Thursday, June 18, 2015

Throw Back Thursday - Face of Childhood Communicable Disease

In honor of the Measles Outbreak in California being over - this is one of my articles from last year.

Interestingly, of the infected only 15% were hospitalized. There were no deaths and no brain injuries.  Oh... and close to 50% of those who got the measles, had been immunized. So there's that. 

HT Cheryl Atkinson Blog. 

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From time to time, I get sucked into the mommy wars about vaccines.  "Are you pro-vaccines? or anti-vaccines?"  and then of course there are all of the stereotypes that go with each label. This was a big week for that since the new MMRV vaccine in Canada has show to increase the risk for tactile seizures in recipients. 

What tickles me to death though are the moms who eloquently write about how dire the childhood disease of measles, mumps, pertussis and chicken pox were - how children were at death's door or severely disfigured by these diseases.

So I pulled these photos out of my picture box.   This is a picture of me and my little sister from the early 1960s.  We both got measles, mumps, and chicken pox and I'm pretty sure I also had pertussis although my mom had a different name for it at the time. I remember that distinctive cough.
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I remember us both being covered with rashes and spots, trying not to itch, and standing naked in front of my grandmother sitting on the couch as she tried to make sure she covered every inch of our afflicted bodies with lotion to ease our suffering.

I also remember getting to sleep in her bed while we recovered and getting to eat a lot of ice cream and watch a lot of t.v. as well as looking at the Childcraft books in my grandma's room.

When I mention that I had all of those diseases to young moms at these web sites, they either don't believe me or they tend to think I was one of the few survivors of the plague.  I assure them that not only did I survive these infections, but so did my sister, and so did every other kid we went to school with back then.  (I only know of one kid who ever went to the hospital for these types of diseases and that was due to a reaction to the small pox vaccination that scarred us all for life.  As anyone my age to show you that scar; it was the branding of my generation. )
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Getting these childhood diseases was a rite of passage, just part of growing up.  Interestingly, the very old and very Amish Pathway Readers book for second grade features a story about a little girl named Rachel who can't go to the zoo because she comes down with the measles.  She stays at home until she gets better.  The wait is on for her siblings to get it too!

Just as Rachel and her family survived and thrived after the measles, sis and I did just fine as well.  We finished school and went on to have productive and relatively healthy lives. In fact, we may be better off for it.  I haven't had a flu shot in over 20 years and other than a couple of colds, I'm pretty healthy.

For the record, I work with my pediatrician to selectively vaccinate and I appreciate his willingness to work with me on this.  But I really wish my kids had had a chance to get real life-long immunity from the actual short-lived childhood diseases.

Want to read a great post about the risks of the vaccine vs. the disease with lots of other informative links - the mom at LivingWhole.Org blog does a great job with that!










2 comments:

Janette said...

I am glad you had a wonderful time with your childhood diseases. I remind you that my mother lost a baby to measles. None of us saw children who lost hearing or brain function to mumps - because unlike today- they were put in special schools. I find it disingenuous that you continually speak against most vaccines when so many feel they are good- including the Pope. it is an issue that you should do a bit more research on since it has been disproven that autism is caused by vaccines and the original stem cells to develop some have long since gone to the wayside. Not protecting the well ones puts those unwell ones more at risk. Since I do not believe in aborting unwell babies (encouraged by most obs these days) protecting them should be a priority.

Elena LaVictoire said...

The pope didn't demand that Catholics vaccinatehttp://www.mydomesticchurch.com/2014/07/the-catholic-vaccination-dilemma.html You're asking me why I don't succumb to the appeal to the popular logical fallacy? Really?
How do you know your mother wouldn't have miscarried anyway?
I've done a lot of research Janette and I do selectively vaccinate. BTW, did you know that new vaccines are not double blind placebo studied before they enter the market place?
Did you also know that vaccine injury isn't covered by regular health insurance?
there is also a completely different system for compensation for vaccine injury funded by the federal government?
And some of the biggest supporters of vaccinations are also in favor of population control.

I think there is plenty of room for skepticism here Janette and I think that too is part of protecting children.

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