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COLUMN: The Pregnancy Vaccine Scare That Should Have Never Been
The Daily Beast
September 24, 2017
"Last week, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that an influenza vaccine given in the first trimester of pregnancy might have caused miscarriages. News outlets all over America picked up the story. The CDC's claim wasn't trivial. About 50 percent of all pregnant women in the U.S. receive an annual influenza vaccine... Six previous studies had failed to find any evidence that an influenza vaccine given during the first trimester had increased the risk of spontaneous abortions. In other words, the CDC study was an outlier...The authors of this paper concluded by stating, "This study does not and cannot establish a causal relationship between repeated influenza vaccination and spontaneous abortions." Which is why it should never have been published. The authors also concluded that "further research is warranted." One could argue that the research spurred by this paper should focus on how many women will now choose not to receive an influenza vaccine during pregnancy, putting both themselves and their unborn children at needless risk... PAUL OFFIT, MD."
A flu vaccine may protect your heart, too
September 25, 2017
"Flu season and more importantly, flu shot season is here. It's common knowledge that the flu vaccine prevents the misery of influenza and helps protect vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, young children, and the chronically ill. But did you know that getting a flu shot might also prevent a heart attack or stroke? Influenza, typically called flu, is a highly contagious respiratory viral infection easily spread from person to person when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk... While anyone can have complications from the flu, people with cardiovascular problems are at higher risk to develop them, which can lead to respiratory failure, pneumonia, heart attack and/or stroke, and can also worsen pre-existing conditions like heart failure, diabetes, or lung disease, including asthma. A study published in the prestigious medical journal JAMA found that getting a flu vaccine reduced the risk of heart attack, stroke, heart failure or other major cardiac event-including death-by about a third over the following year. It's possible, though not yet proven, that flu increases the risk of a clot forming in blood vessels and/or that flu virus can provoke inflammatory changes in the blood vessels that contribute to heart attacks."
Vaccine Skeptic Message Gets Bolder
September 25, 2017
"It's Sage's fifth birthday. She's wearing a pin that tells the world, and she's carrying a sign, too. 'Today is my 5th B-day,' it reads. 'Denied school because I don't have 39 vaccines.' Sage's mom, Dene Shulze-Alva, has brought her to Houston from Los Angeles to protest against vaccine laws. She's refused to vaccinate her children and is upset that means they soon will not be able to enroll in any school in California. She's among four dozen or so people gathered outside on a hot late-summer morning, joining a hard core of activists who believe that all vaccines are dangerous and have become increasingly emboldened about denouncing the medical establishment. So Sage is spending her birthday on a narrow verge of grass in front of a Houston hotel, waving signs on a highway overpass as traffic passes by. 'Look at her. She's 5. She's maybe 28 pounds. I can't inject her with the dose they are requiring,' says Shulze-Alva, a chiropractor. None of her children are fully vaccinated, says Shulze-Alve, who smiles pleasantly and patiently lays out her arguments."
When A Stethoscope Doesn’t Mean Integrity
American Council on Science & Health
September 22, 2017
"When we think of a healthcare provider, the picture that most often comes to mind is of someone in a long white lab coat with a stethoscope slung around his or her neck. And we tend to accept much of what they tell us (although not as much as we used to) because we understand the extent of their education and experience... However, Americans' trust in the medical profession as a whole isn't as great as it used to be - as depicted in the New England Journal of Medicine: 'In 1966, nearly three fourths (73%) of Americans said they had great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession. In 2012, only 34% expressed this view. But simultaneously, trust in physicians' integrity has remained high.' But if that trust in physicians' integrity is misplaced the results can have negative impacts on not just an individual but on large swaths of society. Think of the unvaccinated kids who have succumbed to measles or other diseases because their parents think vaccines cause autism. And unfortunately, we have numerous examples of otherwise respected physicians who have stepped off the path of medical probity to gain attention, book deals, supplement promotions, and of course money."
NYC hepatitis A outbreak infects 46 male patients, most of whom had recent sexual contact with men
New York Daily News
September 22, 2017
"An outbreak of hepatitis A has affected 46 men who live in the city, the Health Department said Friday. The patients were mostly men who had sex with men or had sexual contact with men between Jan. 2 and Aug. 31, the department said. One of the cases was a female patient reporting sexual contact with a bisexual male, the Department of Health said. The agency is recommending that men who have regular sexual contact with other men be vaccinated against hepatitis A. Of the 46 cases, only three patients with the infection reported previously receiving a hepatitis A vaccine. The majority of the patients, 37, had not traveled to countries where hepatitis A is present."
Grim conditions in public restrooms hurt fight to halt deadly hepatitis outbreak in San Diego
Los Angeles Times
September 24, 2017
"Dozens of homeless people on Thursday morning were sprawled out in the courtyard on 15th and Commercial streets outside of Father Joe's Villages in San Diego. The crowd - some listening to music on headphones and most toting multiple pieces of luggage - gathered for a free lunch doled out regularly by the homeless shelter. Frazier Johnson waited patiently among them as a line for food began to form around 11 a.m. The calm 47-year-old wore a fresh long-sleeved T-shirt and a white goatee framing a healthy looking face. Johnson said he closely tracks his meal times because they determine when he will need to be near one of the public restrooms accessible to the down-and-out. 'If you don't, then you're going to have a situation on your hands,' he said with a soft smile and dark, lucid eyes. Johnson, who arrived from Texas a few months ago, said finding a clean bathroom in downtown San Diego can be challenging. However, he doesn't blame local officials."
Crews Battling Brush Fire Exposed to Human Feces, Potentially Hep A
September 24, 2017
"A fire in a Spring Valley homeless encampment has exposed firefighters to human feces and potentially Hepatitis A, according to San Miguel Fire. The fire started around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning at Spring Canyon Drive off I-125. San Miguel Fire, San Diego Fire-Rescue, Bonita Fire and Heartland Fire all responded. The fire was maintained at one acre, but the homeless people who live in the encampment have been using the stream nearby. 'The homeless population use this stream for what most of us use toilets our sinks or showers and bathtubs,' San Miguel Fire Battalion Chief Andy Lawler, said. The area near the stream was slippery, causing firefighters to slip and potentially expose themselves to the disease. The county has talked about putting portable bathrooms and wash stations in the area but have not done so yet. 'This is one of the homeless encampments that we have been trying to deal with over the years,' Malcolm Gettmann, president of the local homeowners association told NBC 7. Gettmann has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years."
Hawaii reports the most mumps since the 1970s
Outbreak News Today
September 23, 2017
"The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) continues to investigate an increasing number of cases of mumps infection statewide. Through Sep. 21, state health officials have reported 384 confirmed cases year-to-date- Oahu (334), Kauai (32), Big Island (17) and one in Maui. According to the state epidemiologist, Sarah Park, these kind of numbers have not been seen since the 1970s. The disease has been confirmed in adults and children, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. 'This is a community and statewide outbreak,' said DOH spokeswoman Janice Okubo. 'Any cases in schools are only an indication of disease activity associated with that particular community.'"