ONTD Political

Anti-vaccine book tells kids to embrace measles

7:09 am - 01/08/2013
A new children's book introduces kids to the "wonderful world of illness"
By Katie McDonough


Measles is responsible for thousands of tragic (and preventable) deaths each year. Which is perhaps why so many reviewers are panning a new (and apparently self-published) book by Stephanie Messenger, an Australian author and anti-vaccine activist. According to the author’s page, “Melanie’s Marvelous Measles” was written to:

Educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body. Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children’s vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against.


Amazon reviewers have not taken kindly to Messenger’s suggestion that measles can be an “adventure,” either. As one recently wrote:

Isn’t Melanie lucky that she didn’t get pneumonia from her measles like 1 in 15 children (7%) do? I had measles when I was a toddler in the 1950s before there was a measles vaccine available. I was in hospital in an oxygen tent for over a week with bilateral pneumonia when I had measles.


And another:

I can only presume that the author was born after the successful vaccination programme made people complacent about the dangers of measles. I was not so lucky. In the epidemic of my childhood I was nearly blinded, and still have scars on my eyeballs. I was the lucky member of the family; my sister died from complications. Measles kills children. This book is irresponsible and misleading at best. At worst it could lead to the death of a child.


Messenger’s title seems to allude to the Roald Dahl book, “George’s Marvelous Medicine.” Dahl, however, was a strong proponent of vaccination, a position rooted in the tragic death of his young daughter from measles.

Source.

I think the technical term is "What is this I can't even." Also, mods: Can we have a "pseudoscience" tag?
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chaya 8th-Jan-2013 03:49 pm (UTC)


but shit like this is one of them.
emofordino 8th-Jan-2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
my first thought when reading this article.
bmh4d0k3n 8th-Jan-2013 03:56 pm (UTC)
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martyfan 8th-Jan-2013 04:02 pm (UTC)
What's with the ocean part of the gif? I don't know what I'm looking at.
shhh_its_s3cr3t 8th-Jan-2013 03:59 pm (UTC)
I don't think there is enough coffee in the world for me to even be able to comprehend what this is about.

Adventure..... illness and crippling fear of dying is NOT an adventure... Just, NO.
keestone 8th-Jan-2013 05:31 pm (UTC)
Well . . . the fear of dying part maybe, but that's why adventures are usually better when they're fictional or so far in the past that nostalgia puts a rosy glow on the steaming pile of crap you had to wade through.
jazzypom you know what's the strangest thing about this movement?8th-Jan-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
A major part of the movement is by highly educated white women. All proponents of anti-vaccine that I've met, have been mostly upper middle class APs (with most of them boasting a Masters or PhD behind their names). Oh, mercy.
callmetothejedi Re: you know what's the strangest thing about this movement?8th-Jan-2013 04:07 pm (UTC)
My mother isn't quite this bad (yet), but she has told me that if I ever have children of my own, my partner and I shouldn't give our child(ren) his/her/their vaccines all at once, but should spread them out over time. (And yes, my mother is a well-educated (two Master's degrees) white woman.
wingstar102 8th-Jan-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Hate rabid anti-vaxxers.
martyfan 8th-Jan-2013 04:01 pm (UTC)
Oh good, this book again. Maybe now that vehemencet or whatever his name is is banned, we can have a good discussion without wank all over the place.
idemandjustice 8th-Jan-2013 04:08 pm (UTC)
I hate anti-vaccine shit. It managers to be both alarmist while at the same time down-playing the seriousness behind a number of illnesses. But the thing that upsets me the most would be the people who can't get vaccinated, who will fucking die when exposed to the shit you're trying to let your precious snowflake contract naturally. It's ignorant at best, utterly callous at worst.

magenta_girl 8th-Jan-2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
Exactly. Like babies. Who are too young to get the MMR vaccine.
asrana 8th-Jan-2013 04:09 pm (UTC)
If you go to the amazon page and do 'look inside', you can see the back cover of the book where the author says,
Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children's vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against. Surprisingly, there were times when my unvaccinated children were blamed for their peers' sickness. Something which is just not possible when they didn't have the disease at all.
If she's that sure that her children didn't have the disease(s) at all, I'd like to see the blood test results please. FFS, is this woman so thick she doesn't even know about asymptomatic infection?
idemandjustice 8th-Jan-2013 04:13 pm (UTC)
It's possible what she's claiming is true, but I also guess she's never learned about Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary.
ginger_maya 8th-Jan-2013 04:20 pm (UTC)
Photobucket

I hate and despise the anti-vaxxers with the power of a thousand exploding suns. Arrogant, selfish, ignorant dickbags who have no problem reaping the benefits of the vaccinating campaigns of the past, their sole purpose in life is to drag everyone back in the age of plagues.
skinrcvr 8th-Jan-2013 09:06 pm (UTC)
The anti-vaxxers that i work with in the NICU are the worst - I've had to listen to so many rants against vaccinations from fellow nurses. It scares me when "educated" people in the medical field are like that, but most are part of the Faux News crowd, so yeah...it just makes me wonder how they approach getting parental consent for 2 month immunizations or for Hep B prior to discharge.

Sometimes, preemies will have funky reactions to the Pediarix vaccine, but 99% of the time, it's usually because they were given them when they weren't "stable" enough (lots of heart rate or oxygen sat drops). Most kiddos do fine, and it's far better than the alternative of getting the disease they were vaccinated for.

Edited at 2013-01-08 09:07 pm (UTC)
ljtaylor 8th-Jan-2013 04:27 pm (UTC)
history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign

...because we get vaccinated.

my mum's eyesight was wrecked by measles. ia with the comments that say this author and those who support her clearly have not suffered through these "beneficial" childhood diseases.
nitasee 8th-Jan-2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
I had measles when I was kid. Nasty fucking stuff. I lost a year of my childhood from complications.
idemandjustice 8th-Jan-2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
Oh! Commenting again, because this is a topic I feel strongly about. Does anybody remember back when the H1N1 vaccine first came out, a lot of people were spreading around a very sad video about a woman who had the vaccine and then contracted Dystonia? I only found out recently that was totally bullshit.

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/desiree-jennings-dystonia-hoax
lady_tigerlily 9th-Jan-2013 02:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, they busted her idiot ass wide open about that, because she wasn't even consistent with faking. It does, however, provide tons of lulz. I still hear some anti-vaxxers point to this girl's "case" and I kind of want to puke.
crossfire 8th-Jan-2013 04:42 pm (UTC)
Don't get me started on anti-vaxxers. Don't EVEN get me STARTED.
jazzypom there, there8th-Jan-2013 04:47 pm (UTC)
I swear, it's because of them, that's why I've become a solitary craftster. Can't have a smooth craftster experience when you're side eyeing ninety percent of the group all the time.
yeats 8th-Jan-2013 05:29 pm (UTC)
anti-vaxxers: the birthers of the left.

(not to say that anti-vaxxers are only liberal, but that's where i've most commonly seen them.)
violetrose 8th-Jan-2013 06:16 pm (UTC)
Too true.

And I agree; in my experience, then tend to be left-wing.
lomesir22 8th-Jan-2013 05:32 pm (UTC)
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
wrestlingdog 8th-Jan-2013 05:37 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's because I'm a public health person, but there are few issues that get me more annoyed than anti-vaxxers.

Photobucket

Edited at 2013-01-08 05:39 pm (UTC)
mollywobbles867 8th-Jan-2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
I just watched that episode last night and laughed so hard b/c I could only picture this gif. Thank you, Netflix.
ellonwye 8th-Jan-2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
VACCINATE YOUR FUCKING KIDS
lovedforaday 8th-Jan-2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
shit like this makes me want to look into getting boosters or if I need to be re-vaccinated.
emofordino 8th-Jan-2013 06:10 pm (UTC)
it's definitely worth doing! when i was in nursing school and just getting ready to start clinicals, i had to get an immunity titer to see what i was immune to and what i wasn't, and i ended up finding out that despite the fact that i had an MMR shot several years prior, i was immune to mumps and rubella but not immune to measles. so i had to get another one before clinicals started. you never know!

it just sucks that those titers are so expensive if you don't have insurance. i DO have insurance and i still had to end up paying about $100 for it. :/
effervescent 8th-Jan-2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
Ugh, I hate the anti-vaxx frame of mind. It's a mindset that's steeped in privilege, because only people who live in areas that have low rates of disease due to vaccination to begin with even have the luxury of considering it, and they're basically saying 'oh hey, I love benefiting from herd immunity but I can't be bothered to contribute to it'! Considering how this mindset spreads from parent to parent, it'd be so, so easy for outbreaks to happen in areas where a lot of people live who don't vaccinate their kids. :/ Ugh.
evilnel 8th-Jan-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
The thing that pisses me off MOST (and there are so many things wrong with this) is that these anti-vaxers always rely on the herd immunity argument, and there are two things wrong with that. 1.) If enough people don't get vaccinated, it fucks up herd immunity and 2.) that doesn't do any good for children (or adults) who are at greater risk because of illnesses like Cystic Fibrosis, cancer, HIV/AIDs, or are on immune suppressing medications for their RA, MS, or other autoimmune disorder. In fact, one of the diseases (can't remember which, maybe Rubella?) that the MMR vaccinates against is not that harmful to children, but if a pregnant woman contracts it it can kill the fetus. So yeah, they can say 'if you don't like it, vaccinate your kids' but some people are at higher risk even if they have been vaccinated, and compromising overall immunity by being fucking stupid not only endangers the life of your child but also the lives of others. It's so selfish.
lykomancer 8th-Jan-2013 06:30 pm (UTC)
but if a pregnant woman contracts it it can kill the fetus.

Yes, you're correct: That's rubella/German measles.
redstar826 8th-Jan-2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
too bad stupidity isn't something you can vaccinate for
idemandjustice 8th-Jan-2013 06:51 pm (UTC)
I just had a vision of a world in which you can, but people still refuse.
violetrose 8th-Jan-2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
Ant-vaxxers piss me off like nobody's business, and that also gets extended to anti-modern medicine types. I've been saved and had my life improved by modern medicine more times than I can count; without it, my life would be miserable, or I'd be dead.

But that story doesn't get told. It's always about how awful modern medicine and pharmaceuticals are. And of course, how we're all ~overmedicated~ when it comes to mental illness in particular. Because obviously, it's easier to ignore that there's somewhat less stigma in acknowledging you might have a mental health issue that needs medication, than to pretend that Big Pharma wants to medicate us all.
the_siobhan 8th-Jan-2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
Mental illness runs in my family. Before modern medication we just self-medicated with alcohol. So yeah, Big Pharma is the real problem here.
poetic_pixie_13 8th-Jan-2013 07:08 pm (UTC)
othellia 9th-Jan-2013 01:41 am (UTC)
A+ response.

(Have you seen Kate Beaton's comics on her?)
jayel_05 8th-Jan-2013 07:17 pm (UTC)
I'm actually kind of filled with hope based on the Amazon responses to this book. 41 "1 star" reviews blasting this woman for being and idiot. 8 "5 star" reviews, (2 of which are dripping with sarcasm, and still blasting the woman for being an idiot).

I was expecting the amazon comments to be far worse.
yamamanama 8th-Jan-2013 07:39 pm (UTC)
And one of those positive reviews was social darwinist.
lovelokest 8th-Jan-2013 07:23 pm (UTC)
Excellent! Lets go back to a time where people routinely died of preventable illnesses and survivors were permanently harmed.

Cool story, bro: a few years ago I got the H1N1 vaccine, then less than a week later got a very mild flu. It wasn't that the vaccine caused the flu, it was that I got the flu before my body had a chance to develop full immunity. If I hadn't had the vaccine, I probably would have gotten a much worse case of it.
nitasee 8th-Jan-2013 07:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've gotten the flu after vaccination the same way: I was exposed before I got the shot. People who say the flu vaccine doesn't work don't realize that there other reasons you can still get the flu:

1. you were already infected when you got the shot

2. the vaccine only covers certain strains (currently 3) that epidemiologists think are the most likely to be spreading. (FYI: they base the their guess on the strains going around first in Australia.) There are many, many strains of flu. However, the shot does give you partial immunity to other strains, so you may not get as sick if you get a different strain than the shot covers.

3. the shot doesn't give 100% immunity. I believe it's more like 70 or 80%. However, getting the shot will lesson the severity of the flu should you get sick.

4. there are lots of other viruses that have flu-like symptoms, so what you might not be the flu but rather one of these other bugs.
tabaqui 8th-Jan-2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
The only vaccine i held off on getting for my daughter was Hep B, since it's a blood-borne thing and the chances of her getting it were pretty much nil. Once she started school, she got them.

I wish they'd vaccinate for Hep A - it's a hell of a lot easier to catch.

Anti-vax people can seriously just fuck off and die. I *cannot* be civil with them. I want to invite them to talk to my dad (born 1925) and my mom (1933) and discuss the 'magical world of measles' or, you know, the thing that killed two of my dad's siblings.
maenads_dance 8th-Jan-2013 09:51 pm (UTC)
They do in some parts of the country. Here in California Hep A vaccines are apparently routinely given, at least according to the physician I spoke to yesterday.
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