Measles outbreak in Washington fueled by anti-vaxxers soars to 50 cases

Health officials in Washington state have identified more measles cases, bringing the total number to 50.

So far, 49 cases of the highly contagious disease have been confirmed in Clark County since January 1, and one case has been confirmed in King County, where Seattle is located.

Forty-one of the cases are in children who have not been vaccinated. Thirty-four are in children aged 10 and younger.

The first measles vaccine was introduced in 1963 and, by 2000, it was considered to be eradicated in the US.

But Washington is one of 18 states that allows non-medical exemptions for vaccines and has some of the highest rates of unimmunized children in the nation.

 

People infected with the virus have visited several locations in the Portland-Vancouver area including elementary and high schools, parks, churches, urgent care facilities, a Costco and an IKEA.

Measles is a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus.

When someone with measles coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets are sprayed into the air, where other people can inhale them and are then infected.

Symptoms present themselves between 10 to 14 days after infection and include fever, cough, runny nose and a total-body skin rash.

Once common, the disease is now rare due to the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children receive the first dose at 12 to 15 months old and the second dose at four to six years old.

The vaccine is about 97 percent effective. But those who are unvaccinated have a 90 percent chance of catching measles if they breathe the virus in, the CDC says.

Before the measles vaccine was available, more than 500,000 cases were diagnosed in the US every year, with about 500 annual deaths.

In 2018, 349 cases of measles were confirmed in 26 states and the District of Columbia, the CDC reported.

It is the second-greatest number since measles was considered eliminated in the US in 2000.

A report published by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month said measles has seen a 30 percent increase in cases around the world.

Between September 2017 and August 2018, WHO reported more than 41,000 cases with 40 deaths in EU member states.

Experts say the Portland-area and southwest Washington have become a ‘hotspot’ of the anti-vaccine movement.

State data shows that 85.7 percent of students received all their vaccines for the 2017-18 school year, down from 89.8 percent in the 1999-2000 school year.

Additionally, nearly eight percent of children in Clark County were exempt from getting vaccines required for kindergarten for the 2017-18 school year, according to The Oregonian.

A mere 1.2 percent were for medical reasons, while the rest were for ‘conscientious objector’ or ‘philosophical/personal beliefs’.

Washington is far from the only state to be battling a measles outbreak with cases reported in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Oregon and Pennsylvania since January 1.

New York has seen some of the highest numbers with 64 children in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and 130 children and adults in Rockland County falling ill since October 2018 – all in Orthodox Jewish communities.

Internet Hoax: Johns Hopkins Hospital issued a “cancer update” detailing how cancer spreads and recommending methods for treating the disease.

 

STATEMENT: EMAIL HOAX REGARDING CANCER

Information falsely attributed to Johns Hopkins called, “CANCER UPDATE FROM JOHN HOPKINS” describes properties of cancer cells and suggests ways of preventing cancer.  Johns Hopkins did not publish the information, which often is an email attachment, nor do we endorse its contents.  The email also contains an incorrect spelling of our institution as “John” Hopkins; whereas, the correct spelling is “Johns” Hopkins. For more information about cancer, please read the information on our web site or visit the National Cancer Institute.  Please help combat the spread of this hoax by letting others know of this statement.

Another hoax email that has been circulating since 2004 regarding plastic containers, bottles, wrap claiming that heat releases dioxins which cause cancer also was not published by Johns Hopkins.  More information from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Mythbusters:  Please help curb the spread of this hoax by sending a link to this page to individuals that forward you this email.

The Truth about the “Cancer Update” Email Hoax

Emails offering easy remedies for avoiding and curing cancer are the latest Web-influenced trend. To gain credibility, the anonymous authors falsely attribute their work to respected research institutions like Johns Hopkins. This is the case with the so-called “Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins.”

The gist of this viral email is that cancer therapies of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy do not work against the disease and people should instead choose a variety of dietary strategies.

Traditional therapies, such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, work. The evidence is the millions of cancer survivors in the United States today who are alive because of these therapies.   We recognize that treatments don’t work in every patient, or sometimes work for awhile and then stop working, and there are some cancers that are more difficult to cure than others. These problems are the focus of ongoing cancer research.

We’ll go through each statement in the email hoax and provide real responses from Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center experts.

 

http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/kimmel_cancer_center/news_events/featured/cancer_update_email_it_is_a_hoax.html

 

Study Links Circumcision to Personality Trait Disorder

Researchers find circumcised men have higher alexithymia scores than intact men. Alexithymia is the inability to process emotions.

The International Journal of Men’s Health has published the first study of its kind to look at the link between the early trauma of circumcision and the personality trait disorder alexithymia. The study, by Dan Bollinger and Robert S. Van Howe, M.D., M.S., FAAP, found that circumcised men are 60% more likely to suffer from alexithymia, the inability to process emotions.

People suffering from alexithymia have difficulty identifying and expressing their emotions. This translates into not being able to empathize with others. Sufferers of severe alexithymia are so removed from their feelings that they view themselves as being robots. If acquired at an early age, such as from infant circumcision, it might limit access to language and impede the socialization process that begins early in life. Moderate to high alexithymia can interfere with personal relationships and hinder psychotherapy. Impulsive behavior is a key symptom of alexithymia, and impulsivity is a precursor to violence.

The idea for the investigation came when the authors noticed that American men (for whom circumcision is likely) had higher alexithymia scores than European men (for whom circumcision is unlikely), and that European men had about the same scores as European and American women.

The study surveyed 300 circumcised and intact men using the standardized Toronto Twenty-Item Alexithymia Scale checklist. Circumcised men had higher scores across the board and a greater proportion of circumcised men had higher scores than intact men.

A common reason fathers give for deciding to circumcise their son is so they will “look alike,” but these authors speculate that perhaps a subconscious motivation is so that they will “feel alike,” in other words as equally distant and emotionally unavailable as themselves. It was beyond this study’s design to test for this, and yet the comments received from circumcised participants speak to a vast psychic wounding, which, if unresolved, might lead to an unconscious desire to repeat the trauma upon others.

The authors recommend that more research be conducted on this topic, but in the meantime, parents considering circumcising their infant son should be informed that circumcision might put their son at risk for alexithymia, including difficulty identifying and expressing his feelings, and for impulsive behavior. Psychologists counseling alexithymic patients should investigate the patient’s childhood and neonatal history for possible traumatic events, including circumcision.

If this pattern of men suffering from circumcision-related trauma holds true for the general populace, this would constitute a significant mental health problem and, considering that three-fourths of the U.S. male population is circumcised, a public health problem, too.

Alexithymia is from ancient Greek meaning, “having no words for feelings.” It was coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifneos in 1973 to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. Alexithymia tends to be persistent and chronic; it doesn’t diminish with time. This is unlike other trauma-based reactions, like post-traumatic stress disorder, which typically dissipate soon after the trauma.

***

 

http://intactnews.org/node/131/1316710012/study-links-circumcision-personality-trait-disorder

New Male Birth Control, Vasalgel, Is Perfect And Unavailable — And Needs To Be On The Market Already

There is a new birth control option in town, and it goes by the name Vasalgel. Unlike what the name may suggest, Vasalgel is not, in fact, a petroleum jelly to be used by women. Instead, Vasalgel is a male contraceptive, currently undergoing clinical trials, that’s apparently incredibly effective, reversible, cheap, and lasts for 10-15 years after just one treatment. So why isn’t it widely available?

A project spearheaded by the Parsemus Foundation, Vasalgel is a spin-off of the Indian treatment “RISUG,” or Reversible Inhibition of Sperm Under Guidance. Sounds scary, but it’s pretty simple. Effectively, Vasalgel is painlessly injected into the man’s vas deferens under local anesthetic, blocking the plumbing that causes the sperm membranes to burst. The procedure is likened to a No-Scalpel vasectomy, and can be completed in 15 minutes.

Unlike the traditional vasectomy, which requires a more invasive procedure to reverse, the RISUG procedure is easily undone with another injection that dissolves the blockage.

 

http://www.bustle.com/articles/19164-new-male-birth-control-vasalgel-is-perfect-and-unavailable-and-needs-to-be-on-the

Equal ≠ The Same: Sex Differences in the Human Brain

Early in 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered the makers of the well-known sleep aid Ambien (zolpidem) to cut their recommended dose in half-but only for women. In essence, the FDA was acknowledging that despite extensive testing prior to the drug’s release on the market, millions of women had been overdosing on Ambien for 20 years. On February 9, 2014, CBS’s 60 Minutes highlighted this fact-and sex differences in general-by powerfully asking two questions: Why did this happen, and are men and women treated equally in research and medicine?1

The answer to the first question is that the biomedical community has long operated on what is increasingly being viewed as a false assumption: that biological sex matters little, if at all, in most areas of medicine. The answer to the second question is no, today’s biomedical research establishment is not treating men and women equally. What are some of the key reasons for the biomedical community’s false assumption, and why is this situation now finally changing? What are some of the seemingly endless controversies about sex differences in the brain generated by “anti-sex difference” investigators? And what lies at the root of the resistance to sex differences research in the human brain?

Why Sex Didn’t Matter

For a long time, for most aspects of brain function, sex influences hardly mattered to the neuroscience mainstream. The only sex differences that concerned most neuroscientists involved brain regions (primarily a deep-brain structure called the hypothalamus) that regulate both sex hormones and sexual behaviors.2 Neuroscientists almost completely ignored possible sex influences on other areas of the brain, assuming that the sexes shared anything that was fundamental when it came to brain function. Conversely, the neuroscience mainstream viewed any apparent sex differences in the brain as not fundamental- something to be understood after they grasped the fundamental facts. By this logic, it was not a problem to study males almost exclusively, since doing so supposedly allowed researchers to understand all that was fundamental in females without having to consider the complicating aspects of female hormones. To this day, neuroscientists overwhelmingly study only male animals.3

To make matters worse, studying sex differences in the brain was for a long time distasteful to large swaths of academia.4 Regarding sex differences research, Gloria Steinem once said that it’s “anti-American, crazy thinking to do this kind of research.”5 Indeed, in about the year 2000, senior colleagues strongly advised me against studying sex differences because it would “kill” my career.

https://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/2014/Equal_%E2%89%A0_The_Same__Sex_Differences_in_the_Human_Brain/

Measles confirmed across Canada, doctors blame anti-vaxxer movement

 

TORONTO – In the last few weeks cases of measles have been reported from B.C. to Ontario. On Thursday alone, new cases were confirmed in Edmonton, Calgary, and Manitoba.

Doctors and health officials are pointing the blame at the anti-vaccination movement for the sudden outbreak, which is also spreading across the United States.

 

“When people say some of this might be related to low vaccine rates among people, that’s a huge understatement,” Dr. Gerald Evans, a Queen’s University medicine professor and director of infection control at Kingston General Hospital, told Global News.

“It’s all because of vaccination rates falling. It’s 100 per cent blamed on the fact that people aren’t getting vaccinated,” Evans said.

Evans said that it’s been decades since pockets of communities in such widespread areas have reported measles outbreaks. In Manitoba, for example, 1996 was the last time the province saw an outbreak.

There is a high rate of complications from measles, which sets it apart from other diseases also making a comeback, such as chicken pox and mumps.

 

Measles confirmed across Canada, doctors blame anti-vaxxer movement

Suspected case of measles detected at another B.C. school

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/suspected-case-of-measles-detected-at-another-b-c-school-1.1739716

 

Another post-secondary institute is reporting a suspected case of the measles, as the virus continues to make its way through B.C.’s Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.

The University of the Fraser Valley posted a notice online on Thursday warning students they may have been exposed to the virus if they were on campus on March 13th or 14th.

Health officials are now checking on up to 100 possible cases of the virus throughout the Eastern Fraser Valley.

“We believe that it’s partially because individuals who we asked to isolate and stay at home are not following our recommendations and are out and about in the community,” said Dr. Lisa Mu, a medical health officer with the Fraser Health Authority.

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes, followed by a rash three to seven days later. Children under the age of five are the most susceptible to the virus.

Students at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, in Burnaby, were exposed to measles two weeks ago with one student diagnosed with the illness.

As a precaution, BCIT restricted access to the J.W. Inglis building, where students had been exposed to the virus. Only students who had received a measles vaccine, or already had a case of the virus or were over the age of 34, were allowed to access the building.

The outbreak has been traced back to Mount Cheam, a Christian school in Chilliwack, where two unimmunized children contracted the virus. The region has historically had a low-immunization rate due to religious beliefs.

“Unfortunately we also do have to fight some of the messages on the internet which talk about harms associated with immunization. They are not based in science,” said Dr. Patricia Daly, vice president of Public Health with Vancouver Coastal Health.

To help concerned citizens, the Fraser Health Authority has been operating several vaccination clinics this week and will look to add more in the coming days.

Read more: http://bc.ctvnews.ca/suspected-case-of-measles-detected-at-another-b-c-school-1.1739716#ixzz2wdIYjqvI

 

 

CHILLIWACK (NEWS1130) – The measles outbreak in the Fraser Valley is now into its third week, and while clinics set up across the region to contain it have been busy, there seem to be some problems at ground zero.

Most of the people linked to the Chilliwack school where it started still haven’t been vaccinated.

 

http://www.news1130.com/2014/03/21/most-at-mt-cheam-christian-school-still-not-immunized/