Thursday, October 20, 2011

So predictable - so sad, Natalie dies of SSPE

We had previously reported the case of Natalie, one of the children who contracted measles from an unvaccinated preteen in their pediatrician's practice in 2000. Natalie was 11 months old at the time. She came down with SSPE in 2007 (that is actually the average time lag between measles infection in infancy and the development of this fatal measles complication), she deteriorated, fell into a "wake coma" and now passed away due to organ failure.




Micha, one of the other babies infected by the same 11 year old is still dying... Measles vaccination and the resulting herd immunity for babies saves lives. Vaccine refusers turn their children into potential murder weapons.

27 comments:

  1. My heart breaks when I hear these stories. My prayers are with Natalie's family during these hard days.

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  2. Quite horrific that one familys' ideology could kill an innocent child.

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  3. My prayers are with Natalie's family, too. Their heartbreak is literally unimaginable.

    At what point are these parents who chose not to vaccinate their child held accountable? In court? By law enforcement? I sincerely hope that these non-vaccinating parents are sued in a court of law.

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    1. My son was deemed allergic to vaccines and they almost killed him. Doctors said once he turned 18 they would split the vaccines and try again. He's never been sick except for German measles when he was little. Vaccines cause sooooooo many problems as they are made with egg cultures. No one thinks about the allergic reactions to these

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    2. Even the vaccines not grown in eggs?

      If your son has a true contraindication against vaccines then you should be shouting on the roof tops that everyone who can be vaccinated get their vaccines. That way your son can be protected with community immunity.

      And since the above article is about measles, I present this recent study for your perusal: MMR vaccination of children with egg allergy is safe.

      By the way, I found it with this search:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=egg+allergy+vaccine

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    3. My child was ( she has now grown out of it at 20mths,by challenging her body by constantly including egg in her diet as her Allergist/Immunologist suggested) allergic to raw egg which is known to be in some vaccines. I STILL got her vaccinated but gave her a dose of antihisthamine to counteract any reaction and she is TOTALLY fine, vaccination and all :)

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  4. Just horrible. It's no wonder ped's now choose not to see non-vaccinated patients. By refusing that one child service, they just may be saving the lives of many others that could have been exposed to any preventable diseases while in the waiting room.

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  5. "Vaccine refusers turn their children into potential murder weapons"

    What a vile thing to say

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    1. Not vile at all. Honest. Not vaccinating is one of the worst things a parent can do. Unless the child has a medical reason, a VALID medical reason, for not being vaccinated, then vaccination should become mandatory. You can say that's vile all you like, it doesn't make it any less true.

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    2. I agree with Megan. I f they vaccinated their kids instead of using some stupid ideology to live by, then their kids would be much safer. I know about immuno-compromisation - having everone vaccinated protects those as well with herd immunity (community immunity if you like). Allowing kids to run rampant with disease and creating germ bombs is the same as playing bio-terrorism war-games. Diseases kill - vaccines do not. There has never in the last 20 years been a recorded death from a vaccine, and only 1 possible one in the period 1991/92 (and that could not be shown definitely to be linked with a vaccine) http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm
      To me there is no reason why people should choose to be ignorant and not vaccinate. Conscientious objection - pah. Saving lives by immunisation is far more important.

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  6. Anonymous - what a vile thing to do. I do not believe for a second that the parents of the index case *intended* this outcome. I am sure they are more horrified than any bystander and I pity them, because they have to live with this for the rest of their lives. But I do want to be provocative so parents who choose not to vaccinate (in a situation where this is their choice rather than a medical necessity) to be aware what they are risking and how little control they have over the consequences of their (non-)actions. That is all.

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  7. I have thankfully not seen a case of SSPE in about 20 years, but it was all too common prior to getting our measles vaccination rate up to over 90%. In fact for measles to stay under control the community rate really needs to be around 95% vaccinated. Everyone needs to read this, understand this, talk to someone who has seen this complication, and feel the pain that comes from losing a child due to a completely preventable disease.

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  8. Anonymous: What a vile thing to say

    Hmmm, let us recheck the facts:

    1: A unvaccinated child goes to a pediatrician because of an illness.

    2: The illness turns out to be measles, which is very infectious.

    3: Several children, including babies too young to be vaccinated, get measles from that child.

    4: Two of those children die.

    Tell us exactly how the parents not vaccinating the child who infected those children should not share the blame for the death of those children?

    Of course they did not know this would be a consequence of their actions, but they did initiate the actions that caused the tragedy. Most likely due to false information, like the fraudulent Wakefield paper.

    An analogy can be the actions of some guy who severely pruned back a tree in his yard. Except when he took the debris to a community dump he failed to secure the load. As he was driving a big branch fell out of the truck and landed through the windshield of the car behind him, causing serious injury to the driver.

    There can be serious consequences to negligence. And the diseases are still much more dangerous than the vaccines. Please remember that (or provide actual evidence if you believe that statement is wrong).

    (By the way, we lost a car due to an accident caused by an unsecured load from a truck, and the accident I described actually blinded a woman, which is why it is now illegal in our state to drive without securing and/or covering items in an open truck bed.)

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  9. I came here to check the links for Natalie's story for a piece I am putting up. I didn't know she had already died. Or that another story has come forward.

    People wonder why we in the autism parent community spend so much time countering misinformation about vaccines. This is why. Our community is partially responsible for suffering and deaths.

    I know one blogger who just had to quit. The fear, the stress, the knowledge that if we just worked a little harder, someone might be saved, was just too much. Times like this, I completely understand that decision. It took me a good thirty seconds to force myself to write the word "deaths" above.

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  10. Hi Matt - I am pretty sure that the MMR/autism discussion has nothing to do with Natalie's death and Angelina's SSPE. The non-vaccine decision of the people who infected them lay well before 1998 and Germany has its own brand of vaccine refusal that is shaped by anthroposophic thoughts and a deep suspicion of evidence based medicine and authority. This has changed a little bit with the translation of the originally English lies into German, but that happened over the past 8 or 10 years only.

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  11. I am an avid writer and researcher, so I enjoy viewing both sides of the issue. However, I think there is an underlying issue that I wish was MORE commonly pursued and that is understanding that sickness and disease stem from an immune system failure. Vaccines are designed to illicit an immune system response and remember it for a period of time, but obviously it does not come without risk. But what if that information could be transferred safely and naturally? It can. Products have been tested proven safe and effective. So instead of just running to nearest pharmacy for a pill or a poke, why not safely educate the immune system?

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  12. So instead of just running to nearest pharmacy for a pill or a poke, why not safely educate the immune system?

    What do you think a vaccine does?

    However, I think there is an underlying issue that I wish was MORE commonly pursued and that is understanding that sickness and disease stem from an immune system failure.

    Infectious diseases do not "stem from an immune system failure", they originate from exposure to pathogens.

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  13. If those parents could be so easily sued then why is it that the makers of the vaccine that has caused damage to someone's child be excused? This is a very sad story indeed but I have seen sad stories from the other side as well. I am very neutral in this subject but to say that vaccines are COMPLETELY harmless is ignorant. I believe that vaccines do have a place, I selectively vaxed my kids, but to call those kids murder weapons and say their parents should be sued? It's the pot calling the kettle black.

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  14. Anonymous, no one has said that vaccines are completely harmless; you're creating a strawman. To state that that vaccine manufacturers are excused is also completely false. In the U.S. those harmed by vaccines must first go through NVICP, if they are not satisfied with their judgement, they may sue vaccine manufacturers.

    Both Natalie's and Micha's death and pending death were completely avoidable and a result of someone else's negligence and selfishness. That's quite a difference than unforeseen harm that a vaccine may cause.

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  15. You don't think that this was an unforeseen occurrence? I highly doubt that the parents of this child knew this would happen. What if this child had gotten the MMR vaccine, had a reaction and was permanently brain damaged or died as a result? You said it yourself no one has said that they are completely harmless. Who's to say that any one child's life has more value over another? I've "seen" tragedies from both sides of the fence and they are all terribly sad. It breaks my heart. I am sure this child's parents were just doing what they thought was right by their child and never intended to bring anyone else harm, just as those who are advocates for vaccines think they are doing a great deal of good and I would like to think are not out to harm children.

    And this I believe will clear up any confusion you have about wether or not a parent can sue a vaccine manufacturer for an injury sustained by a vaccine. Unless of course I have completely misinterpreted it. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/supreme-court-decision-on-vaccine-injury/

    "Essentially this means that they cannot be sued for any side effect of vaccines. These are considered unavoidable risks, risks which we accept because they are vastly outweighed by the benefits. The vaccine court compensates those who may have suffered a side effect. Without this avenue vaccine manufacturing in this country would not be viable.
    But vaccine manufacturers can still be held accountable for avoidable harm due to a manufacturing defect."

    So YES they can be sued but not for an injury sustained by them.

    We all have risks we take everyday and according to this it kind of sounds like it's every man for himself. Yes I know it's seems as though a seemingly simple vaccine could have saved these kids lives but who's to say that the child who brought measles into the Dr's office couldn't have been harmed if they had received the vaccine? On top of that the vaccine is not 100% effective as we all know. I have a cousin who was fully vaccinated and she had a confirmed case of measles a couple of years ago. Thankfully no one at the Dr's office contracted it as far as we know.

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  16. You don't think that this was an unforeseen occurrence? I highly doubt that the parents of this child knew this would happen. What if this child had gotten the MMR vaccine, had a reaction and was permanently brain damaged or died as a result? You said it yourself no one has said that they are completely harmless.

    I think that if parents opt out of vaccines, then they need to take extra precautions and know clinical signs for VPDs. So yes, this could have been prevented. The chances of a child suffering from such a serious adverse event is ~1/millions doses so your mention of this as though it was a distinct possibility is just emotive.

    Who's to say that any one child's life has more value over another?

    Again, you're creating a false equivalence. An intentionally unvaccinated child infected and subsequently killed another child. I'd say that the parents of the unvaccinated child seemed to think that the life of their own was more important than any other wouldn't you or they wouldn't have done what they did.

    I've "seen" tragedies from both sides of the fence and they are all terribly sad. It breaks my heart.

    The "tragedies" from vaccines are very far and few between and the real ones (not hysterical band-wagon jumping parents' stories) are orders of magnitude less than tragedies from the corresponding diseases.

    And this I believe will clear up any confusion you have about wether or not a parent can sue a vaccine manufacturer for an injury sustained by a vaccine. Unless of course I have completely misinterpreted it. http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/supreme-court-decision-on-vaccine-injury/

    I'm not confused at all. You took an incomplete statement by Dr. Novella and ran with it, not misinterpretation, but not thorough either. Those injured by vaccines can still sue manufacturers but only after they have tried to seek relief through the NVICP. The Bruesewitzs took their case all the way to the SCOTUS so that refutes your belief right there. It just doesn't make sense to sue vaccine manufacturers in federal courts because the standard of evidence is so much higher in full tort litigation and that's the purpose of the NVICP, to make compensation easier in order to protect vaccine supplies.

    We all have risks we take everyday and according to this it kind of sounds like it's every man for himself. Yes I know it's seems as though a seemingly simple vaccine could have saved these kids lives but who's to say that the child who brought measles into the Dr's office couldn't have been harmed if they had received the vaccine?

    It is understandable that we all want to do what is best for our children but there is also a social contract that includes not spreading diseases that we have to consider. Parents can opt out of vaccines, that is their prerogative, but don't you think they then have a greater responsibility to protect others when their children have an illness that may be a VPD? Our selfishness as it pertains to our children and ourselves can only go so far before it has an impact on others' lives. The actual risks of diseases and vaccines have to be more thoughtfully considered before making such decisions and unfortunately, too many parents are making these decisions based upon bad information.

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  17. Yes, I agree with you that there are some parents out there who only go by hearsay and just jump on the bandwagon of not vaccinating their children. But I think there is a very good percentage (most) of us who don't vaccinate or do it either selectively and/or delayed are very well educated in our decision. I myself made my decision by thoroughly reading each and every vaccine insert. The one that i think every parent should have the knowledge as to where to find it. I also read the CDC's pink book. I looked at both the benefits and risks of BOTH sides. I also thoroughly researched every disease that we vaccinate for so I would know what the symptoms are and what to look for, and not just the ones I didn't vaccinate for because I knew that it was still possible for them contract it.

    I also believe that reactions to vaccines happen everyday and because *most* dr.'s are not trained and/or are told that it's just not possible for kids to have these kinds of reactions. I think it's a bunch of crap, as far as what parents have to go thru to get anywhere with the NVICP and the vaccine manufacturer is still protected. I don't see how it taking up to 10 years for a claim to be settled if it is at all, could be considered easy.

    I also hate that just because the research for these vaccines weren't done by the vaccine manufacturer or the government then they aren't real studies or they are pseudo science. That is just a bunch of BS. I really do believe that these studies are knocked down or kept out of the publics reach because if that happened then the whole vaccine industry would crumble. There are very good independent companies out there that have done studies. While I didn't base my decision on these studies, it helped me remain firm in my decisions after I had made them.

    I want my kid to be healthy and not have to suffer from some disease but I know that something is not right here and until it is proven otherwise, I am erring on the side of caution.

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  18. But I think there is a very good percentage (most) of us who don't vaccinate or do it either selectively and/or delayed are very well educated in our decision.

    Some parents do use solid resources but most don't. I know this because I have been involved with this issue for years now and I've seen the sources that are used and the arguments made against vaccination.

    I also believe that reactions to vaccines happen everyday and because *most* dr.'s are not trained and/or are told that it's just not possible for kids to have these kinds of reactions.

    Mild and moderate vaccine reactions do happen all the time but serious reactions don't; it's that simple and the stats support that. I do agree that many/most doctors are inadequate when it comes to dealing with potential vaccine reactions. I would like to see mandatory reporting of any potential vaccine reaction and let the CDC follow up.

    I think it's a bunch of crap, as far as what parents have to go thru to get anywhere with the NVICP and the vaccine manufacturer is still protected. I don't see how it taking up to 10 years for a claim to be settled if it is at all, could be considered easy.

    First let me clear up a couple of fallacies here; it doesn't take ten years for an NVICP. I think you're thinking of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding which did take that long but because there were so many petitioners claiming essentially the same thing that it was deemed necessary to roll them together, which ended up being less time than if heard individually. There are table injuries that are paid out quickly; other cases are resolved within a couple of years. The petitioners also have all legal and expert fees paid for by NVICP as long as their case is filed in good faith. This is far less burdensome than trying to go to 'regular' court. If that isn't satisfactory for you, then what kind of system do you propose?

    I also hate that just because the research for these vaccines weren't done by the vaccine manufacturer or the government then they aren't real studies or they are pseudo science. That is just a bunch of BS. I really do believe that these studies are knocked down or kept out of the publics reach because if that happened then the whole vaccine industry would crumble.

    Um, no. Most vaccine studies are not done by pharmaceutical companies. Most are done by academic institutions and government agencies. I think I know what you have been reading. All you have to do is a literature search on PubMed for 'vaccine adverse events' and you'll pull up a lot of science (some good, some rubbish), nothing buried. In fact, how do you explain the recent report by the IOM that deals with vaccine reactions for each vaccine?

    There are very good independent companies out there that have done studies. While I didn't base my decision on these studies, it helped me remain firm in my decisions after I had made them..

    Like what? Can you list these studies you find compelling?

    I want my kid to be healthy and not have to suffer from some disease but I know that something is not right here and until it is proven otherwise, I am erring on the side of caution.

    Your choice but you'll be waiting a long time and risking who-knows-what because you can't prove a negative.

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  19. I think the pediatric practice has some culpability. In the medical practice we go to, and many others in this country, a new system was implemented about five years ago. If any child or adult has a fever, or any signs of infection, they have to ring ahead to check how far "behind" their appointment time is. If they are behind, you are allocated an adjusted time of arrival.

    The practice has a huge parking area. With a fever or suspected measles or flu cases (mothers here still know what measles or flu is like, and there is plenty of information around to tell you), you are requested to ring reception on cell phone on your arrival at the car park, to identify the parking lot number your car is in, and wait. A doctor is then allocated to come out to the car to see the person concerned. If it is raining, the person in the car is rung on their cell phone by reception when the doctor is ready, and asked to go to the large covered, enclosed ambulance multi-bay. In winter, there is a special "infection only" side-area which is accessed from the ambulance bay, for use in really cold or wet weather where a better clinical assessement is needed.

    It's very clear from medical literature, that schools, doctor's reception areas, doctor's rooms, and hospitals are the best possible spreading areas for all infections.

    To me, (and the medical practice we go to) its wrong to knowingly allow anyone with a fever or any infection, to be sitting for potentially long periods of time in a waiting room which may well be full of diabetics, people with immune system problems etc, for whom even a simple cold might not be so "simple".

    At a time when the numbers of children with immunodeficiencies, allergies or chronic ill health is rising fast, it seems a good idea to go back to pre-60's system, when anyone infectious was seen in separate facilities.

    It just might be, sometime in the future, that all medical practices will have to do this, and anyway, it's common sense.

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    1. I concur wholeheartedly! Doctors should also provide house calls.

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  20. To me, (and the medical practice we go to) its wrong to knowingly allow anyone with a fever or any infection, to be sitting for potentially long periods of time in a waiting room which may well be full of diabetics, people with immune system problems etc, for whom even a simple cold might not be so "simple".

    I couldn't agree more! Important and effective infection control measures are forsaken at the cost of convenience.

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