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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

A Lesson About Vaccination

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Technophobe View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 05 2018 at 4:35pm
[Technophobe:  I am pretty certain that vaccines are not quite as safe as we have been told.  BUT, I suspect that the reason for this is because we often get the wrong end of the stick and fail to understand the statistics.  There are small risks, but the risk of not vaccinating is far higher.]


At least 70 children dead in Venezuela measles outbreak: NGO

April 5, 2018

At least 70 children from an indigenous tribe have died from an outbreak of measles in a remote jungle region of eastern Venezuela, a human rights group said Thursday.

"The propagation started in early January and we are calling for a health alert," said Armando Obdola, head of the Kape Kape NGO.

Obdola said he had been recording the deaths in the state of Delta Amacuro, where children of the Warao indigenous community have been dying since the beginning of the year.

"There are no medicines, and there's nothing the doctors and nurses can do."

Latin America was declared free of measles in 2016, but the Pan American Health Organization last month reported a virulent outbreak in Venezuela.

The country has the highest number of confirmed cases, 159, among nine Latin American countries that reported cases in the first three months of 2018.

The second biggest outbreak, in Brazil, has 14 confirmed cases, all of them imported from Venezuela.

"All confirmed cases were reported in unvaccinated Venezuelan citizens between the ages of nine months and 18 years," said PAHO.

Measles, a highly contagious viral disease that affects children in particular, is preventable with vaccination.

Venezuela's deepening economic crisis has caused chronic shortages of food and medicines.

Access to affected areas are difficult. The Warao settlements are located on the edge of the Orinoco River, eight hours' travel from the regional capital Tucupita.

"Sometimes getting to a sick person is impossible. The boats do not have fuel, and despite the seriousness of the situation the silence of the authorities has prevailed," said Obdola.

Venezuela's Health Minister Luis Loez said Tuesday on Twitter that the government of President Nicolas Maduro is fine-tuning details for the launch of a national vaccination plan for diphtheria, measles and yellow fever.


[Enough said?]


Source:   https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-04-children-dead-venezuela-measles-outbreak.html

Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2018 at 3:00pm
look what happened when the Spanish gave  contaminated blankets to the Aztecs and Incas..............

i think it killed 20 million people and decimated the native populations of the Americas
12 Monkeys...............
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2018 at 3:05pm

Spanish conquer the Aztecs and Incas

Spanish Conquer the Aztecs and Incas

Fall of the Aztecs

After Columbus discovered the “New World”, the Spanish sent conquistadors across the Atlantic to claim land for Spain. In 1519, Hernan Cortés arrived in Mexico with horses and 500 soldiers. He had heard about the powerful Aztecs who ruled much of Mexico and he went in search of them. When the conquistadors arrived at the Aztec capitol, Tenochtitlan, they couldn’t believe their eyes.  Before them was a beautiful city which appeared to rise out of a sparkling lake. One Spaniard wrote about this experience, “Some of our soldiers asked whether the things that we saw were not a dream.” The Aztecs were not sure what to think about the strangers because they had never seen men dressed in metal armor and riding horses. They thought Cortez was their Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl and they welcomed him as if he was a great god but they soon realized their mistake. The conquistadors had brought with them smallpox which killed huge numbers of Aztec warriors. Without these warriors the Aztecs were unable to fight off Cortez, who with the help of the surrounding Indians, who hated the Aztec rulers, Cortés was able to conquer Mexico and the Aztecs.

Fall of the Incas

The Inca Empire met the same fate as the Aztec Empire. Smallpox would also help another Spanish conquistador, Francisco Pizarro; conquer the Incas in South America. Francisco Pizarro’s victory would be easy because lucky for him smallpox had reached Peru many months before him. The disease killed thousands of Incas and left the empire badly split. Pizarro was able to capture the Inca ruler, Atahualpa, easily.  Pizarro promised that he would release Atahualpa if the Inca’s gave him gold. The Incas complied in order to save their rule by filling three rooms with gold and silver treasures but Pizarro never kept his promise. Once he received the gold and silver, Pizarro killed Atahualpa. Another great empire had fallen. Spain would go on to conquer most of South America.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2018 at 3:18pm
Quickly, smallpox spread among the population. The people had no resistance and no idea how to treat it. In many cases, everyone in a house died. With no time to bury so many people, houses were simply demolished over the bodies. It is estimated that 5-8 million died.


During the siege of Tenochtitlán in 1520, the population was not only low on food but dying of smallpox. 25% of the empire is said to have been lost to the disease alone. But more importantly, the Aztec chain of command was in ruins. The emperor, Cuitláhuac, died of smallpox, along with many of the leaders of the army.

(Actually, there were a series of epidemics over the next 50-60 years, which killed far more than the first epidemic. Called by the Aztecs cocoliztli, much of the death toll may have been caused by salmonella enterica - typhoid (enteric) fever.)

Tactics

The tactics of the Spanish army certainly played a role. The Mexicas were simply used to playing by different rules. However, the Aztecs soon got wise to the ways that the Europeans fought, and this almost led to their victory. But Cortes still used clever tactics in the final siege that, in combination with his native allies and the epidemics of disease, brought about the fall of the Aztec empire.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EdwinSm, Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 06 2018 at 10:53pm
Originally posted by carbon20 carbon20 wrote:

25% of the empire is said to have been lost to the disease alone.


I live on a smallish island (peak population around 1900 of over 2 000 souls) that was on the sailing route between the two (then) capital cities of Stockholm and St Petersburg.  It provided an important sheltering point after some open sea.    From burial records there were at least two times when the ships brought some sort of disease that killed 25% of the island population.

I will have to get the book from the local library to see which disease it was, but it does point to a similar death rate for populations that were isolated from diseases in other parts of the world.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2018 at 12:49am
Technophobe:  I found this opinion piece whilst trawling for disease "stuff".  It specifically refers to hashimoto's disease, but could apply to 99% of autoimune conditions. 

Personally, having arthritis - which has an autoimune component - I can understand the caution expressed by the hashimoto's sufferer.  But, the risk of death outweighs the risk of discomfort - at least for me.

I am not sure I agree 100% with the doctor where Guillain-Barré syndrome is concerned.  Had I had that, I would probably avoid ANY unnecessary medical interventions whatever the root cause (Any risk is too big a risk!) at least in non-pandemic years.


Your Good Health: Hashimoto’s thyroiditis no reason to avoid flu shot

/ Times Colonist

April 13, 2018 10:27 PM


Dear Dr. Roach: I have never gotten the flu vaccine. Years ago, it was believed to be too dangerous for anyone with an autoimmune condition. They said that the body could not handle the vaccine and that it was actually dangerous to receive it. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Please tell me if that’s true. I had the flu in 1993 and have not been ill with anything but a cold since. I was not hospitalized in 1993.

I.D.C.

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is a condition where the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, in the neck. The thyroid level initially increases in the body, but then over time, it decreases. In most, it eventually will come back to normal, but people require treatment with thyroid hormone, often for years.

I don’t agree with the advice you received about the flu vaccine. The clearest reason not to give a flu vaccine (I mean specifically the flu shot, which does not contain live virus) is if people have a severe allergy to any of the components of the vaccine. People who have had Guillain-Barré syndrome within six weeks of a previous influenza vaccine generally are not vaccinated again. Hashimoto’s is not a reason to avoid the flu shot.

2017-2018 has been a severe season for influenza, and while I am glad you haven’t had the flu in many years, I still recommend the vaccine every year. It provides protection, even if incomplete, for a disease that kills up to 50,000 people per year. People who are vaccinated also help protect those people who are unable to be vaccinated.

Dear Dr. Roach: If a person who is 75 or older has high blood pressure — say, 175/80 — in what circumstances would you suggest not taking any hypertensive drugs to lower pressure (to 130/80 or less)? Aren’t there some fragile people who require higher blood pressure to meet the body’s demands?

R.I.

It used to be the case that older people with high blood pressure were not treated. In fact, the term “essential hypertension” (which now means “high blood pressure with no identifiable cause”) initially was used to indicate that high blood pressure was essential for adequate blood flow. However, study after study has shown that older people with systolic blood pressure above 160 can have a dramatic reduction in the risk of stroke with treatment.

It certainly is true that the blood pressure should be brought down slowly and judiciously. By using low doses of medication at first, we can reduce the symptoms of having too low a blood pressure. In people whose blood pressure is chronically very high — such as a diastolic (that’s the second number) pressure over 110 — the blood flow to the brain might no longer be regulated properly, so the blood pressure is brought down very slowly indeed.

There have been many situations where what was thought to be common wisdom was upended by the results of carefully done, large clinical trials. How a large-scale trial applies to a given individual is not always obvious, and it still requires a skilled clinician with knowledge of both the individual patient and an understanding of the biology of the condition. It would be a very unusual situation for me not to recommend treating a blood pressure that high.

Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu


Source:   http://www.timescolonist.com/life/health/your-good-health-hashimoto-s-thyroiditis-no-reason-to-avoid-flu-shot-1.23267178

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2018 at 8:18am
It is true that side-effects can occur with even routine vaccinations, including GB syndrome.

However, these are extremely rare, and are more than compensated by the individual and population protection afforded by widespread vaccination. 

Everyone should have the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, mumps vaccine, and seasonal flu inoculation.

Tetanus is also highly recommended. 
   
Others are more voluntary and based upon personal choice.  Healthcare workers should have Hep B, foreign travelers Hep A, etc.  

I never turn down a vaccine that I am offered.  Once, I had a bit of myalgia in my right hand from MMR vaccine as an adult, no big deal.  Older adults such as myself should have pneumonia vaccine. 

These are life-saving procedures, with hundreds of years of documented safety.  Don't believe the pop literature about them.
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