Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Me and the CDC

While writing last weeks post on Forbes magazine's infatuation with vaccination, I came across a statistic (wildly inconsistent the the current body of scientific evidence) that's bandied about endlessly in the vaccine community: as many as 1 out of every 500 contracting the measles will die from it. In the piece, I speculated as to where it's origin lie but it was only speculation. I decided to contact the CDC and wrote:
Your site makes this claim:
 For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.
What is the basis for this number? In the pre-vaccine era ~450 deaths occurred out of 3-4 million cases. That's far fewer that 1 or 2 deaths per thousand.
To their credit, they responded promptly, proffering this "answer":
Measles can have more serious effects and complications on children, especially children less than 5 years of age, than on younger adults. Pneumonia, which is more common in children, is responsible for approximately 60 percent of deaths. It is estimated that 1 out of every 1,000 children with measles will die. In the pre-vaccine era in the US, approximately 3 to 4 million cases occurred each year, but not all cases occurred in children. So, one would expect the mortality rate to be lower than 1 per thousand.
Very nice, but I don't actual see an answer to my question in the text. Do you? Was my question confusing or unclear? I don't think so.

But let's eliminate some extranious material to examine the question's clarity. Stripped down, the dialogue goes something like this:
Robert: What's the basis for the claim "for every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die."
CDC: It is estimated that 1 out of every 1,000 children with measles will die
No, the question was clear; maybe they were just avoiding it. Or maybe they don't even know their own sources. Neither is a glowing reflection on the agency. But I really was hoping for an answer considering the "statistic's" popularity within the vaccination community. Anyway it's no big deal. It's a point that can be easily refuted with citable evidence. And I'm sure one day, a source or rationale will emerge. 

More troubling than this unsatisfying response was the thought that some would have to deal with the CDC or another government agency to provide answers regarding questions of much greater importance - such as those involving vaccine injuries and their causes. What would those people do and what recourse would they have? It's a sobering question and, in light of the bureaucratic, pro-vaccine nature of the establishment,  one I'm happy I'll never have to ask


  1. Good question Robert! Sharing.

    ~B. St. Marie

  2. I am astonished that you even received an answer...

  3. Hi, Bunny

    Valarie, surprisingly, they're quite good responding. I submitted a question on aluminium a while back and, although I can't recall the usefulness of the response, it did come rather promptly.

  4. Grew up perfectly fine in a nicer more civil world with Measles, mumps chickenpox, a common occurance. Everyone in our school district got them. NO Deaths, NO Autism, No Shingles, hardly anyone medicated, not even for depression.Those were fun, bicycle riding, gone all day with bumps and briuses. No teatanus. Ffew bullies. No Suicides, no school shooting and hardly any vaccine shootings.

  5. number of deaths from measles in the U.S. since 2003: zero. Number of deaths reported in VAERS from measles vaccine reaction since 2003: 51

  6. I thought I'd share some insidevaccines articles we did on measles.

  7. The point being made (not clearly enough) is that the age distribution of measles has shifted from the pre-vaccination era to this era.

    I don't understand why there will be this shift in age distribution, but that's the point being made by the experts. Perhaps it has to do with the clumping of cases in schools that have low vaccination rates. Because it is expected that measles will now be a disease more of infancy, therefore the death rate will be higher.


    May 11, 2011 9:55 PM

  8. Schools would probably have a higher vaccination rate than any other part of the community surely....old people's homes for instance would be very low.

  9. Sheldon101 the change in age distribution is actually explained by the CDC, you just need to dig around a bit.

    Babies are getting measles because mothers no longer have immunity to pass on.

    Adults are getting measles because the vaccine doesn't provide lifelong immunity.

    Some children get measles because they are not vaccinated. The safest time to get measles is during childhood. Measles during childhood can provide lifelong immunity, something that the vaccine can never provide. It can also make it possible for mothers to protect their infants, another thing that the vaccine doesn't provide.

  10. Minority, those are some excellent links. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Please repost the response with the full headers.. who answered? How did you ask? Through their website or snail mail?

  12. Anonymous, you don't believe me?