Must Be The Season . . .

Another Outbreak . . .

According to the news, this morning, the Portland area in Oregon is experiencing a declared public health emergency. As of the last news from that area, 23 people are confirmed to have the measles with one of them in the hospital. It is expected that more confirmation of measles will be forthcoming as the incubation period after exposure can be from ten to fourteen days. I imagine that further contraction of the disease can come from people unknowingly in the incubation period making it a dangerous situation for any very young children or pregnant women coming into contact with them.

Being from the ‘dark ages’, I had measles when I was in grade school and it was an itchy and feverish time but, fortunately, without complications. When I had my own children, we got them all their vaccinations including the one for measles. In the back of my mind, however, I wondered if the measles one was necessary as I never had a problem. However, the older aka more mature I got, I realized that measles is a community problem especially knowing they could infect, unknowingly, other children before they actually broke out in a full-blown case. Again, one might think, ‘okay, measles is measles and many get through it without problems’.

Dr. Peter J. Hotez, pediatrics professor at the national School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College cites that, “It’s really awful and really tragic and totally preventable.” He also notes that measles is ‘one of the most serious infectious diseases known to humankind’. Good health doesn’t necessarily prevent contracting the disease and you never know how someone genetic makeup might respond to a case of the measles.

Complications from measles include pneumonia, croup, and encephalitis. According to the CDC, 1 out of 10 children with measles develop an ear infection; 1 in 20 get pneumonia and 1 in 1,000 may develop encephalitis and 1 or 2 in 1,000 may die. It also can cause diarrhea in less than 10 percent of cases. Measles also can cause a miscarriage in a pregnant woman, or cause her to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.Other complications include appendicitis, hepatitis, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), thrombocytopenia (blood disorder), and death.

I suppose the fact that actual death from the measles is ‘only’ one or two  out of 1,000 cases figures the odds in one’s favor for taking chances in life . . . but not if you go against the odds and your child is one of the one or two.

Are Vaccine Preventable Diseases Really That Serious?

Nothing lights up the argument channel than a difference of view on the vaccination issue! I’ve actually lost friends because they couldn’t give me enough solid information to make me even consider not providing my children with all the available help in the world. Unfortunately, few people will bother to read the article or take into serious consideration the documented facts included.

There is a complacency in the anti-vaxx people of that world that childhood diseases are not really that bad and certainly don’t need the ‘dangers’ involved with vaccinations to stop them from happening. The article:
should put a lot of these fears and misconceptions to rest . . . but it probably won’t until one of the seriously anti-vaxx people have a child who is seriously impacted by catching one of these ‘minor’ diseases. The following excerpt from the article shows exactly how much impact the pre-vaccination years were in the world.

Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Aren’t Really That Serious

This is one of the more dangerous ideas of the anti-vaccine movement.

The only reason that they get away with it is because vaccines have done such a good job! Since vaccines have eliminated and reduced most vaccine-preventable diseases, few people actually remember just how devastating these life-threatening diseases can be.

It is important to remember that in the pre-vaccine era:

there were regular outbreaks of polio in the United States causing 13,000 to 20,000 cases of paralytic poliomyelitis each year and about 1,000 deaths. In even larger polio epidemics in the 1940s and 1950s, there were up to 3,145 deaths.

there were about 500,000 cases of measles in the United States, with at least 500 to 1,000 deaths and 500 cases of measles encephalitis. As late as 1989-1991, there were 55,622 cases and 123 deaths in the US.

there were up to 200,000 cases of diphtheria and 15,000 deaths each year.
the Haemophilus influenzae type b bacteria caused life-threatening infections, including meningitis, epiglottitis, and pneumonia, in up to 20,000 young children each year. Many were infants, and up to 5 percent died. Among those who survived their Hib infection, up to 30 percent had hearing impairment or neurologic complications.

there were about 270,000 cases of pertussis and 10,000 deaths each year in the United States.
20,000 babies were born with congenital rubella syndrome during a severe epidemic of rubella in 1964 (12.5 million cases). An additional 2,100 newborns died and there were at least 11,250 surgical and spontaneous abortions in women with rubella while pregnant. The 1964 rubella epidemic is thought to have affected at least 1 percent of all pregnancies. These severe rubella epidemics were thought to have occurred every six to nine years, with smaller epidemics in two to four-year cycles.

Even today, about 200,000 children die each year from pertussis, and at least 122,000 die from measles around the world.

Vaccine-preventable diseases are clearly serious. We should also not overlook the fact that they would be just as deadly today if we stopped vaccinating our children and allowed them to come back in the United States.


Vaccinations Can Save Unvaccinated Lives

The debate goes on and on regarding vaccinations. I even had someone tell me that he doesn’t worry about his children not undertaking the alleged danger of vaccinations because MY vaccinated children will protect the unvaccinated. While true, what an attitude.

I’ve read that some doctors won’t allow deliberately unvaccinated children into their office in order to protect the patients who come in and are too young to get vaccinated like infants and immune-compromised children.

After reading the story in this link, if, up until now, I hadn’t provided my children with vaccinations, I would be making an appointment today.

Whooping Cough

Although the battle field between vaccine and anti-vaccine choice has seemingly been set in stone for many people, whooping cough is an easily spread disease that can impair or even kill an infant. A newborn cannot be vaccinated against the disease until four months old when makes going out in public a risk. Whooping cough is highly contagious and, although, in evidence year round, tends to be more predominant in summer and fall.

Whooping cough can be quite serious, especially for young infants, whose tiny air passages can become clogged with thick mucous. Babies and very young children are at highest risk for apnea, pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy, and death. The most serious complication of both whooping cough disease (and pertussis vaccine) is brain inflammation leading to varying degrees of permanent brain dysfunction.

The link below is what whooping cough sounds like in an infant. There is little you can do medically for the disease except keep the sufferer hydrated and sooth them through the coughing attacks. Imagine that you are coughing uncontrollably and need to draw a breath but only get hit with more coughing. How can a baby cope with that?

It is up to the individuals as to whether they want to vaccinate or not but be kind to families with new babies and keep your distance as you could be passing on whooping cough to the infant.

Why do I care so much? We didn’t have regular medical care when I was growing up and I didn’t get vaccinated against anything until I was in second or third grade and they offered it at my school. Too little, too late as by that time I had already had chicken pox, Rubella,measles, and . . . whooping cough. I was around four years old when the whooping cough hit and of all my dealings with childhood diseased, that is one I will never forget.

Polio is Still Around

This was an interesting article but I had to wonder why anyone is still disbursing the oral vaccine anymore especially with the growing reduction in parents allowing their children to be vaccinated. When a person receives the live polio virus, it makes any immune-deficient person or unvaccinated child/infant  susceptible. I was known as the ‘mean’ mother at the doctor’s office as, back in my day, I always insisted on the injected, dead virus vaccine rather then the oral because of my elderly in-laws and mother.

With the influx of refugees, many of which come from countries that still have outbreaks of polio, we will have to figure out ways to protect ourselves and our children because the government certainly isn’t thinking about this right now.