Live Virus

Someone messaged me after my post about measles that they hadn’t vaccinated their child, because the MMR contains a live version of the measles virus and they didn’t want to risk giving their kids the measles from it. They are right on one point; the MMR does contain a weakened live strain of the measles virus.

However, the virus has been weakened so much that it cannot give a child full blown measles. If it was capable of that, I would have measles before I was able to walk.

It can cause a slight fever to occur, less than 101 normally. And cause a slight feeling of malaise for a day or two. This usually only happens with the first vaccine though, not all three. I have only heard of it happening with all 3 MMR vaccinations once and that child had cancer.

But even suffering cancer, the child did not get measles. Just as I did not get measles when vaccinated. That is the key to how the measles vaccine works. Using the dead virus, like they do with most vaccines, including flu, does not trigger an autoimmune response and the creation of antibodies to combat the measles virus should the body ever be exposed to it again.

No parent likes to risk their kid getting sick and I understand that. But is a few days of fever and malaise really worse than risking your child get measles?

I blame my generation for anti-vaxxing. Most anti-vaxxers I know were born between 1970 and 1990. I was born in 1980, smack dab in the middle. My generation didn’t have to deal with diseases like measles, not really. Yes, I and my sister both got it, but we were the exception. My sister may not have measles immunity any more than I do. Or it could have been a bad batch of MMRs, which did occur in 1970-1971, she was born in February of 1970 and therefore perfectly in the time period for bad MMRs – the measles virus in those batches was dead and they weren’t very effective as a result.

None of my classmates got measles that I remember. But I may have been quarantined before I became contagious, having picked mine up from my sister who got sick nearly a week before me. It is quite possible that since my sister had contracted measles and was staying with us as a result, I was not allowed to go to school until she was given the all clear or until a certain amount of time passed and I ended up with measles during that quarantine time.

One of the things I do remember quite vividly was my mom bringing home “homework” for me. I was in grade school and homework was basically spelling lists. But I was not allowed to return to school immediately after I started to feel “better.” I had to have 2 new MMR shots given a few weeks apart before I could return. It was during that time that my mom picked up school work for me.

I also remember them talking about holding me back that year, because I had missed “too much school” as a result of measles. In the end, I was passed up to the next grade, because I had stayed on top of what I missed and did fine once I was able to return to school.

But enough about measles. Just try to remember that there is a lot of hype surrounding vaccinations that are mostly not true. Last time I said this, someone said “well why is autism so new? My parents and grandparents said nobody had autism when they were young.” Um, yes, they did, they just didn’t call it autism. In the 1980s, all these kids autistic and otherwise, were lumped into one big group of people called “mentally challenged.”

Looking back and knowing what I do today, I’d say at least a handful of these “mentally challenged” kids were autistic. Some low functioning, some high functioning, some verbal, some non-verbal…

Just like I was in school when suddenly people started getting diagnosed with ADHD. In grade school, kids with ADHD were just considered “bad kids” they couldn’t sit still, they couldn’t pay attention, they acted out, they were difficult, but there wasn’t a name for it, other than mentally challenged or BD (behavior disorder). I was nearly in high school, before I heard the term ADHD. And I know I was in high school before I heard the term autistic. Autism didn’t exist in the 1980s, because no one had given it a name beyond mentally challenged, mentally handicapped, or mentally retarded. And those three titles covered a plethora of problems from oppositional defiant disorder to Down’s Syndrome to autism. In other words, the diseases didn’t suddenly become more pronounced and happen at a higher rate, they just suddenly had names and were broken down into smaller groups and able to give them the individual attention needed.

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