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Measles Risks

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I am having a hard time sorting out just how dangerous measles is. I am sifting through very conflicting information AND opinion: it's no big deal, kids used to always get it, my grandmother had it and so did all her siblings, no big deal, my grandmother had it and was left deaf, my grandmother's child had seizures, complications rates ARE in fact very high, etc.

What I am having a hard time is interpreting the facts of measles. Is there a way it can be discussed without anecdotal information?

What I am really wanting to know is overall (there are always the exceptions of families who did just fine with measles) how do children fair with the disease? What are the risks?
post #2 of 34
Here's some opinions from Dr. Mendelsohn. He wrote How to Raise a Health Child in Sprite of Your Doctor. They're older publications (mostly 80s) but it's highly recommended a lot on MDC. I think he has a good grasp on what allopathic medicine can and can't help with.

http://www.*********/vaccines/mendelsohn.html#MEASLES
post #3 of 34
"The Truth" is somewhere in between. It's about 4 times as deadly as chickenpox, and has a death rate of somewhere between one in 3,000 and one in 7,500 cases. It seems like for every death, there's one case of non-fatal but devastating encephalitis. The complication rate is pretty high (maybe one in 10 or so), but most of those are ear infections and diarrhea.
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
I am not sure about Mendelsohn's observations.

Here is some interesting data on Switzerland's current outbreak:

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/edit...8/080221_1.asp


There certainly seems to be a surge of measles among unvaccinated.
post #5 of 34
Someone had reported that the "surge" was due to measles parties?? Anyone have confirmation of that?
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anewmama View Post
I am not sure about Mendelsohn's observations.

Here is some interesting data on Switzerland's current outbreak:

http://www.eurosurveillance.org/edit...8/080221_1.asp


There certainly seems to be a surge of measles among unvaccinated.
The measles vaccine is definitely effective, so yeah...you're going to see a lot more in the unvaccinated.

When you look at reports like those, remember that the milder cases will often go undiagnosed and unreported, so the complication rate appears higher than it really is.
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Can anyone verify these stats regarding the outbreak?

"Let me share with you our experience with measles at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles during the measles epidemic in 1990. We diagnosed 440 cases between January 1st and June 30th. Of these cases 195 (44%) had to be admitted for one or more complications of measles. We documented the complications in all 440 cases and they included 63% with ear infections, 45% with diarrhea, 39% with dehydration, 36% with pneumonia, 19% with croup, and about 3% with other bacterial infections. Three children died all of pneumonia. "
post #8 of 34
The Dr. Sears book says that 1 out of every 1000 people die from the Measles. I wonder why it says that?
post #9 of 34
Reporting from Europe - there are outbreaks in Switzerland, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.

Out of 200 people in Austria, 15 hospitalized, all released. All the ones hospitalized are between 16 and 20 yo. No child has been hospitalized.

The outbreaks are mostly due to measles parties. Most in Austria came from a school called the Rudolph Steiner School, where the majority of kids are vaccine free because they believe in an anthroposophic lifestyle.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anewmama View Post
Can anyone verify these stats regarding the outbreak?

"Let me share with you our experience with measles at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles during the measles epidemic in 1990. We diagnosed 440 cases between January 1st and June 30th. Of these cases 195 (44%) had to be admitted for one or more complications of measles. We documented the complications in all 440 cases and they included 63% with ear infections, 45% with diarrhea, 39% with dehydration, 36% with pneumonia, 19% with croup, and about 3% with other bacterial infections. Three children died all of pneumonia. "
I'm sure that's right, but think about it...it was cases diagnosed at a hospital. It's a biased sample.
The mild cases of measles are a fever and a rash. People don't go to the hospital over a fever and a rash.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
The Dr. Sears book says that 1 out of every 1000 people die from the Measles. I wonder why it says that?
Because a lot of his research was extremely shallow.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
Because a lot of his research was extremely shallow.
What do you mean by that? A lot of it was incorrect?
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis View Post
What do you mean by that? A lot of it was incorrect?
I think his book sounds like an ok intro into the topic, but yeah...he gets a whole lot of stuff wrong. He only really scratched the surface of the issue.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gitti View Post
Most in Austria came from a school called the Rudolph Steiner School, where the majority of kids are vaccine free because they believe in an anthroposophic lifestyle.
This is the Waldorf School (it's "proper" name is Rudolph Steiner). I'm hoping my daughter picks up some life long immunity at her Waldorf School, as well.

Also, why would you admit a child for an ear infection? Or diarrhea? That seems like "over kill" on something that can be handled at home...or am I missing something?
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamakay View Post
I think his book sounds like an ok intro into the topic, but yeah...he gets a whole lot of stuff wrong. He only really scratched the surface of the issue.

Oh, okay. I have only looked at a few chapters in his book, so I wasn't sure.
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anewmama View Post
Can anyone verify these stats regarding the outbreak?

"Let me share with you our experience with measles at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles during the measles epidemic in 1990. We diagnosed 440 cases between January 1st and June 30th. Of these cases 195 (44%) had to be admitted for one or more complications of measles. We documented the complications in all 440 cases and they included 63% with ear infections, 45% with diarrhea, 39% with dehydration, 36% with pneumonia, 19% with croup, and about 3% with other bacterial infections. Three children died all of pneumonia. "
Balance that with this:

http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi...01?cookieSet=1

Quote:
Measles surveillance is complex: the patient must seek health care, the diagnosis must be recognized by the
physician, and the case must be reported to health departments. The portion of total (incident) measles cases
that is reported to health departments is termed “completeness of reporting.”
Few studies describe this measure
of the quality of surveillance in the United States; these studies use different methods, but they are all limited
because the actual number of measles cases needed to derive completeness of reporting could not be determined.
Estimates of completeness of reporting from the 1980s and 1990s vary widely, from 3% to 58%. One study
suggests that 85% of patients with measles sought health care, the proportion of compatible illnesses for which
measles was considered varied from 13% to 75%, and the proportion of suspected cases that were reported
varied from 22% to 67%. Few cases were laboratory-confirmed, but all were reported. Surveillance in the
United States is responsive, and its sensitivity likely increases when measles is circulating. Continued efforts
to reinforce the clinical recognition and reporting of measles cases are warranted.
And this:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwR/preview/mmwrhtml/00001522.htm

Quote:
In 1989, the number of measles-associated deaths and the case-fatality rate are higher than in any year since 1971 (CDC, unpublished data). The reason for this increase is not known but could be associated with underreporting of cases, resulting in spuriously high case-fatality rates.
When only the more severe cases are diagnosed and reported, it artifically inflates the apparent severity of the disease.

ANY pathogen will appear really, really nasty if you just go by the % of complications with cases diagnosed in an ER.
post #17 of 34
i don't understand why people worry about measels in the US--aren't outbreaks super rare?
post #18 of 34
Well, there are moral issues with herd immunity...
post #19 of 34
Philosophically and morally, vaccinating for herd immunity is a tricky proposition. There is currently no method of vaccination which isn't invasive. Forcing invasive medical procedures on people is a very questionable thing to do. Even if it could be proved to be totally beneficial with no side-effects whatsoever.

Consider some of the other things that society enforces for the general welfare:
traffic laws
taxation
food safety laws
seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws

I'm sure other folks could come up with more examples.

There aren't very many situations where it is considered okay to FORCE someone to undergo a medical procedure against their will.

Not too long ago it was okay. Remember eugenics? This the idea that the human race could be improved by getting high quality people to have lots of babies and sterilizing the poor quality people. It was very popular in the U.S. and many states had laws permitting the forced sterilization of the "unfit". Hitler thought the U.S. was super advanced and smart for having eugenics laws and used some of our laws as examples of the new statutes set up in Germany.

The history of forced medical treatment is not heart-warming.

This is why those who promote vaccination mostly prefer to use fear of disease to encourage people to volunteer themselves and their children rather than bringing out the guns and the dogs...
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the herd immunity discussion but wonder if for this thread we can just stick to looking just at measles and whether it is the threat it it made out to be.

Mamakay, some of the things you said made sense in terms of diagnoses and those that make it to hospital don't represent "all cases" so to speak. In otherwords, as i understand you, many more milder cases of measles or those not following the diagnoses path go unreported thereby making the number of reported cases seem to be substantially higher. Is this what you meant?
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