Calif. whooping cough: 9 dead, infections on rise (Update)

Sep 16, 2010 By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- State health officials reported Thursday that California is on track to break a 55-year record for whooping cough infections in an epidemic that has already claimed the lives of nine infants.

At least 4,017 cases of the highly contagious illness have been reported in California, according to the state. Data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control show 11,466 cases nationwide, though the federal numbers are known to lag behind local reporting.

Whooping cough is a cyclical illness that peaks in number of infections every five years. Symptoms are similar to the common cold, making it a challenge to diagnose, which in turn makes it difficult for officials to determine if the worst has passed, said Dr. Gil Chavez, an epidemiologist for the California Department of Public Health.

A persistent cough that lasts weeks is the tell-tale symptom of the illness, which is also known as pertussis.

The state is on track to exceed the record 4,949 cases reported in 1955. The bacterial infection tends to peak during summer months, but infections could continue into coming weeks, said Chavez.

"When you have an epidemic, you have more cases circulating in our community" and there is increased opportunity for infection, he added.

The federal numbers for nationwide cases were last updated Sept. 12 and represent 519 more cases than the same period last year, according to the CDC.

In South Carolina, officials reported one whooping cough death and 255 confirmed or suspected cases have been found. Epidemic levels of the illness there were seen earlier this year, but no statewide epidemic was declared.

All of the whooping cough-related deaths in California occurred in babies too young to be fully immunized against the illness, which is why parents and caretakers are being urged to get booster shots. Typically, babies are given a series of vaccinations, then receive booster shots between ages 4 and 6 and again after age 10.

Many parents forgo vaccines for their children because of concerns about autism, typically fueled by misinformation on the Internet, said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a University of California-San Diego professor and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The vaccines against whooping cough are free of the additive thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury that has been the subject of a long-running public debate about whether it can cause autism.

A federal ruling in March said there was no connection between autism and thimerosal.

"We need to remember that vaccines are probably the biggest reason that so few of us lose our children when they are young," said Dr. Patricia Samuelson, speaking on behalf of the California Academy of Family Physicians. "They used to say in this country, 'Don't count your children until after they've had measles' because so many would die."

An Associated Press analysis found that 127 of the 7,174 public and private schools in California reported 2009 whooping cough immunization rates of 50 percent or less for kindergartners.

Health officials also are asking everyone over 6 months of age to get a flu vaccine this year, expanding previous guidelines that targeted vulnerable populations. The recommendation reflects federal guidelines.

This year's influenza vaccine, Trivalent, will protect against the H1N1 virus, and two other strains of the virus, said Chavez.

In the past, flu vaccines were encouraged for immune-compromised populations, like the elderly.

The state is now experiencing sporadic flu activity, which is expected to increase in fall and winter.

Statewide, 1.8 million free vaccinations will be given through the Vaccines for Children program, and another 800,000 free doses are being distributed to local health departments.

(This version corrects organization name to California Academy of Family Physicians, not Association.)

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Temple
5 / 5 (7) Sep 17, 2010
Reports like this are small wonder when Jenny McCarthy is a more trusted source of medical information than practically *every single doctor*?

There's some strange tendency for distrust that has been growing and growing in society. Strange that that distrust most often finds the exact wrong target (vaccines, Moon Landing, Climate Change), when there are so many targets, far more worthy of distrust and scrutiny.
0c4pnh4nk
3 / 5 (2) Sep 17, 2010
I recently saw something somewhere that links autism to genetics research...
Lordjavathe3rd
1 / 5 (4) Sep 17, 2010
Temple, your comment was very interesting then it suddenly cut off. Aren't you going to mention what is more worthy of distrust, or were you just blowing hot air? (prepares a blimp for you to inflate)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Sep 17, 2010
This is what you get when you listen to porn stars and politicians over doctors and scientists, unnecessarily dead children.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 17, 2010
This couldn't have anything to do with millions of illegal immigrants in CA?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Sep 17, 2010
This couldn't have anything to do with millions of illegal immigrants in CA?
Those illegal immigrants have a higher vaccination rate than the republican children in southern CA. Want to con a neo-con? Have a pretty blonde say it and they'll buy it everytime.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 17, 2010
the republican children in southern CA.

When did Republicans start reading Mother Jones?
http://motherjone...ng-point
Of course we can trust the the FDA, CDC and all other govt regulators.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Sep 17, 2010
Of course we can trust the the FDA, CDC and all other govt regulators.
I trust them far more than I would trust a convicted fraud, a porn star, and Ace Ventura.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (3) Sep 17, 2010
The idea that this discussion is taking place on a, supposed, scientific site is incredible. The idea of vaccines causing autism has been disproved multiple times by the scientific community. There are some recent developments in the association between specific genetic variants and some types of autism (those have yet to be proven). The idea that parents will risk life threatening diseases for their children as well as risking the lives of other parent's children is pathetic and should only be addressed as criminal behavior. I am outraged that parents are allowed to get away with this behavior in the 21st century. Those who see conspiracies and conflicts of interest around every corner and are willing to risk the lives of children due to their anti-scientific beliefs are shameful reflections of the declining educational system. Parents who do not vaccinate should be prosecuted.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 17, 2010
The idea of vaccines causing autism has been disproved multiple times by the scientific community.

Apparently not. What is autism? It seems the definition keeps changing.
Can science predict the response of every individual human to vaccines, food, toxins?
The science community have left enough uncertainty and mis-trust to nullify you assertion.
Parents who do not vaccinate should be prosecuted.

Can you guarantee EVERY parent the vaccine WILL NOT cause harm?
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 17, 2010
"Plans to vaccinate 100 million children in China against measles have been met with public outrage, illustrating a growing public distrust of the government’s health care policies in the wake of numerous scandals."
http://vaccinenew...-outrage
"Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines, does not increase the likelihood that a child will be diagnosed with autism, according to a new study." {This does not state thimerosal does not damage children.}
"There is widespread consensus in the medical community that there is no connection.
" {That is NOT 100% certainty.}
http://vaccinenew...oncludes
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 17, 2010
"An investigation into the deaths of three infants in Bangladesh that occurred only hours after they received measles vaccinations has concluded that “programmatic error” was the most likely cause."
""We understand there is a great deal of concern about both the seasonal and H1N1 influenza vaccines, especially for those with allergies," said Matthew Rank, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Division of Allergic Diseases. "
http://vaccinenew...news/all
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 17, 2010
"As policy makers tackle health care reform in the coming months, we call on them to address the problem of vaccine liability—both to restore public confidence in this critical health intervention and to ensure that the best and safest vaccine technologies are available before the next pandemic"
http://www.scient...-vaccine
Trusting the govt AND science? Experiment on yourself thermo.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 17, 2010
"That may be true if the children are genuinely autistic. But the dangers of false diagnoses of toddlers and preschoolers have been pointed out by Professor Stephen Camarata of Vanderbilt University, who has tested and treated children with autism for more than 20 years and has encountered many cases of inaccurate diagnoses."
"Professor Camarata points out that the "less precise 'autism spectrum'" label "has had the unintended consequence of diluting resources, research and services to those children and families who most need the support" -- that is, families whose children suffer from genuine autism."
http://www.capita...art.html
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
marjon: Once again you astound me with your ability to put out a lot of verbiage without saying anything. Let me just ask so you can clear the subject for me and the other readers of your multiple posts.

1) Do you think that vaccines cause autism?

2) Do you think that children should be vaccinated?

3) Do you consider it to be responsible parenting when parents do not allow their children to be vaccinated?

3a) Do you consider measles parties (where parents purposefully take their children to parties with one or more child infected with measles) which allows them to catch measles "naturally" to provide "natural" immunity and is safer than vaccinations?

Your direct answer to those questions will make your stance more clear.

And to respond to your suggestion I should "experiment on myself" by taking vaccines, I do. I trust the science that says it will lower my chances of a debilitating disease as well as protect those around me.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
I trust the science that says it will lower my chances of a debilitating disease as well as protect those around me.

Not all do, for valid reasons.
My answers to your questions are immaterial.
This question bears more to the issue:
Can you guarantee EVERY parent the vaccine WILL NOT cause harm?
That is the question every parent must answer.
Instead of dismissing and ridiculing the valid concerns parents have, how would defend the record of the FDA and CDC regarding vaccine safety?
1
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2010
" Doctors expect a certain percentage of people to react badly to any vaccine. But as the “herd immunity” is protected, it’s supposed to be worth the risk. We need to ask ourselves: is it worth the risk? After all, we are the ones carrying the risk. We parents sign waivers when our children are vaccinated. The system depends on this.

It’s not a good system. Perhaps we don’t want our kids and ourselves to be guinea pigs."
"Can we trust our doctors on vaccines? No."
"it would help if the laws were changed to make it easier for conscientious objection to vaccines, as an autism parents group is seeking to do with a ballot initiative in Oregon."
http://www.autisa...accines/
I wonder how many of these same parents believe AGW or a vegans or eat organic or drive hybrids or and vote democratic?
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 18, 2010
Edit from my last:
I wonder how many of these same parents believe AGW, or are vegans, or eat organic, or drive hybrids, or vote democratic?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2010
My answers to your questions are immaterial.
No, they are rather important to the discussion at hand. Either you support the stance that you're taking with your own progeny or you do not. If you do not, how dare you proclaim anything about the merit of not vaccinating. You're an intellectual coward, and I'm not surprised.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
My answers to your questions are immaterial.
No, they are rather important to the discussion at hand. Either you support the stance that you're taking with your own progeny or you do not. If you do not, how dare you proclaim anything about the merit of not vaccinating. You're an intellectual coward, and I'm not surprised.

And you are a snob for dismissing the concerns of parents out of hand.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2010
And you are a snob for dismissing the concerns of parents out of hand.
I don't dismiss their concerns, there's a reason why the datasheets are given to the parents at the time of innoculation. It's obvious that you don't have children as if you did you'd know this. The information is freely available, now answer the questions and make your stance clear. Then call a few doctors and ask them what they think of vaccinations.

If you had ever seen a kid in "the iron lung" because of polio or measels, or left unable to have children of their own from mumps or measels, you'd understand what the real concern should be and what is really at stake.
marjon
1 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2010
I have made my stance clear.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (4) Sep 18, 2010
marjon: You have not answered any of the direct questions above. You have not made your stance clear. All you have to do to clear up the muddy water is to answer the questions I asked above.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
I asked mine first:
"Can you guarantee EVERY parent the vaccine WILL NOT cause harm?"
Thrasymachus
4.2 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
Marjon's stance is quite clear, I'm surprised you bother asking him about it, as it's just a further opportunity for him to lie about the facts and smear his opponents. Marjon wants to give parents the choice to let their babies suffer and die from preventable diseases. But he wants to make sure those same parents can't terminate a 1st trimester pregnancy with an effective, painless procedure.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
Marjon's stance is quite clear, I'm surprised you bother asking him about it, as it's just a further opportunity for him to lie about the facts and smear his opponents. Marjon wants to give parents the choice to let their babies suffer and die from preventable diseases. But he wants to make sure those same parents can't terminate a 1st trimester pregnancy with an effective, painless procedure.

You won't answer the question either?
The issue you all want to ignore is trust of the FDA and the medical establishment.
BTW, who manufactures the vaccines? Big pharmaceutical companies. So you trust them?
Thrasymachus
4.4 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
If your question is as simple as that, then the answer is yes. I trust the FDA and the medical establishment, evidence by the fact that I go to the doctor and follow his or her prescriptions when I get sick. I trust the pharmaceutical companies to the extent they follow FDA guidelines and their drugs have been approved by the FDA. That trust is also reinforced by certain legal guarantees that will award damages to victims should these actors fail to live up to that trust.

I don't have to guarantee parents that their kids won't be harmed at all by vaccines. I can guarantee parents that their kids have a much better chance at staying alive and healthy if they get their kids vaccinated. Enough of a better chance that I favor mandatory vaccinations.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
So the answer is, NO, neither you nor the medical establishment can guarantee a vaccine won't cause harm or be effective.
Enough of a better chance that I favor mandatory vaccinations.

I am not surprised.
marjon
1 / 5 (5) Sep 18, 2010
I suspect the parents most concerned about the safety and efficacy of vaccines are educated professionals who had their first child in their late 20s to mid 30s and don't plan to have more than two.
Any risks must be weighed against that. Since they live in a society that has seen few diseases like small pox or polio, they may see little risk to the diseases. They may also not appreciate govt coercion for the vaccines.
As noted earlier, he Chinese don't trust their govt's measles campaign.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2010
I suspect the parents most concerned about the safety and efficacy of vaccines are educated professionals who had their first child in their late 20s to mid 30s and don't plan to have more than two.
You'd be incorrect. Most of them are ignorant anti-science, anti-establishment weirdos.
As noted earlier, he Chinese don't trust their govt's measles campaign.
Yes, and they're almost entirely uneducated too.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2010
Yes, and they're almost entirely uneducated too.

""Our children face the possibility of death or serious long-term adverse effects from mandated vaccines that aren’t necessary or that have very limited benefits," said Jane M. Orient, MD, AAPS Executive Director.
"A leading national physician organization is calling for a moratorium on all government mandated vaccines and has passed a resolution to that end at their annual meeting. "
"This is not a vote against vaccines," said Dr. Orient. "This resolution only attempts to halt blanket vaccine mandates by government agencies and school districts that give no consideration for the rights of the parents or the individual medical condition of the child." "
"Forty-two states have mandatory vaccine policies...And yet, children under the age of 14 are three times more likely to suffer adverse effects -- including death -- following the hepatitis b vaccine than to catch the disease itself. "
http://www.aapson...cres.htm
marjon
Sep 19, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2010
AAPS is considered a quack organization. www.quackwatch.com.
Dr. Jane Orient is a sci-fi writer by primary trade.

You may want a better source.
marjon
1 / 5 (3) Sep 19, 2010
AAPS is considered a quack organization. http://www.quackwatch.com.
Dr. Jane Orient is a sci-fi writer by primary trade.

You may want a better source.

Dr. Orient is an MD from Columbia.
http://www.vitals...ent.html
"undergraduate degrees in chemistry and mathematics from the University of Arizona in Tucson, and her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1974."
http://freedomact...ent.html
She has the creds.
marjon
1 / 5 (2) Sep 19, 2010
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Sep 20, 2010
Dr. Orient is an MD from Columbia.
Did I say otherwise?
Science fiction?
How about her other 3 books? Sutton's Law, Moonshine, and Neomorts. All sci-fi fantasy based on medicine with Dr. Mengele type villians.
otto1932
not rated yet Sep 20, 2010
Now now, Sci-Fi does not necessarily mean quack. Asimov, Sagan, and Greg benford among many others.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Sep 20, 2010
Now now, Sci-Fi does not necessarily mean quack. Asimov, Sagan, and Greg benford among many others.

I never said that her SCi-Fi career is what made her a quack. Do try to keep up otto.
Javinator
5 / 5 (2) Sep 20, 2010
Since they live in a society that has seen few diseases like small pox or polio, they may see little risk to the diseases.


And North America sees few diseases like small pox or polio because...?

Can you guarantee EVERY parent the vaccine WILL NOT cause harm?


Nope. I'd take that risk over the risk of my child contracting any of the known life threatening diseases that vaccines prevent though.

Do you fold 4 kings at the fear of someone having 4 aces?