Monthly Archives: April 2012

Measles “outbreak” – figures don’t stack up!

Just reading a recent news release from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) regarding a measles “outbreak” on Merseyside. As usual the same old scare tactics are being used to get kids immunised with the MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) vaccine.

Taken from HPA website

Measles on Merseyside – latest

26 March 2012

A measles outbreak on Merseyside is now the largest in the North West since MMR vaccine was introduced in 1988. To date there have been 113 laboratory confirmed cases and a further 43 probable cases are under review.

Twenty-eight people needed hospital inpatient treatment and three of these, two adults and a child, were extremely ill but have thankfully recovered and been allowed to return to their homes.

A feature of the outbreak is that approximately 29 of the confirmed cases are in teenagers (over the age of 15) and young adults who were not vaccinated as children. There are also 27 cases in children under the age of 13 months who were too young to be vaccinated.

The majority of the remaining cases (31) are in unvaccinated children aged between 13 months and five years. (For the sake of completeness, there have been nine cases in children aged 5-9 years and five cases in children aged 10-14).

Dr. Roberto Vivancos, a specialist with the HPA’s Cheshire and Merseyside Health Protection Unit, said: “Measles is highly infectious and anyone who has not previously been vaccinated is at risk when it gets into a community, as it has done here.

“In this outbreak we have seen measles spreading amongst unvaccinated children, teenagers and young adults and affecting infants and toddlers who are too young to be vaccinated. Our advice to teenagers and young adults is to arrange vaccination now. Speak to your family doctor. It’s not too late. Our advice to parents is, arrange to have your children vaccinated regardless of their ages. If you are not sure if they have been immunised in the past, check with your family doctor.”

It goes on to say about it being a serious disease, blah blah blah…

So from this blurb you would have the impression that you are far more likely to get measles if you  haven’t had th vaccine…

Cast your mind not so far back to 2011 when it was reported  that a massive measles outbreak occurred in Europe with France in particular being hit hard with over 7,000 cases bring reported between January to April 2011. However, looking at the World Health Organisations (WHO) own figures France had a 90% vaccine uptake of a “measles-containing” vaccine in 2010. So, this beggars the question if 90% of the french population were immunised in 2010 why did that country have a massive outbreak at the beginning of 2011? The total reported cases for 2011 was 15213. Do you know how many deaths there were from all of these 15213 cases? 6! Yes a mighty 0.04% people who contracted measles died. Similarly in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia which had the highest incidence of measles per million population the vaccine uptake has been very high according to WHO figures (98% in 2010).

Surely if a country has virtually 100% vaccination rates for measles and has a massive outbreak of this disease then shouldn’t this raise serious questions regarding the vaccine? This doesn’t get reported. Why? We should all be asking the health authorities and the media this very question.

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Aspartame – good or bad guy?

The other day I came across a BBC article about Coca-Cola and Pepsi changing their recipe to reduce one of its ingredients as it is classed as a carcinogen (cancer causing) which sort of sounds good but it seems it’s just so it doesn’t have to list it as a carcinogen on the label…read about it here. It also reminded me about the contraversy regarding the use of artificial sweeteners in our drinks and foods, notably Aspartame. So I visited the Coca Cola website to se what they had to say about this. After a few minutes trying to get to the right area I came across a Q & A section on artificial sweeteners where the following is stated under the heading:

Misperception: Use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners increases the risk of negative health effects

“There is no scientific evidence that foods with low- and no-calorie sweeteners increase the risk of other diseases or health concerns. There is an exception for individuals born with a rare hereditary disease called phenylketonuria (PKU), which prevents them from breaking down one of the amino acids found in aspartame. Therefore, foods and drinks that are sweetened with aspartame must include a warning statement to keep individuals with this disease from unknowingly using this sweetener.”

Which all sounds hunkey dory. However, just searching on a health newsletter I subscribe to and wholly recommend – WDDTY (What Doctors Don’t Tell You) I found the following article which highly concerned me with regards to Aspartame. To read the full article you’ll need to register (it’s free and well worth it). In this article Dr Erik Millstone (Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex) “…maintains that aspartame was accepted in the UK on the basis of animal tests which weren’t properly conducted. According to his evidence, the 15 pivotal studies leading to aspartame approval both in the US and the UK had serious flaws or demonstrated risk.” The article also highlights many studies into the safety (or lack of) of Aspartame. In another article Dr Millstone looks into the increase rates of brain cancers following the introduction of Aspartame to the market. Find the article here. In this article he also questions whether anyone apart from diabetics need artificial sweeteners as the increased use of sweeteners hasn’t seen the same decrease in sugar consumption. Furthermore, he believes that using such artificial sweeteners as a diet aid as they “…are at best ineffective and at worst counter-productive.”