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Medicine Science

Measles Outbreak Tied To Texas Megachurch 622

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-being-bad-at-science dept.
New submitter the eric conspiracy sends this quote from NBC: "An outbreak of measles tied to a Texas megachurch where ministers have questioned vaccination has sickened at least 21 people, including a 4-month-old infant — and it's expected to spread further, state and federal health officials said. 'There's likely a lot more susceptible people,' said Dr. Jane Seward, the deputy director for the viral diseases division at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ... All of the cases are linked to the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, where a visitor who'd traveled to Indonesia became infected with measles – and then returned to the U.S., spreading it to the largely unvaccinated church community, said Russell Jones, the Texas state epidemiologist. ... Terri Pearsons, a senior pastor of Eagle Mountain International said she has had concerns about possible ties between early childhood vaccines and autism. In the wake of the measles outbreak, however, Pearsons has urged followers to get vaccinated and the church has held several vaccination clinics. ... 'In this community, these cases so far are all in people who refused vaccination for themselves and their children,' [Steward] added. The disease that once killed 500 people a year in the U.S. and hospitalized 48,000 had been considered virtually eradicated after a vaccine introduced in 1963. Cases now show up typically when an unvaccinated person contracts the disease abroad and spreads it upon return to the U.S."
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Measles Outbreak Tied To Texas Megachurch

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  • As usual. (Score:5, Funny)

    by nospam007 (722110) * on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:17PM (#44691761)

    Think of it as evolution in action.

    • Re:As usual. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:29PM (#44691853)

      YES!! One of the oldest rules of survival - STUPID ANIMALS DIE!!!!

      • Re:As usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:53PM (#44692069)

        One of the oldest rules of survival - STUPID ANIMALS DIE!!!!

        Only up to a point. Natural selection works both ways. Stupid animals may die because they make stupid mistakes. But smart animals may also be under a disadvantage because their more active brain consumes more energy, and the curiosity that comes with intelligence may get them in trouble. If wild animals, such as rats, are captured, selectively bred to improve their intelligence, and then released, they will regress to their original level. So you want to be smart, but not too smart.

        • by mjwx (966435) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:15PM (#44692645)

          One of the oldest rules of survival - STUPID ANIMALS DIE!!!!

          Only up to a point. Natural selection works both ways. Stupid animals may die because they make stupid mistakes. But smart animals may also be under a disadvantage because their more active brain consumes more energy, and the curiosity that comes with intelligence may get them in trouble. If wild animals, such as rats, are captured, selectively bred to improve their intelligence, and then released, they will regress to their original level. So you want to be smart, but not too smart.

          Not really, smarter animals are more often in trouble when stupid animals die because they used the stupid animal as a staple food source.

          Not that I propose eating anti-vaxxers... Who knows what diseases they might have.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:31PM (#44691867)

      Please check which option you'd like:
      [ ] vaccinations
      [x] Darwin Award registration

      • Poll Results:

        3% vaccinations
        25% Darwin Award registration
        95% Jesus Christ Award registration

        This poll is brought to you by Fox News and Friends and may not be scientific..
         

    • Re:As usual. (Score:5, Informative)

      by ericloewe (2129490) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:33PM (#44691897)

      Yeah. Too bad that idiots can spread diseases before they die of their stupidity (Yeah, they're not going to die, but it applies generally).
      Herd immunity doesn't work if a bunch of idiots decides that vaccines are evil/dangerous/demonstrative of a lack of faith/useless/*insert absurd argument here*.

      Let's also thank the media, for creating hysteria where there should be none, and not having the guts to admit they were just spreading FUD after it becomes obvious that their latest sensationalist bullshit is just that.

      It's also nice how a "senior pastor" quickly becomes a medical authority for these people. Do they have their doctors fix their plumbing as well?

      • by mrclisdue (1321513) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:24PM (#44692311)

        ...Do they have their doctors fix their plumbing as well?

        Most women do, yes.

        cheers,

      • Re:As usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by pla (258480) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:06PM (#44692583) Journal
        Herd immunity doesn't work if a bunch of idiots decides that vaccines are evil/dangerous/demonstrative of a lack of faith/useless/*insert absurd argument here*.

        Most importantly, herd immunity doesn't work if you socialize almost exclusively with a herd lacking that particular immunity.

        Which, incidentally, makes this just the most sublimely satisfying bit of news I've heard all week - Idiots reject vaccination on assorted bogus grounds, trusting that their baby won't die of some horrible disease because our society has largely eradicated it (through vaccination, no less). Idiots then hang out with other idiots following the same flawed logic. Idiots thereby have their gene-pool chlorinated.

        Sadly, not fast enough, and really, quite a pity that these things mostly affect the young, not-yet-brainwashed members of their community. But - if you'll pardon the pun - baby-steps in the right direction.


        / Now if we could just find a disease that prefers people who drive too slow in the left lane...
    • Re:As usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by squiggleslash (241428) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:42PM (#44691973) Homepage Journal

      OK, you know it's measles we're talking about? Something that was pretty common until vaccinations. I'm old enough to have had it myself.

      We're still here, so my guess is that evolution isn't going to take care of "people who prefer not to be vaccinated against measles".

      • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:48PM (#44692031) Homepage Journal

        then they're putting everyone at risk for mumps and rubella, both with reproductive implications.

      • Re:As usual. (Score:4, Informative)

        by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:01AM (#44693853) Homepage
        OK, you know it's measles we're talking about?

        Yes. It's the same disease that killed almost a fifth of Hawaii's population [wikipedia.org] because they'd never encountered it before and had no immunity. It can be really, really nasty in cases like that and I'm almost surprised that more haven't died yet in this outbreak.
        • I seriously doubt that the population of this megachurch has more than two generations that haven't been exposed directly to measles - and those two generations are almost all going to be people who are children of, or grandchildren of, people who have. Measles was extremely common before vaccination, and while it can kill, deaths are generally rare.

          This is not to suggest the vaccine isn't good (especially as the measles vaccine is usually administered as MMR, dealing with mumps and rubella), but it's ov

    • Think of it as evolution in action.

      The parents are fine, because they were all vaccinated when they were kids. It's their children who are made to suffer their stupidity. If anything, a special child-abuse team should be set up to ascertain whether the parents have learned from their mistake and are willing to make changes to their beliefs, or if they are still a danger to the future health of their children.

    • Re:As usual. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Xtifr (1323) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:03PM (#44692145) Homepage

      I prefer to think of it as child abuse. And before you say it, no, there is no correlation between low intelligence and believing stupid things. Intelligent people are, in fact, quite adept at coming up with elaborate justifications for believing the most incredibly stupid things. So this is not just killing stupid kids.

      Furthermore, it's not just the children of these deluded fools who are at risk. There are a lot of children who cannot get standard vaccines because of various allergies. Normally, these children are protected by herd immunity [wikipedia.org], but when enough people begin to refuse vaccinations based on stupid, insane, and utterly discredited theories, the herd immunity protection goes away.

      Frankly, I think the anti-vaxxers are shouting fire in a crowded theatre, and should be treated accordingly.

      • Re:As usual. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by pla (258480) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:09PM (#44692611) Journal
        Normally, these children are protected by herd immunity [wikipedia.org], but when enough people begin to refuse vaccinations based on stupid, insane, and utterly discredited theories

        Or, to put it another way - The lord is my shepherd, but I ain't a sheep!
      • of course the morons will then WHARGARBBBL about fascism and tyranny, as if the only threat to life and liberty comes from the government, and not from the morons living around you

        no one should have the "freedom" to kill children, whether theirs or their neighbor's. they might not realize that their beliefs are doing that. and you're certainly entitled to your beliefs, but you're not entitled to your own facts

        when the issue is life and death, it's time to force the morons to stop killing children. if they can't be reasoned with, they need to be forced

        scientific fact is not tyranny

    • If measles was limited to the people who didn't vaccinate due to "it'll lead to autism" scares, I'd agree.

      Unfortunately, everyone who doesn't vaccinate due to misplaced fears of autism or "toxins" in the vaccines weakens herd immunity. That means that people who can't vaccinate for legitimate medical reasons (immune system problems, too young, allergic, etc) can get the diseases and die. These people aren't just putting their kids at risk, they are putting every other person their child is in contact with

  • by MrEricSir (398214) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:20PM (#44691773) Homepage

    ...that you shouldn't listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about.

    • by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:41PM (#44691963)

      ...that you shouldn't listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about.

      How do I know that you know what you are talking about?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Through inductive reasoning. Either he knows what he is talking about or he doesn't.
        If he does, it is the case that you shouldn't listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about, therefore you should listen to him because he does.
        If he doesn't, it is not the case that you shouldn't listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about and thus, you should listen to him. But then you shouldn't listen to him, because in that case he is the kind of person he's warning you away from. So you

      • by tolkienfan (892463) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:24PM (#44692727) Journal

        You could start by refusing medical advice from a pastor...

    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:48PM (#44692029)

      Why would anyone go to a church for medical advice anyway? Do they go to their doctor for religious advice . . . ?

      But I guess some folks believe that their church has answers for everything.

      Should I buy a Chevy or a Ford truck . . . ? Let's take a look at the Bible Consumer Reports and see what Jesus would buy . . .

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:11PM (#44692197)

        Well his disciples preferred Honda. "They were all with one accord - Acts 2:1"

      • by plover (150551) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:44PM (#44692439) Homepage Journal

        Why would anyone go to a church for medical advice anyway?

        A couple thousand years ago when their book was written, it was a useful document to run a society. It was used to bind followers under a common religion, sure, but it included diverse topics ranging from a code of laws regarding behavior through history, economics, and plausible-enough explanations of natural phenomena.

        It also contains a few sentences of health information. These include lists of what to eat and what not to eat, and how to keep a kosher kitchen, which was a somewhat practical way of avoiding contamination and sickness. Other medical advice included the idea of quarantining a leper and burning his clothes and possessions, and to wash in running water after coming in contact with a dead body. Hyssop was a biblical era cleansing agent, which is not a bad choice for a plant recognized today for its antiseptic properties.

        So because it offers a few words on the topic, that provides enough "authority" for the preacher to talk about it. And what a preacher says on the subject will be taken seriously by ardent followers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lgw (121541)

          In other words, it was a record of proven best practices of the time. The same was true of the Bible's social advice. And people have changed much less than our knowledge of medicine and hygiene. It amazes me how quick people are to reject the ways of living suggested by any major religion in favor of some idea that sounds good. These were not arbitrary codes of behavior, these were proven ways of keeping society working over time. That doesn't mean everything is right or that one could improve upon mo

    • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:52PM (#44692065) Homepage

      ...that you shouldn't listen to people who have no idea what they're talking about.

      Emotional solutions usually trump rational ones. A lot less energy required for thinking, and a lot more self-righteous feel-good dopamine rush.

  • Muhahaha (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:21PM (#44691775)

    Where is your god now??

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Punishing churches with women pastors apparently.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:23PM (#44691799)

    Interesting!

    It's almost as if these "vaccines" actually work!

    Maybe these "vaccines" were intelligently designed or something!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:31PM (#44691871)

      I don't think these people are doubting that vaccines work. Rather they are more afraid of their kids having autism than measles. And they don't understand that vaccines don't cause autism.

      • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:45PM (#44692005)

        and probably do not understand how nasty measles can be and what kind of lifelong disabilities it can leave you (deafness, meniere's, ...)

      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:01PM (#44692129)

        I don't think these people are doubting that vaccines work. Rather they are more afraid of their kids having autism than measles. And they don't understand that vaccines don't cause autism.

        I think many have this false belief due to (at least) one now widely discredited study published proposing this link - this/these ideas are still pushed by some people and celebrities, like Jenny McCarthy [newyorker.com].

        From Anti-Vaccine Body Count [jennymccar...ycount.com]:

        The United States Anti-Vaccination Movement is composed of a variety of individuals ranging from former doctors who should know better, to semi-celebrities who have no medical training, to anti-government conspiracy theorists who distrust anything that the government says.

        • Number of Preventable Illnesses: 120,487
        • Number of Preventable Deaths: 1,283
        • Number of Autism Diagnoses Scientifically Linked to Vaccinations: 0

        Unfortunately, some people would rather believe that some *thing* - the vaccination - caused their child to "get" Autism rather than living with the understanding that it was genetic - and came from them.

        • I think many have this false belief due to (at least) one now widely discredited study published proposing this link - this/these ideas are still pushed by some people and celebrities, like Jenny McCarthy.

          Getting your medical advice from a Playboy Bunny isn't any smarter than getting it from your preacher.

      • by Jason Levine (196982) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:12PM (#44693305)

        Sadly, over on Phil Plait's blog, an anti-vax commenter said "If by chance a death occurs... I personally would rather bear the dead than sustain the epidemic trend of life long chronic illnesses such as autism, asthma, diabetes, cancer." Yes, this person would rather see a child dead than have autism, diabetes, cancer, or ASTHMA!

        Personally, my son is autistic (Asperger's Syndrome) and I know plenty of other parents of autistic kids (many with needs much greater than my own son). I know of NO parents who wish their kid was dead. I know a parent whose child has cancer (second or third time back - going to need a bone marrow transplant and even then it's not a guarantee) - I'm sure that they have NEVER wished their child was dead. I can't imagine ANY parent wishing their kid was dead (perhaps short some terminal illness where the kid has zero chance of recovery and is suffering greatly... and even then it's a "choosing between two evils" scenario). But this anti-vaxxer would rather see kids dead than risk the "horrors" of asthma.

        One last point: I have Asperger's Syndrome as well so I was also personally offended by the implication that both my son and I were better off dead than autistic. I've done pretty well for myself and my son's future is quite bright. (The kid's a natural at math and computers. Scary good.) Even if vaccines DID cause autism (WHICH THEY DON'T), I'd rather have a hundred autistic kids than one child die of a vaccine preventable illness.

  • A river of blood, locusts and frogs.

    Seriously, though, frogs has to be the oddest possible plague. They are about the least threatening creatures ever (perhaps along with sheep) and eat bugs. Also, they look nice.

    Plague of frogs == awesomest thing ever.

  • by jd.schmidt (919212) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:32PM (#44691883)

    ...so long as you keep the little plague bearers quarantined away from me and mine.

    Vaccines are science, if you think they are causing health issues use real science, not a personal feeling. This issue is MUCH bigger than a simple personal choice.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There was some blog article somewhere. This woman decided she didnt want her kid vaccinated. All was well and good. Then some other kid caught the measles, and the school board told her that her child had to stay at home for 8 months in case he/she was a carrier now (or some such length of time... it was however long it takes the disease to run its course). At first she thought they were joking ("how am I supposed to work?), but now, they were serious.

      ^^ this is the solution for people who refuse vaccin

    • Vaccines are science, if you think they are causing health issues use real science, not a personal feeling.

      Yet you base your response to them on personal feelings... rather than science. Except in extraordinarily rare cases, measles vaccinations confer immunity for life.

      • How so? Actually if vaccinations did confer lifelong and perfect immunity I wouldn't care as much, it is precisely because they don't that I am so worried.

        Look at it this way, there are several diseases we have effectively eradicated because of public vaccination policies. But in some cases these have become political footballs in a nation, for various reasons, and eradication has stalled. I know we all like to have personal choice and hate it when we are made to do something, but this IS one of those th

      • Also I have to add, there are some people who really can not have the vaccine for legitimate reasons. Should these kids be quarantined instead?

        The goal should not just be control, but eradication of these diseases. There is a greater public goal involved.

  • by Mindragon (627249) * on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:34PM (#44691909) Journal
    Ever since they gave a lot of "talking time" to folks that may not have any idea at all what they are talking about, our "fair and balanced" media also shares a hand in the killing of these people.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...and (today) God's name is MEASLES.
    Poor fools listened to a man on a pulpit.

  • by mcmonkey (96054) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @07:42PM (#44691967) Homepage

    The only logical conclusion is god hates these people.

    I have no measles, so I know god loves me.

  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:20PM (#44692281)

    Looks to me like measles is God's punishment for MegaChurches [wikipedia.org].

    Which seems fair, or at least practical. Seriously, if you need parking lot traffic directors, you've got too many members.

  • by bdwebb (985489) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:23PM (#44692297)
    This is the part that is shocking about this to me:

    Terri Pearsons, a senior pastor of Eagle Mountain International said she has had concerns about possible ties between early childhood vaccines and autism. In the wake of the measles outbreak, however, Pearsons has urged followers to get vaccinated and the church has held several vaccination clinics.

    I respect the hell out of the fact that she actually went against her own original beliefs and recommendations and, in the wake of the outbreak she reversed her opinion no matter the fact that it may have made her look 'stupid'. High five to Terri Pearsons for doing the right thing.

  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @08:57PM (#44692527)

    Dumbass religious fanatics spreading disease. Even the Black Death wasn't enough to convince these cretins they should quit inflicting the consequences of their ignorance on rational people.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan

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