[Letter BMJ Oct 2004] Hilary Butler, Re: The demise of common sense, and logical immunity
home 1892, New Zealand.
Send response to journal:
Peter Flegg says:
[quote]For the record, I do agree with him that measles vaccine can cause
measles. However it is not "prominent"; and as my previous references have
shown, it comprises a negligible component of measles in vaccinated
If you go by published references, this is indeed true. But here, we have a
In this country, there are regular outbreaks of "measles", which,
coincidentally, usually follow the MMR being administered in schools.
We are only one family, whose chidren have had "measles" twice. Yes,
"twice". Both times, following an MMR vaccination campaign. The second
time, I pleaded with the hospital to do both viral assays, and blood work,
but they declined on the basis that he wasn't going to die, and it was a
waste of health resources.
"Why" (I can hear you ask) "was your son in hospital then"? He was in
hospital, because our then doctor did not believe that it could be measles
a second time. The child concerned had a severe ear infection, which led to
him behaving as if he was more ill than he was, so the doctor decided that
he might have meningitis, hence an 'enforced' trip to hospital. Only to
find that the staff agreed it was measles. Until, that was, they saw in his
files, that he had had "measles" once before. So, they changed the file to
"morbilli-like infection". Hence the discussion. Was the first one perhaps
a "morbilli-like-infection" and the second measles? Shall we do some tests
to find out please?
The reaction was to run away and put their heads into the sand. What you
don't investigate, can't be used in evidence against you, Mr Flegg.
And that is the problem. YOU say vaccine-virus measles isn't common. I say
that it is common, but it isn't in the literature, because you and yours do
not investigate it, when you have the opportunity.
And you don't see it, because you don't expect to see it, and deny it when
it is in front of you.
And should you "see it" and find that vaccine virus-measles might be so
much more common than you previous thought, would you dare to publish it?
And on a related note, we recently had a mumps outbreak locally. Funnily
enough, following a local MMR initiative. Not even a copy of Takao Nagai's
"Mumps vaccine virus genome is present in throat swabs obtained from
uncomplicated healthy recipients" (Vaccine 19 (2001)1353 - 1355 would
convince the local doctor that it was even an issue worth consideration.
Such is the immunity to "novel" concepts, that vaccines inflict upon doctors.
You (Peter Flegg) state in response to Carol Johnson:
[quote]The fact that as a consequence there will be some unusual
presentations, or infections in those already vaccinated, or more cases in
adults should not sway us from trying to prevent what are potentially
devastating childhood diseases.[/quote]
Tell me, Mr Flegg. What are some of the factors that can make these
diseases potentially devastating?
I've recently seen chickenpox in an adult who was vaccinated about six
years ago. She was severely ill, in bed for two weeks, and found it very
hard to get over. Afterwards, she was tested to see if she had an
immunodeficiency, and she didn't.
But there was one thing they never bothered to look at. The doctor, at the
beginning of the illness, when they didn't know it was chickenpox advised
the parents to use paracetamol to reduce the fever, which they did, for
The damaging role of chemical antipyresis to the immune system, is
something which doctors should be addressing as a matter or urgency.
While you may say this is another issue altogether from the MMR/Vaccine
issue, it is not.
I am deeply troubled by the current medical profession's blase advice on
the use of drugs to bring down temperatures ((which are the "infections"
way of using a "sprinkler" system to dampen down the effects of the
pathogen ("fire") ))~ advice which I believe can lead to infections
becoming more serious.
Fever is there for a good reason. To stop diseases becoming more serious.
To slow down, and get on top of pathogens. To eliminate the resulting
Fever has a vital function.
Reviews of Infectious Diseases, Vol 10, No 1 January-February, 1988. New
concepts on the pathogenesis of Fever, Charles A. Dinarello et al:
"Elevated body temperature enhances the inflammatory response and function
of the immune system at the same time that it reduces the replication of
microbes and tumor cells."
Reviews of Infectious Diseases 1991; 13: 462 - 472 Impact of Temperature
Elevation on Immunologic Defenses. Norbert J. Roberts.
Page 469: "Overall, it appears that temperature elevation within the
physiologic range most effectively enhances the processes involved in
initial antigen recognition and support for immunologically specific
response to challenge."
Pg 470: "Accumulated direct and indirect evidence suggests an overall
beneficial effect of physiologic temperature elevation or fever on host
Antipyresis and Fever, Barbara Styrt, MD, Barrett Sugarman MD. Arch Intern
Med - Vol 150, August 1990,
Pg 1594: "The decision to administer antipyretics is frequently made
without a documented rational. Current understanding of the mechanisms and
pathogenesis of fever suggests that the febrile process has a role in host
defense and that routine antipyretic therapy for fever is generally
unnecessary and conceivably harmful. "
Alas, I can only find one sane doctor prepared to come right out and agree
with me in this:
Aust Prescr 1995; 18: 233- 234. Paracetamol: use in children. Frank Shann,
Intensive care Unit, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne.
"Paracetamol may prolong infection and reduce the antibody response in mild
disease, and increase morbidity and mortality in severe infection."
"there is no evidence that antipyretics prevent febrile convulsions."
"Immunity. Too many parents and health workers think that infection is bad,
infection causes fever and that therefore fever is bad. In fact, fever is
often a beneficial host response to infection, and moderate fever improves
immunity. Therefore it may not be a good idea to give drugs that reduce
temperature to patients with several infection. I have recently reviewed
the results of 9 controlled trials in mammals of the effect of paracetamol
or aspirin on mortality of virus excretions.. Four trials found that
aspirin increased mortality in bacterial or viral infection. Viral shedding
was increased by paracetamol or aspirin in 3 studies, possibly increased in
one, and not affected in two (one used only pharyngeal washings, and one
had only 9 subjects in the aspirin and placebo groups). One study found
that antibody production was impaired by both paracetamol and aspirin, but
no effect on antibody production was detected in the study with only 9
subjects in the aspirin and placebo groups. This evidence suggests that
aspirin and paracetamol increase mortality in severe infection, and that
they may prolong the infection and reduce the antibody response in mild
Conclusion: There is little evident to support the use of paracetamol to
treat fever in patients without heart or lung disease, or to prevent
febrile convulsions. Indeed paracetamol may decrease the antibody response
to infection, and increase morbidity and mortality in severe infection.
It should be explained to parents that fever is usually a helpful response
to infection, and that paracetamol should be used to reduce discomfort, but
***NOT TO TREAT FEVER ***"
end of quote
Chickenpox treated antipyretically with Tylenol/Ibuprofen provokes
bacterial skin infections into fulminant necrotising fasciitis (Pediatr
I(Pediatrics Vol 103, No 4, April 1999, 783-784 and 785-790) (Infect
Med1999 16 (5):307) Just two of many references for antipyretic induced
complications of chickenpox.
"There is overwhelming evidence in favor of fever being an adaptive host
response to infection... as such, it is probable that the use of
antipyretic/anti-inflammatory/analgesic drugs, when they lead to
suppression of the fever, result in increased morbidity and mortality
during most infections; this morbidity and mortality may not be apparent to
most health care workers..." Infect Dis Clin North Am 1996 Mar;10(1) : 1-20.)
J. Paediatr. Child health (1993) 29; 84 -85: Paracetamol: When, why and how
"in patients without heart and lung disease fever is harmful only at
temperatures over 41 o C; such high termperatures are usually caused by
heat stroke or brain injury, and they do not respond to paracetamol or
"There is no evidence that antipyretics prevent febrile convulsions"
As to my friend's daughter, while she didn't get necrotising fasciitis, I
have to wonder if the reduction of the fever increased the severity of the
chickenpox. After all, it does with the flu, so why not with chickenpox?
Pharmacotherapy December 2000; 20: 417 - 422;
As reported on internet, by "Health Scout" and Reuters medical News for the
Findings. Those with influenza A who took antipyretics were sick much
longer than their flu-infected counterparts who took nothing.
Health Scout : Quoting Dr Leland Rickman, Associate clinical professor of
medicine, University of California:
"an elevated temperature may actually help the body fight the infection
quicker or better than if you don't have a fever."
Quoting Dr Karen Plaisance, Associate Professor at the University of
Maryland School of Pharmacy and one of the study's authors "Influenza A
sufferers who were treated with aspirin or acetaminophen extended their
illness from five days to about 8 ½ days."
Acta Paediatr Jpn 1994 Aug; 36(4) 375 - 378. Risks of antipyretics in young
children with fever due to infectious disease. Sugimura T, et al.
"The objective of this study was to determine whether paracetamol
(acetaminophen) affects the outcome of children with fever due to bacterial
infectious disease... the data suggest that frequent administration of
antipyretics to children with infectious disease may lead to a worsening of
Given that doctors have been advising parents to use antipyretics for as
long as they have been on the market, and given that you, Mr Flegg, are
concerned at the potential severity of these diseases, would it not be an
appropriate idea to actually look at first line advice that the medical
These illnesses can be devastating, but are far less likely to be
devastating, provided they are in younger children, and are not accompanied
by the routine, across the board use of antipyretics like liquid
paracetamol or tylenol, which seems to be the standard advice of doctors
these days. Not to mention the deaths, and potential liver and kidney
toxicity of such compounds.
BMJ 2002;325:678 ( 28 September )
You may say that if you give the MMR vaccine, then such antipyretic
"advice" is redundant, but that is not true. Vaccines do not always
protect. In fact, very often, they do not. And besides which, fever is not
just related to Measles, Mumps and rubella.
Many parents don't just see the foundations of the "vaccine" sacred cow as
being suspect, they are coming to realise that the WHOLE MANNER in which
the medical profession approaches ALL infectious disease is based upon
Doctors treat all infections as if they are something to be fought, put
out, smothered, killed, anti-bioticized, a battle against biological
terrorists, when what medicine should be looking at is working with and
supporting the immune system, finding appropriate mechanisms to assist the
body to do what it is designed to do.
I cannot help but look at the increase in serious meningitis and other
serious complications of infectious disease, without wondering whether some
of the alleged dangers of these diseases lies fairly and squarely at the
iatrogenic door of people who advise inappropriate treatment methods in the
To treat fever the way you now advise, is inappropriate, non- scientific,
has no benefits, and actually huge potential risks. Even the WHO admits
current advice is wrong.
It's time doctors stopped treating parents who don't want to vaccinate
their children, as paraiahs of society.
And its also time doctors got their act together in re-educating
themselves, so that they can give parents proper, sensible, appropriate
advice on how to assist the body in getting on top of infectious pathogens
in the most effective way, which will not contribute to increased disease
morbidity and mortality.