Saturday, November 21, 2009

What's the risk? Part 1 (The Diseases)

Have you ever found yourself questioning the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, but didn't know if any risks came with not vaccinating? Have you ever had a family member or friend tell you what a "risk" you were taking with not vaccinating? Well in this post, I will explain the diseases we vaccinate against, how common they are, the symptoms or so called "severity" of the disease, how to naturally protect yourself, and if you need to protect yourself at all. In the next post, I will also take the time to show the other end of the argument, and what the "risk" is with the vaccines themselves. In other words, what ailments and diseases have been connected with the ingredients.

I will start with the diseases themselves:

Hepatitis A: A disease that can be found in undercooked meat, particularly shellfish and seafood. Hepatitis A is transferred through ingesting the fecal matter of an infected person. Symptoms usually appear within 2-6 weeks of exposure and can range from nothing at all (90% of infected children show ZERO symptoms), to fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, and in more severe cases, depression, jaundice and itching. The easiest way to prevent contamination is to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation, in other words, wash your hands. Exposure to Hepatitis A provides Life long natural immunity. Meaning you cannot get it again once you have been exposed once. In the US, your chance of getting Hepatitis A is very low. Here is a map showing the prevalence of Hepatitis A as of 2005:

Hepatitis B: Most commonly referred to as a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), Hepatitis B is spread through bodily fluids such as semen, blood, and vaginal fluid. Hepatitis B can also be spread through the use of recreational needles from drug use. Nearly all children and up to 50% of adults have ZERO symptoms with new infections. For those who do show symptoms (usually adults who have just received a blood transfusion or those with very weak immune systems), symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild fever, dark urine, and in some cases jaundice. Hepatitis B usually clears on its own in 3 weeks. Chronic Hepatitis B usually occurs in those with weak immune systems, or those who have other Hepatitis infections. 95% of people and children with Hep B infections will make a full recovery, and acquire a life long natural immunity to ever having symptoms again. A Hepatitis B positive mother only has a 20% chance of transferring it to her baby during the birthing process. Easy ways to avoid getting Hepatitis B are to abstain from unprotected sex, abstain from recreational drug use and needle sharing, and avoid blood transfusions unless absolutely necessary or make sure the blood has been tested for Hepatitis B pathogens.

Rotovirus: An illness that is characterized by a low grade fever, vomiting and runny diarrhea. Most complications occur from rotovirus when a child is not properly hydrated. Rotovirus is spread through the ingestion of an infected person's feces (poop). Easy ways to avoid rotovirus is properly wash yours and your child's hands to prevent contamination. Treatment of rotovirus is to maintain proper hydration. Rotovirus usually lasts 4 days to a week.

Diptheria: Once very common in the late 1800's, early 1900's, Diptheria has been nearly demolished thanks to better nutrition and better hygiene and sanitation. Diptheria is still common in underdeveloped countries where food and water are very contaminated and living conditions are extremely unsanitary. From 1980-1995 (15 years), only 41 cases total were reported in the United States. Between 2000 and 2007 (7 years), only 3 cases were reported. Diptheria symptoms include sore throat, low fever and an adherent membrane on the tonsils or nasal cavity. In the extremely rare case that Diptheria is caught, like Tetanus, it is treated with an anti-toxin.

Arguments have been made that Diptheria doesn't exist in the US anymore because of high rate of vaccinations. This is simply not true and although it was indeed better health and sanitation that eliminated the disease, here is an actual fact to disprove the theory that the vaccine was the cause for dropping cases. Diptheria is apart of the Dtap vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) is also apart of the vaccine. Pertussis cases have actually been rising over the years. In 1998, 7000 cases per year were reported, in 2007, 10,500 were reported. If it were true that the vaccine eliminated Diptheria, then why hasn't it eliminated pertussis as well? Why are those numbers continuing to climb every year? Also, cases of Diptheria had been dropping long before the vaccine came out. Here is the link to the graph that shows this statistic:
if you notice, there is even a jump in cases after the vaccine was introduced.

Tetanus: A very rare bacteria that lives in very old soil and is spread by very deep puncture wounds where Tetanus is harboring. Tetanus is common in underdeveloped countries from poor, unsanitary living conditions. Tetanus, like Diptheria, was common many many year ago when living conditions and nutrition was not that great. Tetanus occurs in about 40 people per year, or 1 in 6,800,000 (this stat was taken from 1999 actually, I couldn't find any stats for 2008, 2009). Most common symptoms are muscle spasms, or "lock jaw". Tetanus is treated with an anti-toxin.

Pertussis: An upper respiratory illness, Pertussis is characterized by 2 weeks of mild coughing, sneezing and runny nose. Following those 2 weeks, are approx. 2-4 more weeks of more aggressive coughing (hard coughing 5-10 times in a row). Following the disease is a week or two of recovery where symptoms subside and the child starts feeling better. A study done by the CDC concluded vaccinated children were actually silent carriers to the disease, not only infecting other vaccinated children, but the unvaccinated as well. Pertussis has actually been more common in vaccinated children than the unvaccinated. As mentioned before, pertussis is continuing to climb, despite high vaccination numbers (just to reiterate: in 1998, 7000 cases per year were reported, in 2007, 10,500 were reported.)
Here is the the CDC study done on fully vaccinate, pertussis infected children in an Israeli daycare:

Measles: Once a common childhood disease, Typical symptoms include fever, runny nose and a cough. A rash occurs at the end of the sickness duration which is actually the bodies way of expelling the virus through the skin (the skin is the bodies largest organ). In underdeveloped countries, 1000's of deaths occur from complications from measles, not the disease itself. Most common, children die over there from dehydration from the fever from not having a clean, adequate water supply. 95% of measles cases occur in underdeveloped countries such as Africa and some parts of Asia. In the United States, Measles is no more deadly than the chicken pox. Not only does lifelong natural immunity to Measles occur after infection, but when a girl gets measles, her body produces anti-bodies for any future babies that is transferred through the placenta and breast milk. Death from Measles was almost completely eliminated long before the vaccine came out, and that, like every other disease, was due to better health, sanitation, and nutrition.
Graph of deaths BEFORE vaccine came out:

Mumps: Like Measles, also another common childhood disease that actually rarely had symptoms in children. Most complications occur in adult males after puberty has hit and that includes swollen salivary glands and in rare cases, swollen testicular glands. If mumps is caught before puberty, symptoms are either non existent or very mild. Symptoms normally subside within 10 days, mumps is considered a mild disease in young children. Like Measles and most of the other diseases, once caught, naturally life long immunity occurs and mumps cannot be caught again.

Rubella: A very mild illness that usually produces no symptoms in children. When symptoms do occur, the most common is a red rash that can spread from the face to the trunk, and disappears within 3 days. Other symptoms can include low grade fever and headache. Serious complications from Rubella are extremely rare.

Varicella: A very common childhood disease. Chicken pox symptoms include small itchy red bumps that cover the body and lasts for about 1-3 weeks typically. Complications from chicken pox are extremely rare and usually only occur in pregnant woman and those with weak immune systems from underlying medical conditions. Common treatments are oatmeal baths, a little bit of vinegar in the bath water, and more "modern" forms include anti-itch topical medication. Its very important children acquire chicken pox in childhood, when it is much more mild. They also acquire a life-long natural immunity as a result.

Polio: Spread through the ingestion of an infected person's feces (poop) most commonly transmitted through drinking unclean water with fecal contaminates in it (which is why polio rarely exists anymore because of advancement in plumbing and water filtering systems). Despite the stigma that comes with the name, Polio is actually a very mild disease itself. In 95% of cases, there are ZERO symptoms. In 4% of cases, flu like symptoms appear, and in less than 1% of cases (actually, closer to 0.1%) muscle weakness or paralysis can occur. Most people who become infected with polio don't even know it. Polio was on the dramatic decline before vaccines came out. Here is the chart: and here is some more information on polio as well, since this seems to be one the diseases the media tries to play into being the most dangerous: The polio vaccine itself has been the biggest culprit in causing polio cases since 1961. An easy way to prevent polio is proper hand washing to prevent contamination.

Pneumococcal: Only "protects" against 20 of the over 80 different types of Pneumonia. Vaccines themselves can contribute to Pneumonia infection.

Heamophilus influenzae (HiB): Breastfeeding naturally protects against HiB. Most forms of HiB live in the body and do not cause disease, meaning, most people with HiB infection have ZERO symptoms. However, in those with respiratory illness or weakened immune systems, symptoms of the disease can occur. Symptoms can include a mild respiratory illness (sneezing, coughing, runny nose.) to more severe but rare case of pneumonia. HiB is treated with antibiotics and is spread through sneezing and coughing.


My Life in the Sunshine said...

Thank you so much for this blog! Good job!

Hethir said...

Thank you for all of your hard work and detication! I appreciate having so much info on one page. After reading one mom's disheartening bashing of non-vaxing parents on a forum, it's refreshing to have a place to go where I'm not alone!! :-)

Ceci said...

I just discovered this blog. What a great resource as something to help me back up my views of delayed vaccinations or no vaccinations at all. Thank you for your hard work!