Yesterday, in the Far North, Dr Jonathan Jarman had high blood pressure because he feared that 28 cases of measles in the last two months, in pakeha homeschooling, alternative life stylers in Hokianga, could trigger measles cases and deaths left, right and centre. His advice to health workers was to bail up everyone unvaccinated, born after 1969, and shoot’em up with an MMR vaccine, and to rope in anyone who hadn’t had an MMR, and see to it that they were injected. Not in that kind of language, but given information passed on from Kerikeri, the hard word tactics have already started.
So exactly what happened in Hokianga? Amongst 28 cases a nine month baby was admitted to Rawene Hospital for two days, with severe measles. Some severe measles, eh what? Of course, if you go by a 2005 newspaper article this baby should have been given a few high doses of vitamin A. Which should have set this babe on a fast track to good recovery.
Why might that “new” clinical rule exist? Why aren’t the rest of the hoi polloi in the far north educated about the uses of vitamin A? Even more interesting, why in the hype of the measles in Canterbury, and Southland last year, was not a word mentioned about vitamin A for measles? Pretty obvious really. Knowledge is power. Knowledge reduces fear. Knowledge means you don’t buy into the scaremongering. Knowledge means that you can see there is another way to act, other than get jabbed.
To get people to take the vaccine, you have to make them scared that they or their children will die, and that there is no other way to prevent that.
In 1997, during a measles outbreak, I stated in many media outlets that the use of vitamin A drastically reduced the seriousness of measles, as well as complications and deaths. The response of the medical profession, and the then Minister of Health was swift. The minister told me to butt out, though not in those words. The medical profession told the papers that vitamin A wasn’t relevant, because we were a developed country, and didn’t have the sort of vitamin deficiencies which would cause problems. The Ministry of Health took me to the Advertising Standards Tribunal for a brochure which quoted medical literature which quite plainly stated that vitamin A prevented measles complications and up to 80% of deaths. In other words, it could “cure” measles. But no-one can use the word “cure”, except the Ministry of Sickness, so I was told. Even if the claim was accurate.
During a tetchy telephone conversation with Dr Cameron Grant in 1997, I berated him for the medical profession’s ignorance as to nutritional deficiencies in the community and their refusal to apply something cheap which worked. Such as cod-liver oil, which has both vitamin A and D.
The conversation must have riled a few people, because a study was done and duly found that:
10 per cent of Auckland infants have vitamin deficiencies.
12 per cent of those aged 6 months to two years do not have enough Vitamin A.
10 per cent do not get enough Vitamin D.
25 per cent do not have enough iron in their blood.
And, we were told…
"If a child is admitted to hospital with measles, we give them a treatment of vitamin A," he said.
Here’s the interesting bit of this story. After this study, Dr Grant went on to publish a few medical articles about how bad the iron levels were. Fair enough. He published a couple on vitamin D, which have been superceded by even worse articles by other authors pointing out that vitamin D deficiencies in New Zealand are rife in all age groups.
But not one article was published on vitamin A deficiencies. Silence reigned…
With 70 years of medical literature firmly proving the usefulness of vitamin A, you’d expect Northland’s medical health professionals who must have been “enlightened” by Dr Grant’s findings, to be overflowing with advice to just pop cod liver oil, and vitamin C, and use common-sense nutrition and nursing care. But were they? Nope. Do they think the efficacy of vitamin A has not been proven?
The reason they don’t dare whisper such commonsense advice as vitamin A, is because, such advice undermines the very fear they need to instil, to freeze people’s brains into drone mode, so they let someone stick a needle with MMR into them, because otherwise they are powerless, scared and fearful. Only a vaccine will make them feel good about themselves again. The vaccine makes them safe, squeeky clean and impregnable. So they think.
In other words, you are being told that without the measles vaccine, you could get really sick and die, because your immune system wouldn’t know what to do with a measles virus. And you don't know that they are deliberately not telling you a very simple way to make measles mild.
The Health Department's motto is, "We can vaccinate you, so do it... why take the risk?!!!"
Recently, two geekspeak-in-the-lab-cultures articles have identified the “epigenetic” mechanisms by which vitamin A stops the measles from multiplying fast in cells, by up-regulating the inate immune system in uninfected cells, helping it prevent the virus infecting new cells, and presumably also helping the person to get rid of measles.
Antiviral Res. 2008 Oct;80(1):45-53. Epub 2008 May 19.
Retinoids inhibit measles virus in vitro via nuclear retinoid receptor signaling pathways.
Trottier C, Chabot S, Mann KK, Colombo M, Chatterjee A, Miller WH Jr, Ward BJ.
McGill University Health Center Research Institute, Department of Infectious Diseases, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Measles virus (MV) infects 30 million children every year, resulting in more than half a million deaths. Vitamin A (retinol) treatment of acute measles can reduce measles-associated mortality by 50-80%. We sought to determine whether or not retinoids can act directly to limit MV output from infected cells. Physiologic concentrations of retinol were found to inhibit MV output in PBMC and a range of cell lines of epithelial and endothelial origin (40-50%). Near complete inhibition of viral output was achieved in some cells/lines treated with all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and 9-cis RA (9cRA). Important attenuation of the anti-MV effect of retinoids in R4 cells, a subclone of a retinoid-responsive cell line (NB4) deficient in RAR signaling, demonstrates that this effect is mediated at least in part by nuclear retinoid receptor signaling pathways. Inhibition of MV replication could not be fully explained as a result of retinoid effects on cell differentiation, proliferation or viability, particularly at low retinoid concentrations (1-10nM). These data provide the first evidence that retinoids can directly inhibit MV in vitro, and raise the possibility that retinoids may have similar actions in vivo.
PMID: 18547655 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
FASEB J. 2009 Sep;23(9):3203-12. Epub 2009 May 15.
Retinoids inhibit measles virus through a type I IFN-dependent bystander effect.
Trottier C, Colombo M, Mann KK, Miller WH Jr, Ward BJ.
Department of Infectious Diseases, McGill University Health Center Research Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Measles-associated mortality can be decreased in response to treatment with vitamin A. Our goal was to understand the mechanism by which vitamin A and other retinoids reduce measles virus (MeV) replication in vitro. MeV is known to inhibit type I interferon (IFN) signaling, and retinoids are increasingly implicated in modulating innate immunity. Type I IFN blocking antibodies abrogated the inhibitory effects of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) on MeV replication (EC(50) of ATRA: 3.17 x 10(-8) M). IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) are up-regulated by ATRA in MeV-infected U937 cell cultures starting at 12 h and reaching a plateau at 24 h postinfection when compared to either treatment or infection alone. We found that this increased gene expression occurs in uninfected cells by using a transwell system where the uninfected cells were separated from infected cells by a membrane with 0.02-muM pores. Uninfected bystander cells from the ATRA-treated transwells did not support substantial viral replication when subsequently infected with MeV. In the absence of ATRA, the cells from the uninfected chamber did not up-regulate ISG expression and were not protected from subsequent challenge with virus. These results demonstrate that retinoids inhibit MeV replication by up-regulating elements of the innate immune response in uninfected bystander cells, making them refractory to productive infection during subsequent rounds of viral replication.
PMID: 19447880 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
So place your bets people.
I bet you that we’ll not hear pro vaccine medical people advising people about vitamin A to prevent complications, deaths and make measles milder, either privately, or in the news media. Just like they didn't last year, they won't this year.
A wee anecdotal clinical note. It’s better to use cod liver oil, than vitamin A, because vitamin D also helps trigger and arm the immune system and the two work together.
What will you notice if you use vitamin A for measles? Within 30 minutes any sensitivity to the light will have disappeared, and you can do away with the ridiculous advice to “keep a child in a darkened room with drawn curtains, because I haven’t a clue about vitamin A putting back the vitamin A in the retina and stopping photophobia”.
From our experience, the biggest problem treating your children the commonsense way, which many grandmother's knew about before geekspeak came along, will be that most of them will bounce around like pogo-sticks run with ever-ready batteries. It will be very hard to convince them to stay away from other children. "I'm not sick mum... oh, that rash??? piffle!"
It’s now considered some social terrorism type crime to allow your unvaccinated measly infected pogo stick child with no complications, near vaccinated children, or anyone else, because the vaccinated might get sick.
And you know, that's possible. They could be misdiagnosed, because having been vaccinated, it can’t possibly be measles. Must be one of the other 25 viruses which can cause a measles like illness. If misdiagnosed, they probably won’t be given vitamin A. And if they have no antibodies from the vaccine, chances are they could have an underlying immune problem which might predispose them to other problems.
And if their diet is as bad as that provided to homestay students, which apparently is how most New Zealanders live, then no wonder New Zealanders have major health problems. My sympathies lie with the Asian students.
And those adults born after 1969, might also get sick and die, particularly if they live on white bread and vegetmite, and aren’t told how to manage it properly, because measles is historically worst in adults and very young babies.
Healthy kids, brought up on good nutrition will fly through measles with few if any problems. Having measles naturally; treating measles responsibly, is the best way to get the strongest long term immunity.
But ... let’s not allow the pro vaccine vaccine defenders an opportunity to create hysteria amongst pro-vaccine parents, by labelling parents who won’t keep their very unsick looking children with measles away from everyone else, as irresponsible "Typhoid Marys".
P.S. And don't follow the doctor's orders and use pamol for infectious fevers!