I went on to write about how Sears’s downplaying of vaccine-preventable diseases was particularly ironic given what occurred in San Diego in 2008, when “a seven-year-old boy who was later revealed to be one of Sears’s patients returned from a family vacation in Switzerland with the measles.” Eventually, 11 other children were infected and dozens more were quarantined (some for up to three weeks); it ended up being the largest outbreak in California in almost two decades and cost well over $100,000 to contain.
Sears’s involvement with patient zero was not some sort of secret: It was also reported in a December 19, 2008 episode of This American Life, in the middle of an interview with Sears himself. (You can hear that part of the broadcast—”That’s Dr. Bob Sears. … Dr. Bob, as people call him, is also the doctor for the non-vaccinating family that went to Switzerland”—here. For people interested in the whole show, Sears comes in just before the the 34-minute mark.) It was also reported in Sears’s hometown newspaper, The Orange County Register.Several commenters on The Huffington Post asked Dr. Bob about his involvement with that outbreak and if the index case was in his waiting room. But he dodged:
Of course I remember the show, and her comment. BUT, she wasn't accusing me of being the pediatrician that the measles patient went to see when he had measles and sat in his waiting room. She simply stated that that child was my patient (which is correct, but they didn't come to see me during the measles illness). She was baiting me, and suggesting that the fact that that family had decided against the MMR vaccine long before they ever became my patients was MY fault. I wasn't about to give her the satisfaction of acknowleding her comment.He can't keep his pronouns straight and whether there was one or more children that Dr. Brown was referring to. Here is her comment from the Dr. Oz Show:
What I was referring to by the statement "I had no idea" was that I never knew anyone, much less a supposedly respected reporter, was spreading the FALSE rumors that I was the pediatrician involved in the outbreak. I have simply been the family's pediatrican over the years, but I practice far away from them, so they went to a local ped for THIS problem. Anyone who has written or suggested otherwise printing false information.
PLUS, I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOU, AND SOME OF THE OTHER NEGATIVE COMMENTORS TO MY BLOG, FOR HELPING TO PROVE MY POINT. It seems that when a doctor's patient chooses not to vaccinate, then catches one of the diseases, IT BECOMES THE DOCTOR'S FAULT? SO, WHY WOULD DOCTORS TAKE FURTHER RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY FOR THEIR PATIENTS' DECISION AND SIGN THEIR NAME TO THE EXEMPTION FORM? That's my point; I appreciate you furthering my cause against AB2109.
"...And as an example, there was a 2008 measles outbreak in San Diego where an unvaccinated child developed measles, was in the doctor's waiting room where other unvaccinated children then got measles. In fact one of those children was too young to be vaccinated and contracted measles and ended up in the hospital. And I think those were actually Dr. Bob's patients."The implication being that the index case and others infected were all Dr. Bob's patients and he acknowledged that they were. It would also be a hell of a coincidence that these were Dr. Bob's patients but were all in another paediatricians office at the time of transmission. This is what led me to post the accusation that the children were in his waiting room. He knew of the blogpost and had numerous opportunities to address the claim as false but he didn't. However, in the interest of fairness I will post what he has recently stated:
The Panic Virus. Here is what Mr. Mnookin declared:
When I explained that I was not actually interested in advertising on Sears’s website but wanted to interview him, I was assured that Sears would be in touch in short order. After not hearing back for two more weeks, I emailed again; still, nothing. Finally, on July 14, Sears wrote to me, claiming that he’d emailed me previously but never heard back. (Perhaps he’d been emailing Seth Minooken.) We arranged a time to speak, but he didn’t answer his phone. We arranged a second time to talk, and finally, on July 21, 2009, we conducted our first interview; over the coming months, we spoke one more time and had several email exchanges.
Finally, it seems worth noting that during the entire time I was working on The Panic Virus, never once did a representative from a pharmaceutical company or a government official even obliquely discuss any type of financial arrangement. In fact, there were only two people who did: One of Sears’s office minions and the man Sears is embracing in the picture below: Andrew Wakefield.That said, Liz Ditz pointed me to a local article that ran regarding the 2008 measles index case along with her report of it.
The index case, the 7 year old traveler, attends a "progressive" charter school in San Diego, which serves grades k-7 and has an enrollment of 358. At the beginning of the outbreak, nearly 10% of the student body were unvaccinated and were quarantined at home. Voice of San Diego reported on February 4:
34 unimmunized students at San Diego Cooperative Charter School (SDCC) are stuck at home, said principal Wendy Ranck-Buhr. The students can't come to school until Feb. 21, unless they get immunized against the illness.
By February 12, the 34 had dropped to 17, according to a bulletin from SDCC.
UPI reported that up to 50 children are quarantined, including the Baldwin Academy students, the SDCC students, and unvaccinated students at the Murray Callan Swim School (which has classes for infants as young as three months).
The current measles outbreak in San Diego was sparked by an unvaccinated 7 year old child who acquired the disease in Switzerland, and so far has infected two infants too young to be vaccinated. The infants both acquired the highly-contagious disease by being at the Children's Clinic in La Jolla at the same time as the virus-shedding 7-year-old.Dr. Bob is not directly responsible for the 2008 measles outbreak that I had previously reported.