Clinical Review

Mumps and the UK epidemic 2005

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1132 (Published 12 May 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:1132

False Government Rubella Scare Stories - Reply to Professor Louis Z Cooper



Dear Sir,

FALSE
GOVERNMENT RUBELLA SCARE STORIES


I am grateful
to Louis Z Cooper, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics,
Columbia University, New York for his personal account of 1964, albeit
anecdotal. [1] Regrettably it shows official
'estimated' figures are less well grounded in fact than prudence might
dictate
- illustrating my point. The Orenstein 'estimated' 20,000
congenital rubella
syndrome ('CRS') figure [2] is suddenly an 'estimated' 40,000 -
doubled at a stroke. In contrast, the figures I cited [3] were
documented
official figures from real
reported cases. I cite more here to assist waverers.


A brief
literature survey shows varying figures
cited with abandon: 12 million, 12.5 million, and from 10,000 to 30,000
miscarriages, stillbirths and CRS. Even if right, and they are
not, just
as hard cases make bad law, worldwide policy should not be based
on uncommon once-in-25-to-50 year epidemics and never on
inaccurate
wildly varying data.


Further, and
obviously an oversight, Professor Cooper's
interests were not disclosed. His involvement
since 1964 in all aspects of rubella vaccination, including research,
commercial, official and political assists in putting his perspective
in context. [4]


Reported US
rubella cases prior to
vaccination were less than 50,000 per annum. [3],
[5] Average US CRS incidence was less than 50 per annum.
[3]
One study averaged 80 Japanese CRS cases per annum between
1965 - 1985 [6]. Another notes 39 Japanese CRS babies in
2,000,000 cases in 1975-1977 when notification
was operating. [7]


Contrast the US
CDC's official autism spectrum disorders
('ASD') incidence of 24,000 ASD children per annum, with a 500,000
prevalence aged 0 to 21. [8]


We cannot
justify mass vaccination on this basis, particularly where
the vaccines are not properly tested or subject to short and long term
safety monitoring. No one knows the full extent of all problems
vaccines
cause because no one is looking or counting - less than 50 CRS cases
per annum
against 24,000 autism spectrum
disorder? All when disease incidence has been falling
dramatically irrespective of
vaccination.


It seems
rubella overestimation might be misdiagnosis.
According
to Kibrick:


"...
illness with features resembling those of
rubella may sometimes be due to other causes. Thus, rubella-like
illness may be incorrectly diagnosed as rubella ....."
[9]


A paper from
one of Professor Cooper's own New York
Rubella
Project colleagues, John Sever, states:-


Evidence
that erroneous diagnoses are common in this
disease is provided by results of a study on 464 pregnant women wherein
attempts
were made to correlate the patient’s history of rubella with presence
or absence of antibody. No correlation was observed. This suggests
that “the occurrence of rubella as reported by patients cannot be taken
as a reliable index of previous exposure”
. [10]

As for
birth defects, with a low average incidence of CRS, rubella
cannot
be the culprit (and the following is 2005 published - when
indigenous US rubella is claimed eradicated):-


"Birth
defects affect about one in every 33 babies born in the United States
each year. They are the leading cause of infant deaths, accounting for
more than 20% of all infant deaths. Babies born with birth defects have
a greater chance of illness and long term disability than babies
without birth defects.
" [11]

Compounding
these inaccuracies, 1964 house to house survey data
collection methods were questionable, with limited sample sizes
(0.00022 fraction of the US population).

As for
the varying figures for miscarriage (10,000 to 12,000), two
fifths of pregnancies miscarry. 4,000,000 live US births means
1.6 million annual miscarriages in the US, so where the assorted 10,000
to 12,000 figures
comes from is anyone's guess (and it seems that is precisely what they
are).


Even on the
basis of Professor Cooper's own paper there could be no
more
than 4000 US CRS cases. This assumes his
'Rubella Project'
was limited to the cited area of 20 million [12] (and the population of
New York State in 1963 was less than 17.5 million [13]).
Professor Cooper also cites anecdotally 400 women
reported to the New York City Department of Health during
1964-5; 300 having terminations. As 92% of rubella
cases deliver normal healthy children, adjusting for normal
miscarriages, had these run full term they provide a potential figure
of CRS births for this cohort of 24. [14]



email Clifford
Miller: bmj050604{insert an 'at' sign
here}cliffordmiller.com



_________________________________________________________________


[1] Re:
False Government Rubella Scare Stories - Only 20,000 Percent Overstated

3 June 2005

[2] Orenstein
WA, Bart KJ, Hinman AR, Preblud SR, Greaves WL, Doster
SW, Stetler HC, Sirotkin B. The opportunity and obligation to eliminate
rubella from the United States. JAMA. 1984 Apr 20;251(15):1988-94.


[3] False
Government Rubella Scare Stories - Only 20,000 Percent Overstated

1 June 2005


[4]
New
Study Shows No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism
NNii
Press Release November 07, 2002

Board of Trustees of
The
Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute


[5] In the
early 1960s, there were 40,000 and 45,000 cases of rubella
per year (Horstmann, 1986; Parkman, Meyer, & Hilleman, 1997, 2000;
Cooper, 1966)


[6] Rubella and
Congenital Rubella Syndrome in Japan: Epidemiological
Problems Jpn.J.Infect.Dis.,56,81-87,2003


[7]
Epidemiology of rubella and congenital rubella infection in Japan.
Kono R, Hirayama M, Sugishita C, Miyamura K. Rev Infect Dis. 1985
Mar-Apr;7 Suppl 1:S56-63.


[8] About
Autism

Autism Information Center, National Center on Birth Defects
and Developmental Disabilities - accessed 4 June 2005


[9] 'Rubella
And Rubelliform Rash' BACTERIOLOGICAL REVIEWS p. 452-457
December, 1964


[10] 26. SEVER,
J. L., G. 811. SCHIFF, AND R. J. HUEBNER. 1964.
Frequency of
rubella antibody among pregnant women and other human and animal
populations. Obstet. Gynecol. 23:153-159.


[11] Birth
Defects

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -
accessed 4th June 2005


[12] THE BURDEN
OF CONGENITAL RUBELLA SYNDROME
Vaccines.
Preventing Disease and Protecting Health
, 1 January 2003,
vol. 1,
no. 1, pp. 53-60(8)


[13] COMPONENTS
OF POPULATION CHANGE


[14] DANISH
MEDICAL BULLETIN MARCH 1987 - WAVES Vol. 11 No. 4 p.
21

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 June 2005
Clifford G. Miller
Lawyer, graduate physicist, former university examining lecturer in law
BR3 3LA
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