to one.

Unfortunately, for your ego's

Ya know, it has never helped your pretensions to serious thought that your English is so poor. Are you a meber too?

I vaguely wonder what dull augie does when he isn't pursuing his "intellectual" onanism on this blog? Accountant? Lawyer? Businessman? Anyway, while we're waiting, make that large fries - let's see if you can get two stars this week!
And yeah, I do understand that idiot augie isn't really any worse than id1id2 or anti-vaccine (sock-puppetry, do you think?) but he's been posting for longer and is still dumber than a wooden spoon.

In other words, if we follow your hypothesis, the use of measles vaccine results in the population having subclinical infections instead of the full-fledge measles.

That might make some slight sense, Heliantus, but actually I think it's quite a bit worse: AFAICT, Th1Th2 believes that vaccination is infection per se - and that includes vaccines with dead organisms or even fragments. So even subclinical infectious activity by, e.g., attenuated disease organisms is unnecessary; you've been jabbed or squirted, you've been "infected."

@ Th1Th2

Now can you create an hypothesis that refute the fact that the vaccinee do not acquire the measles virus from the vaccines?

No need for it. I did say I was accepting your hypothesis, that this population got the live virus from the vaccine.
Just for the sake of discussion, of course.
That's why I didn't quote the full sentence. Our working hypothesis is including the fact that the population got vaccinated and developed an immune reaction to the measles virus.

Re: measles complications and deaths

Will you also observe these events from the unvaccinated or non-exposed individuals not to mention they don't have the evidence of measles infection?

My point was, these events have not been observed for the vaccinated population.
And they are regularly observed for a population infected by the wild virus (1 per 1000's for pneumonia, by example).

Either the physicians in this community were dismissing all the rash-covered corpses around them (and ignoring an on-going epidemics is not without dire consequences), or they really didn't see anything like the usual measles symptoms. Vaccines do not work all the time, so any competent physician should be looking for wild infections.

So again, what's so bad about replacing full-fledged infections (with complications) by subclinical ones?

By Heliantus (not verified) on 20 Mar 2011 #permalink

AnthonyK:

You do know what a "library" is, right? (Mrs Crabopple: "Bart do you know your multiplication tables?" Bart: "I know of them...") If so, it might enter your enfeebled mind that there is a good reason why someone might go to one.

So Little Augie is also confused about libraries? Wow, just wow. The only place where I could get through to Scienceblogs for over a week? He must think that it is some den of sin because it has actual books, movies, music, magazines, newspapers and access to databases. It actually has a display each year on banned books. Oooooh, scary!

I am presently a bit over a third finished with a book on the history of cancers, their treatments and the people involved. It is a long, but very interesting, read. I checked it out of the library, like I do most of the books I read. And I'll definitely be going more often if there is an interesting story in the New York Times (especially on Tuesday when there is a whole section devoted to science).

Heliantus,

No need for it. I did say I was accepting your hypothesis, that this population got the live virus from the vaccine.

It's not even an hypothesis that the vaccinated have acquired the measles virus directly from the vaccine. It's a no-brainer.. But I have to agree that you should inhibit yourself from uttering inane hypothesis like vaccines have prevented measles infection.

Our working hypothesis is including the fact that the population got vaccinated and developed an immune reaction to the measles virus.

Again this is not a hypothesis. It is a well established fact that the body will induce an immune response against measles viral infection either acquired naturally (wild-type) or through inoculation (vaccine-type). And having acquired the measles virus will only prove that a breach of immunity has happened and this failure to protect from the measles virus does not mean your protecting the host from measles infection--like most of the vaccine apologists are claiming.

My point was, these events have not been observed for the vaccinated population.
And they are regularly observed for a population infected by the wild virus (1 per 1000's for pneumonia, by example).

Once again, you cannot claim the same and exact events to happen to those who were not inoculated with measles virus or have been exposed naturally that they are at risk for measles-related complications and death but only those who bear the burden of proof.

Vaccines do not work all the time, so any competent physician should be looking for wild infections.

The only vaccines that don't work are those vaccines that weren't used. There is not an effective way of transmitting measles virus other than direct inoculation. With this method, the acquired infection will be well established into the host. How I wish vaccines never work at all. Unfortunately, with this persistent infection-promoting agenda of these vaccine apologists, the vaccinee not only had experienced primary measles infection from inoculation but they were also required to be checked at a certain period in time to make sure they were chronically infected otherwise they will be subjected to repeat inoculation.

So again, what's so bad about replacing full-fledged infections (with complications) by subclinical ones?

What vaccination did was to create more crap, hid them all under the carpet and to proclaim to the faithfuls that the house was clean.

Seriously, by acquiring the measles virus, this will serve as a ticket to persistent and latent infection later in life.

I just don't see why the unvaccinated could be of a disadvantage.

Thingy is basing his entire argument on a PubMed citation of an article written 22 years ago and continues to confusion infection with immunization and "subclinical" with diagnosed cases of measles. Thingy further comes to the conclusion that having a high titer against measles, means that you are some sort of carrier of the virus, or you are in some sort of netherworld of "latency".

Thingy, IGG titers are drawn to check the efficacy of a vaccine.

Thingy, when a doctor or a nurse does a work-up on a patient for measles (because you are a known contact to a measles case) or you have a recent history of travel to a country where measles are endemic and you have symptoms of the virus and you haven't been immunized against measles, the doctor or nurse will order a combined IGM/IGG titer.

If the IGM titer is elevated, it is confirmatory that you have an active case of measles; the IGM fades and is negative after you recover from measles and the IGG titer becomes positive...just like the IGG titers that are present in people who received their immunity from measles vaccine.

IGM Seroconversion to IGG is a one way street; IGG immunity never seroconverts to IGM. (Immunology 101)

Thingy, you really need to get some basic science courses under your belt as pre-requisites to taking Immunology 101.

@ Th1Th2

My point was, these events have not been observed for the vaccinated population.
And they are regularly observed for a population infected by the wild virus (1 per 1000's for pneumonia, by example).

Once again, you cannot claim the same and exact events to happen to those who were not inoculated with measles virus or have been exposed naturally

The very study you quoted said that the vaccinated population only had subclinical measles, meaning that no complications were observed. So yes, I can and I do claim that the usual complications observed in those infected by the measles virus were not observed with the vaccinated.
I precisely said "infected" in my previous post, because of course only people suffering from a measles infection are at risk of measles complications.
It's in the very study you quoted. Are you deaf?

So let's summarize my point.

In the real world, before vaccination, >90% of the population was naturally infected at some point with the wild measles virus. Most of these infected will suffer a highly recognizable red rash in the process, and a low proportion of them would suffer serious complications from the infection.
Do you deny this?

According to the study you quoted (again, that you quoted, not me), vaccinated people only suffered subclinical measles.
Do you deny this?

Hence my conclusion based on the article you were quoting. In a population exposed to the wild measles virus, vaccinated people have an advantage over the unvaccinated: the vaccinated are not suffering from the potential measles complications.

Could you prove me otherwise?

And that lilady #272 said. Learn what acquired immunity is about.

By Heliantus (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

Thingy is also claiming that the measles vaccine causes a persistent infection.

It does not. Only a handful of viruses can do that. Wild-type measles and vaccine strain measles are both only capable of causing an acute infection.

augustine: "you're making it up. show me the numbers"

Todd W: "ok, here they are"

augustine: "squirrel!"

Wow, this thread's been hopping since I was last on it. Funny. ;-)

I find it interesting that after I pointed out that yes, measles death rates did decline before vaccination was introduced, and that this was because of improvements in supportive care (because yes, as the antivaxxers in this thread were claiming, in general your body can fight off the measles -- though they were glossing over that this only happens if the body can stay alive long enough to do so), now the antivaxxers are protesting that oh dear, it couldn't possibly have been medical advances that did it!

Why are you averse to this idea, Sid et al? It supports your case that vaccines didn't cause the measles death rate to drop. Oh, I know. It's because it contradicts your belief that measles is nothing to worry about, and that hygiene/sanitation can protect you.

Thing is, hygiene can't protect you from measles. This isn't cholera or another waterborne disease; measles is airborne. And it's very contagious. Handwashing will help, but not much unless you do it to a Howard Hughes degree. Not being exposed is really your best bet, but how do you know whose cough isn't just your typical rhinovirus but is actually the measles before the rash? Are you willing to become a hermit? I doubt it. So you can't avoid exposure. If you get vaccinated, you will greatly reduce your risk of developing measles if exposed. If not, you will have to take your chances and count on treatment to save you if you get infected.

And that's where my point about the ventilators came in. Not everybody whe gets measles will need a ventilator. If you're lucky, you'll be confined to your house for your entire infectious period and basically just be utterly miserable for a while. Get plenty of fluids (you'll need them), try to eat, wash frequently, and wear a mask. The washing and the mask are not for you, by the way. They're to protect your loves ones who will be taking care of you while you're sick. If you're sicker, you may need hospital care. You will be put in isolation, naturally -- the last thing the other patients need is measles. You'll get IV fluids and nutrients; if you are in a lot of pain, you will probably get Tylenol or ibuprofen. This is mostly if you are too sick to feed yourself properly. If you're worse than that, you'll get drugs to help your respiratory system -- most likely, delivered via nebulizer, but you may also get oral or intravenous steroids. These have ugly side effects if taken for long periods of time, but if your lungs are getting too restricted to allow you to breathe, it may be your best hope. Essentially, you'll be getting asthma meds -- this isn't asthma (though you can wind up with asthma after an infection like this) but the basic problem is the same. You may also be put on oxygen to help keep your system oxygenated despite reduced lung capacity. If things are especially dire, they may have to temporarily paralyze you and put you on a respirator. If they're really bad, you could get extra-corporal membrane perfusion (where the lungs are bypassed completely and blood is oxygenated outside of the body) but ECMO machines are in short supply. Luckily, you're not likely to get that bad. Most of the time, all you need is supportive care in home or hospital, and close observation to make sure you don't develop a secondary infection from opportunistic bacteria, in which case antibiotics will be called for.

In all of these, the objective is simply to keep you alive long enough for your immune system to finish off the buggers. The vast majority of what I described was not possible prior to the 20th Century. If you couldn't survive on home quarantine, you died. It beggars the imagination to think that none of these advances could have budged the death rate. Asking for proof is on the order of asking for proof that the invention of the airplane affected global commerce. Of course it did, on a level so profound it's difficult now to imagine life without it.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

Calli - nice description. Just to clarify, your comment about "secondary infections" includes pneumonia. We aren't talking just about abscessed pox or anything like that.

@Calli: very nice. You just forgot to add that having and surviving the measles also puts you at much higher risk for SSPE which is lethal for all who get it, or just plain encephalitis, which is lethal in 15-20% of those who get it, and leaves an additional 25% severely handicapped.

Th1Th2 (posting from a teletype machine somewhere on Htrae):

Seriously, by acquiring the measles virus, this will serve as a ticket to persistent and latent infection later in life.

Which is why we vaccinate against measles. It is a nasty disease and can cause permanent damage.

I just don't see why the unvaccinated could be of a disadvantage.

Well that is because you don't live in the real world. The unvaccinated get the full born wild disease and suffer greatly. See Calli's description above.

How is a person who has not been vaccinated supposed to avoid this very contagious airborne disease? There is a reason why public health departments post the locations where an infected person has been, the virus can infect a susceptible person up to two hours later! How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the grocery store just an hour before?

If you have any real evidence that those who get the vaccine routinely experience measles, and the complications as described by Calli, please present them.

Explain why the levels of reported measles cases plummeted to one tenth of the 1960 levels in the USA by 1970 (and have never even been half of the 1970 levels since). Use some real explanations and documentation. And not weird interpretations for an isolated community in a Danish territory (despite its proximity, Greenland is not part of the USA).

Just once, pretend you live on Earth not Htrae.

@Callie
You claimed:

The death rate dropped between 1900 and 1960. But the infection rate remained stable. The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival.

No one said it never saved anyone. I said show me the numbers. How many measles cases were saved from death by mechanical ventilation. If you want to say it made a huge leap then give supporting evidence.

In lieu of evidence you give rationalizations for lack of evidence. "oh it must have. How couldn't it have? How do you ask me to substantiate that..."

It beggars the imagination to think that none of these advances could have budged the death rate. Asking for proof is on the order of asking for proof that the invention of the airplane affected global commerce.

You're committing a logical fallacy. Instead of giving evidence for your claim you're arguing that you just can't imagine it not budging the death rate (which could be miniscule. You haven't given any proof) to liberally claiming it made huge leaps in survival.

Do you understand what actual evidence and proof is? You have no evidence for you claim and your logic fails. If I had done the same, 26 skeptics would have jumped all over me just for using the same tactics you just used.

Being a science blogs regular isn't about science or using the right logical and reasoning tools. If so, you would have been corrected by someone other than me. Instead you and your reasoning skills were defended by biased bloggers who portray themselves as "objective" participants to evidence.

In words the regular science blogger says he/she values critical thinking. What he really values is a certain conclusion.

By augustine (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine writes:

Do you understand what actual evidence and proof is?

Irony meter reaching head-explody region...must sit down....

So augustine, you maintain very strongly both that measles vaccine is unnecessary in light of other medical and public health advances, and that there are no significant other medical and public health advances?

Jud

So augustine, you maintain very strongly both that measles vaccine is unnecessary...and that there are no significant other medical and public health advances?

Where have I said there are no significant medical advances? I haven't. Because I challenged an unproven claim that ventilators made a huge leap in measles mortality rates means that I deny all medical advances? Your conclusion is derived by using faulty logic. It's called a logical fallacy. You should know them well enough not to use them.

I maintain very strongly that my family does not need the MMR. You and your family, on the other hand, may need 10,000 MMR vaccines. That is for you to decide, not me.

By augustine (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine writes:

I maintain very strongly that my family does not need the MMR.

Well let's parse this a bit more finely.

Presumably you don't want to take an inordinate risk that your loved ones will die or have severe complications from measles. So, first step: Is the MMR unnecessary because you believe there is precious little chance your family members will get measles; precious little chance they will have severe complications or die if they do get it; or both?

Augustine has imaginary kids now?

You're committing a logical fallacy.

You are indeed an expert on these, though not in the way you think.

In words the regular science blogger says he/she values critical thinking

We do. Your thinking isn't "critical" merely severely sub-optimal; to criticize isn't the same.

You've just been provided with Calli's superb rebuttal to all your shite, yet you sit there unmoved like a dose of gonorrhea before antibiotics (which, presumably, you don't believe in). Still, little chance of you infecting someone else...oh, wait, you've got kids now! Never mind, it's not genetically transmissible - so let's hope it's not syphilis ;)
Unfortunately your (let's hope) imaginary children are much more at risk of another condition with a genetic component which prolonged exposure to "Respectful Insolence" has proved powerless to change.

Just as well the health risks of masturbation have turned out to be so mild!

@Anthonky

It's a simple question really. How many (that's called a quantification) lives were saved from measles death by mechanical ventilation. That's how you could back up Callie Arcales claim.

Anything other than that is rationalization of why you can't back that up. Although I don't expect much from you since you've shown time again that you are one of scienceblogs emotional bottom dwellers.

Your repeated emotional outbursts have yielded zero facts but 100% personal emotion and feelings.

Try to refrain from the childish name calling next time.

By augustine (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

Chris,

Seriously, by acquiring the measles virus, this will serve as a ticket to persistent and latent infection later in life.

Which is why we vaccinate against measles. It is a nasty disease and can cause permanent damage

So what you're saying is that you would have to inoculate the naive child with a virus that causes measles and permanent damage in order to protect the same child from contracting a virus that causes measles and permanent damage? What kind of circular stupidity is that?

Well that is because you don't live in the real world. The unvaccinated get the full born wild disease and suffer greatly. See Calli's description above.

Between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, the burden of proof lies upon the former. When you received the measles vaccine, you don't have to doubt and deny that you've been infected with the measles virus which involves risks and complications. Therefore, you should not discuss measles-related complications and death to someone who doesn't have the evidence of infection. You're merely speculating just like the rest.

How is a person who has not been vaccinated supposed to avoid this very contagious airborne disease?

One way is to avoid the measles virus in the vaccine.

There is a reason why public health departments post the locations where an infected person has been, the virus can infect a susceptible person up to two hours later! How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the grocery store just an hour before?

You can encounter more infected people in a doctor's clinic every hour of everyday than in a typical grocery store.

If you have any real evidence that those who get the vaccine routinely experience measles, and the complications as described by Calli, please present them.

Let me get this thing straight. Why are you promoting germ denialism? First, you denied vaccine-induced inapparent/subclinical measles infection. Will you also deny that measles vaccine-induced encephalitis never happened? The evidence are there. The problem is about you not being real.

Explain why the levels of reported measles cases plummeted to one tenth of the 1960 levels in the USA by 1970 (and have never even been half of the 1970 levels since). Use some real explanations and documentation. And not weird interpretations for an isolated community in a Danish territory (despite its proximity, Greenland is not part of the USA).

For a moment, take off that germ-denialism hat of yours and read and understand the answer @260.

Okay Augie, if measles vaccination didn't lower the death rate (it really didn't, it lowered the incidence), then what did?

Heliantus,

Hence my conclusion based on the article you were quoting. In a population exposed to the wild measles virus, vaccinated people have an advantage over the unvaccinated: the vaccinated are not suffering from the potential measles complications.

Could you prove me otherwise?

I don't mind if I do. Your so-called conclusion is based from wild imagination. Could you please read the article again and identify the subjects of the study.

Wow, just wow. I recognize that the words Th1Th2 are using to be English, but the way its ordered makes absolutely no sense. Somehow it thinks I am a germ denialist!

Th1Th2 definitely resides in a reality all of its own.

Try to refrain from the childish name calling next time.

Indeed. Better to zero in on the intimation that you've managed to get laid and then simply laugh and laugh and laugh.

I shall give you one more chance, Th1Th2, to show that you live somewhere near reality. I asked:

There is a reason why public health departments post the locations where an infected person has been, the virus can infect a susceptible person up to two hours later! How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the grocery store just an hour before?

You answered:

You can encounter more infected people in a doctor's clinic every hour of everyday than in a typical grocery store.

Which in no way answers the question. Let me repose the question:

There is a reason why public health departments post the locations where an infected person has been, the virus can infect a susceptible person up to two hours later! How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the doctor's clinic waiting room just an hour before (just like what happened in San Diego)?

Do try to make a real effort, and stop trying to redefine vocabulary and history.

Oh, and a warning, Th1Th2, no more cherry picking. A case report from 1975 does not dispute that measles was reduced by more than 90% in ten years (by the way, I do not deny vaccines can injure, I just know that it is a one in a million chance compared to the one in a thousand chance with measles). Try to really answer the question.

And another warning, Th1Th2 (funny how you think of these as you are dragging the recycle bin to the street): do not claim that the nine month old baby would sense the evil measles virus in the air and would scream, or in your reality: use their psychic abilities to tell the parent to leave NOW!

Chris,

There is a reason why public health departments post the locations where an infected person has been, the virus can infect a susceptible person up to two hours later! How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the doctor's clinic waiting room just an hour before (just like what happened in San Diego)?

How did you know that the child in the clinic was infected?

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1919891/pdf/pubhealthrepori…

FOR CENTURIES the measles virus has maintained
a remarkably stable ecological relationship with man.
The clinical disease is a characteristic syndrome of notable
constancy and only moderate severity. Complications are
infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is
rare.Susceptibility to the disease after the waning ofmaternal immunity is universal; immunity
following recovery is solid and lifelong in
duration.
The infection spreads by direct contact
from person to person and by the airborne
route among susceptibles congregated in enclosed
spaces. The disease occurs ubiquitously
throughout the world in periodic cycles of con¬
siderable regularity. With the exception of a
few extremely isolated population groups, essentially
all children experience the infection
sometime before adolescence. The reservoir of
infection is man himself. No nonhuman sources
of infection are known. Chronic carriers do not
exist.

Doesn't sound like the big killer you make it out to be, Chris. Maybe you should vaccinate your son 10,000 times instead of telling everybody else they must vaccinate for him. Or keep him out of the pediatricians office with all of those dangerous fomites.

By augustine (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

Or keep him out of the pediatricians office with all of those dangerous fomites.

Man, they had Gerber Lil' Sticks on sale when I ran out to the store. Freaking kismet.

Th1Th2:

How did you know that the child in the clinic was infected?

Because that was why he was at the clinic. Sick, fever, rash and just come back from a vacation from Switzerland. And the fancy dancy PCR test came up positive. Come on! You dictated the scenario. Oh, wait, did you not know about what happened in San Diego a few years back?

Now try again, and actually answer the question: How do you protect a nine month old child from measles where a person who was infected with wild measles was present not long before. Knowing that the virus is air borne and is still infectious a couple hours later.

No more excuses. Answer the question.

Chris,

A case report from 1975 does not dispute that measles was reduced by more than 90% in ten years

It did clearly state the reduction in clinical measles infection. Did vaccination reduce the number of people acquiring the measles virus?

(by the way, I do not deny vaccines can injure, I just know that it is a one in a million chance compared to the one in a thousand chance with measles).

And what are the odds for the unvaccinated and non-exposed individuals getting injured from something they don't have?

Th1Th2: You are not allowed to ask questions until you answer the one I have asked more than once. Now tell us how we protect a nine month old child from measles when they are exposed to the measles virus because an infected person was there recently (like what happened in San Diego a few years ago). Answer the question.

Chris,

Are there any reasons why the 9-month old child should be at the doctor's clinic?

Chris

You are not allowed to ask questions until you answer the one I have asked more than once.

YOU are not allowed to ask any question until you answer the one I've repeatedly asked you.

You've said that it is possible for a person to be born in the wrong body and be trapped. Thereby needing surgery hormones and therapy to fix the mix up. Is that a logical answer or is that a politically correct statement?

See if you can find the answer at the library.

By augustine (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

@303

Another childlike taunt and ad hominem from child augie, why should I be surprised?

Th1Th2, answer the question!

What percentage of 9 month olds die from measles?

Now YOU answer the question. Logical deduction or political correctness?

By augustine (not verified) on 21 Mar 2011 #permalink

Now YOU answer the question. Logical deduction or political correctness?

Is that the way you sweet-talk Sra. Wences, Augustine?

Chris,

How do you protect a nine month old child from measles where a person who was infected with wild measles was present not long before. Knowing that the virus is air borne and is still infectious a couple hours later.

Just avoid unnecessary stay in the clinic to diminish the chance of acquiring the infection.

Th1Th2: "And what are the odds for the unvaccinated and non-exposed individuals getting injured from something they don't have?" -- denying that the unvaccinated need worry about measles.

Augustine: "With the exception of a few extremely isolated population groups, essentially all children experience the infection sometime before adolescence." -- quoting an expert from 1967 explaining why vaccination against measles should be encouraged.

According to augustine, without vaccination there will not *be* any unvaccinated and non-exposed individuals for Th1Th2 to brag about.

Troll fight is on.

vital statistics for england 1900
from the lancent sept. 1900

in a ten week period 65 measels deaths and 2571 for all infections. and london had a swer system at this time intresting

By historygeek (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

ugh troll @ 297:

You've quote-mined that particular article before.

The article's title, for anyone else who's interested, is:
"Epidemiologic Basis for Eradication of Measles in 1967", which suggests the authors have a somewhat different view of what to do with measles than the ugh troll does.

I would like to cite three relevant paragraphs from the opening comments of the article:

Despite the extent of the epidemiologic knowledge of measles, health officials have been frustrated in their efforts to bring this disease under control. During the past 50 years the doctrine has become widely accepted in health circles that since control measures have failed,
man should learn to adapt himself to the measles virus. Thus, by judicious use of immune globulin for modification of the disease among exposed young children at great risk, and by providing adequate medical care to all patients,
the damaging effects of the disease could be mitigated. Until very recently, this deep respect for the biological balance of the human race with the measles virus had become accepted doctrine. Eradication was not considered to be
scientifically tenable.

All of this has now changed. With the isolation of the measles virus and the development and extensive field testing of several potent and effective vaccines, the tools are at hand to eradicate the infection. With the general application of these tools during the coming months,
eradication can be achieved in this country in the year 1967.

This paper states the epidemiologic basis in
support of this statement, specifies the essential
conditions, and outlines the priorities for attaining
this goal [eradication of measles in the US].

So even though the authors characterized measles as being generally mild, they are still interested in eradicating it. I wonder why. (The ugh troll obviously doesn't, since ugh troll doesn't seem to have read that far in the article.)

ugh troll should also realize that by 1967, when the authors wrote their article, case-fatality rates for measles had been brought quite low (see here) so they could get away with such a paragraph.

Nice try, though, ugh troll.

By Composer99 (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Composer99, there's also the fact that even the quoted section doesn't refute anything sensible people have said here: "Complications are infrequent, and, with adequate medical care, fatality is rare."

Well, one serious complication per thousand *is* infrequent, though it's pretty unfortunate for that one, and, given our current population, we'd expect an average of 4,000 serious complications from measles per year in the U.S. alone. And one death per eight thousand (if the rate were that low) *is* rare, but that would still be an average of 500 per year in the U.S.

I don't think the death rate would be that low, though, as we today probably have a higher percentage of vulnerable people -- people who are immunosuppressed for one reason or another, who would have succumbed to other diseases in the past.  But then, if Th1Th2 and augustine get their way, all those other diseases will come back too.

Of course, putting aside death and permanent injury, preventing millions of children every year from suffering through a miserable disease is worth something too. 

compost99

So even though the authors characterized measles as being generally mild, they are still interested in eradicating it. I wonder why. (The ugh troll obviously doesn't, since ugh troll doesn't seem to have read that far in the article.)

I've read the entire article. It's the authors' attitude toward measles that is strikingly different than a scienceblogger. I wonder why. He supposedly is in the heart of a "measles epidimic" and he is subdued. Science bloggers go into full-on anger attack mode when 6 CASES of measles are found.

from your link:

So what happened between 1915 or so, when measles death rates began their decades-long drop, and 1955, when the drop stopped? Thatâs the subject of this entire weekâs worth of posts, but to give you a peek at the answer I came up with: It beats the hell out of me. There really isnât a single, simple explanation for this, as far as I can find.

Callie arcale has THE answer. And she has a significant number of overconfident science blogger regulars ready to back her up on it.

The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival.

Your link also says:

"And case-fatality rates didnât change significantly after the vaccine was introduced."

Although overall numbers have gone down, Case fatality has actually gone up since the introduction of the vaccine. It was 1:6000-8000 in the years right before the vaccine was introduced. It is now 1-3:1000.

So even though the authors characterized measles as being generally mild, they are still interested in eradicating it. I wonder why.

Because he thought they could do it with one shot and in one year.

"With the general application of these tools during the coming months,
eradication can be achieved in this country in
the year 1967."

Damn virus didn't want to cooperate. 44 years ago and now we're onto "well let's try vaccinating everybody 3 times! That'll do the trick."

The government scientists didn't know what they thought they knew.

Nice try Compost.

By augustine (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2:

Just avoid unnecessary stay in the clinic to diminish the chance of acquiring the infection.

Excellent idea! In fact, my doctor's office recommends calling the triage line before coming in, to reduce unnecessary visits. Now, what about necessary stays in the clinic? (Kid has pneumonia, kid's been bitten by a dog that some idiot didn't properly restrain, kid manages to stick a finger someplace unwise and gets cut, etc.)

augustine:

Callie arcale has THE answer. And she has a significant number of overconfident science blogger regulars ready to back her up on it.

Have you ever considered the possibility that your minority opinion is a sign that you might be wrong about something? Minority opinions aren't always wrong -- but they are wrong more often than they are right.

I have been looking for numbers (not that it's really worth it, since you don't really care -- you're in this for the lolz, I think) and though I have found many articles confirming hospitalization for measles and many articles about the complications of measles, including those which would indicate a likely need for mechanical ventilation, I have not found any articles giving definitive numbers on what specific interventions were used to keep the various hospitalized patients alive. This is not really surprising; hospitals report complications more consistently than they do interventions. (Both are reported, but consistency is important if you want to data-mine the results.) Is there any point in my sharing this data with you, augustine?

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2:

Just avoid unnecessary stay in the clinic to diminish the chance of acquiring the infection.

Again a non-answer. You insisted it was to be the clinic, so I switched it from the grocery store to the clinic because of you. If a parent broke their ankle (been there, done that), the child could have accompanied her/him when the cast was removed. One cannot get babysitting for every little errand.

You have no answer. You are just trolling. You have no children, and more than likely are still a child yourself. One who dislikes doctors, shots and anything related in reality. You remind me of adolescents who create their own fantasy world, and the rest of world is just an illusion (I remember a few of these from high school). This is why you think toddlers can stay on the sidewalk, and why you change vocabulary. I now have another thread to link to if anyone else thinks you are serious.

In the mean time, grow up, get an education, get some psychiatric help and stop being a troll.

LW,

Th1Th2: "And what are the odds for the unvaccinated and non-exposed individuals getting injured fromsomething they don't have?" -- denying that the unvaccinated need worry about measles

So the non-infected need to imagine that have been injured by a mystery disease otherwise you'll accuse them of denying?

Callie

Have you ever considered the possibility that your minority opinion is a sign that you might be wrong about something? Minority opinions aren't always wrong -- but they are wrong more often than they are right.

Again using a logical fallacy for persuasion. So you are still convinced that you are right by trying to convince yourself that I am wrong based on an appeal to consensus. You're trashing your scienceblog reputation.

Why are you looking for evidence now? Why don't you just go back to the evidence that you based your claim on in the first place? Oh, right. You didn't have any. It was merely what you thought happened because of erroneous assumptions.

"It must have been modern medicine that saved us. It couldn't have been anything else. How could anyone dare charge against that? The huge decrease had to be my beloved idol"

You've dug a hole. Stop digging!

By augustine (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

@317

Yawn, more pointless drivel from the child.

Calli Arcale,

Now, what about necessary stays in the clinic? (Kid has pneumonia, kid's been bitten by a dog that some idiot didn't properly restrain, kid manages to stick a finger someplace unwise and gets cut, etc.)

They can be diverted to other areas (urgent care, ER). They don't need to stay in a place where fire is or they'll get burned.

@317
Augustine, you completely ignored every other point that Calli made solely to focus in on something that vaguely resembled an argumentum ad populum. That's a logical fallacy in and of itself.

@319
Did you know that measles does not exist exclusively as a vaccine? Seriously, you seem to forget that.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

So you are still convinced that you are right by trying to convince yourself that I am wrong based on an appeal to consensus

No - based on your continuing and absolute refusal to understand what you've been told, and your continuing and absolute refusal to learn anything whatsoever about medicine, science, or logic.

Whatever gives you, with your whiny, petulant, arrogance-of-ignorance shrillness, the right to demand anything from anyone here? You've only produced a high-pitched whine of nonsense since the day you first posted here; you have contributed nothing beyond giving some of us the chance to hone our knowledge and others the chance to insult the feeble-minded (of the can't learn/won't learn type, that is).

And you still can't blockquote.

Chris,

Again a non-answer. You insisted it was to be the clinic, so I switched it

The place does not matter for as long as you can identify the source of infection. It's just that the clinic is a cesspool where infected and sick people actually go.

I now have another thread to link to if anyone else thinks you are serious.

Don't you love science Chris? Please link them here

@Anthonky

If you've honed your skills then why don't you help Callie out and prove that mechanical ventilation provided a HUGE leap in MMR survival rates. Your ethnic passion won't help you here. You're going to need objective data.

Somehow I don't think you understand medicine or science yourself.

Gray, do you think Callie is correct? Do you believe mechanical ventilation provided the huge discrepency between measles case and the drastically falling mortality? You are more than welcome to bring some data, too.

By augustine (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

Did you know that measles does not exist exclusively as a vaccine? Seriously, you seem to forget that.

You don't seem to follow the discussion pretty well hence you're asking about the other source of measles infection.

#323
Objective data was already given, and you arrogantly dismissed it out of hand. This is why nobody takes you seriously. If this is how you act around people normally, I'd suspect that this is the only meaningful human interaction that you ever get.

#324
Are you claiming everyone who receives the measles vaccine gets a measles infection? If so, why does the evidence very strongly suggest otherwise?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2, Little Augie and Antivaccine if he/she is still lurking: grow up, get an education, get some psychiatric help and stop being a troll.

Gary FAlcon

Objective data was already given, and you arrogantly dismissed it out of hand. This is why nobody takes you seriously.

No it wasn't. If it was, can you kindly source the post number where you think objective data that confirmed Callies claim.

Her last post actually says that she has failed to come up with the data.

I have been looking for numbers ...I have not found any articles giving definitive numbers on what specific interventions were used to keep the various hospitalized patients alive.

Composer99 did give a source from a CDC scientist giving his opinion;

"So what happened between 1915 or so, when measles death rates began their decades-long drop, and 1955, when the drop stopped? Thatâs the subject of this entire weekâs worth of posts, but to give you a peek at the answer I came up with: It beats the hell out of me. There really isnât a single, simple explanation for this, as far as I can find."

Maybe you have an alternate definition of objective data and that is where the divide is because all Callie has provided is rationale.(a poor one at that) Not data.

So do you agree with Callie's claim? Do you think her logic is sound and her critical thinking is sharp? Or do you think she made a mistake on this one?

By augustine (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Gray Falcon,

Are you claiming everyone who receives the measles vaccine gets a measles infection?

Actually, that's exactly what Th1Th2 states. In his/her/its view, immunization is only gained by someone being infected with the disease. If there is no infection, there can be no immune response, according to Th1Th2, and thus no antibodies created for future use. According to Th1Th2, this also applies to vaccines created from dead viruses/microorganisms or from fragments of same. Thus, according to Th1Th2, measles vaccine distribution is in fact a mass infection/innoculation program.
Note that others disagree with his choice of words and his description of how the immune system works.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

Are you claiming everyone who receives the measles vaccine gets a measles infection? If so, why does the evidence very strongly suggest otherwise?

They have acquired a known pathogen into their system, so they shouldn't doubt that they have been infected unless of course that someone is a real germ denialist.

Measles vaccine produces an inapparent or mild, noncommunicable infection.

Now you have to doubt if it is called inapparent poliomyelitis infection.

@Th1Th2:

Seriously, by acquiring the measles virus, this will serve as a ticket to persistent and latent infection later in life.

Aha! That seems to be a new claim. Now, is the vaccine strain measles more likely to cause a persistent infection than the wild type?

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Matthew Cline,

Aha! That seems to be a new claim. Now, is the vaccine strain measles more likely to cause a persistent infection than the wild type?

Again, how is that question relevant to someone who has not been inoculated nor exposed to measles virus?

Chris,

Remember what I said? It's so easy for vaccine apologists to just bail out rather than be exposed as the real germ denialists.

But hey, they love science.

Augustine:
There's still strong evidence pointing in that direction. Seeing as sanitation and nutrition haven't changed much since the early 1900's, but the death rate has gone down, one speculates. It's not the best evidence, but it's there.

The real issue, of course, is whether measles is worse than the vaccine, and all evidence point to "Yes, it is, very much so." Your focusing in on a single statistic (current death rate) is not the best of tactics, when there's much more evidence you're ignoring.

Th1Th2:
If you make claims, provide evidence for them. Your "common sense" does not outweigh the facts of reality. For example, if the measles vaccine was causing contagious infections, there would be far more cases of encephalitis than there are now.

Also, if every exposure to an antigen led to infection, we'd all be dead now.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Hi, augustine. You certainly seem to be posting quite frequently in this thread lately. I wonder if you could take the time to respond to the question I asked a while ago. As a reminder, in response to your saying

I maintain very strongly that my family does not need the MMR,

I asked the following:

Presumably you don't want to take an inordinate risk that your loved ones will die or have severe complications from measles. So, first step: Is the MMR unnecessary because you believe there is precious little chance your family members will get measles; precious little chance they will have severe complications or die if they do get it; or both?

Hope you will find the time to answer.

how is that question relevant to someone who has not been inoculated nor exposed to measles virus?

If you can guarantee that you will never be exposed to the measles virus, then I'd agree there is no point. However, with the exception of living in a bubble with highly filtered air, there is no method I can think of to avoid the possibility of being exposed to the wild virus.
Can you either:
- answer the question, assuming that there is a chance of being exposed; or
- explain just how you can avoid exposure to the wild virus, particularly in the case that a substantial number of people do not vaccinate and, thus, can experience the full disease and be contagious?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Some of you are not used to the Th thing and as a result you don't understand one point of Th argument. All people who are exposed to disease know they are infected the second it happens, even in the wild, and are responsible for keeping themselves away from others.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

If you make claims, provide evidence for them. Your "common sense" does not outweigh the facts of reality.

There is a thing called hyperlink found at #329. Just click it and you will find the evidence you were looking for.

For example, if the measles vaccine was causing contagious infections, there would be far more cases of encephalitis than there are now.

Should the unvaccinated and the non-exposed be worried about encephalitis? Apparently, measles encephalitis is reserved only for those who had the evidence of measles infection.

@Th1Th2
I await your explanation of how someone can guarantee they are never exposed to measles.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Mephistopheles, remember in Th world anyone infected with anything knows they are infected the second it happens. They then either isolate themselves, or deliberately spread it to others. No one is ever unaware they are carrying any disease at all.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2:

There is a thing called hyperlink found at #329. Just click it and you will find the evidence you were looking for.

If you actually read the hyperlink, you would realize that you failed to notice the words "inapparent or mild, noncommunicable". Do you have an explanation as to why that shouldn't make a difference?

Should the unvaccinated and the non-exposed be worried about encephalitis? Apparently, measles encephalitis is reserved only for those who had the evidence of measles infection.

Well, do you have any evidence that the measles vaccine is causing later complications? Any? Because the wild disease does cause that, according to the report you linked to!

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

>You've said that it is possible for a person to be born in the wrong >body and be trapped. Thereby needing surgery hormones and therapy to >fix the mix up. Is that a logical answer or is that a politically >correct statement?

Augie: For the last time, it's nobody's business but yours whether you want surgery to remove or attach organs. Please just make your appointment and get on with your new life as a man/woman (whichever it is that you want to be). Meanwhile, don't let your hatred of God cripple your emotional growth. We'll be praying for you.

By Saint Paul (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Give it up. Th1Th2 is just an adolescent troll. It never answered my question with anything but nonsensical questions.

By the way, the measles outbreak in Minnesota is now up to nine:

Lynfield said four of the nine Hennepin County measles cases are among children too young for vaccination. Four more are among people who were not vaccinated. The other measles case she said appears to have been brought in from overseas.

Apparently over half are in the hospital. Th1Th2 should fly to Minneapolis and explain to the community there on how to avoid measles infections. Especially to the group that is refusing vaccination. But he/she is probably loathe to come out from under its bridge to deal with the real world.

Mephistopheles O'Brien,

I await your explanation of how someone can guarantee they are never exposed to measles.

That's quite easy. Don't expose yourself to the measles virus. By avoiding direct inoculation and staying away from persons with active infection, you will have no chance of acquiring the infection.

Th1Th2:

That's quite easy. Don't expose yourself to the measles virus. By avoiding direct inoculation and staying away from persons with active infection, you will have no chance of acquiring the infection.

You forgot this small detail from post #280:

How is a person who has not been vaccinated supposed to avoid this very contagious airborne disease? There is a reason why public health departments post the locations where an infected person has been, the virus can infect a susceptible person up to two hours later! How is a parent with a nine-month old child supposed to know that an infected child was at the grocery store just an hour before?

Do you have any answer to this?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Th1Th2:

That's quite easy. Don't expose yourself to the measles virus. By avoiding direct inoculation and staying away from persons with active infection, you will have no chance of acquiring the infection.

Does that apply to all infectious disease, or just some of them? If some of them can't be avoided in that manner, which are they?

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

If you actually read the hyperlink, you would realize that you failed to notice the words "inapparent or mild, noncommunicable". Do you have an explanation as to why that shouldn't make a difference?

Well, the difference is the one word you intentionally omitted from the quoted source. But why? Is it too sacrilegious for you to even utter the word?

Well, do you have any evidence that the measles vaccine is causing later complications? Any? Because the wild disease does cause that, according to the report you linked to!

Are you saying that measles encephalitis not a complication of measles vaccine?

Th1Th2:

Well, the difference is the one word you intentionally omitted from the quoted source. But why? Is it too sacrilegious for you to even utter the word?

It may be an infection, because it's a live virus, but you forgot these words: Inapparent or Mild, and noncommunicable. That means it's not the big deal you make it out to be.

WAre you saying that measles encephalitis not a complication of measles vaccine?

That's one case from thirty years ago. We may not even use that vaccine strain anymore. The odds of that happening from the vaccine are much lower than the wild virus, something you have to keep aware of. And you still haven't posted any plausible way avoiding the wild measles strain.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon:

Do you have any answer to this?

Obviously not. Because this person is just trolling. Especially with the repeat of one case report, even after being explained that yes it does happen but many many tens of times less often than getting measles.

@Th1Th2:

To rephrase my question: are there 100% effective avoidance tactics/strategies for all infectious diseases? (Besides living in a bubble)

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

That's quite easy. Don't expose yourself to the measles virus. By avoiding direct inoculation and staying away from persons with active infection, you will have no chance of acquiring the infection.

Golly, if it's that simple then why have there ever been measles outbreaks? How does anyone catch measles at all?
Unless it's not really that easy to tell whether you're in an area that was occupied by someone with measles (who may not yet be particularly symptomatic) within the last 2 hours.
And if it's not easy to tell that, then how do you ensure you never get exposed?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

You forgot this small detail from post #280:

That has been answered ages ago.

Please check #308 and #322.

If you've honed your skills then why don't you help Callie out and prove that mechanical ventilation provided a HUGE leap in MMR survival rates

Incoherent, even for you. MMR survival rates - why almost 100%. Oh, you probably meant measles suvivial rates...bubble-head troll not accurate.

And Calli doesn't need my help. She's just fine the way she is. Measles is not the scourge it once was, thanks to vaccination. And, by the way, I'm old enough to have had measles - you know, the "real, wild" and - ahem - "natural, harmless" type when I was 4 or 5. I still remember the terror and alarm of my parents, who kept me in a darkened room worried about me going blind, or, indeed, dying (in 1963, according to bollocks website whaleto, 163 children died from measles: not insignificant).

augie and idiotx2 simply continue their nonsensical rants (who cares about fucking ventilators - measles has almost disappeared, kept at bay by science and knowledge, not by moronic simpletons) while our trolls keep up their clueless blather.
Sigh. I suppose it's the deal with RI - promote the science, promote the knowledge, and the health - but keep moron slapping because, like the infectious diseases they don't believe are harmful, they'll come back and back without our vigilance.
How appropriate that they're so active on a thread about how some people don't believe in germs...

Apparently Th1Th2 never leaves the house or comes into contact with anyone without personally knowing their disease status.

Of course in reality it is impossible to know of that stranger across from you on the train is actually infected with an airborne disease.

And Calli doesn't need my help. She's just fine the way she is. Measles is not the scourge it once was, thanks to vaccination.

Do you take psychiatric medication? Anxiety? Antidepressant?

The issue is that the mortality rate dramatically dropped before the vaccine was used. Callie says it was because of ventilators. She seems to have a problem backing that statement up. So do you. So do her blogging defenders. She has no data to support that modern medicine swooped in and saved the day.

You guys are just a bunch of hot air. You have nothing to do with science whatsoever. Science doesn't even support your claims. In the end you just do everything that you claim your enemies do. You can't hold yourselves to your own standards. And you wonder why people don't want what you're selling.

By augustine (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

CG:

Apparently Th1Th2 never leaves the house or comes into contact with anyone without personally knowing their disease status.

Nor go to church gatherings.

Little Augie:

You guys are just a bunch of hot air. You have nothing to do with science whatsoever. Science doesn't even support your claims.

ROFL. So what color is the sky on Htrae?

Matthew Cline,

To rephrase my question: are there 100% effective avoidance tactics/strategies for all infectious diseases? (Besides living in a bubble)

Yes there are. And it should be quite effortless. Chris just posted a measles outbreak in Minnesota. I would advise anyone to not go to the source of infection or even thinking of inoculation. Just continue with your life people.

The issue is that the mortality rate dramatically dropped before the vaccine was used

No, it's that the incidence rate dropped dramatically after the vaccine was introduced. With fewer cases of measles - and no, vaccines don't cause measles outbreaks, it just so happens - who'd a thunk it? that mortality, and the side effects of the disease - also decline.
And hey, ventilators, not to mention crutches, also helped polio victims too, along with a certain little sugar cube.....

But then, you just don't understand this reality stuff do you?
Sometimes, I wish evolution were a little more proactive (heh, bet ya don't believe in that either!)

I asked the following:

Presumably you don't want to take an inordinate risk that your loved ones will die or have severe complications from measles. So, first step: Is the MMR unnecessary because you believe there is precious little chance your family members will get measles; precious little chance they will have severe complications or die if they do get it; or both?

Hope you will find the time to answer.

If you just substitute "G.I. Joe collection" for "family members," it will be much clearer.

Chris

ROFL. So what color is the sky on Htrae?

I guess you believe that ventilators saved us from measles, too! You might as well. You believe people are born into the wrong bodies and deserve medical correction. Of course science, logic and data support you because you are science.

Science based medicine is like the new MENSA club. Except everybody just shows up and proclaims themselves to be the smartest person in the room.

You guys should make badges and t-shirts to wear. It'll make you feel smarter than everybody else. Even those little people you wish to persuade to vaccinate into oblivion.

By augustine (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

ugh troll:

If you, in your infinite wisdom and knowledge, know the True SecretTM to falling measles case-fatality rates in the first half of the 20th century, please do share.

Otherwise, the Mystery Rays from Outer Space blog I linked to posited a combination of factors, most of which can be credited to scientific knowledge of some kind or another:

(1) Advances in treatment - antibiotics, ventilators, that sort of thing
(2) Sanitation - since the purpose of sanitation is to remove harmful microorganisms from our presence, I'd say it is backed up by, and based on, germ theory (aka science). Wouldn't you?
(3) Nutrition - any supportable nutritional claims beyond 'eat a balanced diet' rely on knowledge of biochemistry to back them up (e.g. be sure to eat quantity 'X' of nutrient 'Y' to avoid dangerous levels of nutrient deficiency and attendant disease/vulnerability to disease) - so once again, science.
(4) Demographics - the suggested cause of case-fatality decline not related to advances in scientific knowledge of the list provided by Mystery Rays.

The author of Mystery Rays sources his information rather well. Unlike you.

Based on the information provided in Mystery Rays, and information from the World Health Organization, I'm prepared to conclude that modern medicine has indeed saved the day when it comes to measles in rich countries, and is working hard to do the same in poorer ones today.

As Mystery Rays concludes in day 5 of his measles week series, the only thing stopping global eradication of measles (and thus ending the requirement to vaccinate against it) is the apparent lack of political will, no doubt fed by germ theory denialists like Fassa, celebrity anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy, delusional trolls like Th1Th2 and garden-variety assholes like yourself.

Chris,

The door is wide open for you and your diatribes. Just saying.

Gray Falcon,

It may be an infection, because it's a live virus, but you forgot these words: Inapparent or Mild, and noncommunicable. That means it's not the big deal you make it out to be.

Hence, the measles vaccine has been infecting the people since the 1960's and it's not a big deal? Great. Whatever happened to the infamous slogan Vaccine Preventable Diseases?

That's one case from thirty years ago. We may not even use that vaccine strain anymore. The odds of that happening from the vaccine are much lower than the wild virus, something you have to keep aware of. And you still haven't posted any plausible way avoiding the wild measles strain.

I hope you are also aware that there are people who don't have any evidence of measles infection. You should be glad they are not infected.

@Th1Th2:

Matthew Cline,

To rephrase my question: are there 100% effective avoidance tactics/strategies for all infectious diseases? (Besides living in a bubble)

Yes there are. And it should be quite effortless.

Then I suppose that the reason that people with AIDS eventually die from infections is because they're unaware of all the proper infectious disease avoidance methods?

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Hence, the measles vaccine has been infecting the people since the 1960's and it's not a big deal? Great. Whatever happened to the infamous slogan Vaccine Preventable Diseases?

So, you think all forms of infection are perfectly equal? Seriously? Do you have any evidence?

I hope you are also aware that there are people who don't have any evidence of measles infection. You should be glad they are not infected.

The CDC report you were sent describes the actions of the live virus vaccine as mild and non-communicable, how is that as bad as getting the real disease? Also, don't give me the "you can avoid people with the disease" line, you said this yourself: "there are people who don't have any evidence of measles infection".

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon, in ThWorld, "there are people who don't have any evidence of measles infection" means: "people who are uninfected". Remember, no such thing as someone who doesn't know they are infected.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon, in ThWorld, "there are people who don't have any evidence of measles infection" means: "people who are uninfected". Remember, no such thing as someone who doesn't know they are infected.

Which runs directly counter to his claims the just because the vaccines cause no ill effects doesn't mean there's no infection. Seriously, he isn't even trying to be consistent.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

In ThWorld, vaccines always cause infection. If there are no symptoms then it is "subclinical."

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

I'm actually kinda curious what Th's methods for avoiding infection are, if living in a bubble or other form of complete isolation from other human beings are excluded.

Please inform us, oh ye of glacial intelligence, how one avoids ever being infected with measles.

Gray Falcon,

So, you think all forms of infection are perfectly equal? Seriously? Do you have any evidence?

The CDC report you were sent describes the actions of the live virus vaccine as mild and non-communicable, how is that as bad as getting the real disease? Also, don't give me the "you can avoid people with the disease" line, you said this yourself: "there are people who don't have any evidence of measles infection".

Which runs directly counter to his claims the just because the vaccines cause no ill effects doesn't mean there's no infection. Seriously, he isn't even trying to be consistent.

It's so obvious you don't know where to position yourself of whether you will play as a germ-denialist or a germ-buster.

Would you mind telling me next time which side are you in, ok?

My position was perfectly consistent. I was asking if you thought all forms of measles infection were equal. All of my statements were consistent to the claim that not all exposures to a virus cause infection, and not all "infections" are equal. There's a big difference between the mild vaccine strain of measles and the wild form.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

I have a way to not get affected by measles. Wipe it off the face of the planet. Vaccines help with that. I bet Th's method involves vaccination.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

All of my statements were consistent to the claim that not all exposures to a virus cause infection, and not all "infections" are equal. There's a big difference between the mild vaccine strain of measles and the wild form.

I might have missed it, so are you a germ-denialist or a germ-buster?

Th1Th2:
You don't get to define the terms. Not every antigen produces an infection, this is not denial of germ theory, just a denial of your crude misinterpretation of it.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2,

Next you'll be going over to an evolutionary biology website and calling everyone there a gene denier.

Then over to an astrophysics website and insist that they might be gravity deniers.

Then off to a chemistry website and suggest chemical reaction denial.

Then over to a science based medicine website and call them germ deniers. (oh wait, you've already done that)

You'd probably even have the nerve to suggest Ken Ham was a atheist. ( actually you might agree with what he says, since it appears you both have similar science backgrounds, and both use the same type of reasoning.)

Th1Th2:
Can you find any instances of sane people using "infection" in the sense that you are?

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 22 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Driverbyposter:

Can you find any instances of sane people using "infection" in the sense that you are?

No, no, you see, when it comes to immunology, Th1Th2 is the only sane person on the planet. It's everyone else who's using the wrong definitions. S/he should write an immunology textbook, it would surely be a glory to behold!

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2:

They can be diverted to other areas (urgent care, ER). They don't need to stay in a place where fire is or they'll get burned.

What, you think people with measles don't go to urgent care or ERs?

augustine:

The issue is that the mortality rate dramatically dropped before the vaccine was used. Callie says it was because of ventilators.

Augustine, I gave ventilators as an example. As I've said several times at great length in this thread, they are one intervention among many that did not exist prior to 1900 and which saved a great many lives. Ventilation is needed for only the most dire of cases, but surely you would not argue they are unimportant; I brought it up to illustrate how serious measles can be, and how dying isn't the only thing you have to worry about. I asked if there was any point in posting the data about hospitalization rates; you had plenty of time for multiple diatribes about how you think I'm ruining my reputation, but none to answer that question.

I think that answers it by default -- no, there's no point in posting it. You're not listening anyway. Not really. You're just looking for words you can grab and then quote in subsequent rants. So, your usual modus operandi. I'm not really surprised.

By Calli Arcale (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

O Thingy, Inactived live attentuated (Edmonston B strain) measles vaccine was the first vaccine used in the U.S. in 1963. In 1965 a further attenuated vaccine (Schwarz strain)was used, then in 1968 the Edmonston-Enders strain was licensed, which was then further attenuated and is the ONLY vaccine used in the United States.

You need to look at the epidemiology reports of confirmed cases of measles; almost 100 % of the cases are "imported" and epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case.

I've already given you a lesson about lab confirmation of measles, which you obviously don't understand. View the case studies of confirmed cases and show us ONE case where the IGG serology converted to IGM serology.

@compost99

garden-variety assholes like yourself.

Nice Ad Hominem preceded by a strawman fallacy. And a terrible one at that. You can't even get the facts right when constructing a strawman argument. I challenged the ventilation saving huge numbers of measles cases claim. You changed it to "modern medicine" and then included muliple factors of which many aren't even "modern medicine".

1)Advances in treatment- again no data or quantification of any kind to substantiate how much should be attributed to this.

Your source:

Probably important factors, but the problem with this explanation is that by the time antibiotics became available, the trend to reduced measles mortality was already well under way. You donât see sudden drops in mortality associated with these things kicking in, just a continuation of the ongoing decline.

He's honest. You're not!

2)Sanitation preceded scientific knowledge of germ theory. Ancient texts give us this knowledge. Nice try of trying to incorporate anything practical under you banner though. If I recall it was "modern" doctors and their "scientific" knowledge who rejected Semmelweis's hypothesis that they could spread germs.

But I guess you didn't read your link source on this one. He lists it in the category of things that probably didn't contribute. But your haste to declare it a product and invention of medical science caused you to slip. Or you disagree with him.

3)You don't have to have scientific knowledge to get vitamin A in your diet. People learned how to eat long before PhD's and dietitians gave us the 4 food groups. God made food for us. Not science. Science gave us tran-fat and artificial sweetners and told us it was food.

4)"Demographics - the suggested cause of case-fatality decline." How very unscientific of you. No investigation into how this would play a role. Just "demographics"? How many lives did this save? No hard data?

But Kudos for the link. It is a pretty good source. Too bad you're not as humble as he.

His conclusion:

So what happened between 1915 or so, when measles death rates began their decades-long drop, and 1955, when the drop stopped? Thatâs the subject of this entire weekâs worth of posts, but to give you a peek at the answer I came up with: It beats the hell out of me. There really isnât a single, simple explanation for this, as far as I can find.

Your arrogance:

I'm prepared to conclude that modern medicine has indeed saved the day when it comes to measles in rich countries, and is working hard to do the same in poorer ones today.

You are correct about one thing. Modern medicine is working hard to medicalize the entire world. Everyone's a patient.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Callie

Augustine, I gave ventilators as an example. As I've said several times at great length in this thread, they are one intervention among many that did not exist prior to 1900 and which saved a great many lives.

You were not vague. You said, in a response to the reasoning of why death rates for measles dropped dramatically BEFORE vaccines:

The death rate dropped between 1900 and 1960. But the infection rate remained stable. The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology. The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival.

I asked you quantify it. You can't. It's your opinion. It's not based on data or evidence base but more of what you think happened.

You're still trying weasle your way out of this. You should just say,

"I'm sorry. I got ahead of myself because I admire modern medicine so much and I just want to see it to succeed so bad. I said something I honestly thought was true but under further analysis I had no evidence to back up my assumptions. I now see that other factors superceded or overlapped what I thought to be the triumph of modern medicine. Being a skeptic I think I'll look into the matter more precisely next time so as not to mislead honest people about the history of modern medicine."

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

You don't get to define the terms. Not every antigen produces an infection, this is not denial of germ theory, just a denial of your crude misinterpretation of it.

Are you implying you're not a germ-denialist? If so, can you name some specific antigens used in the vaccines that were not derived from its parent pathogen source?

Augustine:

"I'm sorry. I got ahead of myself because I admire modern medicine so much and I just want to see it to succeed so bad. I said something I honestly thought was true but under further analysis I had no evidence to back up my assumptions. I now see that other factors superceded or overlapped what I thought to be the triumph of modern medicine. Being a skeptic I think I'll look into the matter more precisely next time so as not to mislead honest people about the history of modern medicine."

Those other factors also being modern medicine, by the way. Unless you can show otherwise. Respirators was given as a single example, not the sole cause of the drop in death rates.

Listen carefully. First of all, a single insult in an argument is not an ad hominem fallacy, it is an insult, no more. Secondly, modern medicine has saved many lives, no matter what you think, and questioning whether there are records of respirators saving lives of measles patients won't change that. Finally, if you can't stand modern science, please send any further comments in the form of clay tablets.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Th1Th2:

Are you implying you're not a germ-denialist? If so, can you name some specific antigens used in the vaccines that were not derived from its parent pathogen source?

Can you show that those antigens lead to serious infection and further problems down the road without just going "It's common sense!" Common sense tells us the world is flat.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Th1Th2

Still waiting for your answer to my question. You said there are ways to avoid all infection, 100%, without living in a bubble. So, tell us how one avoids ever getting measles.

Remember, measles is infectious before any symptoms are shown. Please, share with us your bountiful wisdom, though we are but poor, lowly worms.

Calli Arcale,

They can be diverted to other areas (urgent care, ER). They don't need to stay in a place where fire is or they'll get burned.

What, you think people with measles don't go to urgent care or ERs?

Obviously, you missed the flow of discussion. But to answer your question regarding a case of measles in the ER then they need to contain the fire so other patients or staff won't get burned, that is, place the patient with measles immediately in a negative pressure isolation room with strict airborne precaution.

Gray Falcon,

Can you show that those antigens lead to serious infection and further problems down the road without just going "It's common sense!" Common sense tells us the world is flat.

You claimed not every antigen produces an infection so what are those?

Th1Th2:

You claimed not every antigen produces an infection so what are those?

Well, most allergens. Killed viruses. In some cases, such as lupus patients, one's own proteins. And so on. I'm not an immunologist, but even I know that.

Obviously, you missed the flow of discussion. But to answer your question regarding a case of measles in the ER then they need to contain the fire so other patients or staff won't get burned, that is, place the patient with measles immediately in a negative pressure isolation room with strict airborne precaution.

Measles is airborne and starts off asymptomatic, so your plan for containment doesn't work.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Todd W.

Please check #356

It's best to ignore Thingy.

It actually thinks antigens are what cause infections.

Th1Th2, here's what you said for #356:

Yes there are. And it should be quite effortless. Chris just posted a measles outbreak in Minnesota. I would advise anyone to not go to the source of infection or even thinking of inoculation. Just continue with your life people.

What if someone not showing any symptoms leaves the city? What then? Seriously, learn to think rather than just react.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

@Th1Th2

Gray Falcon beat me to it. Your post at #356 does not answer the question. Yes, if you know that there is an outbreak or someone with the disease, not going near them (or into a room in which they had recently been) would make it unlikely for you to be infected by that known source of infection.

But you missed my comment: measles is infectious before the patient starts showing any symptoms. So, unless you are psychic, how do you, 100% (your claim) prevent being infected with measles (or any other infectious disease)? What if someone who is infected (possibly without showing signs) comes to you? How do you keep from being infected?

Thingy, I'm still waiting for your citation of a confirmed case of measles where the patient converted from IGG to IGM serology.

Have you ever been to an Emergency Room recently...or in the last 20-30 years? Patients with rashes or cough illnesses are diverted out of the waiting room and put into a separate examination room with the door closed and provided with a mask.

The maximum communicability for the measles virus occurs 4 days before (prodome period) and 4 days after the appearance of the macular-papular all-over-body rash.

Prodrome symptoms of measles are high fevers, cough, coryza (runny nose) conjunctivitis and may also include Koplik spots (blue-white punctate spots on the buccal mucosa).

Most Emergency Rooms do not have negative pressure isolation rooms. Simply isolating patients who have coughs and rashes in an examination room with the door closed is sufficient. I should also mention that in-patient negative pressure hospital rooms are usually occupied by patients with Tuberculosis, but you have trouble wrapping your brain around the simple epidemiology of the measles virus.

Thingy, why not visit the MMWR website for measles outbreaks reports and find out when and where exposures to measles occurred.

"measles is infectious before the patient starts showing any symptoms."

Oh, in ThWorld, that isn't true. Every person who is infected knows it the second it occurs. Earth logic is not strong with Th.

By dedicated lurker (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

Well, most allergens.

Oh yeah like the measles antigen-induced allergic encephalitis.

Killed viruses

Yeah right. Like the killed (inactivated) measles vaccine they used in the 1960's that was responsible for deaths from atypical measles. Why these vaccines were pulled from the market in 1968 you tell me.

Hey what a coincidence, did you notice they all came from a known parent pathogen source?

OK, what are you going to deny next. That these are caused by an egg allergy? alien invasion from the planet Mars? maybe some of Offit's still unidentified 100,000 antigens?

Th1Th2:

Oh yeah like the measles antigen-induced allergic encephalitis.

What? Allergens are antigens, and they don't

Why these vaccines were pulled from the market in 1968 you tell me.

Do you have anything less then forty years old? I mean, Ford Pintos were recalled, does that mean all cars are faulty? That's not evidence all killed viruses cause infections, only that the inactivated (but live) viruses were stronger than previously expected.
Face it, you're not smarter than the rest of the worlds doctors. You're not even smart enough to figure out the blatantly obvious problems with your own suggestions for avoiding infection.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Correction to my previous post:
What? Allergens are antigens, and they don't cause infections. What on earth are you trying to say?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

What if someone not showing any symptoms leaves the city? What then? Seriously, learn to think rather than just react.

What if some one like you who's able to read a vaccine labeled LIVE MEASLES VIRUS but does not understand what it means and injects it? I called that a nonthinking human-like fomite.

Um. Thing must be getting desperate when he/she has to bring in the Cutter incident. Thing. Quit.

You lost a long time ago when you made your ridiculous toddler claim. You would lose if you met an apparently healthy person who turns out to have measles.

(Back in the days when "everyone" had measles, so people were very good at recognizing it, my mother went to bed one night, apparently in her normal robust health, and woke up the following morning with a 102 fever and covered with measles. How would you have avoided exposure if you had met her the previous day when she was infectious but no one knew it?)

By triskelethecat (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Triske,

Um. Thing must be getting desperate when he/she has to bring in the Cutter incident. Thing. Quit.

I might have missed that. Killed measles vaccine, a Cutter iincident? The door is wide open for your epic failure.

Gotta love how Th1Th2 completely ignores the question of avoiding infection when the source is asymptomatic, like in the 4 days before measles shows symptoms.

Gary Falcon

Those other factors also being modern medicine, by the way. Unless you can show otherwise.

What type of cult are you in? The cult of modern medicine?
"I here now pronounce this MY kingdom and everything here in it MINE. Unless I say it's not. And then it shall be whatever I call it. Unless you can show otherwise. "

That's pretty arrogant.

Secondly, modern medicine has saved many lives, no matter what you think, and questioning whether there are records of respirators saving lives of measles patients won't change that.

And I ask you also. How many lives did modern medicine save from the measles before the measles vaccine? And how do you know this? There seems to be an epistemology problem with the science blog regulars.

I will now accept Callie's surrender speech as your own. Or you can go on believing in unproven sciencebaseless medicine dogma.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Here's an example of modern medicine that saved numerous lives, measles patients included: Washing one's hands before examining a patient, rather than just after the fact.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Todd W.:

Gotta love how Th1Th2 completely ignores the question of avoiding infection when the source is asymptomatic, like in the 4 days before measles shows symptoms.

Or that the virus can hang around for over an hour after the person has left.

Gray Falcon,

That's not evidence all killed viruses cause infections, only that the inactivated (but live) viruses were stronger than previously expected.

Having some mixed emotions again? Don't know where to position yourself? What?

It's simple really (I think. I may be wrong). There's a huge difference between the dangerous virus and the live vaccine strain. The wild one is likely to reproduce quickly and cause serious issues before the immune system is able to push is out, the vastly weaker vaccine strain will only cause mild symptoms at most, and will be destroyed before it can reproduce. It's a bit like the difference between a timber wolf and a Shih-tzu.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Furthermore, some vaccines use killed viruses, such as rabies and polio, while others use live but weakened (attenuated) strains of the virus, such as MMR. Now that we're clear on which is which, I'll keep better track of them.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Falcon

Here's an example of modern medicine that saved numerous lives, measles patients included: Washing one's hands before examining a patient, rather than just after the fact.

Give it up Gary. You've overextended your critical thinking skills on a point that you lack data to support. You are relying on pure reasoning now. Not evidence. And fallacious reasoning at that. Any honest scientist can see this.

If you're trying to say that a doctor washing his hands has saved someone's life. and then trying to say that this is an example of modern medicine dramatically affecting measles mortality you have really lost it. Maybe you're just not science based medicine material.

First off. A doctor washing his hands before examining a patient is prudent. Probably not big of a lifesaver. Especially since you already know that measles is not that big of a killer.

Now a doctor washing his hands before surgery on a vulnerable patient is lifesaver. You're confusing the two. It happens. Ask Semmelweis. But I think bacteria would be the bigger problem there. Not viruses.

So again you provide no evidence. No data. Just fallacious reasoning. How does that make you feel?

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augustine, you seem not to realize this, but if one's body is fighting off one disease, a second infection does not improve situations. I can't give precise numbers, but it should be clear that some improvements would be expected. And measles is a big killer, it nearly destroyed the native population of Hawaii, and is a major cause of infant mortality.

If you study history, you find that hygiene is actually a very recent development in medicine, more so than vaccination. When some scientists first proposed doctors uphold strict standards of cleanliness, the reaction was not "That's just common sense", but significant amounts of scoffing (I'm sure somebody else can provide details). The fact that they stopped scoffing should be enough to show you how effective it was.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Hand washing also had a significant, immediate effect on infant & maternal mortality during birth.

I will now accept Callie's surrender speech as your own.

I love how so much of this fits effortlessly into a picture of things Augustine likely shouts at his hand on a hot date.

Critical thinking and presenting data has really broken down on this one. It has exposed some lapses in critical thinking in SBM regulars. It has also exposed some character flaws in so called objective scientists.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Don't know how many comments augustine has posted in this thread, but it looks like none of them will be an answer to my straightforward question. It seems like a simple enough question - don't know what makes it difficult for the normally so loquacious augustine.

Critical thinking and presenting data has really broken down on this one. It has exposed some lapses in critical thinking in SBM regulars. It has also exposed some character flaws in so called objective scientists.

Quoted for stupidity.

What makes you think, oh thrice-blessed reality denier, that you know anything about critical thinking? Remember - no, learn - that scientific thought first tests its own conclusions. You never do this, never revise what you thought before in the light of what you've learnt (dang, that pesky verb again) or change your view in any way. You're as ignorant now as they day you were born: how on earth did you ever manage to speak, what with those education-shill teachers and all...
And as for character flaws, what "character", precisely, do you have? You're a dumb troll on a medical blog, with a penchant for misusing logical terms, while exibiting every one of which you criticize the rest of us.

What is the point of your consumption of oxygen?

Have you ever done anything worthwhile in your life?

It's not too late to change, but first, you have to want to change.

Boring moron.

Yet again.

The thread has demonstrated above all the power of trolls to threadjack.

Everyone who has participated has engaged in a pointless attempt to engage with Th1Th2's outright denialism and with the ugh troll's incorrigible nihilism.

Threads like this are a reminder: don't feed the trolls!

Anthonky,

You are one high quality scientist. You are the epitome of what a "science" based medicine blogger wishes to become.

@Composter99,

Like I said before It's best to go away quietly on this one. You lost.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augustine:

Critical thinking and presenting data has really broken down on this one. It has exposed some lapses in critical thinking in SBM regulars. It has also exposed some character flaws in so called objective scientists.

If you're going to make statements like this, make sure you're able to give concrete examples. Also, I've been posting under the name Gray Falcon, as in the color, not Gary Falcon. You've never seemed to figure that out.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Everyone who has participated has engaged in a pointless attempt to engage with Th1Th2's outright denialism....

Indeed, even MDC was able to ward off Th1Th2's infection attempt as "INF-Ã" with wholesale indifference fairly promptly.

If you're going to make statements like this, make sure you're able to give concrete examples.

I just did. Reread the last couple of posts starting with the one where Callie Arcale makes an unsubstantiated claim about mechanical ventilators accounting for the huge drop in measles mortality BEFORE the vaccine.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

I reread Callie's post, and she listed that as one of the factors, not the only factor, as you imply.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

You are one high quality scientist. You are the epitome of what a "science" based medicine blogger wishes to become.

No, I'm not (though I do have a chemistry degree*) and yes I am.
You?

Again, troll twat, what do you do in life that adds anything to anything?
(Tumbleweed question)

*and no, this doesn't make me an expert in any particular field whatsoever (not bad in a quiz though)- and I'm a teacher**.

So tell us, spawn of idiocy, what are you qualified in which makes you an expert in everything?

**And therfore an expert in stupidity

And, btw, of course, augie = id1id2. Stuff you scrape off your shoes with disgust before entering the house. You 2 should get together and spill seed.

@anthonyk
I didn't think jackasses were capable of producing offspring?

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gray Falcon,

It's simple really (I think. I may be wrong). There's a huge difference between the dangerous virus and the live vaccine strain. The wild one is likely to reproduce quickly and cause serious issues before the immune system is able to push is out, the vastly weaker vaccine strain will only cause mild symptoms at most, and will be destroyed before it can reproduce. It's a bit like the difference between a timber wolf and a Shih-tzu.

Reminds me of this song
Torn between two lovers,
Feeling like a fool
Loving both of you is
Breaking all the rules.

And repeat...

Seriously, you are torn in between the two: a defender of germ-denialism and an advocate of germ theory. And yes, you are breaking all the rules.

To produce an immune response, live attenuated vaccines must replicate (grow) in the vaccinated person. A relatively small dose of virus or bacteria is administered, which replicates in the body and creates enough of the organism to stimulate an immune response. Anything that either damages the live organism in the vial (e.g., heat, light) or interferes with replication of the organism in the body (circulating antibody) can cause the vaccine to be ineffective.

Now that we're clear on which is which, I'll keep better track of them.

No, we're not.

Th1Th2, that only requires I make one change to this paragraph:

It's simple really (I think. I may be wrong). There's a huge difference between the dangerous virus and the live vaccine strain. The wild one is likely to reproduce quickly and cause serious issues before the immune system is able to push is out, the vastly weaker vaccine strain will only cause mild symptoms at most, and will be destroyed before it can reproduce enough to cause serious issues. It's a bit like the difference between a timber wolf and a Shih-tzu.

Still just like you to focus on one petty issue and ignore the serious questions. A petty man with petty goals, petty ambitions, and a petty life.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

augustine

You are one high quality scientist.

Anthonky:

No, I'm not (though I do have a chemistry degree*)

It's obvious I jest. It's obvious that you're not a scientist.

Me:

You are the epitome of what a "science" based medicine blogger wishes to become.

Anthonky: and yes I am.

Me: I concur.

BTW, have you ever posted an actual fact? Every one of you rants that I have seen has been a totally factless, emotional, cursing tirade. I hope they don't let you do that at your high school. Must be inner city.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Also, you don't get to define what germ theory is. Germ theory just states that germs can be a cause of disease, not that they always are.

Of course, you lack the ability to understand anything but the extremes.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

DBP

I didn't think jackasses were capable of producing offspring?

So when a driveby poster shows a regular on here that they are full of it, then they are a jackass?

Drivebyposter, do you have the data that CAllie and the rest of the regular posters so desperately lack? I didn't think so. On with the name calling.

And the science based medicine standards and class drop lower and lower.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Augustine, you are even more petty than Th1Th2. Respirators were only one factor in the drop in measles deaths, but you focus on it like a laser in hopes that nobody will notice every other wrong thing you say. Doesn't work.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Respirators were only one factor in the drop in measles deaths,

OK so NOW you seem to concede without actually admitting that Callie was wrong with her overzealous statement. Was she wrong to say the mechanical ventilators were responsible for the huge decrease in measles mortality. I'll even give you "medical treatment" as a broader term to encompass.

but you focus on it like a laser in hopes that nobody will notice every other wrong thing you say.

What did I say that was wrong? Please bring data and context.

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

Must be inner city.

Oh, man, your onanistic rage-fantasy involves shoe polish? This is fantastic.

You want a list of things that you said that are wrong: Here's the first:

Was she wrong to say the mechanical ventilators were responsible for the huge decrease in measles mortality.

Here's what she said:

The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival.

In other words, she just gave an example, not the entire cause. You tend to put words in other people's mouths, which is a very stupid thing to do in a comment thread where the original words are still visible.

Also, there's this line from 407:

Especially since you already know that measles is not that big of a killer.

You never responded to my pointing out that it nearly killed the indigenous population of Hawaii.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

NoNads

Oh, man, your onanistic rage-fantasy involves shoe polish? This is fantastic.

You must be a great scientist also.

No? Really? You mean you're not a scientist at all?

Gary Falcon,
Give it up! You lost this one. There is no way in hell you can defend her. It's over. She made a mistake that exposed her bias. That's all there is to it. What part of her statement that you reposted do you not understand?

By augustine (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

No? Really? You mean you're not a scientist at all?

Did I claim to be, Eucerine?

Drivebyposter, do you have the data that CAllie and the rest of the regular posters so desperately lack? I didn't think so. On with the name calling.

You being a jackass doesn't hinge on your current squabble with Callie. It's already been pointed out around a billion times you don't have a fucking clue what you're talking about (ever) yet you persist in declaring it is you who is right.

But since you keep obsessing over Callie (you having a crush on someone is fucking adorable) I can use this situation to back up my claim of jackassery.

From Callie:
The invention of the mechanical ventilator was a huge leap in survival. Upthread, I mentioned that fighting viruses is often more a matter of keeping the patient alive long enough for their body to fight off the virus; with measles, this can be a serious challenge, and mechanical ventilation is not that unusual. Prior to the invention of the ventilator, a patient that desperately ill would die surely. Other major advances included intravenous fluids and nutrition, cortisone to treat lung damage (measles is a respiratory virus), and antibiotics to treat secondary infections which often killed people struggling to clear the measles virus.

It's really pathetically dishonest that you are 100% focused on one part of it and have been trying to declare that it is THE ENTIRE argument Callie made. This has been pointed out to you already and it really shouldn't have needed to be pointed out.
So please, explain why you keep strawmanning. The ventilators thing was not the only part of the argument she made. Pretending it was all she said makes you a fucking jackass (among other things).

But since you're in such a mood for demanding evidence, why don't you provide evidence that god invented food like you claimed. I'd be thrilled to see you back that up.

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 23 Mar 2011 #permalink

@DBP

You are making a fallacious strawman argument by saying that "well that wasn't her ENTIRE argument. Therefore you aren't correct on a technicality. Let's argue her ENTIRE argument." You are trying to shift the goalposts.

So be it.

The difference is that in that time period, medical science made huge leaps in life support technology.

Life support technology.

She then immediately cites the use of the mechanical ventilator and qualifies its use as making a "huge leap in survival". No evidence. No data. Nada. Only opinion and false logic.

The context of this is her trying to explain away the decrease in measles mortality sans vaccines. She chooses to credit life support technology ie medical doctors as the main reason. I believe she does so because of a belief system not evidence. I challenged her to provide evidence. No data was given to support her claim. She even said she couldn't find any except some hospitlization stats which would be vague or irrelevant and not prove her claim.

Science blog regulars, sensing her precarious position, came to defend her, not because she lacks the science and data to back up, but because she stands for the morality and values of scientific naturalism(scientism). NONE brought data or science to back up her claim. Only faulty reasoning to try and change the argument and ad hominems.

What should have been said was a correction to the statement. Something like "I was wrong to credit medical advances as the majority of decreases in measles mortality." Or "this is just my opinion I don't have actual data to back me up."

DBP you lose. You no longer stand for science, truth and honesty. You worship an idol called scientism. That's not science.

Btw, do you have any data to support her claim since you have so boldly come to her defense? I didn't think so.

By augustine (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Just hoping to move the conversation back from some sort of insult-fest to a more reasonable level where we might actually have the opportunity to share some good information, here's a quote from Medscape:

Since the development of a measles vaccine, the incidence of paramyxovirus-induced disease has decreased in the United States. Outbreaks still occur, causing disease in unimmunized children and adults. Immunity to measles (rubeola) is maintained throughout one's lifetime. Atypical measles occurs in individuals who were vaccinated with killed-virus vaccine from 1963-1967. Pneumonia occurs in 5% of measles cases, with death from measles in 1 per 1,000 patients. Most deaths are due to pneumonia.

Doing the math, that would mean measles-caused pneumonia currently has a mortality rate of something less than 1 in 50, but more than 1 in 100.

This opens up a number of avenues for anyone inclined to do more searching. A few I can think of are:

- Finding historical statistics (pre- and post-ventilator) for numbers of measles-caused pneumonia cases or using the 5% figure as a proxy, then comparing the historical statistics for measles deaths. This should give quite a good indication of the effect of ventilator treatment on mortality rates for measles-caused pneumonia.

- Finding statistics on ventilator efficacy for all pneumonia (unless there is a good statistical reason for distinguishing measles-caused pneumonia from other kinds with regard to ventilator efficacy).

Only a total fool would be confused that keeping a patient alive with medication and ventilators increased the survival for measles and other infections (like polio). Folks, he is only trolling. He and Th1Th2 need to grow up, get an education, get some psychiatric help and stop being trolls.

Please ignore them.

Learn abut the history of ventilators, like iron lung used in polio (better than previous link). Talk about germ denial, what about medical history denial?

Please ignore the trolls.

I'll admit some ignorance here. Can someone explain to me how "improved sanitation" led to the decrease in measles mortality, as asserted by Sid the Squid?

I could understand how it could lead to decreased measles transmission, and hence fewer measles deaths, but how does it help prevent those who have the measles from dying?

Actually improved sanitation wouldn't really help with measles transmission either. It's airborne.

Good sanitation defeated cholera and dysentery. It did not defeat measles or smallpox.

Hey fucktard.
How exactly does stuff that keeps patients alive (you know...like the IV fluids and antibiotics she mentioned) not count as fucking life support?

By Drivebyposter (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Gary Falcon,
Give it up! You lost this one.

DBP you lose.

Why heck, Goofus, then you must be winning!

By T. Bruce McNeely (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Re my comment @436: Whoops, OK, as they say, "It's more complicated than that."

The stuff from iayork of the CDC appears to be the most thorough. He cites a number of statistically supported reasons the fatality rate dropped prior to introduction of the vaccine. (Ventilation treatment isn't one of them, but then again neither is the oft-hypothesized improved sanitation.)

The CFR - the mortality rate from the disease - in developed countries appears to have remained relatively constant from about a decade prior to the introduction of the vaccine through today. There was a steep decline in incidence rates (the percentage of the population that got the disease) associated with introduction of the vaccine, which of course resulted in a proportional decline in overall deaths from the disease.

WHO reports show steep declines in numbers of deaths recently in developing countries, associated with increased vaccination rates.

And that, I think, is pretty much that.

Jud:

The stuff from iayork of the CDC appears to be the most thorough.

Here is Part I of his measles series. Here is what he says:

So what happened between 1915 or so, when measles death rates began their decades-long drop, and 1955, when the drop stopped? Thatâs the subject of this entire weekâs worth of posts, but to give you a peek at the answer I came up with: It beats the hell out of me. There really isnât a single, simple explanation for this, as far as I can find.

So it is not one thing. The book The Great Influenza by John Barry gives historical insight in how medicine changed early in the twentieth century, which provides some clues.

Again, when the trolls can't argue facts, they argue semantics.

You guys are having a tissy fit. Fucktard? Goofus? Troll? Jackass? That's some high quality science going on right there. No data though. How does that make you feel? Knowing that you "believe" in something but you can't back it up with data?

You can always apologize and make a correction or as Chris does when confronted, yell out a name, tuck tail, and run. No data. None. This psychosocial experiment is pretty fun to watch.

Jud is the only one coming to his senses.But his statistics are only as good as the village watchman.

By augustine (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Fucktard? Goofus? Troll? Jackass? That's some high quality science going on right there. No data though.

I dunno, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of data. Maybe you should run it past your imaginary family.

. Fucktard? Goofus? Troll? Jackass? That's some high quality science going on right there.

Gary Falcon
NoNads
Anthonky
compost99
Poor ol nurse lady
Brucy Pucy

Is this the "high quality science" of which you speak?

By T. Bruce McNeely (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Chris quotes iayork:

There really isnât a single, simple explanation for this, as far as I can find.

Yep, that was definitely the first signal to me that something good was to follow. Someone who has and uses all the facts and figures but is modest about his knowledge - those sorts of people are valuable resources.

Though iayork says there isn't a simple explanation, he does convincingly lay to rest various hypotheses, including the one about increased sanitation. And he also slays the myth that the precipitous post-vaccine drop in incidence was due to anything other than the vaccine. (This is well reinforced by the WHO data from developing nations that I referred to earlier.)

I dunno, there seems to be an overwhelming amount of data.

Well post it, NoNads. You'll be the first. How many people were saved from measles deaths by mechanical ventilation?

@Right on Brucy Pucy. Any data yet?

Pucy: No, sir.

By augustine (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Well post it, NoNads. You'll be the first.

I wasn't talking about measles, ace.

Jud:

Though iayork says there isn't a simple explanation, he does convincingly lay to rest various hypotheses, including the one about increased sanitation. And he also slays the myth that the precipitous post-vaccine drop in incidence was due to anything other than the vaccine. (This is well reinforced by the WHO data from developing nations that I referred to earlier.)

Exactly. There is an interesting discussion in the comments of Part IV. He found a 1945 paper that discussed oxygen therapy (early ventilation), but even that paper hedged its conclusion. Still, overall mortality for all conditions were going down, perhaps due to increased efficacy of hospital care.

And he definitely puts to rest any doubt about the effect of the vaccine. Anyone who keeps thinking that the 90% reduction in the decade between 1960 and 1970 was not due to the vaccine is just flat out wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrongety wrong!

When I click a light switch to the off position the lights go out.

When I click it back to the on position the lights come back on.

This sever seems to fail unless of course the power goes out or the light bulb burns out.

If it didn't work this way then we might suggest that there is no correlation between the switch and the light. But as we know,
it happens every time, its predictable and repeatable. We all agree that its based on the scientific understanding of electrical current.

So, why is it so hard to understand the correlation between vaccines and the infectious diseases they "turn off".

Its just as predictable as the light switch. You administer the vaccines to everyone and the diseases go away just like turning on the lights. You stop administering the vaccines and the diseases come back. Its predictable and happens every time. Denying the correlation would be like denying the correlation between the switch and the light. We all understand it based on the scientific knowledge of the germ theory.

My 8 year old boy understands this basic concept, so I thought I might present it here for the scientifically challenged.

When augie is presented with facts, he ignores them.
And now "scientism". But Chris, you're right, ignore the smell and step out of the toilet.
On another, (perhaps) happier note, the regulars on this site - and of course da boss - will be interested in BBC radio 4's "Science Betrayed" pt 2, concerning Andrew Wakefield, and featuring Brian Deer and AW himself in a ferocious interview with Dr Adam Rutherford, he of the fabulous documentary series "cell". Umm...let's just say that wakey doesn't come off well..and his fraud is about to be investigated even further.
Soon available on bbc iplayer!

Antk

When augie is presented with facts, he ignores them.
And now "scientism". But Chris, you're right, ignore the smell and step out of the toilet.

Just continuous factless non science rant after non science rant. When you talk smack and claim your represent science but have no actual science then it is best to "step out of the toilet". You're out of your league. You can't uphold science based medicine standards.

By augustine (not verified) on 24 Mar 2011 #permalink

Link to BBC iplayer (I wish they had an mp3 download, I hate having to be on my computer to listen).

I am presently reading the history of cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. What is interesting is how hospital care has evolved in the last century. There is no way to figure out how much of it just helped measles mortality, because it improved each decade. Equipment and procedures are all part of the mix for survival. But prevention with vaccines is even better.

You're out of your league.

There's a Purgatory League?

@ Chris: Thanks for the BBC player link; I'll listen to it later.

BTW, Hennepin County (Minneapolis) confirmed the eleventh case of measles yesterday. Last night Wakefield met with some Somali parents in Minneapolis..."high incidence of autism in Somali children theory". It was Wakefield's third trip to Minneapolis since December, 2010. The good news is that a blogger stated the "group" of Somali parents was only five parents. The press was not permitted to attend and Wakefield refused to answer any questions or provide a statement to local reporters.

Public Health personnel (doctors and nurses) have to investigate every "reportable" disease. We only look into "sanitation" (contaminated water or food) issues for a select few diseases such as Hepatitis A, s. Typhii (Typhoid), salmonella, listeriosis, campylobacteriosis, giardia lablia infection and certain virus such as Norwalk virus gastroenteritis. The few typhoid cases that are reported in the United States each year are always epidemiologically linked to recent travel to areas of the world where typhoid is endemic.

@ AnthonyK and Chris. Thank you both for the BBC Radio 4 Link for the Adam Rutherford-Brian Deer discussion of the investigation of Andrew Wakefield's fraud.

I just finished listened to the show and it's a gem. They discussed possible other charges being leveled at Wakefield if they can gather up all the lab notes and microscopic slides...wonder if Wakefield shipped them to Texas and they are destroyed.

Wakefield has labeled all the dark forces who are now against him as the "Vaccine Polit-bureau". Just call me commissar.

I'm late to this one but I think this is worth posting anyway.

Callie suggested that the introduction of mechanical ventilation was responsible for the drop in measles. Augustine demanded evidence of this. Here's some evidence:

We know that 60% of deaths from measles are (or were) due to pneumonia and subsequent respiratory collapse.
Barkin RM. Measles mortality. Analysis of the primary cause of death. Am J Dis Child 1975; 129:307â309. http://goo.gl/RDXos

We know that intubation and mechanical ventilation are used to treat respiratory collapse caused by measles-induced pneumonia. In this study, 74% of patients with respiratory collapse survived after intubation and mechanical ventilation. Respiratory collapse is, by definition, fatal if untreated.
Swift JD, Barruga MC, Perkin RM, van Stralen D. Respiratory failure complicating rubeola. Chest. 1993 Dec;104(6):1786-7.
http://goo.gl/qjkVD

To sum this up, respiratory collapse is a major cause of death in measles (60% of death after the introduction of mechanical ventilation, and undoubtedly a higher percentage before). Mechanical ventilation can save the lives of the majority (74% in the study I linked to) of those with measles-induced pneumonia and respiratory collapse. Therefore the introduction of mechanical ventilation must have caused a very substantial decrease in measles mortality.

Any problems with my logic?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 30 Mar 2011 #permalink

That should read "drop in measles mortality" above. Just to be clear.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 30 Mar 2011 #permalink

Therefore the introduction of mechanical ventilation must have caused a very substantial decrease in measles mortality.Any problems with my logic?

Yes. You don't have any evidence!

A question you need to ask yourself is "what type of person goes into respiratory distress after measles infection. What type of person doesn't?"

What are the numbers of respiratory distress following measles. What is the historical trend? Did it go up or down or flat?

When was mechanical ventilation introduced? How many people utilized the technology per year for measles? Did it change the mortality numbers? Were there any confounders? Were they ruled out? How were they ruled out?

You sure are quick to draw conclusions through reasoning minus actual evidence. Your logic is sound because you don't know what you don't know.

By augustine (not verified) on 30 Mar 2011 #permalink

Orac's piece on germ theory denialism misses the point. Why? because there's more to the argument than meets the eye. Orac seems to have swallowed modern materialistic medicine's 'theory' hook line and sinker and asserts that:

"Few theories in medicine or science are supported as strongly by such a huge amount of evidence from multiple disciplines that converge on the idea that microorganisms cause disease, supporting it with an interwoven web of evidence that bring germ theory about as close to a fact as a scientific theory can be. True, for different diseases it's not always clear what the causative organism is or even if there is a causative organism, but these examples all fit into the general framework of the germ theory of infectious disease".

Apart from the fact that Orac, on the one hand, seems so certain about such "evidence from multiple disciplines" for germ theory,there is nevertheless uncertainty on the other hand regarding whether there "there is a causative organism at work at all"! What CROCK. The only general framework that the examples 'fit' is the 'frame' that we have all been duped into believing thanks to Pasteur and Big pharma.

Germ theory is untenable whether or not germs are involved in the disease process. That is because the theory itself is is based on a 'monocausal doctrine'.

For example, a single bacterium like E.coli is alleged to be THE sole cause of gastro-enteritis, or a particular alleged 'pathogenic virus' like HIV is supposed to be THE sole cause of AIDS. Orac implies that the 'evidence' for such speculation is valid. But there is no such scientific proof that this in fact is true i.e. that bacterium 'A' is the sole cause of disease 'B'. Why? Because each particular disease has different conditions of existence there is NEVER a single cause operating that is capable of producing the disease in question - unless you wish to assign a particular germ an ontological causal piviledge in nature, above and beyond all other causes. But I'd like to see you prove that!

The trick is either to DENY that the particular disease in question has no determinate conditions of existence OTHER THAN a single bacterium or virus, and you do that by simply EXCLUDING OR IGNORING ALL OTHER CAUSES/CONDITIONS from the picture.

Hasn't it dawned on Orac yet that the so-called 'pathogenic bacterium' or an alleged 'pathogenic virus' may appear in the body as a result of a particular disease process(an EFFECT) and not as THE Cause?

Hasn't it dawned on Tony that unsupported rants with random all caps is an effect of low IQ and not the cause?

464
Hasn't it dawned on Tony that unsupported rants with random all caps is an effect of low IQ and not the cause?

Posted by: NJ | June 6, 2011 8:27 AM

Hasn't it dawned on 'NJ'that my so-called unsupported 'RANTS' with random all caps has nothing to do with the question of an effect of low IQ or its cause.

If I understand 'rant' correctly it implies to speak in an 'angry or violent manner'. If there is any 'ranting' intended here its down to you 'NJ'. You talk about my 'unsupported rants' but you do not specify precisely which particular 'rant' or 'rants' are in question and merely evade the issues being discussed. You then shoot off at an evasive tangent with innuendo - perhaps you ought to consider the question of the status your own IQ before trying to have a go at mine - with or without the 'RANDOM ALL CAPITALS' for emphasis! Perhaps you've just had a bad day'if so, all is forgiven. Pax vobiscum.

Tony,
There's substantial evidence over the last 150 years that certain diseases are caused by a particular germ or group of germs (where germ is any pathogenic microbe). Rabies is caused by a virus; influenza is caused by a family viruses; anthrax is caused by a bacterium. There are various HIV strains that cause AIDS, though it's certainly possible to become immunodeficient in other ways. Experiments have shown that germs can be taken from diseased animals, cultured, and used to cause healthy animals to become ill with the same disease.
You say "each particular disease has different conditions of existence there is NEVER a single cause operating that is capable of producing the disease in question". This is patently false - rabies, for example, requires exposure to the rabies virus before catching the disease. The virus is the sole cause of the disease - there's no rabies without it.
If you have evidence that germs are the result and not the cause of disease, please provide it.

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 08 Jun 2011 #permalink

Jacob:

Your link is broken: it gets a "no such file" message and a request for donations to ED.

Mephistopheles: I think Tony is preparing to deny all statements of the form "x causes y" on the grounds that no two things are entirely identical, so my x and y can never be replicated. I don't see any point with discussing things with someone who has basically denied the possibility of science and logic.

Mephastopheles - I beg to differ. What you should have argued is that there is substantial evidence over the last 150 years to prove that certain diseases may(but not always) involve certain germs but those germs do not cause the diseases in question. The so-called germs only go for tissues that are already dis-eased by other 'causes'- they do not cause disease 'all by themselves' i.e. unconditionally. To pretend otherwise is not only bad science but tantamount to scientific fraud. Where is that scientific evidence by the way that conclusively proves beyond all doubt that disease 'A' is solely caused by germ 'B" and does not involve other causes/conditions.

Vicki - that is not what I'm arguing, and I do not deny science or logic. I'm on about the invalidity of monocausal doctrines applied to germ theory because germ theory is untenable for a number of different reasons, including the reason that other conditions/causes are involved. If that is the case then your brand of 'science' and 'logic' is up the creek not mine..

Tony, what you are suggesting directly contradicts the findings of thousands of scientists over the past 100 years or more. I suggest you learn a bit more about this, maybe start by looking at the work of Robert Koch, who established the basis of modern microbiology.

What "other conditions" do you think were present in the 98% of people who used to get measles before vaccination was introduced? Or in the 100% of those who die of untreated rabies? What about syphilis, malaria, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, and yellow fever? Are you suggesting that a healthy person exposed to these diseases will not get sick?

What about Native Americans who lived a healthy and organic life before the arrival of Europeans? What underlying condition made them so vulnerable to measles and other diseases?

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 08 Jun 2011 #permalink

@Tony:

That is because the theory itself is is based on a 'monocausal doctrine'.

When you say "monocausal doctrine", do you mean that germ theory says that exposure to germs will always cause disease? Because that's not what germ theory actually says. It might have back when Pasteur first formulated it, but not in the present day.

Also, would you say that the standard theories on infection by multi-cellular parasites like flukes is monocausal? If not, how do the theories on fluke infection differ from the theories on germ infection?

The so-called germs

What do you mean by "so-called"?

germs only go for tissues that are already dis-eased by other 'causes'-

Consider viruses, a type of germ. Our current understanding of viruses is that when a viruses bumps up against a cell of its target type, it either tricks the cell into absorbing it or injects its DNA/RNA into the cell; this will happen regardless of how healthy or sick the cell is. What determines if a person exposed to a virus gets sick or not is if their immune system can kill the viruses faster than they multiply.

that certain diseases may(but not always) involve certain germs

Can you give some examples of disease which sometimes involve germs but sometimes don't?

By Matthew Cline (not verified) on 08 Jun 2011 #permalink

Vicki there is a work-around for the broken link:

xkcd:859

Or if that's too cryptic, just search google for the entire entry, it will come up :)

Tony, if you are still around, what led you to believe that germ theory is flawed? I'm just curious how someone comes to believe something that to me is as crazy as believing that the earth is flat.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

Tony is arguing from his conclusion. He believes that neither bacteria nor viruses cause disease, and he is telling everyone else to start from that assumption without his needing to prove it. (Or, if you prefer, without his needing to provide evidence against germ theory.) But in the real world, the people you disagree with disagree with you. They aren't going to stop asserting things they believe, or have evidence for, because you ask them to.

There is a lot of evidence that specific bacteria and viruses cause specific diseases. Tony, if you want to convince people otherwise, you'll need to first learn what the evidence is and why scientists, doctors, and educated laypeople accept it. Then you can propose and maybe even carry out experiments to support your counter-theory, which seems to be either "germs are a result of disease, not a cause" or "germs are necessary but not sufficient to cause disease." The latter is either meaningless hand-waving (since it's recognized that not everyone will show symptoms when exposed to a given pathogen) or requires specificity. That is, you can't just say "Helicobacter pylori" by itself doesn't cause ulcers" and be saying anything useful. You would need to identify what other factors are relevant, and how that information is useful in prevention and/or treatment.

Let's also observe that scientific medicine, as far as possible, defines diseases in terms of causes so that it might get at and address that cause.

If there were some condition other than infection with the rabies virus which happened to produce very similar symptoms to rabies, scientific medicine would not consider them to be the same disease. They would be treated quite differently.

Contrast with (for instance) homeopathy which is purely symptomatic and doesn't even make any gesture in the direction of determining root causes.

Beyond that, there is really one key response to Tony's claims...

[citation needed]

Krebiozen,

[...]what led you to believe that germ theory is flawed? I'm just curious how someone comes to believe something that to me is as crazy as believing that the earth is flat.

Who said it's flawed and you're crazy?

Yes, I'm an infection-promoter. I would like the whole world (the immunocompromised excepted) to be infected with attenuated measles virus.

Th1Th2 - why is it that you have nothing to say abut a true germ denialist?

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

What you should have argued is that there is substantial evidence over the last 150 years to prove that certain diseases may(but not always) involve certain germs but those germs do not cause the diseases in question. The so-called germs only go for tissues that are already dis-eased by other 'causes'- they do not cause disease 'all by themselves' i.e. unconditionally. To pretend otherwise is not only bad science but tantamount to scientific fraud. Where is that scientific evidence by the way that conclusively proves beyond all doubt that disease 'A' is solely caused by germ 'B" and does not involve other causes/conditions.

I didn't argue that because it's not a correct interpretation of the facts or of history.
Perhaps you recall a few years ago that there were a few packages sent to various government agencies and television news centers containing anthrax bacillus. A number of people exposed to this powder got anthrax. Some died of it. Now, did the anthrax bacillus cause the disease, or are the events independent?
And please explain why there was a need to ban biological warfare back in 1972 if it doesn't, as it were, work? http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1787902/?page=1

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

Mephistopheles,

Th1Th2 - why is it that you have nothing to say abut a true germ denialist?

Give them rabies virus, tetanus toxin whatever, just to prove they are wrong. But I didn't come here to argue with them rather my intent is to expose covert germ denialism in the pro-vaccine group.

Who said it's flawed and you're crazy?

That's either a failure of reading comprehension or a very odd joke that isn't funny.

How am I in any way "covertly denying germ theory"? Attenuated measles virus causes a very mild form of measles that protects people against the more dangerous wild version which kills people. There were 757,000 deaths from measles in 2000. Thanks to the attenuated measles virus, there were "only" 164,000 deaths from measles in 2008. I call that a triumph for germ theory.

By Krebiozen (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

It's amusing that someone who earlier this week claimed that vaccines given after autism was diagnosed caused autism is trying to expose vaccine supporters as germ-denialists.

You all seem to be missing and ignoring the point here.

Diseases do not exist in isolation from other conditions - they are not unconditional - each disease has different conditions of existence, including exogenous and endogenous toxins that may encumber the connective tissue matrix of the human organism and then enter and damage the cells if not drained via the lymphatic system. The causes at work in one person's measles for example, may not be the same as another's whether or not an alleged fragment of virus is present (I say alleged because nobody has ever isolated a whole measles virus to date by a direct method - if you know anybody who has I'd be more than pleased to know who, when, where,and how, and also see the proof that the alleged virus was the sole cause of the disease in question in another human being). This does not deny or rule ot the fact that 'germs' are involved in the process of disease it does deny and rule out thet they are the sole cause of a specific disease because their causal role has never been poved conclusively. It's all smoke and mirrors and you have fallen for it hook line and sinker. Attributing a single microorganism to be the single cause of any disease is not only irresponsible, down right stupid, and provides a good excuse for not investigating all other non-microbial conditions involved in the particular disease process in question. These other non-microbial conditions are always conveniently excluded or ignored so they cannot be 'ruled out' of the picture. To pretend otherwise is tantamount to scientific fraud. You all seem to be agreeing with one another in a 'hive mind' fashion and cannot or dare not think beyond the box - university brainwashing is extremely efective and so is plausible propaganda disguised as 'science'. Insofar as money is involved in modern materialistic medicine you'll find that germ theory is conveniently the most indispensible asset.Disagree with germ theory and you'll soon be out of a job.

Best to all truth seekers.

Thingy, get it through your headâthe rest of us think that getting "infected" with attenuated or dead "germs" so that our immune system will be primed to deal with real, wild-type infections is a damn good idea, because we don't want to die of a preventable disease.

The fact that living in a non-sterile world, shared with other organisms, squicks you out is frankly of no interest to us, except as a psychological freak show. Sometimes it feels like making fun of the handicapped, but you make it really easy to enjoy it.

I suggest, if your pathological fear of "infection" is as paralyzing as it seems to be, that you contact Bigelow Aerospace and arrange to set up your own private planet, which you can sterilize as thoroughly as you want and live out your life with your Precious Bodily Fluids uncontaminated. The rest of us will just have to live on Earth and deal with it as best we can.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

You were asked for sources, Tony, but I see you added the generic anti-intellectual/anti-academic polemic at the end of your idiocy, so anyone expecting you to provide some sort of source or rational reasoning would have more luck searching for evidence of unicorn farts.

Well, I just put in a post insulting Thingy, but it got held up for moderation...??

So, I'll just ask Tonyâdo you want Ranch or Thousand Island with that word salad?

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

Here's some questions for Th1Th2. What is it that constitutes the alleged rabies virus? How precisely does it cause rabies? Who has actually proved that this alleged virus does cause rabies and not something else? Who was the first scientist to isolate the whole rabies virus by a direct method, obtained the electon micrographs and biochemically charcterized it?, where and when was the research conducted? Did the same virus from the sample taken from a diseased human being cause the same disease in another human being?
Would I like to try a sample? No thanks I don't know what the hell it is do you bearing in mind that a so-called 'virus isolate' is not a whole isolated virus?

JayK - its not my job to provide sources its yours you are still stuck in hive mind. I am challenging the theory. If you are so cock sure that germ theory is tenable prove it. You are obviously taking the piss along with the Reverend and not addressing the issue by placing the onus on me - the easy way out for you. Have a go at answering the questions put to Th1 Th2 if you can. I would love you to prove that my criticisms of GT are wrong, but I doubt you can do that without adding further insult to injury.

Tony:

You present lots of unfounded assertions and judgemental bombast. No evidence, however. I'm not impressed.

And drop the execrable "dis-ease". It's a sure sign of the New Age Altie Idiot.

Dear Lord, I thought Thingy was crazy, but with Tony the loons have a new King. "Hive mind", forsooth!

I'm sure all the Indians who were given smallpox-infected blankets will be happy to hear they couldn't possibly have gotten a dis-ease from it.

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

I'm not a biologist, my focus is on psychology, which makes it easier for me to see that you've got nothing to support your theories, you're just a random denialist. You could be denying climate change, unicorns or germs, it wouldn't matter, you're just a generic moron that has obsessed on germ theory. Without any kind of indication that germ theory is wrong, you batter against foundations, slamming your head repeatedly on the gates demanding entry, and your continued pain only makes you more sure that you're onto something. I could sit here and talk about everything you're doing is typical of self-confirmation-bias and I could provide sources, but it wouldn't do any good in convincing you that you're just a flea on the ass of science.

Dear Rev - How did those Indians acquire the blankets you mention and who proved that they contracted the smallpox from the blankets?

So, Tony, the Indian tribes that were being wiped out by smallpox in Michigan by the chain of infection from where a few Europeans had set foot on the east coast a few months before, well, their bodies just decided spontaneously to start degenerating in a manner resembling a disease that had been endemic in the Old World for thousands of years at just that particular point in time? Without ever having heard of smallpox or seen a European? That's some hive mind stuff, you betcha!

By The Very Rever… (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

Jayk - Science you don't knoe the meaning of the word. Propaganda more like. You are not interested in discovering truth but would rather hinder it with teaddle. If you can provide sources please provide them so I can change the error of my head slamming ways and my self-confirmation-bias. But will you do that? If you do not then you may be construed as suffereing from the same affliction as me! Poor soul.

Thanks Rev - but with respect you did not answer my question directly did you? I asked you how did the Indians acquire those blankets and who proved that they contracted samllpox from the blankets?

Tony, question. If germ theory is wrong, why does it work so well?

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

Here's an example: If bacteria are nothing more than another symptom, why do antibiotics work? Not that I expect you to answer it, I expect you to ask something about what "antibiotic" means or what kind of curry I like or something equally irrelevant.

By Gray Falcon (not verified) on 09 Jun 2011 #permalink

Tony @ 462

because nobody has ever isolated a whole measles virus to date by a direct method

This page of instructions for handling measles virus samples from the CDC suggests otherwise: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/lab-tools/rt-pcr.html

As for 486:

its not my job to provide sources its yours you are still stuck in hive mind

Well, as a matter of fact, if youâve come into this discussion with the idea to get us think outside of the âhive mind,â well, yeah, then it is your job to provide your own sources and citations. Because if you donât, we have no reason to take you seriously.

And, finally, Iâve found a web citation for the smallpox blankets which includes further references.
http://www.college.ucla.edu/webproject/micro12/webpages/indianssmallpox…
Enjoy!