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Death toll rises

(167 Posts)
stargirl1701 Fri 30-Nov-12 11:50:01

The number of babies under 3 months who have died from whooping cough this year has risen to 13. Just so awful. My thoughts are with their families today.

stargirl1701 Sun 02-Dec-12 22:42:55

I hadn't realised the vaccine had changed. I assumed my LO had had the same vaccine that I had had as a child.

No, it changed to a safer form (the aP). It is safer - there are fewer seizures etc associated with it than the one we had (the wP). I do find it interesting that there seems to be no desire from anyone to return to the wP - which was used for years - my eldest had it for example in 1999.

I think the aP came in here in about hmm 2002ish iirc, 2003 maybe. Australia and US were earlier (so interesting also that they have been grappling with w/c outbreaks for a few years longer than us - does suggest something problematic with protection afforded by the aP.

Having said that there were whooping cough outbreaks in the early 2000's as well as ds2 was exposed as a baby (didn't catch it) but probably had it in 2004/2005. At that time they were blaming mutation - but maybe it was parapertussis. Hmm, no idea.

bruffin Sun 02-Dec-12 23:01:16

Australia had a huge problem with pockets of unvaccinated for years.
What ever the cause vaccination is still responsible for the protection of the most vulnerable by herd immunity. Without vaccination the US would be seen many thousands of deaths in those too young to be vaccinated as it was pretty vaccine days instead of the few 100 it is today.
Parapetussis is considered a milder disease.

Presumably herd immunity doesn't seem to be working at an acceptable level at the moment - which would be why they are vaccinating pregnant women - for direct protection. They also found cocooning wasn't particularly successful (if you google you may find the reference).

Of course the real issue with whooping cough is the number of babies catching it. I'm still not clear on how long passive immunity for w/c lasts in newborns (which of course is relevant if adults no longer tend to have immunity).

bruffin Mon 03-Dec-12 00:38:56

Its still a lot better than not vaccinating. The issue has always been babies catching it
As I pointed out above up until they started vaccinating 3500 babies (US figures under 2 months old died from whooping cough a year. It went down to less than 200 in 10 years in babies too young to be vaccinated. I cant find out how many deaths there are been in the states this year but it looks like a tiny fraction of what it was. The only figure I can find is 9 deaths up to July .

The Uk used to have 600 to a 1000 deaths a year prior to vaccination, so 13 is still far too many, but it shows that vaccine is still working, whether you like to admit it or not.

ElaineBenes Mon 03-Dec-12 00:54:45

Exactly bruffin. The vaccine works although not as well as had been expected.

Although it is also true that the driving force between the outbreaks of whooping cough is the waning immunity rather than non immunisation (which admittedly doesn't help but isn't the main cause of most of the current outbreaks).

bruffin Mon 03-Dec-12 00:57:39

I never said it was the main cause but it must play a roll somewhere.

ElaineBenes Mon 03-Dec-12 01:06:31

No, I know you didn't. Sorry, just my own musing!

'must play a roll (sic) somewhere'

I would be KILLED for that sort of statement. Evidence? What is clear is test the best way of protecting your individual baby during their most vulnerable period is vaccination of them (or presumably our prgnant self). That's not the same as vaccination status in older age groups affecting or not affecting w/c transmission rates in a population with high levels of waning immunity or a mutated pathogen or different active strain.

bruffin Mon 03-Dec-12 07:59:52

"I would be KILLED for that statement"
hmm
well you do talk an awful load of rubbish a lot of the time.

bruffin Mon 03-Dec-12 08:01:16

Its common sense, any unvaccinated people will affect herd immunity, especially when there are pockets what ever the age.

Do I bruffin, do I? At least I don't just make stuff up because I'd like to believe it

Incidentally other studies have shown lower efficacy rates.

More from the CDC - note as I said above, vaccination seems the best way to protect an individual infant - but isn't helping much at population level.

CaseyShraeger Mon 03-Dec-12 08:23:44

But it's also true that vaccination is at record levels but so is the incidence of whooping cough (well, higher than at other points over recent years when vaccination rates were lower). So you could equally say that it was "common sense" that the remaining small unvaccinated population wasn't having any measurable impact on herd immunity (given that you can still catch it and pass it on if vaccinated, just (normally) in a less-severe form, is herd immunity even a particularly useful concept when dealing with whooping cough?). Bear in mind that among older populations, if you weren't vaccinated against wc you generally caught it at some point so have immunity today at least as good as if you'd been vaccinated.

Fortunately, science depends on evidence-based testing of hypotheses rather than rival notions of "common sense".

FWIW I was vaccinated as a child but still caught wc in adulthood and passed it on to newborn DS in 2005. DH was unvaccinated but had "wild" wc as a child and didn't catch it even with me and DS both coughing all over him for weeks. But that's anecdote rather than data.

bruffin Mon 03-Dec-12 09:18:27

Am not making it up You have made plenty of stuff up over the years

As I said above its babies that need to be protected as they are the ones that die from it. On a population level

I think you've misunderstood what that is saying bruffin. Yes the individual risk is higher to unvaccinated children (it would be a bit worrying if it wasn't!) but at a population level unvaccinated children are not the driving force behind babies being infected. My first link is bang up to date - from last week. It addresses the question directly.

news@JAMA: Initially, some hypothesized that California’s pertussis epidemic was being driven by unvaccinated individuals. Do your data support this

Dr Misegades: Our data don’t support that. Unvaccinated individuals made up approximately 8% of cases and about 1% of controls. We didn’t see that unvaccinated children were driving the epidemic, but they did have a higher risk of pertussis infection than those who were vaccinated.

As far as I am aware I haven't made anything up over the years. confused I tend to link to peer reviewed journals, some may be later found to be wrong, but it's hardly me making stuff up.

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 11:02:45

Bruffin that's a horrid thing to say to jimjams. Who is ever going to listen and take seriously?

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 11:06:28

Also it's counter productive to start talking about common sense (!). Links, links. I've had people say to me it stands to reason / common sense that MMr triggers autism because autism rates have gone up since it was introduced and lots of parents say it happened to them. It MUST play a role, they say. Once you've gone down the "common sense / stands to reason" road everything goes hazy and you can't then say "yes but look at the evidence, you can't just rely on common sense."

CoteDAzur Mon 03-Dec-12 11:25:47

LOL @ accusations of JimJam talking "rubbish".

How have you posted on MN for two years and not realised that JimJam is extremely well-informed on this subject, and has in fact been involved in formal research into it?

You should apologise.

Ah not quite this area cote (autism in general - rather than vaccination) - I don't think my blood pressure could stand it grin (I don't want to be accused of making stuff up!!)

CoteDAzur Mon 03-Dec-12 12:39:11

I have come across you in various threads over many years and been impressed on numerous counts with the depth of your knowledge. It is frankly quite incredible that you would be accused of talking rubbish. You are one of the few (if not only) person on vaccination/autism threads who talks facts and research rather than newspaper articles and hearsay.

Aww thanks Cote.

samie10 Mon 03-Dec-12 17:21:00

Hear, hear cotedazur....

ElaineBenes Mon 03-Dec-12 17:47:12

Sorry for interrupting the love fest but I don't get what the problem is. Everyone is saying the same thing, no?

Of course the more unvaccinated people you have, the more likely it is that pertussis will spread. But Bruffin actually said that it's not the main cause behind the current outbreaks, just that vaccination levels play a role (which they do - it certainly matters a lot if vaccination rates are declining or increasing or staying stable).

If you have declining vaccination rates together with waning immunity, you've got a double whammy as your susceptible population will increase even more. It doesn't look like this is the case in the majority of current outbreaks but certainly where vaccination rates are high, the outbreak will be more limited as you'll have a relatively smaller susceptible population.

Basic principles of herd immunity! What's the disagreement on?

Brycie Mon 03-Dec-12 19:42:19

Do we have declining whooping cough vax rates Elaine? I'm not so sure about that. I thought even the DoH says it's nowt to do with that.

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