For the past couple of months headlines decrying the measles outbreak of 1,000 cases in Britain have been plastered across the globe: from Britain to the US, to Viet Nam, Australia, and the Middle East. It has been so widely covered it surely must make one stop and consider whether this is not coordinated. (Bear in mind that 453 pedestrians died in Britain in 2011.1) Surely 1,000 cases of measles in a country of 60 million aren’t so important that they warrant global coverage, are they?
Or is it perhaps more the opportunity for the marketing machine of big pharma and global health to kick into action and shout from the roof tops that folks must be vaccinated. Perhaps it is also an opportunity to remind the public that research published by British gastroenterologist suggesting he had identified a new form of bowel disease in children with regressive autism after MMR was allegedly fraudulent. Several newspapers in Australia in the past few days even ran stories with the same title: “UK Measles Outbreak Linked to Vaccine Scare”.23 One does wonder.
After all, the jury is literally still out. Dr. Wakefield is suing the British Medical Journal (BMJ), the BMJ editor Fiona Godlee, and journalist Brian Deer for defamation and the suit should come up very soon. In addition, just last year Dr. Wakefield’s boss and supervisor on the study in question was fully exonerated of any and all wrong doing by the British High Court. In fact, the judge rebuked the British General Medical Council for their horrific handling of the case. The implication: this was a which hunt, not about truth.4
Not only will Dr. Wakefield see his day in court but it has been recently announced that a new vaccine is being developed to treat one of the symptoms of autism, namely bowel disease. So to be clear, Dr. Wakefield was crucified for daring to say he might have discovered a new type of bowel disease in children that seemed to sometimes follow MMR vaccination (according to the parents), and now vaccine makers have developed a vaccine to treat this bowel disease.5 Remember how health authorities and corporate media have reassured the public for years Wakefield’s findings were wrong – there is no such thing as inflammatory bowel disease. Oh the irony!
Aside from the incredibly scripted headlines circling the globe, there seems to be an abundance of contradictory data and information. There has been a measles outbreak in Turkey and according to an official from the Health Ministry, “Those between one and 19 years of age catching the disease had either not been vaccinated or could not develop immunity despite being vaccinated”, in other words they had either not been vaccinated or they HAD been vaccinated and the vaccine had failed.6
This point is driven home when one reads the honest assessment of the current measles outbreak in Pakistan where over 50% of the children contracting the disease had been fully vaccinated.7 The question that must be burning in everyone’s mind is, how many of the 1,000 cases of measles in Britain were amongst the vaccinated?
So far, the British government has been tight lipped on this point. Now have they revealed how many of the cases are actually confirmed by a lab test.
Perhaps it would not serve the dual purpose of pummeling Dr. Wakefield while scaring everyone into mass hysteria to get their measles shot if this potentially contradictory and rather damning data point were shared widely.
The bottom line is that measles outbreaks have been occurring in vaccinated and unvaccinated populations around the globe and no amount of blaming Dr. Wakefield can cover that up. For a full exploration of the fact that cases of reported measles actually declined after Dr. Wakefield published his paper, check out Dr. Edward Yazbak’s excellent investigation here in which he reveals that cases of measles actually went down after Dr. Wakefield’s paper.