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#1 of 8 Old 02-22-2005, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know if this is the best place for this post, if it isn't, please redirect me. I'm posting here because I know that one of the arguments for vaccinations is "public health".

I'm curious - what measures do you believe we should go to to protect "public health"? This came up recently in a discussion about pertussis testing. I got this third-hand, so I don't really know if the details are accurate, but regardless of whether or not the facts are accurate, I'm curious of your opinions.

A teacher at an elementary school is believed to have pertussis. Based on this, there are at least five other teachers who were required by the DPH to be tested for pertussis. At least one of the five teachers has no symptoms and at least one of the the other five have what could be a cold/cough or could be pertussis. All five were recommended to start antibiotics - the one with no symptoms said "no thanks" and is waiting for the test results. The results take a few days to come back. The test is mildly invasive (it made me shudder to listen to it) - some long skinny thing gets stuck up your nose until it goes down your throat and it keeps going down till you cough - you have to cough. Or something like that. Okay, so the test isn't "that" awful, but it certainly doesn't sound like fun. As someone with zero symptoms of an illness, I would find it rather invasive for the DPH to require me to undergo such a test. I'm also not sure what point it would serve. I assume it has something to do with the fact that there are children in the classes and children are more at risk from pertussis, but beyond that I don't really understand what good it does to test the teachers.

I'm curious what other opions are. I'm betting some of you have put more thought into the DPH and individual rights.
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#2 of 8 Old 02-22-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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I agree with you.

My dd had pertussis when she was almost two years old, the picture of the test and its description really freaked me out, and I almost didn't get it, but then decided to see how she reacted, and she was fine with it.

It also took eleven days to get the first test result back (it came up negative, too btw) and the third one (the positive) didn't come back until well over a month after her test, so by the time you know the results if you did have it, yuou'd no longer be contageous.

Evergreen- Loving my girls Dylan dust.gifage8, Ava energy.gifage 4 and baby Georgia baby.gif (6/3/11).

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#3 of 8 Old 02-22-2005, 08:04 PM
 
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If I were a teacher at that school I would not have been tested. Of course, I had pertusis as a child -- no record of it of course, it was listed as brochitis, asthma, etc. You would think a blood test would test for immunity -- I'd go that route first personally.

If you refused then what? Most schools can't fire you very easily, it is super hard to find a replacement as well. If the school fires you, you have a right to unemployment (unless you contract states specifically you have to comply with the Health Dept or some such thing -- my contract didn't).

As for public health, it appears that the pertusis vax in not life long and they are talking about a booster, but the current pertusis vax is not for children over 7 so there is a medical issue of no vax available for the adults who were vaxed and therefore do not have life long immunity!!!

But if an employer can test you weekly for smoking and fire you if you test positive, I guess anything is possible these days. Which just goes to prove that even private citizens are not truly free to engage in all legal activities.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-23-2005, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As I said, this was a third-hand story, so I could very well have specifics messed up. I was mostly curious what others thought of the dph's ability to "require" one to take such a test. I'm not completely sure what the purpose of the test is either. I believe the reason they couldn't do an immunity test was because they were trying to determine if the teachers actively have pertussis - if they were immune it could be because their childhood vaccination happened to work and last or it could be because they have pertussis now.

Evergreen - sorry to hear your daughter had to have this test. Glad to hear it wasn't as awful as it sounds. Of course your story also highlights again, why bother testing. If it takes so long for the results to come back is it even really relevant anymore whether or not she had pertussis? Oh well.
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#5 of 8 Old 02-23-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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If all the kids in school are vaxed, aren't we to beleive they are safe from catching it from their teacher?
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#6 of 8 Old 02-23-2005, 11:26 PM
 
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I totally agree with pp. Why are the people who are vaccinate afraid of unvaccinated folks?

Don't they trust the vaccine?

Then what's the sense in vaccinating?
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#7 of 8 Old 02-24-2005, 01:28 PM
 
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Pertussis immunity is being found to NOT be life long regardless of whether you had it naturally or not. The vax lasts about 7 years from the last dose (around age 4-5) and is only 70-80% effective.

This is JMO, but I don't see anything wrong with the teachers being tested. In fact, they should want to know if they have Pertussis but are not yet symptomatic. (Esp if they have children of their own!) The test may be unpleasant, but it is not dangerous. Really I think that Pertussis will never be controlled by vaccination - only by reducing the spread thru proper diagnosis. The antibiotic is a preventative measure in those that have been exposed.

It sounds like the school and/or health dept are just trying to prevent a wide spread outbreak of pertussis. Not a bad thing in my book, since there really is no benefit of contacting pertussis naturally just to "get it over with".
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#8 of 8 Old 02-24-2005, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owensmom
If all the kids in school are vaxed, aren't we to beleive they are safe from catching it from their teacher?
Oh and if you have an exemption of any type you are usually told your child can not attend school!

I think that soon they will have re-vaccination mandates for all the vaccines given under the age of 5. We already are seeing CP not being effective long-term, now pertusis, commonly young women are not carrying the immunity to rubella, and it is quite common to hear those in the vaccine industry state that the Hep B has not been proven to provide long term immunity either.

And just a bit OT, but... I have to wonder if my own slow to learn difficulties, expecially in reading and spelling were not caused by my being heavily vaccinated again before school started. Once I hit high school and hadn't had a vaccine in a lot of years, I started to be very successful in school.

So, re-vaccinating teens in those years where learning is so stressful can not be any better for the body than the mass vaccating of children under 2.

JMO for what it's worth.
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