(Updated on 4/01/2020)
What do you think about vaccines? Are you concerned about their long-term side effects?
You aren’t alone. Approximately 10 percent of the population in the united states are concerned about getting vaccinated (e.g. measles).
Opponents of the vaccination believe that most of the vaccines contain mercury, a chemical that could lead to nerve cell damage and, consequently, autism.
Meanwhile, because of this statement, many of the parents have refused to vaccinate their children.
Undoubtedly, we can’t understand the importance of vaccination without understanding the disease itself.
Let me tell you more about measles,
Measles or rubeola is a viral infection, the virus itself is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae (the name is a real tongue twister).
This virus usually enters the body through the airways and eyes and then spreads to the lymph nodes.
Most of the infected individuals don’t have any measles symptoms up to 10 days after the first virus entry into the body.
Later, some of the infected patients present with generalized symptoms such as fever, malaise, cough, red-eye, and runny nose.
Some patients also could present with the so-called Koplik’s spot.
What is a Koplik’s spot?
One of the more specific measles symptoms is a Koplik’s spot. Generally, these spots are 1 to 3 mm whitish, grayish, or bluish elevations, typically seen inside the mouth and in the cheek region. These spots could last up to 3 days, and then they disappear.
Patients infected with measles could develop a rash that starts on the face and then spreads to the neck, upper torso, lower torso, and the extremities, and, usually, this rash improves after two days.
Pneumonia and infection of the brain and heart could complicate a measles infection.
How to manage measles symptoms?
The best way to manage measles after it happens is supportive care and mostly with treating the complications of this infection.
But clearly, the best management is to prevent the disease in the first place, and nothing (to date) can compete with vaccination.
What are the concerns about vaccines, and why do some parents refuse to vaccinate their children?
Families refuse the vaccines for various reasons, including:
- Concerns about the safety of vaccines
- Believing that their children are healthy and they aren’t at danger of getting the disease
- The costs of the vaccines
- Believing in natural ways of treating a disease
Many opponents of the measles vaccine rely on a study published in Lancet in 1998 that reported about 12 children who received measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination (MMR) and developed chronic bowel problems and 9 of them developed autism.
In 2010, this article was retracted because the authors of the study based their conclusions on fraudulent information.
But until now, many who are against measles vaccination base their arguments on the findings of this fraudulent study.
How about thimerosal and autism?
Since the 1980s, the number of children diagnosed with autism is trending up. And since then, the rate of vaccinated individuals is going up as well. If we look at this trend, we might conclude that there is a link between the number of people who receive the vaccination and the individuals who have autism.
However, to date, no national or international study could show any association between vaccinations and autism.
Why are we noticing an increase in the number of children diagnosed with autism?
The reason for this change is probably related to altered diagnostic criteria and also a higher level of awareness in the public.
What about mercury in the vaccines?
Two different available forms of mercury exist methyl-mercury and ethyl-mercury. Thimerosal is a preservative and contains a low dosage of ethyl-mercury (approximately 25 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 mL dose).
The probability of mercury toxicity is very low if blood and urine concentration is under 100 mcg/L.
Despite the lack of studies linking Thimerosal to autism, this preservative was removed from most of the vaccines.
In essence, we’ve insufficient data that link vaccines to autism or developmental diseases. Based on current evidence, there are no scientific reasons not to vaccinate a child.
Go to the comments and tell me what you think.
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