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New Book - The Panic Virus - Thoughts?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

There is a new book out called The Panic Virus, by Seth Mnookin.

 

Wall Street Journal Review: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704034804576025682621085122.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Panic-Virus-Story-Medicine-Science/dp/1439158649

 

As a non-vaxer who is very much on the fence and studies this topic frequently, I cannot wait to read it. 

 

I'm thinking it might be fun to start a thread for those who have read the book.  I'm curious if any non-vaxers have a change of heart after reading.  Myself included.

 

I am most interested to learn if Seth Mnookin focuses only on the autism relationship.  I think most non-vaxers already accept that autism is not (directly, at least) related to vaccines, and linked instead to a perfect storm of environmental health and genetic factors (food, air, water, a combination of many many things).

 

For example, I'm personally focused on the # of shots given in recent years (10 in my youth, now 30+) and the lack of long-term understanding of what that they do to the immune system over time.  And the fact that medicine is NOT always correct, case in point = DES.

 

Does Seth Mnookin discuss this?  I wonder....

 

I am very excited to read the book.  Anyone want to read along with me?!

 

post #2 of 16

Please note that discussion should remain focused on the vax specific issues. If this becomes a book discussion it will need to be moved to our Books forum.

post #3 of 16

i would LOVE to book club it! we could do an issue-by-issue or chapter-by-chapter discussion (of the vax issues of course!). i'm mostly pro-vax though, but i am not wedded to any of my beliefs, i just try to follow the evidence.

post #4 of 16

I am reading it right now and really liking it. The main thrust is the autism theory but it delves beyond that, especially into the ways the original theory has mutated in the USA into more a "toxins" argument. Although I am not there yet, I am told he goes into the "too many too soon" theories and the combination vaccines as well.

post #5 of 16

I just bought it and can't wait to read it.  I won't be starting it until next week when I finish the book I'm currently reading.  I'm curious to hear others' opinions.  I've heard two interviews with the author and it sure got me thinking.  MajorMama- have you started it yet?  

post #6 of 16

i haven't gotten it yet. i was going to pop into town to see if our local bookstore has it. maybe i'll even order it through them if they don't instead of going through amazon, i'm trying to support local businesses this year. i'll let you know when i get it though. i have no friends IRL who are as into vaccines as me, so i'm thrilled to have a group to book club it with!

post #7 of 16

I'm picking up my copy today. As someone who was staunchly non-vax for many years before moving to the selective and delayed camp, I'd like to balance out my reading. 

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi Jugs.  Were there any books that encouraged you to move into the selective vax camp?  Also, if you don't mind me asking, what vax did you select?

 

I am non-vax as well and slowing reconsidering.  My boys are 4 and toddler.

 

Thanks so much in advance!

post #9 of 16

I went from nonvax to  vax as well. It was a lot of primary source studies but Offit's Autism's False Profits and his new book also opened my eyes to a lot of the myths I believed that actually have no basis in science. For example, I always believed this one study on DTP causing seizures and then Offit's new book shows us the concrete evidence that the kids in that study with seizures had pre existing disorders, genetic mutations, etc and that their seizures had nothing to do with the vaccine. Epilepsy was present in many as well, not something caused by the vaccine, just that the first seizures happened within weeks of getting the DTP.

post #10 of 16

It really wasn't any particular source that guided my choices, just always revisiting our original default choice as new information became available. My oldest child suffered a serious reaction and I did not want to go forward with vaxing him or my other children until I believed the level of risk was acceptable. I kept a list of reasons why we weren't vaxing, and over the course of the last few years, each of those concerns has been adequately addressed. I am 100% sure? No, but I've come to feel that many (most?) anti-vax sources are self-discrediting, and I've grown weary of their Chicken Little-isms.

 

As far as which ones we chose, my younger children will be getting the bare minimum needed for school (DTaP, HepB, MMR, polio, varicella) since we can't qualify for a religious exemption if we selectively vax; I'd rather concede on some than have to forgo them all. My oldest is home schooled and won't be getting anymore unless he eventually goes to public school.

post #11 of 16

do you guys want to move into the book forum and do a club? we could do chapter by chapter once everyone has it :)

post #12 of 16

Sure!

post #13 of 16

I'm not sure that I can keep up with a book club but I'll try.  I'm in nursing school full time and my dh works out of town so I'm on my own with our two dds all week.  Needless to say I don't have a lot of free time for pleasure reading.

post #14 of 16

I would like to point out that there was already flat out lie in this book. 

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/09/132735944/as-the-facts-win-out-vaccinations-may-too

In this excerpt he states, " A recent Hib outbreak in Minnesota resulted in the deaths of several children — including one whose parents said they do not "believe" in vaccination."

 

1 child died and 3/5 were not vaccinated, "Three of the five Hib cases in Minnesota occurred in children who had not been vaccinated. One case occurred in a child who was too young to complete the primary series, and a fifth case occurred in a child with an immunodeficiency." from CDC

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm58e0123a1.htm

 

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummus View Post

I would like to point out that there was already flat out lie in this book. 

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/09/132735944/as-the-facts-win-out-vaccinations-may-too

In this excerpt he states, " A recent Hib outbreak in Minnesota resulted in the deaths of several children — including one whose parents said they do not "believe" in vaccination."

 

1 child died and 3/5 were not vaccinated, "Three of the five Hib cases in Minnesota occurred in children who had not been vaccinated. One case occurred in a child who was too young to complete the primary series, and a fifth case occurred in a child with an immunodeficiency." from CDC

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm58e0123a1.htm

 

 

Good catch. There were a couple deaths in Pennsylvania the year before. I don't know that "conflation" or "error" vs. "flat-out lie" is clear, but it's worth ascertaining.

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by yummus View Post

I would like to point out that there was already flat out lie in this book. 

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/09/132735944/as-the-facts-win-out-vaccinations-may-too

In this excerpt he states, " A recent Hib outbreak in Minnesota resulted in the deaths of several children — including one whose parents said they do not "believe" in vaccination."

 

1 child died and 3/5 were not vaccinated, "Three of the five Hib cases in Minnesota occurred in children who had not been vaccinated. One case occurred in a child who was too young to complete the primary series, and a fifth case occurred in a child with an immunodeficiency." from CDC

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm58e0123a1.htm

 


 

But was it a flat out lie, or was it just a mistake?  My bet is he meant to write that several children were sickened and there was one death and sort of smushed them together.  Things like that shouldn't happen, but they do, especially in situations like that with just "several" instead of an actual number so less likely to be caught by a fact checker looking things up to make sure exact numbers are accurate.  It happens.  So long as a proper response is given when it is pointed out, including publicly acknowledging the error and making sure it is corrected for any future runs of the book, I don't think a single slightly off detail can completely discredit a book. 

 

If the book were chock full of stuff like that, on the other hand, that would be a different story.  Or if a major premise of the book was centered around a point that was incorrect, that would be different. 

 

The author does have a page for corrections.  That one is not on it yet, so perhaps no on has pointed it out to him.  There is also a page to contact him from, so perhaps someone should.  But there are already a couple other corrections on the page:  http://sethmnookin.com/the-panic-virus/corrections/

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