Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dr. Bob is Really Only Doing it for the Worried Parents

not because of any own concerns over vaccine safety. The Sears' website has been modified again, and here is Dr. Bob himself, explaining the origin of his alternative vaccination schedule. It is really all about parental concerns (not about his own flirtations with the anti-vaccine crowd, or the fact that his "alternative" schedule almost doubles the number of office visits for vaccine purposes at $75 to $200 dollar a pop). Good to know, right?

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I came across this on - a very short movie by Jasmine Marosvary - this made me think of Nelyn. I met his mum Lynne on ivillage some years ago. The first mother my age, who had lost a child to a vaccine preventable disease. Lynne was lobbying for the licensing of pertussis vaccine for adults, which has since happened. Vaccination saves lives:

Monday, November 7, 2011

And another SSPE case: Angelina is dying

I had seen girl previously on a board, but the parents had not gone public until now, after Natalie's death.

Angelina caught measles in 2006 from an adult, when she was 7 months old. She recovered well - this is her before SSPE broke out:

This is her now:

Gina, Angelina's mum says (my translation):

"In February of this year, we noticed pronounced problems with our daughter. She kept falling off her bike, and had speech blockades. When this was getting worse, we went to the clinic. The diagnosis SSPE was a shock for us. Our child became dependent on care within 8 weeks. She cannot walk nor speak and needs to be tube fed. She would have entered school this year. This blow of fate is very hard for us all."

According to Sean Monks, spokesperson of the German Association of Pediatricians, this is the third case of SSPE from measles infection in infants in 2006 - in 2006 a total of 313 infants with measles were reported to the RKI (German CDC equivalent) in Berlin. One of these children died in 2007, another has been suffering from SSPE since 2009, and now Angelina is the third victim from that year.

Importantly, this shows that the risk of SSPE is much higher than previously thought. Overall risk for SSPE had recently been adjusted to about 1 in 11'000 notified cases of all ages, and "at least" 1 in 2'000 for infants (German pdf). From 2005 to 2010, 27 patients died of SSPE in Germany, although measles incidence had been sinking to reported numbers under 2000/year for some time. The current cluster of SSPE cases indicates that the risk of SSPE for infants who contract measles lies closer to 1 in 200.

Research has not yet identified the causative mutation for SSPE (see for example here) nor found strains with a particularly high risk of causing SSPE which could explain this high incidence. What is clear is that all cases in which measles virus has been amplified from the brain of SSPE victims, it was the wild type rather than the vaccine virus, and that with increasing vaccination coverage, SSPE incidence sank (see for example here and here, for review here).

The only way to prevent more SSPE cases is to vaccinate your child against measles (2xMMR) and to check your own immunity if you are unsure of your history of measles/measles vaccination. Your immunity protects those too young or too sick to be vaccinated. Your decision not to vaccine could cost lives, not necessarily yours.