STUPIDITY SATURDAY Continues: Anti-Vaxxers Resurrect Measles With An Assist From California

jenny_mccarthy

The anti-vaccination crowd, let by such worthies as professional bimbo Jenny McCarthy (above), endangers the public health and undermines child safety by relying on various conspiracy theories and quacks to avoid a proven program of eradicating infectious diseases. Now measles, once considered extinct, has returned with a vengeance, with more reported cases in 2014 than any time since 2000.The reason is that not enough children are being vaccinated against it. Jenny and her pals are why.

Before measles vaccines became routine in 1963, between three and four million Americans a year got the disease, with 400 to 500 dying from it annually. So this isn’t a matter of kids getting the sniffles.

The New York Times:

Dr. James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the outbreak was “100 percent connected” to the anti-immunization campaign. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise — it wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” he said. “There are some pretty dumb people out there.”…“The majority of the cases that we are seeing here are underimmunized,” said Dr. Eric G. Handler, the public health officer for Orange County, referring to children who had not been vaccinated or had received only one of the two necessary shots. “This is a serious contagious disease that is preventable. The message is absolutely critical that if you are not vaccinated, you need to get vaccinated.”

Yet in a case of stupid meeting stupid—a perfect stupid storm—the anti-vaxxers in Californians can avoid the legal requirement to have their kids vaccinated  for measles, mumps and rubella because Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing parents can get a “personal belief waiver” if they think there’s a link between vaccines and autism and other harmful effects.

Since when is there a right to be stupid, if being stupid might kill your child, or make another child sick? This isn’t a religious freedom issue; it’s an “I can do whatever I damn please” issue, which you wouldn’t think would get too far in a nanny state like California. If a parent can’t claim that his or her religion mandates stupidity, the form California makes available just requires a doctor certifying that the parent has been informed of all of the risks  that the parent refuses to believe. Then it’s Welcome Measles!

The Washington Post:

A new study this week finds strong evidence that people who rejected vaccines for their young children are clustered together in the same communities. And that only increases the risk that measles — a highly contagious respiratory disease that was believed to have been eradicated 15 years ago — will spread to more children.Researchers analyzing records for about 55,000 children born in 13 northern California counties between 2010 and 2012 found five geographic clusters of 3-year-olds with significantly higher rates of vaccine refusal. These included East Bay (10.2 percent refusal rate); Marin and southwest Sonoma counties (6.6 percent refusal); northeastern San Francisco (7.4 percent); northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville (5.5 percent); and south of Sacramento (13.5 percent). By comparison, the vaccine refusal rate outside these clusters is 2.6 percent, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics. These are some of the most privileged parts of the Bay Area, although South Bay counties around Silicon Valley aren’t on the list. The median household income in Marin is $90,535, compared to $61,094 in the state of California.

Thus Orange County, so called anti-vaxxer “Ground Zero,’ also leads the nation in measles outbreaks. The following chart shows dramatically what stupidity has wrought:

measles.phpCalifornia and the other twenty of so states that allow parents to threaten the health of the population because of “beliefs” need to start thinking. They don’t let people abuse gays because they believe they are sinners; they don’t let white supremacists who himself believe blacks are inferior refuse to serve them food; they don’t let employers who believe women should be kept barefoot and pregnant run their staffs accordingly. This misbegotten “belief” is as ignorant and harmful as any of those. If you want to be stupid, fine: just know that your children will have to wear Hazmat suits to school and when they visit Disneyland.

I suspect they won’t like that.

_______________________

Sources: NYT, Mashable, Time, Washington Post

Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at jamproethics@verizon.net.

31 thoughts on “STUPIDITY SATURDAY Continues: Anti-Vaxxers Resurrect Measles With An Assist From California

  1. Idiots.

    It is a shame that these folks don’t put themselves at risk rather than their children. Hmmm, I wonder if a clever DA could make a case for child endangerment? It seems like a pretty reasonable case…..

    I recall reading a biography of Abigail Adams a while back. Not only did her home town suffer through a lethal measles epidemic when she was growing up (I want to say the mortality rate was 5 or 10% but that could be way off), but as a young wife she had to wait at home while her husband John voluntarily submitted to a smallpox vaccination, which included a month long quarantine. I believe the mortality rate from the vaccination was about 1% (don’t remember how many actually came down with smallpox).

    People then accepted that level of risk because the threat was so much higher.

    We have basically eradicated so many endemic infectious diseases here that people have forgotten what a scourge they have been throughout history.

    Idiots.

  2. We had also once eliminated diphtheria and leprosy from this country. They’re back, too. Malaria had just about been eradicated. Then the liberals banned DDT. And a well stacked playmate is the poster girl for this?

      • A woman came out with a book entitled “Silent Spring” in which she claimed that DDT was destroying bird populations by causing their egg’s shells to become too thin and prone to crack easily. Many of her claims were later discounted by research, but it provided a cause for liberal elements in Congress to get in good with the environmentalist movement by pushing through a ban. Without American DDT, malaria in Africa staged a comeback and now is a big killer of children and the elderly once again. We’re also9 seeing a resurgence of it here. DDT was likely overused back in the 1950’s, but that could have been corrected. Banning it sentenced millions of people to death.

        • Glad I decided to check before replying to Michael mtse3lf. That is an excellent summation. Sadly, that was not the first nor will it be the last time the far left perpetrates a hoax in an effort to stampede the public into taking a stupid action.

          • Then came Paul Ehrlich’s “The Population Bomb”. I actually bought the book and was impressed by it. There’s a good lesson in why young people should stay out of politics until they’ve gotten a little life’s experience under them.

  3. This movement is not being led by liberals, it is being led by stupid people. Some are liberals, some are super-conservative — all are convinced that they know more than the doctors.

    • For once, I agree with you. Believe it or not, California does have conservatives, and they are just as crazy as anybody else. I picture an aging hippy, sitting at a computer, cackling like a witch, while making up idiotic rumors so that gullibles like Jenny McCarthy will be duped. For the record, Jenny may or may not be a conservative, but she is stupid beyond belief.

    • On the left you have the granola crowd that rejects ‘un-natural’ things like flouride and vaccines.
      On the right it’s the ultra-religious. They appear a bit more dangerous because they also go on missions to where the diseases they are not vaccinated against are prevalent.
      In 2014 there were 384 cases among the Aumish. It was brought to them by a missionary.

  4. While I am a firm supporter of vaccinations, The analysis could have been much better and less easy to refute because of some of the assertions used to buttress the argument for vaccinations.

    The purpose of getting your child vaccinated is to prevent them from getting Rubella or the Measles from others and is not designed to prevent them from being a carrier. But, not contracting it means you are not a transmission vector. What is missing from this analysis is the fact that we had a large number of unvaccinated children entering southern California and other border states in 2014. This could be the real reason for the huge increase in measles cases. Attributing the spike to the anti-vaxxers alone is in my mind poor analysis.

    This quote is an example of bias when it attributes all cases to anti-vaxxers.

    “Dr. James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the outbreak was “100 percent connected” to the anti-immunization campaign. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise — it wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” he said. “There are some pretty dumb people out there.”…“The majority of the cases that we are seeing here are underimmunized,”

    Dr., couldn’t the large number of illegals flooding southern California have a significant effect on the outbreak numbers? If you are an anti-vaxxer you would not have under-immunized cases you would have unimmunized cases

    I also found the citation from the Washington Post did not match the reality of the geography.

    “A new study this week finds strong evidence that people who rejected vaccines for their young children are clustered together in the same communities. And that only increases the risk that measles — a highly contagious respiratory disease that was believed to have been eradicated 15 years ago — will spread to more children. Researchers analyzing records for about 55,000 children born in 13 northern California counties between 2010 and 2012 found five geographic clusters of 3-year-olds with significantly higher rates of vaccine refusal. These included East Bay (10.2 percent refusal rate); Marin and southwest Sonoma counties (6.6 percent refusal); northeastern San Francisco (7.4 percent); northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville (5.5 percent); and south of Sacramento (13.5 percent). By comparison, the vaccine refusal rate outside these clusters is 2.6 percent, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics. These are some of the most privileged parts of the Bay Area, although South Bay counties around Silicon Valley aren’t on the list. The median household income in Marin is $90,535, compared to $61,094 in the state of California.

    Thus Orange County, so called anti-vaxxer “Ground Zero,’ also leads the nation in measles outbreaks.”

    The first part makes no mention of the actual rate of measles outbreaks in the Bay area counties but then asserts Orange County leads the nation in Measles outbreaks. But the refusal rate in Orange County is the low 2.6% rate cited.

    For the geographically challenged, Orange County is over 400 miles away from Sonoma, Marin, and East Bay. Orange County the epicenter of the Measles outbreak is but one county away (San Diego) from the Mexican border.

    Not getting vaccinated against a disease impacts only the unvaccinated. If they want to expose their kids to that risk they are willfully ignoring the known risks and focusing on perceived risks that have no supporting scientific evidence. They can only affect the public health of the unvaccinated.

    As long as my kid is vaccinated, the likelihood of him/her contracting and spreading measles is nil.

  5. It is roughly the same thing. An infected person is a carrier but until that person has communicated the disease they are not a specific transmission vector.

    Wiki: a vector is any agent (person, animal or microorganism) that carries and transmits an infectious pathogen into another living organism.

  6. Mayim Bialik deserves the greatest scorn among the Hollywood crowd. Not only is she famous, she has a doctorate in neuroscience, so she can also have an appeal to authority.

  7. Since when is there a right to be stupid, if being stupid might kill your child, or make another child sick? This isn’t a religious freedom issue; it’s an “I can do whatever I damn please” issue

    Same thing. Belief and behaviour based on faith not fact.

    You see the same thing on both sides of the “Climate Change” issue.

        • Obviously I wasn’t as clear as I should have been.

          The argument for the superiority of IOS vs Android is a “Religious” argument. The argument for baseball vs cricket likewise. Green vs Purple. Calvinism vs Arminianism. Ginger vs Mary Anne.

          • That is a definition of “religious” which you pulled directly from your buttocks. It must be fun to rearrange the English language to match your prejudices.

            The word you are trying to replace with “religious” is the perfectly functional “subjective.” They don’t exactly align in a Venn diagram.

            Do you call yourself a “bright” too?

      • Christianity is not a synonym for Religion.

        Many ideologies are Religious in nature. They have as little to do with facts or evidence as possible, lest facts undermine them.

        As for “normal people”, I find the word “normal”,like the words “fascist” or “communist” to carry so much baggage that it’s almost useless.

        “Usual” vs “unusual” is often better than “normal” vs “abnormal”. “abnormal” implies “undesirable”.”unusual” does not.

        Besides which, I’m led to believe that Christianity is considered quite normal in the US, even the Young Earth Creationist variety, along with belief in various ghosts and evil spirits,

  8. I have to wonder if there is a correlation between the anti-vaccination folks and the people who were getting hysterical over the Ebola cases here in the States. But I digress.

    Picture this scene: A wagon rolls through the center of town collecting dead bodies from the epidemic that was ravaging the city (“Bring out your dead.”).

    One might easily think of medieval times, of the Black Death in Europe, smallpox or cholera epidemics. All likely to be true.

    But the town I had in mind was Philadelphia and the year was 1919. Yes, the United States in the 20th century — not all that long ago. That worldwide influenza epidemic at the end of WWI killed tens of millions across the world. The hardest hit, actually, were healthy adults — those with the most robust immune systems, the elderly not so much.

    I don’t think any of us have seen an epidemic on that scale here in the U.S., but I really wish the anti-vaxxers could get some history lessons so that they might realize just what the potential stakes are. However, it’s hard for mere facts to penetrate closed minds.

    Here is another cheery thought. Thinking about Jack’s statistics for measles (3 to 4 million cases in the early 60’s with 300-400 deaths), it is evident that measles was a much less deadly disease than a couple centuries prior. I would expect that we all had some inherited immunities and adaptations to the disease from constant interactions over numerous generations.

    What happens if, after several generations of mass immunizations those inherited immunities fade — and then there is another major epidemic?

  9. Shouldn’t parents who knowingly ignore science and choose to not get their children vaccinated who then bring their kids around persons who cannot get vaccinated (like infants or people who legitimately cannot take the vaccines) open themselves up to civil liability?

    I say if a loved one gets infected and I can draw a line to your kid, I should be able to sue you for your reckless and irresponsible behavior.

  10. Here is an opposing view on measles.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/measles-pre-vaccine/

    I had heard that I actually had the measles sometime about thirty years ago, during the early to mid-1980’s (which of course means that I can never again contract the measles.) I was not hospitalized.

    Can you imagine popular culture in the 1960’s (let alone the 1910’s) making light of smallpox? Or a TV show from the 1990’s (let alone today) making light of AIDS?

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