(Note: case totals were updated as of February 15th, 2019. To date there have been 74 cases, and STILL no babies under 1).
Listen we’ve all heard for weeks about this “deadly epidemic” in Washington and why we need to get stricter with our vaccination laws. “These darn ‘anti-vaxxers’ are putting everyone’s life at risk!” they say. “And for something that’s totally preventable by a simple vaccine, one that’s completely safe.” Cue my well-meaning eyeroll.
Can we just take a second to break down the data from this “outbreak” so we can get a better picture of what’s going on? The Washington outbreak occurred primarily in Russian/Slavic Christian communities who conscientiously opt-out of some vaccines. Their objections, according to recent articles, stem from too many vaccines given at once, risk of adverse events associated with certain ingredients, and religious and cultural beliefs.
Well, what does this mean? Much like the outbreak in 2014 in a large Amish community (around 400 cases), and the recent NY outbreak in an orthodox Jewish community (around 100 cases), these types of outbreaks are centralized and self-limiting—which means they don’t spread like wildfire. These cases are also almost exclusively in communities who are CHOOSING not to be vaccinated. In other words, they are not random people “victimized” by measles. #dontfeelsorryforthem
But what else is interesting about the Washington outbreak? The age distribution of the 59 cases. There are ZERO cases in babies under 1 year, and only 3 cases in adults (at least one of whom was vaccinated). In the past 40 years we have seen many measles outbreaks with a high proportion of adults. In fact, over HALF of the Disneyland cases were in adults. See back in the 1980’s they discovered a widespread problem known as waning immunity, so they added a 2nd dose of MMR to the schedule to address it. (For more information on waning immunity see #truthpart9). Now, the ACIP is preparing to add a 3rd dose for all college-age students to try to stop adults from getting and spreading measles—THAT’S how common adults cases are. Yet in Washington, there were only three?? 🧐
On top of that, there were NO measles cases in babies under 1. This is so odd, because typically in outbreaks we see several cases in “babies too young to be vaccinated”. In the Disneyland outbreak, there were 14! So why is this important? Because adults and babies under 1 are the most vulnerable age groups for measles—it’s essentially harmless for schoolchildren, but more risky for younger and older individuals.
Wait, there’s more! The other important fact about the Washington outbreak is the hospitalization rate. Typically the CDC quotes 25% hospitalization for measles. (The Disneyland outbreak was 20%, though people are more likely to go to the hospital in today’s climate because of media fear—common reasons for measles hospitalization include dehydration or ear infection, which are easily treated). But the Washington outbreak had only 1 hospitalization out of 59 cases—that’s a 1.6% hospitalization rate. MUCH lower than what we usually see.
Now the big question is WHY? 👀 Well the adults in this particular community of Washington have naturally-acquired immunity to measles—they experienced the infection as children and now have lifelong immunity. As a result, mothers have transferred passive immunity to their babies which protected them in that first year when they would have been “at risk”, and adults are already immune.
**To recap: What you are seeing in Washington is not something to be feared nor is it a reason to force more mandates or remove exemptions (even though that is currently happening)—it is the epitome of the natural immunity model: where children are exposed to measles at an age-appropriate time, adults all have lifelong immunity, babies under 1 are protected by their mother’s passive immunity, and there is an extremely low complication/hospitalization rate. This is a model that cannot be replicated with vaccine-induced immunity. Doesn’t the fear seem a little displaced now? That and the fact that we had over 300 cases of measles last year in the US…and no hysteria. 50 cases amounts to hysteria only when there are legislative bills being written that year to impose stricter vaccine mandates. 😏
Is this all a coincidence my friends? Is the panic generated because of motive rather than data? In other words, could the media actually be encouraged to shift public beliefs on an issue to help pass legislation with a vested interest?