The Diseases: Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Since the use of vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella, there’s been a change in the age at which those diseases are contracted. They now occur during the late teens and young adulthood, ages when risks from these diseases are higher. Merck Canada’s M-M-R® II, a combination live virus vaccine used against measles, mumps and rubella, is injected into people this age whenever an outbreak of one of these diseases evolves into what health authorities consider an epidemic.
Before the vaccination era, measles usually occurred at 5-9 yrs. It was very rare in infants younger than 1 year old and persons older than 15 yrs. It was highly infectious, appearing most often in winter and early spring. Measles had an incubation period of 9-21 days; the rash appeared 14 days after exposure to the virus. The marker for measles infection, small white spots named Koplik’s spots, appeared on the inside of the cheeks about 2 days before and remained 1-2 days after appearance of the rash. Measles rash began at the head and spread to the extremities. Initially, it would turn white when pressure was applied but, after a few days, became confluent, brownish and no longer blanched with pressure. It could itch considerably and often the patient was extremely sensitive to light. The infection was usually over in 10 days and conferred lifelong immunity thereafter. In wealthy nations like Canada, the risk of developing serious complications from measles was low. Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, fifteenth edition, uses measles as an example of the meaning of the word, endemic, defining that adjective as “A disease that occurs in a particular population, but has low mortality.”
In her 1999 book, Immunization: History, Ethics, Law and Health, Catherine Diodati discusses another set of symptoms that have shown up in those who contract measles at an age that was not normal during the pre-vaccine era or in those who are immunosuppressed. She writes: “The following signs have been noted with atypical presentations of measles: the absence of Koplik spots, abnormal measles rash, persistent high fevers necessitating hospitalization, hypoxia (lack of oxygen at the cellular level affecting heart and respiratory functions and causing mental confusion), and giant-cell pneumonia.” She continues, quoting from a study published in The Lancet of Jan 5, 1985: “It is believed that the normal measles rash is ‘caused by a cell-mediated immune reaction which damages cells infected with measles virus.’ The absence, or diminished presentation, of the rash ‘may imply that intracellular virus escapes neutralization…[perhaps] giv[ing] rise to the development of disease subsequently.’”
The well known symptom of mumps, also called parotitis, is painful swelling of one or both parotid glands, the salivary glands located on the jaw beneath the ear. However, unlike measles, mumps was a mild disease. Approximately 30% of all cases showed no symptoms and could not be detected by blood tests. Before mumps vaccinations, the usual age at which mumps occurred was 5-15 yrs. Boys contracted it more often than girls. Complications were rare and sterility in post- pubescent males – a possible risk used to help convince parents of the need for the vaccine – was extremely rare.
Rubella, also called German measles, was the mildest of the three infections and often went undetected. Prior to rubella vaccination it occurred mainly in spring in 6-10 yr olds. Its one claim to infamy was that it might cause Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS) in unborn babies whose mothers were exposed to the virus during pregnancy. Especially during the first trimester, CRS could be associated with serious birth defects: mental retardation, deafness, blindness, autism, heart problems and retarded growth in the womb. According to MD and homeopath, Dr Richard Moscowitz, “Rubella should be suspected in the event of a mild fever; punctuate [dotted] rash; and swollen or tender lymph nodes behind the ears and neck, and around the base of the skull – an area seldom affected in other ailments.” It’s been calculated that, pre-vaccine, approximately 80% of the population was immune to rubella by 20 years of age.
Efficacy of the Diseases; Lack of Efficacy of the Vaccines
A major study conducted by A W Hedrich and published in 1933 examined measles epidemiology between 1900 and 1931 in Baltimore, Maryland. It concluded that when 68% of the population under 15 yrs old was immune to measles, epidemics didn’t happen. This critical level of natural immunity was called “herd immunity”, a term later to be appropriated by those promoting vaccines.
In his book, Health and Nutrition Secrets that Can Save Your Life, Russell Blaylock, MD writes, “The measles virus is notorious for depressing the immune system.” The late paediatrician, Robert Mendelsohn, quoted the World Health Organization (WHO) in his book, How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor. The WHO stated, “the chances are about 15 times greater that measles will be contracted by those vaccinated against them than by those who are not.”
A live virus measles vaccine, ie one not combined with mumps and rubella vaccines was licensed in Canada in 1963 but, as late as the end of 1972, less than one quarter of the child population had received it. Catherine Diodati notes an interesting gap in the reporting of measles cases in Canada between 1959 and 1968, “important years immediately preceding and following vaccine licensure.” She acknowledges an overall decline in measles cases from the 1970s onward but advises, “While one might assume that the vaccine caused the reduction in incidence rates, current research indicates that this assumption may be false. Measles cases now appear predominantly amongst the fully vaccinated.”
Midwife, Aviva Jill Romm, author of Vaccination: a Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, tells us that, prior to mass immunization using measles vaccines, measles “was very rare in infants, who almost universally acquired passive immunity from their mothers. By 1993, more than 25 percent of all measles cases were in babies less than a year old. CDC officials attribute this to the fact that those women who were vaccinated for measles as girls in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s could not confer passive immunity on their offspring, as only the naturally occurring disease stimulates an adequate antibody level for doing so.” Predictably, as has happened with pertussis, “it is very likely that in a population where there is no longer any passive immunity and revaccination is occurring during young adulthood, the disease will once again shift epidemiologically and find a new host in the adult and elderly populations.”
Since mumps is such a mild disease its vaccine needs to be super- effective for its health benefits to outweigh its health risks. Continuing outbreaks of mumps in highly vaccinated populations provide evidence that this vaccine is not super-effective.
Vaccinating babies for rubella is even more questionable than vaccinating for mumps or measles. Catherine Diodati tells us, “In 1980 Dr Cherry, a member of the [US] Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, explained that ‘essentially we have controlled the disease in persons 14 years of age or younger but have given it a free hand in those 15 or older’.” Dr Cherry was referring to the shift in rubella cases from young children to older adolescents and adults which had occurred during a mere decade since the vaccine had been introduced. By 1981, and following a switch to vaccinating only adolescent girls and susceptible women from 1972 to1982, CRS cases in the US were declining. But whether or not the decline can be attributed to the vaccine is unclear, since, by that time, fertility was decreasing and more abortions were being performed on women who’d been exposed to rubella.
Vitamin A Prevents Birth Defects
In her astute analysis, ‘Rubella in Babies & Pregnant Women’, veteran vaccine researcher, Hilary Butler, tells us that all viruses, not just rubella virus, can cause birth defects. She says the reason for this is that the process of viral infection consumes Vitamin A. Butler contends that, since 80% of pregnant women who contract rubella during the first trimester of their pregnancies do not bear deformed babies, something else must be the main cause of CRS. That cause, she claims, is malnourishment in the mother – specifically Vitamin A deficiency. In the pre-vaccine era, cod liver oil (which contains Vit A) was commonly used as a preventive against viral infections.
MMR is High Risk
While the efficacy of MMR vaccine is dubious, the risks are not. Even death is possible. A report from Springfield, Missouri told of the death of 1 yr old Madyson Wilson on May 12, 2006, just 6 days after she’d received MMR vaccine. The report was accompanied by a photo of a beautiful blue-eyed, red-lipped, smiling child who looked the epitome of good health. Madyson’s parents received $250 thousand as “compensation” from the US Department of Health and Human Services. But, in its 2011 M-M-R® II monograph, Merck Canada states: “Death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes has been reported rarely following vaccination with measles, mumps and rubella vaccines; however, a causal relationship has not been established in healthy individuals.” (Note that they don’t say that a causal relationship with death from MMR has not been established in unhealthy individuals, ie children who were vaccinated despite health problems.)
The injury most commonly discussed as being associated with MMR vaccine is autism. Neither this disease nor any of its relatives – Asperger’s syndrome, PDD-NOS (pervasive development disorder not otherwise specific), Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder – are listed in the monograph. Retired neurosurgeon, Russell Blaylock, writes: “Dr Andrew Wakefield has demonstrated by careful testing that autistic children suffering from unrelenting stomach problems frequently have live measles viruses growing within the cells lining their intestine. When observed through an endoscope, the intestinal lining looks like a tube filled with cobbled outgrowths that are beefy red from inflammation. These cobbled overgrowths are lymphoid patches in the wall of the intestine, infected with measles virus.” Testing of several children’s intestinal viruses found they genetically matched the measles virus in the MMR vaccine the children had received. Blaylock adds, “The measles virus, both from vaccines and the naturally occurring virus, can also penetrate other organs, including the brain.”
Dr Blaylock also mentions two cases of parkinsonism developing in young children shortly after they’d received MMR vaccine. One of them was a 5yr old whose case was so severe he required continued drug treatment. Parkinsonism is cause by damage to nerves in the brain and has symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
The M-M-R® II monograph lists the following ingredients: attenuated (weakened) measles and mumps viruses which have been propagated in chick embryo cell culture; attenuated rubella virus propagated in aborted human lung culture; sorbitol; hydrolyzed gelatin; sodium phosphate; sucrose; sodium bicarbonate; potassium phosphate; neomycin; MSG; phenol red; recombinant human albumin; and serum from a foetal calf.
The monograph lists many contraindications, warnings and precautions. These include the need for hypersensitive individuals to avoid the vaccine if they might react to any of its components. Pregnant women must avoid the vaccine and fertile females must use contraception for three months following vaccination with M-M-R® II. The monograph explains, “Histologic changes, similar to those seen in gestational rubella, have been observed and rubella virus has been recovered from decidua [lining of the uterus shed with the afterbirth] following vaccination of pregnant women with live attenuated rubella vaccine. These vaccines may thus constitute a risk to the fetus.”
In 1999, F Edward Yazbak MD, FAAP reported on health problems of children born to mothers who were vaccinated with a live virus vaccine after age sixteen. He wrote, “Seven of these mothers report being vaccinated during early pregnancy: three received the rubella vaccine, two the measles vaccine, and one the combined measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The seventh mother…had received an MMR booster five months prior to conception. Six out of seven (85%) of the children who resulted from these pregnancies were diagnosed with autism and the last one, whose mother had received a measles vaccine early in pregnancy, seems to have a sensory integration disorder, and multiple social and behavioral symptoms which could suggest autistic tendencies.”
In a 2001 study, Yazbak and K Lang-Radash MS wrote, “We identified 60 rubella-susceptible mothers who were revaccinated in the postpartum period with either the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) or the monovalent rubella vaccine and whose children later received MMR vaccine. Forty-five of these women have children diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD); another ten women have children with autistic symptoms, ADD/ADHD or other developmental delays…”
Furthermore, whereas natural rubella infection generally confers lifelong protection from the disease, rubella vaccine does not. Several Studies have shown that children born to women who’d been efficaciously vaccinated within a few years of becoming pregnant developed Congenital Rubella Syndrome (CRS). This means that, potentially, the lack of natural immunity due to vaccination with rubella or MMR vaccines could result in any of the serious conditions listed above which are associated with CRS: mental retardation, deafness, blindness, autism, heart problems and retarded growth in the womb.
The M-M-R® II monograph adds, “Excretion of small amounts of the live attenuated rubella virus from the nose or throat has occurred in the majority of individuals 7 to 28 days after vaccination.” But, “transmission, while accepted as a theoretical possibility, is not regarded as a significant risk. However, transmission of the rubella vaccine virus to infants via breast milk has been documented.” Yazbak provides evidence that breastfed children of mothers with live rubella virus in their milk have a propensity to develop autism spectrum disorders following injection of MMR vaccine.
The monograph lists many other possible adverse reactions. The most common group of symptoms noted is ‘Infections and Infestations’; 44% of trial subjects developed croup, ear infections, gastroenteritis, nasopharyngitis, sinusitis, upper respiratory infections and/or viral rash. It continues with numerous “rare” possible reactions including “parotitis” (commonly known as mumps), blood problems, arthritis, seizures, Guillain-Barré syndrome, encephalitis, eye and ear disorders, etc.
But whether or not these adverse events truly are rare is unclear. A Cochrane Review examined numerous studies published July 2004 to May 2011 involving a total of about 14,700,000 children up to fifteen years of age, attempting to assess the effectiveness and adverse effects associated with the MMR vaccine. The authors note reports of 92%-98% efficacy against measles, 64%-87% against mumps but reveal, “We did not identify any studies assessing the effectiveness of MMR in preventing rubella.” Furthermore, “The design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies, both pre- and post-marketing, are largely inadequate.” They admonish, “The evidence of adverse events following immunisation with the MMR vaccine cannot be separated from its role in preventing the target diseases.”
Unvaccinated Children by Richard Moscowitz, MD.
Health and Nutrition Secrets that Can Save Your Life by Russell Blaylock, MD; 2006; ISBN-10: 0-929173-48-1 and ISBN-13: 978-0-929173-48-1.
Immunization: History, Ethics, Law and Health by Catherine J M Diodati, MA; 2nd edition; Sept, 1999; ISBN 0-9685080-0-6.
Vaccination: a Thoughtful Parent’s Guide by Aviva Jill Romm; 2001; ISBN 0-89281-931-6.
‘Rubella in Babies & Pregnant Women’ by Hilary Butler (This article appeared in VRANewsletter; Winter, 2004.)
‘Settlement in death of 1-year old Springfield girl from MMR vaccine’; KSPR News; Oct 10, 2008.
Product Monograph; M-M-R® II; Merck Canada Ltd; June 27, 2011. (PDF)
F Edward Yazbak; Autism: Is There a Vaccine Connection? Abstract: Vaccination During Pregnancy; VRANewsletter; Jan-March 2000; pg 8
Demicheli, Rivetti, Debalini, Pietrantoni; Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children; Cochrane Library; Feb 15, 2012.