Virus In Babies May Cause Asthma Later On
St. Louis, July 15, 2002 —- While most scientists believe that allergies cause asthma, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis are uncovering a second potential cause for this common respiratory illness. Their new model suggests that a viral infection in the first years of life may leave a lasting mark on the immune system, causing chronic respiratory problems later on. "While the allergic response may increase during an asthma attack, our research suggests that the anti-viral response also increases," says Michael J. Holtzman, M.D., the Selma and Herman Seldin Professor of Medicine and professor of cell biology and physiology. "We think that a virus in infancy or childhood creates a hit-and-run effect, where a brief infection causes permanent changes in the body's anti-viral system."
Holtzman led the study, which appears in the July 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
The most common cause of lower respiratory illness in children is paramyxoviral infection, which often results in chronic wheezing regardless of whether the child develops allergies. But researchers have yet to figure out how the short-term influence of this viral infection leads to a long-term condition of respiratory inflammation and distress. Holtzman's team examined mice with bronchiolitis – inflamed airways – caused by paramyxoviral infection. The mouse disease mimics paramyxoviral infection in humans. These mice responded immediately to the infection – immune cells flooded the lining of the respiratory tract, attacking infectious cells and inflaming the tissues. Weeks after infection, the airways of the lung remained extremely sensitive, or hyperreactive, and the airway lining became populated with mucus-producing cells. Each of these changes – airway hyperreactivity and cellular remodeling – lasted for at least one year and perhaps indefinitely. "Since each of these changes also is a long-term symptom of asthma, these findings provide a link between the response to viral infection and the development of asthma," says Holtzman. Uninfected mice that instead were exposed to a common experimental allergen, called ovalbumin, also developed similar inflammation of the airways, but these mice recovered by themselves within two and a half months.
To see what happens if the initial airway response was prevented, the researchers examined mice lacking the gene that encodes one of the main proteins that control immune-cell traffic, intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). As expected, mice lacking ICAM-1 that were infected with this virus were initially healthier than their normal counterparts, with far less airway inflammation, less weight loss and lower mortality rates.
Interestingly, though, these genetically altered mice still developed chronic asthma-like changes similar to normal mice – they reached the same level of airway hyperreactivity and mucus-producing cells as normal mice by 11 weeks after infection.
The team also discovered that mice treated with glucocorticoid, a common anti-asthma medication, before cellular remodeling began were at least partially protected from the chronic effects of viral infection.
"Our findings raise the possibility that asthma not only resembles a persistent anti-viral response, but may actually be caused by one," says Holtzman. "These results in mice provide a further basis for determining exactly how similar events may develop in children and adults with asthma."
Reference: Walter MJ, Morton JD, Kajiwara N, Agapov E, Holtzman MJ. Viral induction of a chronic asthma phenotype and genetic segregation from the acute response. Journal of Clinical Investigation, Vol. 110, pg. 165 – 175, July 15, 2002.
Funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the American Lung Association, the Martin Schaeffer Fund and the Alan A. and Edith L. Wolff Charitable Trust supported this research.
The thoracic society's webpage
Susan, AVN Australia
Study links childhood vaccines to 'huge' increase in allergies
Pulse; Tonbridge; Dec 9, 2002;
Patients immunised with vaccines included in the UK childhood immunisation schedule are 14 times more likely to be diagnosed with asthma than unvaccinated children, a study of 29,000 patients suggests.
Copyright CMP Information Ltd. Dec 9, 2002
By Rob Gough
Patients immunised with vaccines included in the UK childhood immunisation schedule are 14 times more likely to be diagnosed with asthma than unvaccinated children, a study of 29,000 patients suggests.
The researchers said although the study found a link between the vaccines and asthma, it was 'unlikely' to be causal. The cohort study compared doctor-diagnosed asthma and eczema rates in unvaccinated children with those immunised against diphtheria, polio, pertussis, tetanus and MMR.
Children who had been vaccinated - some 96 per cent -were 14 times more likely to be diagnosed with asthma and 9.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with eczema than unvaccinated children, the study showed. Study co-author Dr Richard Hubbard, senior lecturer in respiratory medicine at the University of Nottingham, played down the findings, arguing there were 'significant interactions' between vaccination and consulting behaviour. He said: 'The problem is people who don't go to the doctor's don't get diagnoses of asthma and don't get vaccinated. In the unvaccinated group you will always see a lower risk of asthma.'
The study, presented last week at the British Thoracic Society winter meeting in London, found no association between the vaccine dose response and allergies, making a link between current vaccination policy and allergies 'very unlikely', said Dr Hubbard.
Dr David Bellamy, a GP in Bournemouth, Dorset, and a committee member of the General Practice Airways Group, said the study findings were 'pretty startling'. He said: 'A 14-fold rise is a pretty huge increase. If these findings are true the implications are somewhat worrying.' He added other factors such as maternal history needed to be considered before drawing any firm conclusions.
Dr Chris Cates, editor of the Cochrane Airways Group and a GP in Bushey, Hertfordshire, said that he was unaware of any previous link between vaccinations and asthma.
He added: 'What I would not do is say this proves that vaccination causes asthma. Trying to untangle whether vaccinations have a role in this is incredibly difficult. 'If people consult more they are more likely to get diagnosed.'
EPA Shows Pollution Risks to Children
Mon Feb 24, 8:40 PM ET Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!
By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Children are getting asthma at more than double the rate two decades ago, and one of every dozen women of childbearing age has blood mercury levels that could hinder brain development in a fetus, the Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) said Monday.
EPA's report, only its second exhaustive roundup on environmental hazards to children's health, shows success in areas where the government has taken aggressive action, such as reductions in levels of children's blood lead poisoning and children's exposure to secondhand smoke.
EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said the agency has done a lot to "improve the environment for children where they live, learn and play." Between 1980 and 1995, the report says, the percentage of children with asthma doubled, from 3.6 percent in 1980 to 7.5 percent in 1995. The percentage dropped in 1996 to about 6 percent, but by 2001 it had risen again, this time to 8.7 percent: 6.3 million children.
Researchers don't know precisely why childhood asthma is increasing, but a number of factors in air quality, both outdoors and indoors, have been studied. Those varied factors include exposure to dust mites, cockroaches, pesticides, tobacco smoke, ozone and soot. The EPA says its officials are intent on examining the role of indoor air pollutants especially, since they note modest improvements in the numbers of children exposed to several outdoor air pollutants since 1990.
About 5 million women — 8 percent of those at the childbearing ages of 16 to 49 — had at least 5.8 parts per billion of mercury in their blood as of 2000, the report says. EPA officials said this is the first time this kind of data has been measured. EPA has found that children born to women with blood concentrations of mercury above 5.8 parts per billion are at some risk of adverse health effects, including reduced developmental IQ and problems with motor skills such as eye-hand coordination.
Mercury, a naturally occurring metal, is a persistent pollutant that accumulates in fish and becomes more concentrated as it moves up the food chain. The three major sources for mercury emissions have been power plants and municipal waste and medical waste incinerators. EPA has been regulating since the late 1990s mercury dumped in water and air from municipal waste and medical waste incinerators and considers it another success to have reduced levels emitted from each of those sources by 90 percent, EPA spokesman Joe Martyak said.
The agency is writing regulations for mercury emitted from coal-fired power plants that are due to be completed in the next two years and are scheduled to take effect by 2007. The number of children with elevated levels of lead in their blood was 4.7 million in 1978 but had plunged to about 300,000 in 2000, the report says. EPA attributes most of that success to the phaseout of lead in gasoline between 1973 and 1995 and the reduction in the number of homes with lead-based paint from 64 million in 1990 to 38 million in 2000.
The number of children whose blood levels showed effects from secondhand smoke declined by about one-fifth to one-half between 1988 and 2000, depending on levels of exposure. Those figures are obtained by tracking the amount of cotinine, a breakdown product of nicotine in blood.
On the Net: EPA: http://www.epa.gov
Warning on asthma medication
PARENTS of children taking inhaled steroids to treat asthma have been warned to monitor them carefully after three children suffered severe side-effects. The children required intensive hospital treatment after experiencing adrenal crises following long-term, high doses of the corticosteroid fluticasone.
Adrenal crisis is a potentially deadly condition if not treated, resulting from an extreme lack of adrenocortical hormones. Symptoms are characterised by seizures, vomiting, lethargy and hypoglycaemia, or low levels of glucose in the blood. Patients can appear to be in shock or coma.
The cases, documented in the Medical Journal of Australia tomorrow, are the country's first recorded cases of adrenal crises related to inhaled steroids. They follow widespread concern and reports of adverse reactions, including deaths, overseas. The patients included a seven-year-old boy, a four-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy who suffered a seizure after 24-hours of vomiting. All three developed problems after they became sick with another infection.
"Our case series further highlights the potential for the systemic activity of ICS (inhaled corticosteroids) to manifest as an acute adrenal crisis," the report concludes. Fluticasone, one of the newer ICS medicines, was most likely to cause adrenal problems because of its high potency, said the authors, from Sydney's Westmead Hospital. However, all inhaled corticosteroids had been shown to produce adrenal suppression in children.
The report said screening for adrenal problems in children receiving high doses of corticosteroids was difficult, and the best approach was to alert parents to warning signs. These included lethargy, vomiting, stomach pains or seizures. "Parents of children taking high doses of inhaled corticosteroids should be alerted to the clinical features of adrenal insufficiency," the authors warned.
"If suspected, prompt medical assessment should be arranged. "Prompt recognition and treatment ... may be lifesaving." There was a suggestion the children had been over-treated, although some children may be more susceptible to suffering an adverse reaction than others, the authors noted. They also said a UK survey found around 20 per cent of patients who suffered adrenal crises where later shown not to have had asthma. The medication was also inappropriate for recurrent coughs and viral wheezing.
Endocrinologist Dr Kim Donaghue, of Westmead Hospital, said parents shouldn't panic and take their children off the medication, which was proven effective in treating asthma. "You've got the two spectrums in asthma - you've got the children who aren't on sufficient medication and then there's a group who are probably on too much," she said. "If parents are not sure they should have it assessed." In a joint letter to the MJA, a group of seven Victorian asthma specialists said doctors could be over-prescribing corticosteroids because of a discrepancy between product information and national asthma guidelines.
They said current product information recommended a maximum daily dose of 1,000 mcg of fluticasone while the National Asthma Council set 500 mcg as the upper daily limit. The letter said a recent study of 62 emergency patients showed almost a third of those using fluticasone were taking 1,000 mcg daily.
Nineteen per cent were taking more than 1,500 mcg. "Our findings show that in some patients the risks associated with the use of ICS are likely to be compounded by using them at higher doses than recommended," they wrote. This report appears on news.com.au.
Asthma Doesn't Hinder Chickenpox Vaccine
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Asthma or the steroid inhalers used to treat it seem to have no bearing on how the chickenpox, or varicella, vaccine works, new research suggests.
In contrast, steroids taken orally do seem to raise the risk of vaccine failure, the findings in the journal Pediatrics indicate. A 1996 chickenpox outbreak raised concerns that the vaccine may not work as well in asthmatics. In that outbreak, which occurred among vaccinated children, asthmatics were seven times more likely to get chickenpox than non-asthmatics, Dr. Robert T. Chen, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (news - web sites) in Atlanta, and colleagues note.
To determine if asthma really is tied to vaccine failure, the researchers analyzed vaccination data for nearly 90,000 children enrolled at two health maintenance organizations.
Although several children did develop chickenpox despite being vaccinated, asthma and inhaled steroid use were not identified as risk factors for vaccine failure. Oral steroids, however, were associated with vaccine failure, but only when these drugs were prescribed after, not before, vaccination.
"The previous finding of asthma as a risk factor for vaccine failure may be attributable" to the fact that the study didn't account for the use of oral steroids, the investigators conclude. SOURCE:
Pediatrics, August 2003.
West J Med 1987 Sep;147(3):341
Asthma and urticaria after hepatitis B vaccination.
To the editor:
In accordance with the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control, 20ug of plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccine (HeptavaxB lot 2445H) was administered to a serosusceptible 31 year-old employee in a high risk occupation. Within 30 minutes generalized pruritus, dyspnea, urticaria, and infraorbital edema developed (THINK allergic shiners!!). Extensive expiratory rhonchi were present in both lungs. She was given 0.3ml epinephrine 1:1000 dilution subcutaneously. Her symptoms partially resolved, and the smae dose of epinephrine had to be repeated four hours later. She was prescribed diphenhydramine hydrochloride, 25 mg as needed, and hydroxyzine hydrochloride, 25 mg at bedtime. This lead to significant relief the next day. The patient had a leukocyte count of 8500 per uL with 12 % eosinophils and raised total serum IgElevel. On questioning, she revealed that she had experienced a similar but less severe reaction to the vaccine's first dose four weeks earlier, when dyspnea and generalized itching developed, which were relieved by an injection of diphenhydramine by her personal physician. She had totally forgotten the link between the vaccine and the reaction. She said she did not have other allergen exposures such as bee sting, new perfume, new clothes, chemical exposures or the like.
The patient has not been given the third dose of vaccine. She has remained negative for Hepatitis B surface antibody and has not acquired the hepatitis B surface antibody or Hepatitis B core antibody (THE VACCINE DID NOT LEAD TO IMMUNITY). She had a history of bronchial asthma and allergy to sulfoamides but no history of atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, or uticaria. She had been assymptomatic for several days before both vaccine doses.
HeptavaxB contains inactivated hepatitis B surface antigen, an alum adjuvant, and thimerosal, a preservative. Based on literature review, thimerosal was considered to be the inciting allergen in this case. Thimerosal has produced ocular allergy through contact lens solutions and eye creams as well as cutaneous and system allergy. Caution should be exercised in administering HeptavaxB to allergic to other vaccines or medicines containing thimerosal. Thimerosal is also present in the yeast derived hepatitis B vaccine (Recombivax-HB).
My son has had Reactive Airways only four times in his life--after his3rd DPT and Hib at 7 mos, after his MMR and Hib at 17 months, after his DPT at 18 months, and after his DPT at 4 years. All four times the RAD was after a thimerosal containing shot. He does not have asthma.
Another interesting thing to note is people with asthma are much more likely to have Glutathione s-transferases M1 and T1 null status. This same risk factor (null status for GSTM1 and GSTT1) seems to be related to thimerosal sensitivity, asthma, and neuropsychiatric disorders. As in the thimerosal studies the asthma study showed that it is very significant to have both GSTM1 and GSTT1 null status. Null status for both GSTM1 and GSTT1 is present in 57.9% of the people with asthma and only 4.7% of normal controls. Low glutathione and null status for GSTT1 and GSTM1 are also known to occur in inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's. I think that GSTT1 and GSTM1 null status might also be very important as a susceptibility factor in autism, but his dad and brother do.
1.Stroombergen MC, Waring RH.
Determination of glutathione S-transferase mu and theta polymorphisms in neurological disease.
Hum Exp Toxicol 1999 Mar;18(3):141-5
2. Ivashchenko TE, Sideleva OG, Petrova MA, Gembitskaia TE, Orlov AV, Baranov VS. Genetika 2001 Jan;37(1):107-11 [Genetic factors in predisposition to bronchial asthma]. [Article in Russian]
3. Duncan H, Swan C, Green J, Jones P, Brannigan K, Alldersea J, Fryer AA, Strange RC.
Susceptibility to ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease: interactions between glutathione S-transferase GSTM1 and GSTT1 genotypes. Clin Chim Acta. 1995 Aug 31;240(1):53-61.
4. Harada S, Tachikawa H, Kawanishi Y. Glutathione S-transferase M1 gene deletion may be associated with susceptibility to certain forms of schizophrenia. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001 Feb 23;281(2):267-71
5. Westphal GA, Schnuch A, Schulz TG, Reich K, Aberer W, Brasch J, Koch P, Wessbecher R, Szliska C, Bauer A, Hallier E. Homozygous gene deletions of the glutathione S-transferases M1 and T1 are associated with thimerosal sensitization. Int Arch Occup Environ Health 2000 Aug;73(6):384-8
By Barbara Loe Fisher
Asthma and Vaccines
Asthma is an autoimmune disorder that tops the list of chronic respiratory diseases found in children. Although public health officials attribute the recorded increases in asthma to better case diagnosis, more air pollution both indoors and outdoors and smoking, some scientists find evidence that vaccination and lack of contagious infectious diseases in early childhood may later encourage the development of asthma and other allergic conditions.
In 1996, the British medical journal, The Lancet, published a study that noted that the incidence of early childhood diseases in Britain had fallen in the 20th century while those allergic diseases such as asthma, hay fever and eczema rose sharply. The researchers hypothesized that certain childhood infections, especially measles, may protect against allergy.
The authors of the 1997 Science article "Asthma: An Epidemic in the Absence of Infection?" concluded that "childhood infections may, therefore, paradoxically protect against asthma." And the authors of a study in a 1997 article in Epidemiology concluded that "it is theoretically possible that immunization may contribute to the development of allergic disease," including asthma.
In a 1997 issue of Epidemiology, New Zealand researchers reported that of 1,265 New Zealanders born in 1977, 23 received no childhood vaccinations and none suffered childhood asthma. Among the 1,242 who got DPT and polio shots, 23 percent later had episodes of asthma, 23 percent had asthma consultations and 30 percent had consultations for other allergic illness.
In a 2000 study, researchers, in reviewing data from the National Center for Health Statistics from 1988 to 1994 and comparing vaccinated to unvaccinated children, found that a child who received DPT or tetanus vaccination was 50 percent more likely to experience severe allergic reactions, more than 80 percent more likely to experience sinusitis and twice as likely to experience asthma as those children who were not vaccinated. The authors concluded that "asthma and other allergic hypersensitivity reactions and related symptoms may be caused, in part, by the delayed effects of DPT or tetanus vaccination."
Autism and Vaccines
The dramatic rise in the numbers of cases of autism in the past few decades, particularly since the early 1980s, has been increasingly linked to vaccination in recent years, as it has become more evident that autism has a biological and not a psychological basis. The medical literature identified
only a handful of autism cases in the 1940s. After the DPT vaccine became widely used in the 1950s and the new live virus measles vaccine was in routine use after 1965, the numbers of autistic children began to grow.
By 1979, the combination live-virus MMR vaccine was added to the routine child vaccination schedule and given to children at 12 to 15 months of age while federal grants were given to states to provide free DPT, live oral polio and MMR vaccines to children in public health clinics. In California, where cases of autism have been monitored since 1970, there was a steep and steady rise in the numbers of autism cases beginning in the early 1980s.
The old theory that children were made autistic because their mothers were "cold" and did not provide enough nurturing was discredited in 1964 by the pioneering autism researcher, Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. The fact that autism appears to be a biological disorder has only slowly gained acceptance with the recognition that autistic children are suffering a wide range of immune and brain system dysfunction. In addition to classic autistic behaviors such as spinning, rocking, flapping, lack of eye contact and speech, many autistic children today have gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, learning disabilities and severe allergies.
The connection between vaccination and autism was first reported 18 years ago in DPT: A Shot in the Dark (which I co-authored with Harris Coulter), but today the subject of autism and vaccines has become the most controversial vaccine safety topic debated in the pages of medical journals,
on broadcasts and in print journalism reports, in congressional hearings and in homes of parents of autistic children.
DPT vaccine-induced autism is thought to follow post-vaccine brain inflammation that one 1981 British study (the National Childhood Encephalopathy Study) estimated occurs after 1 in 110,000 DPT shots. In the U.S. several awards for DPT vaccine-induced autism have been made in the
federal Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
However, most of the arguments about the causal relationship between vaccines and autism have focused on the live MMR vaccine as well as on inactivated vaccines that have contained a mercury preservative, thimerosal.
In 1998, an unsuspecting young British gastroenterologist suddenly found himself in the midst of a hurricane for discovering a possible connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. Andrew Wakefield, M.D. and 13 colleagues published a report in the February 27, 1998 issue of The Lancet about a new syndrome involving inflammatory bowel disease and autism in children. Eight
out of 12 normal children who developed severe intestinal disorders soon after an MMR vaccination also became autistic. Previously five of those eight children had reacted adversely to vaccinations.
The team of British scientists, who had inadvertently stumbled upon the connection while studying Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel dysfunction in children, emphasized that they had not proved a cause and effect relationship. They called for more studies to investigate whether persistent viral infection, either from natural disease or live virus vaccines, can lead to central nervous system damage in some children that takes the form of autism.
Nevertheless, in the same issue of The Lancet, CDC officials Robert Chen, MD and Frank DeStefano, MD charged in an editorial that, "vaccine safety concerns such as that reported by Wakefield and colleagues may snowball" when the public and the media "confuse association with causality and shun immunization." Other CDC officials discounted the study’s importance, saying the children’s health problems were "coincidental" and not caused by vaccination.
Soon after, a Reuter’s newswire story quoted Johns Hopkins Neal Halsey saying it was "highly inappropriate" for Wakefield and his colleagues to discuss a possible connection between the children’s health problems and measles or MMR vaccines. Wakefield was called before the Medical Research Council in the U.K. where British, U.S. and WHO health officials criticized his report for unnecessarily frightening the public.
Undeterred, Wakefield subsequently published a study providing evidence for the presence of measles virus in the intestines of children suffering from autism and intestinal bowel disorders, while not finding evidence for measles virus in normal, healthy children. He continued to maintain that children with a pre-existing immune abnormality may be predisposed to sequestering the measles virus in the gut and that the MMR vaccine prompts them to develop autoimmunity leading to immune mediated CNS damage.
In 2001, the IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee examined the Wakefield hypothesis and concluded that "the evidence favors rejection of the causal relationship at the population level between MMR and vaccine and autistic spectrum disorders," but the committee also stated that "the proposed biological models linking MMR vaccination to autism spectrum disorders, although far from established, are nevertheless not disproved." The committee called for further scientific research into the occurrence of autism in children following MMR vaccination.
In 2003, Utah State University researcher Vijendra Singh published a serologic study in Pediatric Neurology reporting that measles antibody was significantly higher in autistic children compared with normal children and the antibody was directed against a protein. He hypothesized that autistic
children have a hyperimmune response to measles virus which, in the absence of wild type measles infection, might be a sign of an abnormal immune reaction to measles vaccine strain virus or virus reactivation.
Shortly after Wakefield and his colleagues published initial evidence for an association between MMR vaccine and autism, in 1999 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) directed vaccine manufacturers to remove the mercury preservative, thimerosal, from childhood vaccines. EPA and FDA officials issued their directive in response to federal legislation requiring the evaluation of products containing toxins, such as mercury.
An analysis of mercury levels in childhood vaccines found that the total amount of mercury children were exposed to in routinely given vaccines (DPT, DTaP, Hib, hepatitis B) exceeded EPA toxic exposure guidelines. Mercury is a known neurotoxin, which can cross the placenta and blood brain barrier and concentrate in the blood and brain but can also affect the immune system, kidneys and lungs. A pregnant woman’s exposure to high levels of mercury has been shown to cause brain damage in the fetus.
There was special concern about mercury in childhood vaccines because, as of 1991, the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) had recommended that all newborn babies receive their first hepatitis B vaccine at 12 hours of age and again at one month of age. Hepatitis B vaccine, along with DPT, DTaP and Hib vaccines given at two months, four months and six months of age all contained mercury.
By the end of 2001, all but trace amounts of thimerosal had been removed from DPT, DTaP, Hib and hepatitis B vaccines as manufacturers moved to package these vaccines in single dose vials that did not require a preservative (thimerosal is still present in DT and inactivated flu vaccine as well as certain combination DTaP-Hib and hepatitis B vaccines).
During the past four years, many parents with autistic children have become convinced that their children are mercury poisoned including those parents who founded SAFEMINDS. Scientists such as Boyd Haley, Chairman, Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky, have given expert testimony in support of those concerns during investigative hearings held by Congressman Dan Burton (R-IN) in the U.S. House Government Reform Committee.
In 2001, the IOM Immunization Safety Review Committee issued a report that found the hypothesis that exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines "is not established" but is "biologically plausible," and concluded that the evidence is inadequate to accept or reject a causal relationship between exposure to thimerosal from vaccines and the neurodevelopmental disorders of autism, ADHD and speech and language delay." The report called for removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines and replacement of existing stocks of thimerosal containing vaccines with mercury-free vaccines.
An attempt by the vaccine industry to insert a rider in the Homeland Security Bill in late 2002, which would have protected vaccine manufacturers from lawsuits for harm caused by toxic additives and components of vaccines, such as thimerosal, further convinced parents that thimerosal is a cause of autism. The rider was eventually removed from the legislation, but parents of autistic children continue to be frustrated in their efforts to obtain recognition of thimerosal-induced autism as they seek compensation in the tort system and in the federal vaccine injury compensation program (VICP) for their children.
Evidence has been accumulating that suggests some children may not be able to excrete mercury from the body as efficiently as other children. In 2003, one study reported that urinary mercury concentrations were significantly higher in children with autistic spectrum disorders than in normal controls.
The authors concluded that "data from this study, along with emerging epidemiologic data showing a link between increasing mercury doses from childhood vaccines and childhood neurodevelopment disorders, increases the likelihood that mercury is one of the main factors leading to the large increases in the rate of autism and other neurodevelopment disorders."
Autoimmunity Family History and Autism
The significance of a family history of autoimmunity and autism was highlighted in a 1999 study published in the Journal of Child Neurology, which found a statistically significant correlation between a family history of autoimmune disorders and autism.
When comparing the medical histories of families of 61 autistic patients and 46 healthy controls, the authors discovered "that the subjects who reported two or more family members with autoimmune disorders were twice as likely to have autism, those with at least three family members with autoimmune disorders were 5.5 times more likely to have autism, and those whose mothers had autoimmune disorders were 8.8 times more likely to be affected."
The researchers added "the percentage of family members with adult rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus and the category of connective tissue autoimmune disorders were greater in the autism group than in controls and approached statistical significance in these cases." They suggested that perhaps "individuals with autism inherit a genetic predisposition for autoimmunity that, in conjunction with medical triggers or other environmental factors, results in developmental and neurologic pathology."
Vaccines and the Law
If adverse responses to vaccination are under genetic control, then laws requiring vaccination are a de facto state-enforced selection and sacrifice of the genetically susceptible. Yet, refusal to vaccinate one’s children with every mandated vaccine in the U.S. can result in denial of an education, including enrollment in day care, elementary school, high school, college, and graduate school; denial of health insurance; denial of employment; and threatened denial of government benefits for poor children, including food and medical care.
In addition, parents who don’t comply with vaccination laws have been charged with child medical neglect and threatened with having their children taken from them. Parents of children, even acutely ill children, are being thrown out of pediatrician’s offices in Texas and other states if the parents attempt to make independent vaccine choices for their children.
All 50 states provide a medical exemption to vaccination laws that doctors licensed to prescribe drugs can write. All but two states (West Virginia and Mississippi) allow exemptions for religious beliefs, but some states require that parents belong to a religion that has a written tenet opposing
vaccination, although several state Supreme Courts have found this requirement unconstitutional. Some 18 states provide for philosophical, personal belief or conscientious belief exemption, but less than 1 percent of all children in the US are exempted from vaccination for any reason.
Although American vaccine laws fall under state, rather than federal, jurisdiction, as soon as the CDC recommends a new vaccine for "universal use" in children, state health officials automatically make it mandatory. So, while state health officials only required children to show proof of one smallpox vaccination to enter school in 1949, by 2003 most states required children to be injected with 34 doses of 10 vaccines.
Tracking Vaccines to enforce compliance
To encourage high vaccination rates, federal health officials give grants and other financial incentives to state health and education agencies, or withhold them. In 1993, Congress authorized more than $400 million for states that enforced mandatory vaccination by using social security numbers to track children from birth. Simultaneously, a grant program rewards state health departments with up to $100 for each fully vaccinated child.
The government eventually plans to link state vaccine tracking systems together to create a government operated electronic database monitoring everyone’s medical records, including vaccination status, from birth. (One federal proposal would link a national ID "smartcard" to a driver’s license and health care or a job.) Individual legislators at both the state and federal levels have already proposed tax penalties for citizens who don’t fully vaccinate their children.
A number of private companies and organizations are already working with governments around the world to ensure "the integration and harmonization of immunization registries" through the promotion, standardization, and acceptance of computerized patient records systems that would monitor the health status of every child.
The Children’s Vaccine Initiative (CVI) launched in 1990 at the World Summit for Children in New York City, set a goal to develop global strategies for "the development and utilization" of vaccines by all the world’s children. CVI received money from the United Nation’s Children’s Fund, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank, WHO and the Rockefeller Foundation and major vaccine manufacturers.
In 1994, CDC health officials developed the National Vaccine Plan for the U.S., which "provides a framework in which diverse domestic and international, public and private sector activities in immunization and vaccine development can be effectively coordinated."
HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease Vaccines for Children
In a February 12, 1997 meeting of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, committee member Neal Halsey reminded HIV vaccine researchers that the government plans to target preteens for universal application of an HIV vaccine.
Halsey told them "one of the things that’s happened in the past with vaccines is that sometimes the manufacturers have developed them and tested them primarily in an age group or a population which may not be the final target population that this committee has considered … We really see age 11 to 12 as the target for introduction of vaccines for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases … It would be nice if there were studies that were planned in parallel when you move another step in the direction of actually having a candidate [HIV] vaccine, realizing where we think we would want to use universal application of such a [HIV] vaccine."
But there are other plans to target adolescents for vaccines being developed for genital herpes, papillomaviruses that cause genital warts, and cytomegalovirus, all which are sexually transmitted. A spokesperson for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is sponsoring
clinical trials of a herpes vaccine, was quoted as saying "Parents will have to take their daughters in to the pediatricians when they’re little girls to get them protected against sexually transmitted disease."
Vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases are not the only vaccines that will target adolescents. In 2003, researchers announced development of anti-smoking and anti-cocaine use vaccines but admitted there might be some resistance by parents to accepting these lifestyle vaccines for their
Getting Vaccinated in America to Vaccinate the World
As public health officials increasingly define disease control in global, rather than national, terms, mass vaccination proponents and vaccine makers must find ways to finance delivery of newer and more expensive vaccines to poor countries.
They accomplish this by first making the vaccinations mandatory in rich countries, as HIV vaccine developer Stanley Plotkin, M.D., of Pasteur Merieux Connaught, explained in 1996: "The keystone of the [global mass vaccination] system is that the research costs [of drug companies] are recouped in North America and Europe, and the vaccines are sold in the developing world at much, much lower margins…The relatively high rate of childhood vaccination seen lately in most parts of the world is the result of that system."
In 1998, the CDC illustrated how this funding formula works by recommending that all American babies under six months receive three doses of rotavirus vaccine for diarrhea. Although a serious health problem in the Third World, where more than 800,000 babies lacking adequate nutrition or health care die from dehydration caused by severe diarrhea every year, most American babies recover from bouts with rotavirus and are left with permanent immunity. About 20 to 40 babies die of rotavirus infection in the US every year.
By the summer of 1999, the rotavirus vaccine was pulled off the US market after it was discovered that babies were being injured and dying from bowel blockages following rotavirus vaccination.
Vaccine production problems and new epidemics
The rotavirus vaccine, which cost $40 a shot, was the first rhesus-human reassortment vaccine, created by co-cultivating rhesus monkey rotavirus strains with human rotavirus strains to create a genetic human-monkey hybrid strain of rotavirus. This production process, while more sophisticated, recalls the use of rhesus monkeys to produce the original Salk polio vaccine.
In the rush to put a polio vaccine on the market in 1955, polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk unknowingly used rhesus monkey kidney tissues contaminated with monkey viruses. By 1960, an NIH scientist, Bernice Eddy, discovered that rhesus monkey kidney cells used to make the Salk polio vaccine and experimental oral polio vaccines could cause cancer when injected into lab animals. Later that year the cancer-causing virus in the rhesus monkey kidney cells was identified as SV40 or simian virus 40, the 40th monkey virus to be discovered.
Unfortunately, the American people were not told the truth about this in 1960. The SV40 contaminated stocks of Salk polio vaccine were never withdrawn from the market but continued to be given to American children until early 1963 with full knowledge of federal health agencies.
Between 1955 and early 1963, nearly 100 million American children had been given polio vaccines contaminated with the monkey virus, SV40.. Today, US health officials admit that the Salk polio vaccine was contaminated with SV40 and that SV40 has been proven to cause cancer in animals. At a conference on SV40 and human cancers held by the National Institutes of Health in 1997, there was no disagreement among both government and non-government scientists about these two facts.
The only disagreement was whether SV40 was actually being identified in the cancerous tumors of children and adults alive today and, if it was, whether the monkey virus was in fact responsible for their cancer. Non-government scientists working in independent labs around the world said, yes." But the scientists connected with the US government said "no."
Highly credentialed non-government scientists continue to identify SV40 in human brain and lung cancers and are finding that SV40 is also associated with bone cancers and Non-Hodgkins Lymphomas. And in a report published in 2001 on SV40 and cancer, the Institute of Medicine stated that "in light of the biological evidence supporting the theory that SV40 contamination of polio vaccines could contribute to human cancers, the committee recommends continued health attention in the form of policy analysis, communication and targeted biological research."
At a September 10, 2003 investigative hearing of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness chaired by Congressman Dan Burton, testimony was provided by attorney Stanley Kops that the Salk vaccine was not likely the only vaccine contaminated with SV40 and used by millions of American children.
Since 1963, the vaccine manufacturer and federal health agencies have assured the world that, while the Salk vaccine was made using the SV40 infected rhesus monkey kidney tissues, the oral polio vaccine used after 1963 was made using African Green monkeys, which are rarely infected with SV40. The vaccine manufacturer and government health officials have insisted that the switch from rhesus monkey to African Green, as well as testing protocols to detect SV40, prevented SV40 from contaminating oral polio vaccine after 1963.
At the hearing, Kops presented internal vaccine company memos and federal agency documents suggesting that (1) the original seed stocks of oral polio vaccine were made using the rhesus monkey and were contaminated with SV40; (2) the major oral polio vaccine manufacturer did not adequately test their master seed stocks which reportedly contained SV40 but used them to produce vaccine released for use by American children from the 1960’s through the 1990’s; and (3) federal regulatory agencies either did not know or knew and did not do anything about evidence that SV40 contaminated oral polio vaccine was released for use by the public from the 1960s through the 1990s.
If SV40-contaminated rhesus monkeys were used to produce original OPV seed stocks, and if these seed stocks were used to produce oral polio vaccine that was swallowed by American children through the 1990’s, and if SV40 does cause human brain, lung and bone cancers, then this could explain why children today, who were not born before 1963 and never got the SV40 contaminated Salk vaccines, are now sick and dying from cancerous tumors containing DNA from a monkey virus that was in those vaccines.
Pediatric brain cancer, once rare, rose during the past few decades according to the National Cancer Institute. But it is unknown how many of these children had or have SV40 in their brain tumors because nobody checks.
The precedent that has been set by federal health agencies allowing SV40 to contaminate polio vaccine given to millions of children may be influencing how new vaccines are being created. Transcripts of meetings in 1998, 2000 and 2001 of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee which dealt with adventitious agent contamination of vaccines, reveals that vaccine manufacturers are asking the FDA for permission to use cells from human and animal cancer tumors--cancer cells--to make HIV and other viral vaccines in the future that would be used on a mass basis.
There has been a federal ban on the use of cancer cells to produce vaccines since 1954 but active consideration is being given to lifting that ban despite the acknowledged risks of contamination with adventitious agents, including residual DNA and RNA.
There is frank admission that the limitations of technology and lack of scientific knowledge means there can be no guarantee that vaccine will not be contaminated with substances that could prove harmful to humans one day. Nevertheless, there are plans to set allowable threshholds for adventitious agent contamination of vaccines.
A Brave New World
In 1997, CDC official Walter Orenstein, M.D., testifying before the US Congress, painted a picture of the future in his annual appeal for more vaccine funding. "On the horizon are vaccine technologies that would have been considered science fiction just a decade ago but are now reported at scientific meetings," he said. "Snippets of synthetic DNA have worked as experimental vaccines in animals. Edible plants have been bioengineered to become vaccine factories…Vaccines have been enclosed in microscopic capsules, permitting them to be released slowly over time."
Several years ago, vaccine researchers held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to announce research to create a genetically engineered "supervaccine" that will be given orally at birth. This supervaccine--dubbed by one researcher as the "Holy Grail"--will contain raw DNA from 20 to 30 viruses, parasites, and bacteria that will be inserted directly into the cells of babies.
The vaccine will be time-released over several months. Disease organisms scheduled to be included in the supervaccine are pneumonia (three viruses), AIDS (two viruses); dengue hemorrhagic fever (four viruses), diarrheal disease (several viruses and bacteria), measles, meningitis (six viruses and bacteria), polio (three viruses), schistosomiasis (one parasite), tuberculosis, typhoid fever and pertussis.
In all, vaccine manufacturers and US govermment researchers are developing more than 150 different viral and bacterial vaccines. A live virus flu vaccine that will be squirted up the nose has been licensed and will target all healthy children and adults between the ages of 5 and 49 in the coming flu season.
Adhesive skin patch vaccines and high technology jet guns will someday deliver vaccines designed to prevent strep throat, asthma, stomach ulcers, tooth decay, cancer and the common cold. If the microbe fighters have their way, the "Brave New World" of the future will truly be infection free.
Or will it? In 1993, scientists at the American Society of Microbiology annual meeting reported that diseases such as tuberculosis and meningitis have become resistant to antibiotics because of their overuse in the past decades. One study shows that pediatricians are prescribing antibiotics for 44 percent of children with common colds. In 1998, evidence of penicillin-resistant strep bacteria caused worry that more people will die from severe pneumonia, bacteremia and meningitis.
That same year a government report warned that the overuse of antibiotics in animals, which transfer microbes from livestock to humans through the food chain, is producing resistant bacteria, including antibiotic resistant salmonella, enterococci and E. coli. Health officials warn food producers that antibiotics should never substitute for "inadequate hygiene."
Now there are signs that viruses and bacteria, eager to survive, may be outsmarting vaccines. A 1998 study published in the British Medical Journal found that B. pertussis infection is occurring in vaccinated populations in the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark despite vaccination rates as high as 96 percent. Among other causes of the whooping cough outbreaks, scientists have found an increasing incidence of B. pertussis with a mutated surface protein.
In 1998, a CDC study identified eight distinct genotypes of a wild-type measles virus in populations around the world. In January of 1999, the CDC reported a 1998 measles outbreak in Alaska in which 51 percent of the children had received one or more doses of measles vaccine. Will health
officials add yet another dose of measles vaccine, as they did during measles outbreaks in the late 1980s when they realized that one dose failed to do the job?
While the global village gets smaller and smaller, U.S. health officials warn parents and the media that terrible diseases killing children in the Third World are "just a plane ride away." The climate of fear that has been created post September 11, 2001, saw government health officials attempt to convince the American public that the most reactive vaccine ever used by humans--the live virus smallpox vaccine--should again be used by everyone to prepare for the possibility of a smallpox bioterrorist attack. Ironically, it was the American health care workers, who give vaccines, who took a look at smallpox vaccine risks and said "No thanks" to that plan.
The microbe hunters, who want us all to believe as they do that vaccines are the weapons we must all use to insure the health and well being of mankind, are so far winning the political battle for the hearts and minds of the most influential segments of our society. And yet, the parents and doctors
questioning their wisdom and their authority are making their pleas for thoughtful reconsideration of the global mass vaccination plan heard in many forums.
"What we forget is that millions of years of evolution have taken place on this planet, and up until the last 100 years, humans have lived in relative harmony with microbes. Yes, there have been epidemic infectious diseases in history, but they have always resolved themselves," said Richard Moscowitz, M.D. "I don’t think there is any real appreciation for what we may be doing by using so many vaccines to try to eradicate so many organisms."
If we stay the present course, will mankind be free from infectious disease but crippled by chronic disease? Will eradication of feared diseases, such as AIDS, through mass vaccination be one of man’s greatest triumphs or will we live in fear of deadly mutations of microbes that have outsmarted man’s attempt to eradicate them? We may look back at the crossroads we are at today and wish we had decided to make peace with nature instead of trying to dominate it.
Whatever government and industry decide to do, public support for mass vaccination programs will continue to erode if public policy continues to precede science and individual health is dismissed as less important than public health. Doctors, who enforce vaccination without allowing informed consent and insist that some may be sacrificed for the greater good, will continue to lose the faith and trust of the people. Vaccines will come to be associated with feelings of fear and harm instead of feelings of safety and protection as the vaccine safety debate becomes more polarized and citizens calling for forced vaccination are pitted against those calling for freedom of choice.
Perhaps the peace we need to make is not as much with nature, as with ourselves.
Flu vaccine may be linked with asthma in infants
Last Updated: 2004-03-24 16:19:03 -0400 (Reuters Health)
By David Douglas
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A study of more than 9,000 children and adolescents indicates that the use of the nasal influenza vaccine (FluMist) is generally safe. However, questions still remain about the risk of reactive airway disease in certain children under the age of 3 years. As researcher Dr. Steve Black told Reuters Health, "there was a suggestion that (such) children vaccinated with (FluMist) were at increased risk for medical visits for asthma within 6 weeks following vaccine as compared to controls. However, children with asthma prior to vaccination, overall, had a lower risk of asthma visits as compared to controls."
In the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, Black of the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, California, and colleagues note that they came to these conclusions after a trial of the nasal flu vaccine in children between 1 and 17 years old. All received at least one dose of vaccine or placebo. Those 8 years or younger received a second dose 28 to 42 days later. All children were followed for 42 days after each vaccination.
Following evaluation of 9,689 children, there appeared to be no association between vaccination and acute respiratory tract infections, systemic bacterial infection, acute GI complaints, and those potentially associated with influenza. However, in children aged 18 to 35 months there was a four-fold increased risk of reactive airway disease.
Thus, continued Dr. Black, "our conclusion was that the risk of asthma following (nasal flu vaccination) in children less than three years old needed further evaluation prior to the use of the vaccine in that age group." They theorize that if this increased risk is confirmed in another study, it
may be that these children have never been exposed to an influenza virus "and might respond to this vaccine differently because of this."
SOURCE: Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, February 2004.
Flu Vaccine May Lead to Asthma in Infants
Reuters March 24, 2004
Although studies have indicated the safety of the use of FluMist, nasal influenza vaccine for children and adolescents, questions regarding the risk of reactive airway disease among children under the age of three still exists.
Research suggested that certain children who received the FluMist vaccine had an increased risk for medical asthma-related visits within six weeks after the vaccine was administered as compared to controls. However, it was found that children who already had asthma before they received the vaccination, on the whole, had decreased their risk of asthma compared to the control group.
Experts noted that these findings were the result of conclusions following a trial of the nasal flu vaccine in children that fell in the 1- to 17-year-old age groups. In these studies, the children received at least one dose of vaccine or placebo and the children 8 years or younger were given a second dose 28 to 42 days later.
Based on the evaluation of 9,689 children, there appeared to be no definitive link between the vaccination and acute respiratory tract infections, systemic bacterial infections, acute GI complaints and others possibly associated with the flu. There was a four-fold increased risk of reactive airway disease among children aged 18 to 35 months.
It was concluded that if this increased risk of reactive airway disease was confirmed in another study, it would be a possibility the children had never been exposed to a flu virus and might react differently to the vaccine.
Autism Linked With Immune System
Children With Autism Have More Digestive, Food Allergies
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Medical News Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
on Monday, May 03, 2004
May 3, 2004 -- Autism may be linked with immune system abnormalities. Researchers have uncovered a pattern of allergies among children with autism, especially food and digestive allergies.
Lead researcher Thomas Webb, MD, with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, presented his report this week at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in San Francisco.
Autism is a complex disability that interferes with a person's ability to interact with others. Signs of autism are usually evident by age 3. Doctors have long believed that autism is caused by irregularities in brain function that affect the development of communication and social skills.
In his study, Webb analyzed Census Bureau data from 1997 to 2001 for about 55,000 households, identifying 152 children with autism. He found that children with autism were almost three times more likely to have a reported history of a digestive or food allergy than other, healthy children. They also had slightly more respiratory and skin allergies, but they were less likely to have a reported history of asthma.
Among children in the general population, asthma rates are higher than digestive and food allergies, Webb notes. Some research has shown that among children with autism, the immune cell receptors seem to be different, he writes. These receptors respond to allergy triggers, like pollen or certain food chemicals. The findings warrant further research of this link between autism and allergic diseases, he writes.
Subject: Asthma Rates Soaring
Asthma Rates Soaring
From 1970 until 2004, American cheese consumption went from 11 pounds per person per year to 31 pounds. During that same time period, consumption of cheese in New Zealand went from 3 pounds to 24 pounds per person per year, an increase of eight times. For dairy lovers, New Zealand's grazing cows enjoy a reputation made possible by perfect climate and enormous open space, making New Zealand the fifth largest cheese exporter in the world, behind France, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.
As New Zealand's cheese consumption increased over time, so too did their asthma rates. Nobody in New Zealand seems to have made the connection. At the end of this column is an article that appeared in this week's (May 4, 2004) New Zealand Herald newspaper. The New Zealand Herald reporter was equally as clueless as a New York Times reporter who wrote a similar story about Asthma in the United States on April 19, 2003. Shortly after that article appeared,
One Out of Four Harlem Kids Has Asthma
"Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy."
Frank Oski, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins
Medical School Natural Health, July, 1994
Saturday's Page One New York Times story (4/19/03) confirmed everything I've been writing since 1995. One out of four children in Harlem tests positive for asthma.
Scientists were shocked by the latest data. According to the New York Times, that frequency of asthma is more than double the incidence rate which researchers expected to find. America's national average asthma rate runs about six percent, or nearly one out of seventeen. Scientists tested 2000 children under the age of 13 living in one 24-block New York City Harlem neighborhood and found that 25.5% of the kids had asthma. The researchers are clueless as to the cause, but have observed that the asthma rate has doubled since 1980. Geoffrey Canada, president of the Harlem Children's Zone, the study's sponsor, said:
"This is a very poor community where a lot of the families have very troubled lives, with lots of stresses..." For many children, living in Harlem means living below the poverty level. USDA runs an anti-nutrition program called WIC (Women/Infants/Children). The foundation of WIC's food giveaway program is subsidized milk and dairy products, purchased at retail to bail out failing dairy farmers who have no other outlet for their surplus product. Our government also feeds 28 million school kids each day with their National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program (SBP). Those milk meal giveaways cost over 6 billion dollars per year, which does not include the cost of medical treatment for asthma attacks and asthma medicine.
In attempting to explain exploding asthma rates, the New York Times article reports:
"Some of the worst triggers, studies have found, are most prevalent in poor communities, including the feces of cockroaches and dust mites, cigarette smoke and mold and mildew. Harlem, East Harlem and the South Bronx also have a heavy concentration of diesel bus and truck traffic, and the
tiny particles in diesel exhaust are though t to be another serious asthma trigger." Environmental considerations are all very important, of course, and everybody wants more than one breath of fresh
air each day, but not one of the factors cited by the Times has doubled since 1980. One factor, though, not considered by researchers, has more than tripled. In 1980, the average American was eating just ten pounds of cheese per year. Today, the average American consumes thirty-one pounds of cheese.
Eighty percent of milk and cheese protein is casein. When casein is isolated from milk, it becomes the glue to adhere a label to a bottle of beer. Casein is the glue used to hold together wood in furniture. When a child living in Harlem eats cheese or ice cream, this allergy-causing milk protein
triggers the production of histamines, which in turn create mucus. Sometimes, the reaction takes as long as 12 hours. Tonight's slice of pizza may trigger tomorrow's asthma attack.
Asthma is not the only result. Milk hormones interfere with a child's ability to learn. It is a wonder that only one out of four kids living in poverty have asthma. Perhaps the other three are fortunate enough to be severely lactose intolerant, and avoid complimentary bovine secretions like the plague.
Ninety-five percent of African-Americans cannot tolerate lactose. Pizza and ice cream taste delicious on the way into their bodies. Lactose is a sugar and most people need the enzyme lactase to break down lactose into glucose and galactose. Intact, this sugar is broken down in the intestines by bacteria and the results are gas, bloating, and intestinal distress.
Milk contains powerful hormones. Rates of sexual maturity in children are astounding endocrinologists and behavioral psychologists. A recent study revealed that eighty percent of nine-year-old African-American girls have developing breasts. Children are becoming overweight at an early age. By eating high caloric food with growth hormones and saturated animal fat, the body has a way of listening to the signals of those chemical messengers: Grow!
One out of five children has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
A recent study in the Journal of Autism linked ADD with a milk protein, casomorphin.
Herman Mitchell, an asthma researcher and epidemiologist, has this comment regarding the shocking Harlem asthma data:
"This is certainly one of the highest rates attributed in the United States, if not the highest."
With that inspiring comment, I decided to take advantage of a lull in New York City's perpetual traffic jam. Easter Sunday afforded such an opportunity. It would not be practical for me to enter the schools and follow 2000 kids, but I could perform my own completely unbiased observation of Harlem. I drove from my New Jersey home to the 125th exit off of the West Side Highway, and soon found myself in "the hood." Our New Jersey neighborhood has one pizzeria, and we once had an ice cream store, but it closed for lack of business in January of this year. We have cigarette smokers, mice, and insects, but there is no WIC service in our school systems. Little or no poverty can be found in Oradell, New Jersey. No subsidized daily dairy overdoses for our children.
Dairy is a major part of Harlem's in-school food culture. That same bad habit has become an addiction of the streets. The study area was bounded by 116th Street, 123rd Street, Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue. There were just too many dairy outlets to count. I took notes as I drove, and gave up on 116th Street. I found Domino's Pizza, and Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. Krispy Kreme Donuts and fast food franchises serving shakes and cheeseburgers. As I drove through the streets, I observed hundreds upon hundreds of quick-fix dairy foods providing after school treats.
The poorest children in America begin their day at schools with milk and cereal for breakfast. Snack time provides chocolate milk and cookies. Lunch means macaroni and cheese or pizza. The casein within the mozzarella cheese and cheddar insures poor digestion, and sets into motion a reaction by which the bronchioles of a child's lungs clog with mucus.
Here is what happened to one very famous American who lived and died by the milk mustache. Flo Jo choked on her body fluids, dying from an asthma attack. Her autopsy:
As promised, the article in yesterday's New Zealand paper:
NEW ZEALAND HERALD
Tuesday, May 4, 2004
Asthma rate triple world average
By MARTIN JOHNSTON, health reporter
New Zealanders suffer asthma at three times the global rate, according to the first international assessment of the disease. The New Zealand-led assessment, which combines previous studies, estimates that 300 million people, about 5 per cent of the global population, suffer asthma.
The rate among New Zealanders is 15 per cent.
The prevalence of the disease is rising - particularly where populations are urbanising and adopting Western lifestyles - but the basic reasons remain unclear. The latest study, for the World Health Organisation and the Global Initiative for Asthma, is published today to coincide with World Asthma Day. It predicts that by 2025, some 400 million to 450 million people will have asthma, an increase of up to 50 per cent. The lead researcher, Professor Richard Beasley, director of the Wellington-based Medical Research Institute, said last night that the study provided the first firm estimate of the disease's global prevalence using standardised data.
He said the rising prevalence was driven by a growing population, people shifting from rural areas to cities and the spread of Western habits. "We know that with the adoption of urban and Western lifestylesthe rate of asthma goes up markedly.
"One of the strong factors from studies, particularly in developing countries, is that asthma prevalence rates are much higher in cities than in rural areas. The exact features of the lifestyle associated with urban living have not been identified with certainty in terms of why their rates are so much higher." The research report says that when people from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands emigrate to Australia and New Zealand there is a marked increase in asthma prevalence within one generation.
Many scientists are investigating the "hygiene hypothesis" - that increasingly sanitised living conditions and a decreasing exposure to bugs early in life primes the immune system to overreact later, producing allergic diseases. Most asthma is triggered by allergies. Professor Beasley said this theory explained part of the rise in asthma, "but it's not the whole answer". Despite New Zealand's high asthma prevalence, the rate of people dying from the disease is within the range of many Western countries at 4.6 per 100,000 asthmatics. At the Western extremes, Canada's rate is 1.6 and Denmark's 9.3. The world's worst rate is in China, at 36.7.
"New Zealand used to have far a higher mortality and case-fatality rate," Professor Beasley said. They had fallen steeply in the past 10 years because of the withdrawal of the drug fenoterol, which was dangerous when overused, the greater use of inhaled corticosteroids and the use of asthma management plans.
Global prevalence of asthma estimated to be 300 million people or about 5 per cent of the population. New Zealand prevalence 15 per cent.
225,723 people died from the disease worldwide in 2001.
Asthma is 300 times more common than coronary heart disease.
The global economic costs of asthma exceed those of TB and HIV/Aids combined.
Flu shots linked to asthma attacks
By Michael Bradley
July 24, 2004
Vaccinating asthmatic children against influenza is unlikely to protect them from attacks and may even worsen their condition, say researchers who have found asthma-related emergency department visits are significantly more likely among children who have received a flu shot.
The US study comes a week after Australian authorities said they would consider whether local immunisation recommendations should be brought into line with America's. Asthmatic children in the US are told to use the vaccine but from September the recommendation will be extended to all children aged between six months and two years. In Australia, influenza immunisationis not recommended for all children; however, a universal program is being considered by the Federal Government's vaccine advisory panel.
Professor David Isaacs, a specialist in immunology and infectious diseases at the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the chairman of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation's committee on influenza, said: "In the United States they say children with asthma should be given a vaccine against the flu because getting the flu could make their asthma worse, but the evidence supporting this idea is far from brilliant."
Professor Isaacs said previous studies had failed to show different rates of asthma attack between groups of children give neither the vaccine or a placebo. "People seem to assume the vaccine will be good [for asthmatics] but the evidence does not show that it is," he said. "In fact, there are lots of studies now suggesting it does not offer much benefit at all."
The American researchers compared two groups of 400 asthmatic children. One group received the vaccine. Those who were vaccinated were found to be almost twice as likely to seek assistance at an emergency department because of their asthma.
However, one specialist says doctors and parents should not read too much into the research. A medical virologist at Prince of Wales Hospital, Associate Professor Bill Rawlinson, said the findings might only reflect the higher use of the vaccine among children with severe asthma. "If you are a more severe asthmatic, you are more likely to get the vaccine,"
Is infant immunization a risk factor for childhood asthma or
Kemp T, Pearce N, Fitzharris P, Crane J, Fergusson D, St George I,
Wickens K, Beasley R.
Department of Medicine, Wellington School of Medicine, New Zealand.
The Christchurch Health and Development Study comprises 1,265 children born in 1977. The 23 children who received no diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) and polio immunizations had no recorded asthma episodes or consultations for asthma or other allergic illness before age 10 years; in the immunized children, 23.1% had asthma episodes, 22.5% asthma consultations, and 30.0% consultations for other allergic illness. Similar differences were observed at ages 5 and 16 years. These findings do not appear to be due to differential use of health services (although this possibility
cannot be excluded) or con-founding by ethnicity, socioeconomic status, parental atopy, or parental smoking.
PMID: 9345669 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE
DELHI (Reuters Health) Oct 21 - A BCG scar size of less than five millimeters is associated with an increased risk of developing asthma, researchers from Brazil report.
The strong T-helper 1 lymphocyte (Th1) stimulating effect of BCG vaccine and the Th1/Th2 imbalance hypothesis in the pathogenesis of asthma prompted Dr. Rosangela de M. Queiroz and colleagues from the Federal University of Pernambuco to examine the relationship between inoculation scar size and asthma. The BCG scar diameter was measured by two independent observers in ninety children with asthma and an equal number of controls, all between 6 and 14 years of age.
The BCG scar was less than 5 mm in diameter in 28 (31.1%) asthmatic children and in 11 (12.2%) controls, Dr. Queiroz and colleagues report in the September issue of Indian Pediatrics. After accounting for all the confounding factors, the asthmatic children were over three times more likely to have a BCG scar smaller than 5 mm, the researchers calculate.
Decreased stimulation of Th1 cells could have resulted in a smaller BCG scar and could have altered the Th1/Th2 relationship in favor of Th2 response, thus predisposing to asthma, Dr. Queiroz's team postulates. "Perhaps the BCG vaccine merely prevents the development of atopic illness in the absence of a strong genetic influence," they add. Low levels of interferon gamma in mononuclear cells of patients with asthma and the relationship between BCG scar size and interferon gamma levels could explain the association between the two, the researchers write. "The extent of Th1/Th2 balance during the neonatal period may be the key determinant of how the genetic predisposition to asthma is modulated," Dr. Queiroz and colleagues conclude.
Indian Pediatr 2004;40:916-921.
Annals of Allergy, 1951; 9
"Cow's milk is one of the most frequent food allergens. Whole casein appears to be highly allergenic...85% of the patients presented a response to each of the four caseins. "
International Archives of Allergy and Immunology,
1998 Mar, 115:3
Surgeon general targets asthma 'epidemic'
Top U.S. doctor says thousands don't manage the disease appropriately
By Tom Costello
July 1, 2005
A mobile asthma clinic in the inner city of Los Angeles is on a mission to help kids breathe and keep them out of the emergency room. The clinic is on the front lines in what doctors call the battle against an epidemic. "The usual care for asthmatic kids in the inner city, or the frequent care, is the emergency room," says Dr. Stanley Galant with Children's Hospital of Orange County, Calif. The numbers, from the U.S. surgeon general, the Centers for Disease
Control and the American Lung Association, are striking:
· 20 million Americans suffer from asthma - that's three times as many as 25 years ago; · 1 in every 8 children has asthma; · 12 people die from asthma daily. "You will breathe and then ... like you're wheezing and struggling to get it out, and then you breathe in quickly and then it keeps on going and it gets really tight in your chest," says 14-year-old Michael Stampler as he describes his symptoms. Stampler's asthma has landed him in the emergency room several times, even though he conscientiously takes medicine daily and uses inhalers to keep his asthma at bay. "The emergency room needs to be part of the plan," says Michael's mother, Ann Stampler. "It needs to be plan B." But the surgeon general says too many people fail to keep their asthma under control, then turn to hospitals when they suffer an attack, with 5,000 ER visits recorded each day.
"There is no cure for asthma, but it is a very manageable disease if you understand the triggers in your life," says U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona.
The Environmental Protection Agency has found that fewer than 30 percent of people with asthma are taking simple steps to reduce exposure to those triggers. Secondhand smoke, cockroaches, dust mites, mold and ozone can cause asthma in young children or set off asthma attacks. Experts believe that by helping patients manage their asthma more effectively and keeping them out of the ER, they could save the health care system more than $500 million each year. The ultimate goal: Cutting asthma-related hospitalizations by 50,000 over the next five years. "If one of my patients ends up in the emergency room, that I view as a failure!" says Dr. Ronald Ferdman at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "We believe that we should be able to keep everybody out of the emergency room."
Ferdman advocates early intervention and constant vigilance to keep a killer at bay.
NOTE: The CDC states 1 in 8 have asthma. Another figure that is out of control. This article mentions smoke, cockroaches and mold to be triggers but haven't these been around forever. Why the increase? Seems they did not mention the Study out of Otago University which claims antibiotics in the first year of life is linked to asthma or the study published in Epidemiology claiming a child who has received both the DPT and tetanus vaccines is 50% more likely to develop asthma and 80% more likely to develop sinusitis. Vaccinations cause autoimmune responses which is what asthma and allergies are. The body is creating a huge amount of antibodies against itself. To learn more about these conditions and ways to treat please join us in Fort Pierce, Florida, August 13, 2005. For more info call ( 772 ) 873 0911
The E.C.H.O. Foundation
Educating on Children's Health Options
One in Six High School Students Reports Asthma
Friday, August 12, 2005
By Miranda Hitti
One in six U.S. high school students reports having asthma, and a third of them note having an asthma episode or attack in the past year. Those numbers appear in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Data came from anonymous surveys given to more than 13,000 students in grades 9-12 nationwide.
Overall, nearly 19 percent of the students stated that they had ever been told by a doctor or nurse that they had asthma. Slightly fewer -- 16 percent, or about one in six -- noted current asthma. Of students reporting current asthma, about 38 percent said they had had an asthma episode or attack in the previous year. Those asthma attacks or episodes were more often reported by girls and younger students (ninth graders). The reasons for that aren't clear, states an editorial note from the CDC.
Hispanic students were less likely than blacks or whites to report current or past asthma. About 15 percent of Hispanic students reported ever having asthma, compared to 21 percent of blacks and 19 percent of whites.
The students' medical records were not checked to confirm their self-reported asthma diagnoses. Many teachers -- and certainly school nurses -- are familiar with helping children with asthma. Still it's important to take steps to ensure that your child gets adequate attention and that all the relevant people at school are familiar with what is needed to help your child.
The findings underscore the need for health care providers, schools, and families to be prepared to respond to asthma-related emergencies and help students manage their asthma, writes the CDC.
By Miranda Hitti, reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD
SOURCES: Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, Aug. 12, 2005; vol 54: pp 765-767. News release, CDC. WebMD Medical Reference provided in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic: "Managing Your Child's Asthma at School."
Can Hib Vaccine Cause Asthma?
Can Hib Vaccine Cause Asthma?
by Heidi White
Can the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccine cause asthma or allergy? I am not aware of any human studies that have specifically looked at the effect of Hib vaccine on asthma. However, a Swiss study1 found that invasive Hib infection (epiglottitis) could possibly be linked to an increase in the rate of asthma and allergies (OR 4.8). There may be a few explanations for this. Firstly, the treatment of a Hib infection with antibiotics, such as cephalosporins (eg cefotaxime or ceftriaxone), may by itself increase the risk of asthma.2 And secondly, cell wall components from the Hib bacteria may also be a cause of asthma.
If invasive Hib infection is able to cause asthma then it may also be possible that the Hib vaccine could also have a similar effect. Animal studies have provided various mechanisms for why this could occur:
a) A nasal Hib vaccine has been shown to stimulate Th1 and Th2 cells in mice.3 If the Th2 side of the immune system is over stimulated, then this can increase the risk of asthma and allergy.
b) Hib vaccination in rats has been shown to enhance histamine levels with a corresponding increase in the number of eosinophils.4-7 Eosinophils (white blood cells, used to fight infection) will proliferate and accumulate in the airways under stimulation by interleukin-5 (IL-5), a cytokine produced by Th2 cells. Eosinophil accumulation is also evident in the dermis of the skin seen in people with atopic dermatitis (eczema).
c) Hib vaccination in rats has been shown to cause increased bronchoconstriction in response to histamine, possibly due to an increased reactivity of the para-sympathetic/cholinergic pathways.7,8
d) Studies in guinea-pigs have shown that Hib vaccination may impair the beta (b ) 2-adrenergic system by causing a blocking or desensitization of b 2 receptors, or by reducing the number of b 2 receptors in the lung.9-13 Inhibition of b receptors can lead to increased bronchoconstriction. It is thought that the polysaccharide component of the bacterial cell wall may be responsible for this effect.14 HibTitre vaccine contains purified polysaccharide (PRP), from the capsule of the Hib bacteria, which is linked to a diphtheria carrier protein. PedvaxHIB vaccine contains PRP linked to a meningococcal protein.
It would be interesting to see the results of a human study that specifically examines the effects of Hib vaccine on the incidence of asthma and allergy.
1. Muhlemann K et al. Risk factors for invasive Haemophilus influenzae disease among children 2-16 years of age in the vaccine era, Switzerland 1991-1993. The Swiss H. Influenzae Study Group. Int J Epidemiol 1996 Dec;25(6):1280-5
2. Farooqi IS, Hopkin MH. Early childhood infection and atopic disorder.Thorax 1998 November; 53: 927-932
3. Kurono Y et al. Nasal immunization induces Haemophilus influenzae-specific Th1 and Th2 responses with mucosal IgA and systemic IgGantibodies for protective immunity. J Infect Dis 1999 Jul;180(1):122-32
4. Nijkamp FP et al. Facilitation of histamine release in the Haemophilus influenzae vaccinated experimental animal. Br J Pharmacol. 1980Jan; 68(1):147P
5. Raaijmakers JA, Terpstra GK, Kreukniet J. Mast cells as a possible source of Haemophilus influenzae-induced changes in plasma and lunghistamine levels. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 1980;61(3):352-7
6. Terpstra GK, Raaijmakers JA; Kreukniet J. Comparison of vaccination of mice and rats with Haemophilus influenzae and Bordetella pertussis as models of atopy. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol 1979 Mar-Apr;6(2):139-49
7. Terpstra GK et al. Effects of Haemophilus influenzae vaccination on the (para-)sympathic- cyclic nucleotide-histamine axis in rats. Ann Allergy 1979 Jan; 42(1):36-40
8. Schreurs AJ, Nijkamp FP. Bronchial hyper-reactivity to histamine induced by Haemophilus influenzae vaccination. Agents Actions 1984 Oct;15(3-4): 211-5
9. Terpstra GK, Kreukniet J, Raaijmakers JA. Changes in beta-adrenergic responses as a consequence of infection with micro-organisms. Eur J Respir Dis Suppl 1984;135:34-46
10. Schreurs AJ, Terpstra GK et al. The effects of Haemophilus influenzae vaccination on anaphylactic mediator release and isoprenaline-induced inhibition of mediator release. Eur J Pharmacol 1980 Apr 4;62(4):261-8
11. Schreurs AJ, Versteeg DH, Nijkamp FP. Involvement of catecholamines in Haemophilus influenzae induced decrease of beta-adrenoceptor function.
Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol 1982 Sep; 320(3):235-9
12. Schreurs AJ, Terpstra GK, Raaijmakers JA, Nijkamp FP. Effects of vaccination with Haemophilus influenzae on adrenoceptor function of tracheal and parenchymal strips. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1980 Dec;215(3):691-6
13. Nijkamp FP et al. Inhibition of effects of isoprenaline and adrenaline by Haemophilus influenzae vaccination. Br J Pharmacol. 1980 Jan;68(1):146P.
14. Schreurs AJ, Verhoef J, Nijkamp FP. Bacterial cell wall components decrease the number of guinea-pig lung beta-adrenoceptors. Eur J Pharmacol
1983 Jan 28; 87(1):127-32
Journal articles--Hib vaccine & asthma