Woman who died from measles had been vaccinated

WDDTY headline with obligatory scary needle shot.

WDDTY headline with obligatory scary needle shot.

The Holy Trinity of anti-vaccinationists runs thus:

  1. Vaccines are dangerous.
  2. Vaccines don’t work.
  3. Vaccine-preventable diseases aren’t serious anyway.

And when one is rebutted they move to another, frequently in rotation, perennially moving the goalposts.

What WDDTY Don't Tell You about infectious disease.

What WDDTY Don’t Tell You about infectious disease when there is no vaccination.

Still, deaths from preventable disease are the anti-vaccinationist’s worst nightmare. Their narrative can only succeed in an atmosphere where the realities and consequences of preventable disease are a distant memory. We do recommend you watch The Vaccination Chronicles by Australian skeptic and all round good egg Richard Saunders.

Provable deaths in the newspapers are the ultimate heresy to the antivax cult. You need only look at the torrent of vile abuse heaped on the parents of Dana McCaffery by Australian antivax whackaloon Meryl Dorey. Your child died of vaccine preventable disease? Off-message. STFU.

So it is with the recent death of an American woman from measles.

The first death in 12 years from measles was reported last week from the USA, which had doctors emphasising the important of vaccination. However, what doctors didn’t tell you was that the woman who died had been given the MMR vaccine.

What they did tell you, however, was that she was immunocompromised, and thus in the high risk group for exposure to measles, a highly contagious disease. Hilariously, WDDTY try to spin this as an anti-pharma angle:

It’s believed the woman caught measles when she was in hospital, and she died because her immune system had been seriously compromised from too many pharmaceuticals.

Let’s get this straight, Lynne: you have no fucking clue why she was immunocompromised. She was on immunosuppressant drugs, there are a number of reasons for using these including transplants, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, control of severe allergic asthma.

The immune system is a complex beast and when it works against you, as it does in autoimmune disorders, you can suffer dramatic and life threatening symptoms.

All in all it’s just as well that all those products you pimp for “boosting your immune system” do no such thing. If they could, they would be dangerous.

Doctors at the hospital in Washington state, where she died, confirmed she had had the MMR vaccine when she was a child. One, Dr Jeanette Stehr-Green, also said on local TV that the woman had been taking medication that had interfered with her immune system, and made her more vulnerable to the measles virus.

Right, so you assumed that she was actually taking “too many pharmaceuticals” when actually you (and we) have no idea at all of her health history or the reason she was on immunosuppressant therapy. But you assume… What? That the doctors put her on it on a whim? Fatuous.

The hospital has refused to reveal the age of the victim, but have said she was not elderly.

Indeed. Measles kills indiscriminately, including years after the event due to subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. Odd that something as natural as measles turns out to be a real bastard. And don’t pretend you don’t know about SSPE: in October 2007, WDDTY said:

Latent infections also lie at the root of a number of serious chronic diseases that are dependent upon the immunological response, including progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy, a rapidly progressing neuromuscular disease, and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, a rare progressive brain disorder caused by an abnormal immune response to the measles virus. In fact, the latter is thought to be triggered, in some cases, by the MMR vaccine.

You cited this source: Latent Virus Infections. See where it mentions immunisation as a source of SSPE? Me neither. Of course nobody has ever checked this, have they? Oh, wait, yes they have:

For situations where cases of SSPE occur in vaccinated individuals who have no previous history of natural measles infection, the available evidence points to natural measles infection as the cause of SSPE, not vaccine.

WHO, Jan 2006.  And while it might be charitable to attribute your ignorance of the falsity of your claim, it would also be incredibly naive.

Mind you, that’s pretty tame. In September 1994 you said:

Besides causing dangerous mutations like atypical measles, the measles portion of the [measles] vaccine has been associated with numerous side effects, including nerve deafness, encephalitis, epilepsy, febrile convulsions, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (a paralysis) and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), a fatal wasting disease rarely associated with measles .

That was characteristically inaccurate, in that these things have “been associated” primarily by anti-vax cranks.

What does the reality-based community say? Two thirds of people with Guillain–Barré syndrome have experienced an infection before the onset of the condition, usually gastroenteritis or a respiratory tract infection. Vaccines can prevent some causes of these. In many cases the exact nature of the infection can be confirmed: approximately 30% of cases are provoked by Campylobacter jejuni bacteria, which cause diarrhea. A further 10% cases are attributable to cytomegalovirus (CMV, HHV-5). Despite this, only very few people with Campylobacter or CMV infections develop Guillain–Barré syndrome (0.25–0.65 per 1000 and 0.6–2.2 per 1000 episodes, respectively).[1] The strain of Campylobacter involved may determine the risk of GBS; different forms of the bacteria have different lipopolysaccharides on their surface, and some may induce illness while others will not.

While rare cases of GBS have been reported following flu vaccination, a link with measles virus is explicitly ruled out in “Pediatric Guillain-Barré syndrome”. Current Opinion in Pediatrics 25 (6): 689–693. doi:10.1097/MOP.0b013e328365ad3f

On we go:

She was receiving hospital treatment for several health problems when she caught measles from another patient. As her symptoms worsened, she was taken to the University of Washington Medical Centre in Seattle, where she died from pneumonia due to measles last spring.
Doctors did not establish the cause of death until the autopsy was carried out, as the woman did not display any of the usual symptoms associated with measles, such as a rash.

Yup. Rare, but not unheard of especially in the immunocompromised. It’s quite likely that there have been other deaths that were never identified as being due to measles, because these patients are by definition very sick anyway.

No other patient developed the disease, and the hospital is confident the outbreak has been contained.

Good, but it should never have had to be contained.

Measles cases showing uptick due to antivaccinaitonists.

Measles cases showing uptick due to anti-vaccinationists.

Measles vaccination rates declined due to anti-vaccination activists and especially the fraudulent work of Andrew Wakefield. As rates dropped below the levels required for herd immunity, measles infection rates rose.

Antivaxers are responsible for the greater prevalence of measles. Antivaxers are responsible for its return from near-eradicated status in the 1990. Antivaxers are responsible for the fact that the virus can circulate among a larger pool of people who are not immune. The unvaccinated are much more likely to contract measles than the vaccinated.

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