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Measles – Where art thou?

I live on the outskirts of, and commute daily into our great capital city. Yet, since being promised a measles outbreak in London by numerous medical experts over the last few months I have been disappointed in the lack of cases this year…I jest obviously but still I feel rather cheated. The assertion from the medical establishment, politicians and the media that measles is this huge killing machine that “spreads like wildfire” is clearly a myth.

Geographically speaking, the UK is tiny, so London is virtually next door to Wales, the North West and North West of England where other ‘large’ measles outbreaks have occurred recently. Thus, we would expect this monster virus to have travelled to London within days of the welsh outbreak  and set up camp in those parts of the capital where MMR uptake is lowest (around 50% in some cases). So where is this monster measles virus? Well in fact according to the Health Protection Agency there were 67 laboratory confirmed cases between January & March 2013 – just over 20 cases in a population of around 8 million people! Where are all the medical experts now? Are they too embarassed to come forward and admit this virus does not “spread like wildfire” as was spouted over and over again. Even the Health Protection Agency say (with respect to measles) “The geographical pattern does not suggest widespread circulation across the country.”

Furthermore, WDDTY found around a third of those people in Wales who contracted measles had already been vaccinated against the disease. They go on to say that similar surveys of vaccinated children in the US found 98% of them contracted measles. So measles where art thou?

After casting doubt on the measles component here and in previous posts, lets quickly move on to one of its bed-fellows – mumps. Now mumps doesn’t fare much better than measles.

In 2006, the United States had the largest mumps outbreak in two decades. A total of 6584 cases were reported, with an estimated incidence of 2.2 cases per 100,000 persons. In patients for whom vaccination status was known, 63% had received two doses of the mumps vaccine. The same mumps strain that caused a recent outbreak in the United Kingdom caused the 2006 outbreak.N Engl J Med 2008; 358:1580-1589

Why with doubts over the effectiveness of this combined MMR vaccine do governments, health authorities and doctors still persist in insisting this and other dubious vaccines are essential? Possibly something to do with the massive big pharma lobbyists that practically live with ministers? Gosh what a cynic I am…

Are we moving towards compulsory vaccinations?

The latest measles outbreak in Swansea is obviously concerning as any childhood illness is. But what I find more concerning is the move to demonize those parents who have decided not to vaccinate their child/children. As the numbers of infected people increases there ARE more scare tactics being spouted by health officials, politicians and the media.

Since the outbreak in Swansea there have been numerous radio phone-in shows, news reports and tv shows coming from a pro-vaccination angle where so-called medical experts repeat the mantra that measles “is a killer” and how people in poor countries queue for hours for vaccinations (Dr Rosemary Leonard who’s never off the radio/tv). Dr Leonard didn’t add that clean water, good nutrition and good sanitation would as we know clear up at lot of these diseases without vaccinations.

Coupled with this callers, some of whom are parents, rang up to radio shows only to abuse the non-vaccinated saying that we are putting everyone at risk, blah, blah.  Even when on one radio show a parent phoned in saying his child had developed autism immediately after receiving the MMR jab, the presenter still questioned that fact that his other child had not had the MMR, and could possibly be a danger to other children! Duh!

Presenters of these radio shows rarely allow the counter view I’ve noticed. Is it because they are scared the other side of the story will come out? They are not shackled by anyone. So why not have an open & honest debate instead of saying in effect: Andrew Wakefield has long been discredited so just get on with getting the MMR. To be honest my views on this having nothing now to do with Wakefield. I have seen too much evidence (although un-linked officially in the UK) of children becoming sick after receiving the MMR vaccination. I would highly recommend visiting for in-depth coverage of MMR and other vaccinations. 

But haven’t we been here before with Swine Flu a couple of years ago? Do you remember the insane assertion by Sir Liam Donaldson (the then Chief Medical Officer) that there would be 60,000 dead in the UK due to the Swine Flu outbreak and that vulnerable people need to have the Tamiflu vaccination. And what happened? Yup – nothing!

This is what is now happening with this current measles outbreak. People are being scared into getting the MMR not only in Swansea but across the country. Currently, there is a national push to target those children who have not received both doses of the MMR with “one-to-one” meetings with the doctor. More sinister are the calls for compulsory vaccinations. At the moment thank goodness, the majority of doctors are against this, but, if measles cases increase, especially in London which they are predicted to do, then I can envisage more and more health workers calling for compulsory vaccinations.

One thing the ‘experts’ keep on coming back to is herd immunity. We need (apparently) 98% coverage of MMR to prevent measles epidemics. Quick question: Macedonia had a 98% coverage of measles vaccination but also had a massive outbreak in 2011. Hmmm. Why is this? Furthermore, this killer disease apparently according to the Health Protection Agency claimed very few lives every year if any over the last 25 years.