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Random question about decline of diseases

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

After my DS's first DTaP vax I stopped vaccinating, and for the most part DH and I are fine with our decision, since he had a very mild (but scary) reaction. I have done a lot of research and I'm always trying to back up my arguments with valid information. I had come across the idea that vaccine preventable diseases were on the decline before the vaccines were introduced. However, someone responded to that argument with a question about chicken pox and the measles, asking why they still existed until the vaccines were introduced. It got me thinking about chicken pox, which was obviously not on the decline before the vaccine was introduced. I'm under the impression that there are less cases of chicken pox now than there were, say 20 years ago when I had it. So if other childhood diseases were on the decline due to improved hygiene and sanitation, why would some still be prevalent? Is chicken pox still just as prevalent as it was?

 

I'm in no way reconsidering my decision to stop vaccinating, I'm just trying to back up my arguments. Anyone have any info on this?

post #2 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs.t View Post

After my DS's first DTaP vax I stopped vaccinating, and for the most part DH and I are fine with our decision, since he had a very mild (but scary) reaction. I have done a lot of research and I'm always trying to back up my arguments with valid information. I had come across the idea that vaccine preventable diseases were on the decline before the vaccines were introduced. However, someone responded to that argument with a question about chicken pox and the measles, asking why they still existed until the vaccines were introduced. It got me thinking about chicken pox, which was obviously not on the decline before the vaccine was introduced. I'm under the impression that there are less cases of chicken pox now than there were, say 20 years ago when I had it. So if other childhood diseases were on the decline due to improved hygiene and sanitation, why would some still be prevalent? Is chicken pox still just as prevalent as it was?

 

I'm in no way reconsidering my decision to stop vaccinating, I'm just trying to back up my arguments. Anyone have any info on this?


I think there are several things going on with chicken pox.

 

First of all, I do think incidence has decreased since the introduction of the vaccine.

 

But.

 
(There's always a but!)

 

But #1) Incidence of chicken pox in VACCINATED individuals is not reported in the media, nor, based on my personal experience, do the public schools let anyone know when there is an outbreak (vaccinated or not).


We had a HUGE outbreak in our local elementary school a few years ago. I didn't realize how big it was at first.  My son (who was vaxed) had a very mild case, and I called the school to report it, thinking they'd want to know.  They didn't seem interested at all.  

 

Then, a week or so later, I got a call from the county health department nurse, who wanted to know how many pox, how high the fever, how long it lasted, etc.  Apparently, the school was required to report all cases to the county health department, but they weren't required to notify anyone else (like, parents).

 

I was curious, so I asked the nurse how many kids from our school were involved, as I had heard a rumor that quite a few students were coming down with chicken pox.

 

She told me that, with a 3-week incubation period, we were still in the middle of the outbreak, with many more cases to come, but that I was the 67th parent she had called from our school. So far, ALL had been vaccinated. (Interestingly, my two younger children, not vaxed for chicken pox, never came down with it.)


The entire school only had 180 kids.

 

And this NEVER hit the news.  Not one word.

 

I went to the principal, and begged her to send out notification to parents, pointing out that some parents or grandparents might be going through chemo, or be on prednisone, or have otherwise impaired immune systems.

 

She hemmed and hawed, and 3 days later, a notice came home saying that "a few mild cases" of chicken pox had been reported, and that there was nothing to worry about.

 

From what I hear from friends in other towns, this is standard MO when a vaxxed population comes down with a disease that is supposed to be vaccine-preventable.

 

But #2) Incidence of SHINGLES have SKYROCKETED.  Shingles is chicken pox that is reactivated--the virus never leaves your body after you have recovered, or after you have been vaccinated.  It goes dormant in one of your spinal nerves, and stress and nutritional deficiencies can reactivate it. It is much more serious than chicken pox.  

 

One reason for this is that adults get their "boosters," so to speak, from being exposed to children with chicken pox, which reminds the immune system to make antibodies to keep their own dormant virus in check.

 

Vaxed children = no "booster" exposure for adults.

 

But for some reason, CHILDREN and YOUNG ADULTS are also coming down with shingles in unprecedented numbers.

Of course, Big Pharm's answer to this problem is to come out with...(drum roll, please) a shingles vaccine!!

 

More profits...

 

post #3 of 36

one thing to consider is that I haven't heard of one way to treat the chicken pox (besides how to make it more comfortable etc) but with other things I have heard of ways to treat it.  Measles can be treated with Vit A and whooping cough with SA (vitamin C), so these things can be in decline and definitely reduce the risk of bad out comes if the population is well nourished.  Don't know if it makes a difference but thought I should mention it.

post #4 of 36

I think it has a lot to do with how the disease is transmitted.  For example during the industrial revolution, cities would have been places with the right combination of living standards to increase things like tb or polio... So when living areas improved, got access to clean water, sewage, cleaning up slums, etc. those diseases would decrease...

I think diseases like chicken pox, spread like common cold, would not have as much decline... 

 

 

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies. I have noticed the shingles outbreaks...I work with children and several of them (junior high age) had shingles. I mentioned to my ped who looked at me like I was insane, just because I always thought of shingles as a disease older adults get. I mentioned it in front of my midwife because one of my students had it while I was pregnant and I wanted to make sure it was safe to be around him, and she said she had heard about a lot of cases in children.

 

I was also thinking that it had something to do with the way it's transmitted, like if it's airborne then all the sanitation and hygiene in the world can't prevent it.

 

I'm so interested in the idea that the same VPD are still out there in the vaccinated population, but docs are just calling them something else. It's nuts.

post #6 of 36

Also chicken pox will be a very very difficult disease to entirely eradicate BECAUSE of shingles.  IF you got rid of 100% of new cases then you could still have older people with shingles get it and pass it on to both unvaxed AND people in whom the vax wasn't 100% effective.  

post #7 of 36
Shingles if I'm correct is usually what you get if you've had chicken pox previously? Mabye more children are getting shingles from receiving the chicken pox vaccination. I'm wondering down the line if they will find a link.
post #8 of 36

No, it is not as prevalent. It is much harder to find. This coming from someone waiting who is waiting for their kids to get it naturally.

post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof5girls View Post

Shingles if I'm correct is usually what you get if you've had chicken pox previously? Mabye more children are getting shingles from receiving the chicken pox vaccination. I'm wondering down the line if they will find a link.


Even if they find a link, they are certainly not going to advertise it.  they will just advertise the shingles vax, like they do now. I think the kids who are getting shingles, did not get adequate protection from the CP vax, resulting in  shingles..stress in kids has a lot to do with shingles breaking out too, imo.  Stress in an adult can bring on a shingles attack, so why would it be different for a child?

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by momof5girls View Post

Shingles if I'm correct is usually what you get if you've had chicken pox previously? Mabye more children are getting shingles from receiving the chicken pox vaccination. I'm wondering down the line if they will find a link.


There have been studies which show that kids who have the chickenpox vaccine are less likely - as much as five times less likely, iirc - to experience pediatric shingles as are kids who have had natural chickenpox.  It is thought that this benefit will extend into adulthood eventually reducing overall shingles cases many years down the road when there is a large enough portion of the population who never had chickenpox, but this is just a theory now - only time will tell.  Pediatric shingles is rare in both vaccinated and unvaccinated kids, but there have always been cases.  I think people are just a lot more likely to hear of them now due to the internet and the vaccine/shingles debate than they were in the past.  But they always happened. 

 

The worry is that the chickenpox vaccine will raise the rates of shingles in those of us who had natural chickenpox because it reduces the likelyhood that we will be exposed to the chickenpox virus again.  Repeat exposure is thought to act as a booster, reminding our immune system how to fight the virus, and thus making it harder for the virus hiding in our bodies forever (chickenpox virus never goes away entirely) to break out as shingles.  There is conflicting opinions as to whether this is still theoretical or is already happening.  At least one big study showed a big increase in shingles while another showed no  increase.  To add to the confusion - reports of shingles cases had already been increasing slowly but steadily for unknown reasons for quite a while before the introduction of the chickenpox vaccine.  

 

The hope is that even if shingles rates went up among those who had had chickenpox for a while, in the long run, if enough people were vaccinated and so not infected with the natural virus, shingles rates would be reduced overall in the long run.  Like I said though, there is no way to know for sure, and only time will tell. 

post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pers View Post



There have been studies which show that kids who have the chickenpox vaccine are less likely - as much as five times less likely, iirc - to experience pediatric shingles as are kids who have had natural chickenpox.  


I could not find any such studies, but maybe I am looking in the wrong places for them. Could you please post a link?

post #12 of 36

The topic of chicken pox and shingles has been discussed on this forum before, with fascinating posts by several people:

http://www.mothering.com/community/t/549601/chicken-pox-vax-and-shingles

post #13 of 36

I don't believe that there is anyway to prove that at this point in time. Because the CP vax did not come out until the 90's and so those children are just now becoming adults. There is no way to no for at least another decade I would think that these kids now adults would not be susceptible to shingles or would less likely because there just hasn't been enough time. Yet on the other hand I have recently read some articles online that said the kids were going to need more boosters for CP because the vax was not lasting as long as it should.

I have also read the issue with the resurgence of shingles is due to the fact that people are not having their own immune systems boosted because of the lack of natural occurring cp cases. There claim was that grandparents especially would have their immune systems boosted when around young children who had naturally occurring cp. Now that is no longer happening and there are more outbreaks of shingles because of that.

post #14 of 36

A couple of summers ago my nephew came down with what got diagnosed as CP however we were told by the pediatrician that the introduction of the vaccine caused the virus to morph and that it is no longer appearing the way it once did. It appears milder with fewer poxs and less symptoms (even in the unvaxed). I say this because the rest of my sister's children got them and then my son got them as well. He just had a handful of pox on his back ~ and while my son is prone to get mosquito bites quite frequently he never complains about them itching...but these he said itched really badly (to the point he was against the door jam itching his back) and they hurt. They were gone within a few days and he was fine...and who knows if it actually was CP.

 

I think though that this is the case with many VPDs...they just do not get diagnosed or get mis-diagnosed as something else because doc figures "vaxed for that, couldn't possibly" and diagnoses as something else...and the vaccine has changed the actual symptoms of the virus/disease and so it no longer looks like the traditional symptoms.

post #15 of 36

I honestly believe that there isn't a huge NEW whooping cough epidemic.  I think because the fact that the non-vaccinated movement has gained a voice and people are aware and Doctors are starting to diagnose WP even in vaccinated individuals thus showing how ineffective the vaccine is and creating the epidemic.  But of course non-vaccinated individuals are the problem: Typhoid Mary's ya know.

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post


I could not find any such studies, but maybe I am looking in the wrong places for them. Could you please post a link?



This is an article about the main study: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091204092443.htm  

 

The other one i recall is an older study dealing specifically with children who have Leukemia and thus are at high risk for pediatric shingles.  Here is the abstract:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1658650

post #17 of 36
Q

Edited by member234098 - 5/27/12 at 2:57pm
post #18 of 36

unvaxed children are NOT excused when absent during an outbreak in my state(SC). how this works, as explained by the school nurse and the health dept nurse, is say there's a measles outbreak. unvaxed children will be required to stay out of school during said outbreak and the absence will be unexcused.

post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

 

Schools are by law required to notify and excuse unvaccinated children during an outbreak.  Parents who do not vax their children and have exemptions are told this and it is in the law at the time of enrollment.



I've never been told this, ever.  All of my kids have medical exemptions excusing them from all further vaccines, due to past reactions.

 

Our school also never told anyone that there was an extensive outbreak.  They only sent home a feeble letter noting that "a few" kids came down with chicken pox.  ("A few" translated to at least 1/3 of the school, and, according to the health department nurse I spoke with, all the kids who came down with the chicken pox WERE VACCINATED FOR CHICKEN POX.)


Perhaps the law varies from state to state?  And also varies with disease?

I mean, what happens when the flu goes around?

 

Again, our school board's decisions were asinine.

 

One child (who DID receive her flu shot, according to her mum) was diagnosed with h1n1, at the height of the h1n1 panic (she recovered in less than a week).

 

This child was in the school orchestra.

 

The orchestra concert scheduled for that week was promptly cancelled.

 

The orchestra continued to meet and rehearse, as per the usual schedule.

 

The kids were very upset that they didn't get to perform, after working towards this concert for 4 months.  A smaller group of them had met before school every Wednesday at 7 am to prepare an especially difficult piece.

 

One of the parents finally offered to video them if they played the concert during school hours.

 

They were allowed to play for the video--but parents weren't invited, nor was the rest of the school.  They played for an empty auditorium.

 

Eventually several children were diagnosed with h1n1 (all recovered just fine).  But nothing else was canceled.  Especially not football, even though several football players were diagnosed.

post #20 of 36
Q

Edited by member234098 - 5/27/12 at 2:38pm
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