Wednesday, August 8, 2007

MMR

The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) has been in the media the most because of the suspected ties to autism.

As I mentioned in a previous post, thimerosal/mercury is not an issue with the MMR because it is a *LIVE* vaccine. It does not need a preservative so it never had mercury in the first place.

The MMR used to be given at 18mos which is also the same time that "regressive" autism appears. This is the reason for the correlation. Some children regress without a vaccine, some regress sooner or later but many do regress after their MMR. One side says is suspicious, one side says its a coincidence.

Going back to thinking of our childrens immune system....if a child is predisposed to an autoimmune disease and/or autism then a very powerful 3-in-1 vaccine like the MMR *could* push that child over the edge into autism. Many mothers believe it did just that to their children.

One option is to split the vaccines. Its not easy to get them and your Dr may not like it but you do have the right to do so. (Ill work on getting you that info). Then you can give them a year apart. If I was going to do this Id only vax for measles since, IMO, that is the only disease of concern for a young child.

Mumps is a viral disease that causes flu-like symptoms as well as swollen cheeks due to infection of the salivary glands. For most the disease in not serious but in up to 10% it can lead to meningitis. It has also been linked to spontaneous abortion and deafness and very rarely, death. Meningitis can cause sterility in adolescent and adult males, but from what Ive read the risk is only 1%. In 2006 there was an outbreak of 1000 peopole and no casualties. Typically there are only a few hundred cases a year in the US.

Rubella or the "german measles" is not a serious disease for children. Many people have it and never even know. The risk is to pregnant women and their unborn children because Rubella can cause severe birth defects and miscarriage in 20-25% of those who contract it in the 1st trimester. I do think women who are thinking of having children should consider vaccination if they are not immune (before you are pregnant!). And while I hate the thought of my child causing harm to another its another story of vaxing our children on behalf of others especially since there are very few cases of rubella a year (less than 20).

Measles is the most serious of the diseases IMO because it is more common than the others and has a higher fatality rate. That said, most healthy children will recover without complications. A few generations ago nearly every single child would have had it, it was a normal childhood disease. Secondary complications can be severe in a small percentage though - meningitis, pneumonia, high fevers, brain damage and death.

*since the MMR is a live vaccine it *is* possible to contract a strain of measles from the vaccine.


to be continued.........

2 comments:

Alli said...

I've read that rubella can also cause sterility in adult and adolescent males.

chewymama said...

I searched for this and couldnt find any info. Any idea where you read it?