We've all heard the term "fake news" since President Trump was elected. If we're being honest, fake news was around long before Trump came into office and called them out. We are lied to every time we turn on the tv. Of course we understand that commercials are in the lying business. But what if the lie were deeper than that? What if it was our health officials who were doing the lying? The media loves a good story and what better story than measles at Disney? How about polio making a come back?
Here are some examples of sensational fake news that we've seen in the past few years:
Disney measles outbreak puts focus on Anti-Vaxxers – Time Magazine Jan 24, 2015
"It's official: Anti-Vaxxers caused the Disneyland Measles outbreak" – Think Progress March 18, 2015
"Mumps outbreaks reported across the US" – USA Today March 10, 2015
"Mysterious polio like illness affect kids in California" USA Today April 23, 2014 / Dallas Morning News October 7, 2016
Let's address measles first. Have you ever heard of Measles Mary? A fully vaccinated 22 year old theater employee from NYC? I'm going to guess you have not. 88 people got ill who were in contact with her, 2 of which were also fully vaccinated. Two others have previously had measles. You can learn more about how vaccination doesn't ensure life long immunity by googling "measles Mary sciencemag".
What about Disneyland? Surely all of those who fell ill were unvaccinated!? No, not quite.
If the 110: 49 were unvaccinated. 14 were vaccinated. 47 were unsure if their vaccination status and 12 were too young to have the full three rounds.
The strain was traced back to the Philippines but has been detected in at least 14 other countries. Annual attendance at Disneyland is around 24 million.
None of those who fell ill with measles from Disney died.
Mumps. There have been a few mumps outbreaks in the past couple of years. Did you know almost all of the people involved were FULLY vaccinated?
I'm 2016 the following states had outbreaks: Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Oklahoma. In Arkansas over 70% were fully vaccinated. In Massachusetts at Harvard university all were vaccinated. Even in the areas of these states with the lowest rates of vaccination, the coverage is still fairly high. Almost all have two dose coverage rates over 90%. Source: Scientific American 12/16/16
Polio like illness returns! This is perhaps the most infuriating one of all. First, polio was never fully eradicated, just renamed. Prior to 1954 polio was called Transverse Myelitis, viral or aseptic meningitis, Guillain Barre Syndrome, Chinese Paralytic Syndrome, acute flaccid paralysis and a host of other illnesses.
The polio vaccine received the fastest licensing in FDA history (the HPV vaccine may now hold that record). Once we declared polio eradicated, what could we call it when people were wheelchair bound "out of nowhere"? That takes us back to our headlines.
From Aug to Oct 2014 over 100 children presented with sudden onset weakness and gray matter inflammation. Diagnosed: acute flaccid myelitis.
The Hep B vaccine lists acute flaccid myelitis on the insert.
The HPV vaccine lists myelitis.
A search of pubmed.gov reveals over 5,000 articles with the terms "vaccine" and "myelitis".
Guillain Barre is listed on the flu vaccine and the meningococcal/diphtheria vaccine.
Did you know about these diseases and their links to vaccines? That they are listed on the inserts? That in the US no one has died of measles in over a decade? That mumps often presents in fully vaccinated populations?
If you answered no, then we've got some work to do.
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