Sunday, September 23, 2012

In Yet Other News, Bears Still Crap in the Woods

and measles prefer the crunchy (unvaccinated) Waldorf/Steiner pupils, especially those who travel. The Dutchess County Department of Health wrote Friday:
The Dutchess County Department of Health announced today a confirmed case of measles in a student at the Mountain Laurel Waldorf School in New Paltz, NY.  Anyone who has visited this school since September 10th or has had any contact with anyone from this school should immediately make sure that they are up to date with their measles vaccinations.  All medical practices and laboratories in the area should be on high alert that there may be a number of other children and families who have been exposed and could be communicable.
We have learned that a number of students at this school were not vaccinated and may become ill and put other children and families at risk for contracting measles.
Mountain Laurel Waldorf School has no alert on their website, but if the student attended the school for several days before being diagnosed, it may be too late anyway. A potential feast for epidemiologists (and bloggers), coming at high risk for the children involved.

On the other hand, Waldorf-minded parents might be delighted. In the Steiner philosophy, measles (and other rashy diseases) help the kids mature:
At the higher emotional and mental levels, negative forces such as greed and selfishness have also been expelled. So a child who has measles is afterwards less self-centered and more openhearted, and often more able to express his or her individuality. The personality becomes rounder and fuller, and more joyful and contented, as a step towards maturity and adulthood.
And don't worry about complications or death, since
Serious complications in childhood illness which produce permanent damage or even death are probably deeply founded in the destiny of the person concerned.
Yes, totally out there, but so is the entire cult (see Melanie Byng's excellent three part series on DC's Improbable Science blog). Steiner Kindies and schools and anthroposophically minded doctors have therefore been doing a great job in keeping measles circulating and racking up impressive case numbers, like the 174 within 3 weeks at a 300 pupil Steiner school in Salzburg in 2008 or the 400+ cases in the practice of one doctor in the 1999/2000 measles outbreak in Coburg Bavaria.

Hopefully, this new outbreak will end with as few cases as the recent outbreak at Ozark Adventist Academy.


  1. Sigh. Does it surprise you that the highest ranking non-vaxxers in California kinders are...Waldorf schools?

  2. I think some Waldorf schools in LA have around a 10% vaccination rate.

  3. No Liz it doesn't although rather than really adhering to Steiner's anthroposphy as a reason for their anti-vaxx stance, I think the crunchy parents are attracted to Woodorf schools because of their anti-vaxx friendly policy and of course, the pretty wooden toys.

    Anon, that is depressing and I know you are right because I looked at some stats not-too-long ago for CA school vaccine rates.

  4. I was just commenting the other day over at Respectful Insolence that Waldorf schools are bad news, when it comes to public health. I mentioned that they can be perfect little hubs for outbreaks. Then along comes this story. I really and truly hope that the index case didn't spread it to the other students. Hope, but not particularly optimistic.

  5. Close, anonymous. Highland Waldorf school in LA has a 16% vaccine rate and Westside Waldorf school in Pacific Palisades has a 26% vaccine rate (assuming that PBE holders are completely unvaccinated, which may not be so).