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Comments made by GJLee

Whooping Cough, Experts Say Vaccinate

Quote from oldschool:

"The H1N1 proved to be exactly that. A proven scam."

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "a proven scam." What concerning the H1N1 virus is a "scam"? Are you saying that the virus never existed? Or that a vaccine never existed/effective? I'm not a virologist, so I can't comment on the virus itself; but the fact that the virus was a new strain of influenza that had the similar protein marker of the 1918 Spanish Flu, the rush to develop and distribute a vaccine is understandable, at least in my opinion.
I guess in many ways hind-site is 20/20, but the fact that if the 2009 H1N1 virus (swine flu) had been very similar to the 1918 H1N1 in virulence and effect, I don't think there would be much talk against the vaccination.

"They, along with the overuse of antibiotics, are very likely to blame for many newer superbugs that defy treatment."

I'm not aware of any "superbugs" that are currently on the market. There is MRSA, but MRSA didn't develop due to use of antibiotics. However, an individual will be more susceptible to MRSA if he/she takes penicillin-based antibiotics over a long period of time. This is because the penicillin will kill-off the competing flora to MRSA; hence, since MRSA has no competition to colonize, it will be the dominant strain leading to symptomatic infection of the individual. This is of course an example of a healthy individual; the story is a bit different with those who are immune-depressed, ie a patient in a hospital.

August 2, 2010 at 5:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Whooping Cough, Experts Say Vaccinate

In regards to the second to last caller of today's program (1st hour, the mother of three who opt-ed out of antibiotic treatment, and believes that vaccines are ineffective): I would actually say that her story regarding her three children getting whooping cough is a very good example of the effectiveness of vaccines. If you take a pool of those who have been infected with whooping cough, a vast majority had symptoms for long periods of time (3 weeks - 6 months). However, in the case with the mother, all her children were symptom free after 3 days, even without antibiotic treatment. That's pretty amazing; especially when you consider that she was just giving her children tea and honey. And for those of us who've had a bacterial infection (ie Strep throat), no amount of honey and tea is going to fix your ailments.

The thing that the general public has to understand, is that vaccines don't mean that you'll never catch the disease, but it does mean that your body's immune system is ready and waiting to fight it off. So, that if you contract that disease, the symptoms are typically minor and chances are (if you have a healthy and robust immune system) you're not going to suffer any long-term consequences.

Also, to comment on the caller's belief that her children's immune systems are better off without any form of treatment (ie vaccines) because this will cause their immune system to be stronger, I'm afraid that's just plain ignorance. Basically, vaccines are constructed from inert viruses/bacterium or parts of a virus/bacteria, so that when they're injected into you, your bodies immune system recognizes something foreign and begins developing a response to them. You have to remember, that on the cellular level, your body can't tell whether the virus/bacteria is dead or alive, only that it's foreign and needs to be taken care of. Chances are if you've ever gotten a flu vaccine and suffer minor symptoms because of it, it's because your robust immune system is mounting a defense against the dead virus. So whether, you're exposed to dead virus/bacteria or live virus/bacteria, your body responds in the same manner in terms of mounting an immune response, only one is more severe than the other. However, this process of "building up" an immune response, does cause your body to produce "memory" cells that help you fend off the infection much faster than if you've never been exposed to the virus/bacteria at all.

Hence, the caller's children are a prime example of this. They got the vaccine and when they contracted whooping cough, a possible 6 month infection became only 3 days. Seems to me that it was the vaccine that caused her children's immune system to be stronger, not the active bacteria.

August 2, 2010 at 10:38 a.m. ( | suggest removal )