Whatever happened to Scarlet Fever?

Scarlet Fever was a dreaded killer of children (and adults) in the 1800s and the early part of the 1900s. In fact, it regularly killed more people than that disease we have all been taught to believe is such an indiscriminate killer of young and old – measles.

But Scarlet Fever has virtually disappeared. We don’t have scare campaigns telling us that we have to keep our children away from crowds because there is an epidemic of Scarlet Fever. We don’t have stories coming out in the media pointing the finger of blame at those who haven’t been vaccinated against Scarlet Fever and blaming them for the deaths of vaccinated children.

Perhaps that’s because we have never had a vaccine for Scarlet Fever. Never.

So, our learned adversaries who believe – against all of the available evidence, that vaccines have saved the world – how do you explain this decline in the mortality from Scarlet Fever without a Scarlet Fever vaccine? I’m waiting. Let’s hear it. C’mon – don’t be shy…

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53 Responses to Whatever happened to Scarlet Fever?

  1. Pingback: Vaksiner og Equiliari Silvolunaris « Sledge Hammer

  2. Lillibet says:

    Our three year old had Scarlet Fever, a few years ago. He was quite sick – I spent a lot of time nursing him, and he slept a lot. He was sick for a few weeks, but we noticed a huge improvement in his condition when we got the Scarlet Fever nosode from the homeopath…from that point on he recovered very quickly.

    We have several children – our older ones were vaccinated, and our youngest two have never had vaccinations or antiobiotics…and they are definitely the healthiest of all of us. Also, the one year that my husband had a flu shot, was the sickest winter he has ever had.

    I am very thankful to Meryl and all those who have worked to raise awareness of the risks of vaccination, and the plight of those children who have been injured by vaccinations. Of course, it’s always unbelievable…until its your child…or your friends child…

  3. Snezana says:

    Who says there is no scarlet fever any more???

    You should see my 14 years old girl. She just got it this week and I wander how and from where? Or did we all should be expecting it now?

    No answers on those questions for me.

  4. LEB says:

    Actually, there was a vaccine for scarlet fever, but it’s no longer used because scarlet fever is effectively treated with anti-biotics. Most vaccines are immunizations against viruses, not bacteria. Do you also deprive your children of anti-biotics when they are ill?

    • shotinfo says:

      LEB – you are wrong there. Yes, there was a vaccine for scarlet fever but no, it wasn’t withdrawn because it’s no longer needed due to antibiotics. That isn’t true.

      It was withdrawn because it killed people and they could not seem to make a vaccine that didn’t kill people so they stopped and went back to the drawing board and that’s where this vaccine has been ever since. There are currently several scarlet fever vaccines in pre-production testing so they’re still working on it (even though the death rate from this disease is and has been zero for decades) but the reason for the withdrawal is not what you said.

  5. Susan says:

    A post script. Would I chance letting Scarlet Fever run its course. Not a chance in hell. Am I gratefull for the antibiotics that would take my sons life if administered and have saved my daughter from possible death. Absolutely. Black and white opinions are very pious until you are faced with losing a child. Then…..it all pales in signficance..

    • shotinfo says:

      There is not black and white when it comes to health, Susan. Just as we are all individuals with our own needs and constitutions – so treatments need to be customised to those needs and constitutions. That’s why Western medicine fails more often than it succeeds – because it sees us as all being exactly the same and treats us that way.

  6. Susan says:

    Clearly some of you need to take a long breath. My daughter is 6 and the youngest of 4 children. Her 3 siblings are teenage boys. She is fully immunised as are my sons. My sons are completely healthy and are rarely sick. My youngest son was born with an anyphylacic reaction to ALL antibiotics and has yet to have an illness that was bad enough to require them. I am allergic to penicyllin (established oin 1977) and none of my children have ever taken it;……..until.december last year my daughter was yet to start school and contracted Scarlet Fever. It started with a sore throat, followed by a high grade fever, then came the rash and swollen syptomatic tongue. She was terribly ill and was put on penicillian as Scarlet Fever can have serious complications and if left untreated can result in death. It too 2 weeks for her to regain her health. Not a day sick again in the last 11 months until 2 days ago…..diagnosis again Scarlet Fever. Symptoms far worse than last year and again the only person we have seen with the illness. All treatments have a place and nobody can or should confuse science with folklore. There is NO concrete proof that immunisation causes poor health or autism in children. Sometimes we believe what we want to believe to answers we seek. My son has cerebyl palsy. Would I like to blame something..yes would I like to know why and how…of course BUT the only truth is he was born with it and for what reason? Same as why some are deaf, some blind or some develop autism.

    • shotinfo says:

      Hi Susan,
      Thanks for your input and congratulations on having healthy children. My question to you is…if getting the disease naturally (scarlet fever in this case) did not provide your child with immunity since she got it twice, how would a vaccine do that?

      Also, the premise of this blog is that deaths from scarlet fever had virtually disappeared before the use of antibiotics (which is the only mainstream treatment available) and there has never been a vaccine in mass use. So medicine had nothing to do with this decline.

      Lastly, I would like to point out that Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, treated Scarlet Fever using Belladonna (for the type of scarlet fever circulating at the time) with great success and this was covered very thoroughly in the medical journals of the time so it isn’t a matter of drugs or nothing – there are definitely alternatives – and alternatives that are far less toxic than what medicine has to offer.

      • Dimity says:

        How do you gather evidence that “western'(eastern people dont have doctors? }medicine ‘fails more often than it succeeds. or that non’western “medicine is more successful. Cant use hearsay, too unreliable, death certificates? I am a kidney transplant recipient. Scientific medicine has not failed me. I certainly feel that i am beng treated/ cared fo as an individual since the age of 13. I am now 61. My doctors acknowledge any alternative medicine I use and often provide me with scientific evience of success or clashes with current medication. It is the 21s century. I
        t is not about them and us. Its about what works best for an individual.

  7. Patrick Thomas says:

    Here’s an incredible excerpt from Chas Higgins’ 1920 book entitled:

    HORRORS OF VACCINATION EXPOSED AND ILLUSTRATED

    http://www.whale.to/vaccine/higgins_b.html

    (*note* – he should have also included ‘nutrition’ in the following, but is still amazing)

    Excerpted from the Chapter: WHAT PROTECTS US FROM SMALLPOX IN MODERN TIMES?
    IS IT VACCINATION OR SOMETHING ELSE?
    A FALSE CLAIM EXPLODED

    For a few examples of these greatly reduced diseases we might mention Bubonic Plague, Epidemic Erysipelas, Typhus Fevers, Cholera, Scurvy, etc., etc. All of these terrible diseases which were once as bad or worse than smallpox have been not only reduced more than smallpox in modern times, but most of them have practically been totally obliterated in modern life, so that they have now become almost medical curiosities, and yet no such thing as vaccination has been used in this reduction. The other conditions which have brought about this reduction of these deadly diseases are the artificial and purely benign conditions of Sanitation, Hygiene and Isolation. Now if these safe and benign natural and arti­ficial conditions have, undeniably, brought about the reduction or obliteration of these terrible diseases without any vaccina­tion, is it not most logical and reasonable to conclude that these same safe and benign conditions have been the chief cause in reducing smallpox also, and that the burden of proof is clearly on the pro-vaccinators to prove, if they can, the preposterous claim that vaccination is the chief cause of this great reduction of smallpox?

    From 1920, folks. This history book will NEVER be in our public schools. It’s called ‘censorship’ and ‘book-burning’.

    .

  8. Greg Beattie says:

    Ivan

    Are you talking to me? If so, try explaining your comment again. I don’t follow it. Specifically, what do you think is the point of the graph? And what do you think Micheal means when he says he can see right through it?

  9. Ivan C says:

    The answer is staring you in the face:

    1. Graph is death rate per million of pop.

    2. Australian pop over the years for matching with graph:

    http://www.populstat.info/Oceania/australc.htm

    3. Herd immunity due to mass exposure to pathogens.

  10. Greg Beattie says:

    Hi Micheal

    I’ve not responded to your comments because I’ve been moving house and off-line.

    I think we both know what a ‘confounder’ is. I was suggesting you used it in the wrong place. Here’s why. We are examining the influence of vaccination. We can see in the above graph that its influence was zero because it wasn’t available. There can be nothing confounding this.

    Improvements in hygiene and nutrition are frequently offered as explanations for the decline in deaths.

    Perhaps we were looking at things a little different because people have also been discussing the part that antibiotics have played. ‘Confound’ would apply here if we are looking at the period roughly following the second world war (the antibiotic era).

    Anyway, you didn’t answer my question. What do you mean when you say you can see through the graph? Thanks.

  11. clare says:

    There is no blood test that is specific to scarlet fever. This disease is caused by a streptococcal infection primary of the throat and is therefore diagnosed with a throat swab and treated with antibiotics. the rash is caused by a reaction to the toxin given off by the streptococcal bug.

  12. jasmine says:

    i have just had scarlet fever my daughter 3yrs old and i 28 it is horrible by the way i live on a farm 30 kms from nearest town stay at home mum havnt been in to town for 2 weeks and the only visitors i get r my inlaws everynow and then i am currently on anti biotics and am feeling well again

    • shotinfo says:

      Hi Jasmine,
      I’m sorry that you have been so ill and your daughter too. Can I please ask whether your Scarlet Fever was diagnosed by a blood test? I’m glad that you’re feeling better now.

  13. Patrick Thomas (USA) says:

    .

    Look at this INCREDIBLE article I had sitting around (too much information):

    “BEYOND ANTIBIOTICS”
    By Lawrence Wilson, MD

    http://www.drlwilson.com/Articles/antibiotics.htm

    Excerpts:

    In Beyond Antibiotics, the authors use graphs to trace the incidence of the major infectious diseases from 1900 to 1973. The diseases include measles, scarlet fever, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, pneumonia, influenza, whooping cough, diphtheria and polio.

    All were in decline for several decades before the introduction of antibiotics or vaccines. After reviewing the data, researchers John McKinlay and Sonja McKinlay at Boston University concluded that “.. at most, 3.5% of the total decline in mortality since 1900 could be ascribed to medical measures introduced for the diseases considered here”. Improved nutrition and improved sanitation and hygiene were far more important than the ‘wonder drugs’ or vaccines to reduce these diseases.

  14. Micheal says:

    Dear Moderators,
    I’m a little disappointed you’ve approved some of my comments, but not others. Why not? Here it is again…

    Take a look at these…
    Asaria P, MacMahon E (2006). “Measles in the United Kingdom: can we eradicate it by 2010?”. BMJ 333 (7574): 890–5. doi:10.1136/bmj.38989.445845.7C.
    Gupta RK, Best J, MacMahon E (2005). “Mumps and the UK epidemic 2005″. BMJ 330 (7500): 1132–5. doi:10.1136/bmj.330.7500.1132.
    Vaccination rates fall, diseases return in under-vaccinated or unvaccinated children.
    Please explain it in an entirely plausible manner.

  15. Helen says:

    In reply to Susan:

    I dont think anyone wants to discredit all “orthodox ” medical treatments.

    I recently had an unsightly sebaceous cyst removed from my scalp ( am in my early 60s)& was very appreciative of the doctors skill & quite happy to make use of modern medicine.

    However, a couple of years ago I had a blocked ear & my hearing was affected.I thought I had a build up of wax & visited the local GP hoping she would syringe it out.She diagnosed an ear infection & gave me a prescription for antibiotics,ear drops & nasal spray.I did not fill the prescription (thus saving myself ~ $35 ) went home rested,took lots of water & fruit juice & recovered completely in two days with no reappearance of this problem.

    Western medicine of course has its place (broken limbs,medical emergencies,trauma etc) but for chronic disease, infections I prefer alternative ,complementary , more natural less invasive therapies.

    I have never taken flu shots & never get the flu.My dogs are unvaccinated & unmedicated in any way (I have a non vaccinating vet) & completely healthy-last dog lived until 16yrs 2mnths with no illness until her death.

    So yes orthodox medicine should not be discredited but used intelligently by “consumers” ,its limitations & dangers acknowledged.

  16. Susan says:

    Once again, the graph DOES show the mortality for the syndrome “Scarlet Fever” reaching zero in the 1950’s – the same time that antibiotics were being more widely used. Even more importantly, the incidence of nephritis and rheumatic heart disease – as a COMPLICATION of scarlet fever (which is ONE of the syndromes that follows infection with Group A Streptococcus) has decreased dramatically since antibiotics were introduced.

    Nobody I know is claiming that reduction in these diseases has anything to do with vaccination – it’s about treating bacterial infection with anitbiotics. It’s important not to confuse syndromes with organisms – Streptococci are very common organisms with many strains, and they can cause very trivial infections and also life-threatening infections.

    In the times before antibiotics, many children spent months to years in bed, and then died young, because they had a streptococcal infection which developed into either kidney or heart failure. This rarely happens now. Firstly, we have antibiotics for the bacterial infection. Then, we have effective treatments for both heart and kidney failure.

    Again, I don’t understand why a discussion about the pros and cons of vaccination would want to discredit all “orthodox” medical treatments. For those who choose not to vaccinate, surely antibiotics are a potentially life-saving back-up if one does develop a life-threatening bacterial infection.

  17. David says:

    Thank you for that information Greg

  18. clare says:

    Once again you have relied on graphs that discuss death incidence not disease incidence. People started surviving scarlet fever because health care got better. Antibiotics have made an enormous difference but we still see scarlet fever. We don’t see the figures for it as it is not a notifiable disease in Australia

  19. Micheal says:

    Since we love graphs so much, here’s data on a recent outbreak. I think it’d be worth taking a look at

    http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/cda-cdi3302k.htm

    A very bland website, full of data and graphs. A selected quote “None of the 25 cases were vaccinated at the time of exposure” and “The number of vaccine doses was known for 57 of the 78 cases, of which none had received 2 doses of a MCV, four (7%) had received 1 dose and 53 (93%) had received no doses: the remaining 21 cases were of unknown vaccination status”
    It goes on.
    Disease outbreaks occur in under- or unvaccinated cohorts. That’s a fact. Plain and simple. This is in Australia, in 2009. I think we would return to the days of high death rates if vaccination rates fall, and this is very recent proof of it too. This was a small outbreak. Imagine if there were more under- or unvaccinated children around at the time of the outbreak?
    Pull you head out of the sand.

  20. Micheal says:

    Greg,
    A confounder in epidemiology is anything that isn’t taken directly into account, but may have an influence on the result. It’s anything that connects A to B, but hasn’t been explicitly analysed independently. Using that term, hygiene, etc are confounders. If you try and understand the terminology used, you may improve your understanding.
    So… back to these wonderful graphs. They still do not prove your point. Incidence rate, as Bronwyn points out, would have been far more interesting. There have been many examples whereby vaccination rates improve, and disease rates go down. Stockholm in the late 1800’s for example. Smallpox vaccination went down, and disease went up. Guess what happened? Vaccination rates went up in response, and you wont believe it – incidence went down! How do you explain the eradication of smallpox?
    Dublin, 2000. Vaccination rate fell to about 70%, and there was an outbreak of measles. Tetanus? How come they almost never occur in an immunised patient?
    Unfortunately, the burden of proof lies with you. When regarding something in a scientific manner, it has to be plausible. Vaccination leading to immunity is entirely plausible. The concept that it does not, simply isn’t. Conspiracy theory? Just how does one keep all the scietists, doctors, media, nurses, etc etc etc quiet? I’m not taking bribes, and I don’t know anyone who does. It would only take a few people to admit forging results, but at this stage the only forgery I’m aware of was with regards to MMR and autism, but the doctor who claimed there was a link.
    Try and look at things without your blinkers on. What on earth could be more plausible?

  21. Greg Beattie says:

    Micheal

    I don’t understand your point.

    This site is about vaccination. These last few discussion threads have been about exposing the myth that vaccines were responsible for the big decline in deaths from certain diseases. Several graphs have been produced to show that this is indeed a myth.

    The graph above is another example of this. Here we see measles (a disease that many believe was conquered by vaccination) plotted alongside scarlet fever (a disease we didn’t vaccinate for). The reason for the graph? An earlier poster asked if anybody had one. The reason for comparing it with measles? They had similar death rates and they both declined over a similar time frame.

    When you say any educated person can see right through it what are you referring to? What exactly do you see?

    By the way, improvements in hygiene etc don’t confound the data. They ‘explain’ it.

  22. Bronwyn says:

    Hi all,
    A better graph would be one showing the number of infections, not number of deaths.
    Scarlet fever still exists, it just generally doesn’t kill anymore. My younger sister had it in the mid (early?) 80s, and to be honest, I don’t remember quarantine, just bed rest as one of the possible complications is heart problems. Mind you we lived on a property and there was only 5 people on the place and we rarely went anywhere, so maybe we were quarantined and I just didn’t know it.
    It is weird as she didn’t seem that sick (just a bad case of tonsilitis) and drove everyone mad with not wanting to stay in bed.
    Anyway just wanted to let you know it’s still occuring and if like most illnesses are treated with isolation, bed rest, fluids and where necessary medicine you get better.

  23. Susan says:

    The graphs are quite consistent with the introduction of antibiotics. In the 1940’s, the graphs you have copied show mortality from Scarlet fever to be still significant (the y-scale is quite compressed – it’s in increments of 500 (deaths per million population). It isn’t until 1950 that the line approaches zero.

    Mortality isn’t the only important feature, though. Scarlet fever is not an organism in itself – it is a complication of infection by a particular strain on streptococcus. The infection also used to be a common cause of nephritis and rheumatic fever – both of which cause very significant ongoing chronic disease, including kidney and heart failure. Since the use of antibiotics, these complications are thankfully rare, even through streptococcus Group A is not rare.

    The epidemiology of Scarlet fever has not been shaped by immunisation, but by antibiotics. Whatever you think about the pros and cons of vaccines, it is difficult to rationally argue that antibiotics have not revolutionised health care.

  24. Micheal says:

    Oops. i take that back. I see you have published elsewhere in your website. I see you’ve had a healthy discussion on the matter too.
    My mistake.

  25. Micheal says:

    I just found another interesting graph…

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/6mishome.htm

    Go on… dare you to publish that on your website. What does it tell us?

  26. Micheal says:

    Shotinfo,
    Susan makes a very solid point. The graph is just two meaningless lines, even if they are true. We can plot incidence of scarlet fever against car ownership if you like and probably find a decrease. Does it prove anything? Of course not. Neither does this graph.

  27. Micheal says:

    It looks like it’s back, anyway…

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1361026/Scarlet-fever-affecting-WA-children

    I’ve treated several young children from across the Pacific with post streptococcal glomerulonephritis, secondary to scarlet fever. I would never recommend antibiotics for sore throats, but when it’s a strep A, I don’t want to expose by child to renal failure and dialysis, or even cardiac valve replacements at a young age.
    With regards to the graph, there are many things that are confounding the data. There were changes in simple hygiene for a start, and cleaner living quarters. It has nothing at all to do with vaccination though. You could also plot many other diseases that all follow similar trends. Perinatal deaths might be a good place to start, as they have also plummeted, though there is no connection to vaccination. Mortality from femoral fractures also plummeted in the 1940’s – so what does that prove? A graph such as the one above proves nothing, and any educated open minded person can see right through it.
    As for perinatal mortality and femoral fractures… anyone want to guess why?

  28. Susan says:

    Dear All,

    Here’s a really good paper about Scarlet fever:

    http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/785981-overview

    Here’s an extract that explains some of the questions above:
    Background
    Scarlet fever (known as scarlatina in older literature references) is an exotoxin-mediated disease arising from group A beta-hemolytic streptococcal infection. Ordinarily, scarlet fever evolves from a tonsillar/pharyngeal focus, although the rash develops in fewer than 10% of cases of “strep throat.” The site of bacterial replication tends to be inconspicuous compared to the possible dramatic effects of released toxins. Exotoxin-mediated streptococcal infections range from localized skin disorders (eg, bullous impetigo) to the systemic rash of scarlet fever to the uncommon but highly lethal streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

    So, Scarlet fever is an uncommon complication of infection by a streptococcal bacterium, which can also cause nephritis and other complications.

    Where did the organism go? It’s still here. Group A Streptococcal infections are still common, but people rarely get scarlet fever because of antibiotics.

    What does the graph shown above show? yes – deaths from infectious diseases started to fall long before antibiotics because of better nutrition, better understanding of isolation etc etc. But, until antibiotics, deaths from scarlet fever still occurred (as the graph shows). Of course, death is not the only problem – it is also good to treat Strep infections to prevent other complications such as to the heart and kidneys. That’s why we now rarely see cases of this type of nephritis or rheumatic fever except in impoverished populations such as our own aboriginal population.

    It’s good to discuss topics openly and have different philosophical views about health, but basic principles such as the role of antibiotics in treating bacterial infection are not philosophical, they are basic science that can be readily shown in both lab and real-life situations.

  29. Greg Beattie says:

    Hi David

    The data for the graph came from three sources. Population figures from the ABS. Death figures for 1906 onward are from the Commonwealth Year Books. Prior to that death figures are from a Commonwealth health dept publication called “The History of Diphtheria, Scarlet Fever, Measles, and Whooping Cough in Australia” by J.H.L. Cumpston, Director General of Health.

    The graph in the first edition of my book (which is the one reproduced in Vaccination Roulette) represents from 1900 onward. The graph above, to be included in the new edition, goes back further. Both are quinquennial plots which simply means the plot points are five-yearly totals. This is a fairly common approach for plotting long-term mortality trends.

  30. Nicola says:

    I will also point out that Penicillin was not mass-produced, nor given to the “general public” til post 1950’s…

  31. David says:

    Hi,
    I was wondering where this data is from. I know greg beattie has a book out but can’t seem to find when the raw data for this graph is from. can anyone help me please?

  32. Chris Higgins says:

    “By the way, who uses Wikipedia as a medical reference?”

    You’d be surprised at how accurate Wikipedia is. I’ve got a graph that proves this, if you’d like me to send it to you?

  33. Paul Gallagher says:

    ‘Whatever happened to scarlet fever’?
    Let’s look beyond 40 years ago, Meryl.

    Feb. 2009; “*Scarlet fever, scourge of the 19th century, is coming back*
    3,000 contracted disease last year, raising fears it is making an unwelcome return”

    http://ind.pn/b0XIJa

    Above you write, “Perhaps that’s because we have never had a vaccine for Scarlet Fever. Never.” Then you condense this general statement in a damage controlling comment, when it is apparent to any reader you did not mean “in Australia”. Learned authors are cognizant of how words and sentences can be cherry picked [pardon the irony], and with respect you’ve left yourself open to abuse here.

    It isn’t unreasonable to expect more clarity from your writings inclusive of the impact of vaccination and penicillin when and where these were used. We also have Uluru, but I doubt that influenced Scarlet Fever here any differently than variables in other nations. You’ve omitted population density, limited travel and urban community isolation to name a few.

    Wiki is unreliable? No problem.
    “Scarlet Fever Prophylaxis with Streptococcus Vaccine” – Feb. 1910.

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM191002241620803

    “Active Immunization to Scarlet Fever by the Intracutaneous Method”
    The Journal of Immunology, 1936, 31, 373 -375
    Copyright © 1936 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

    http://www.jimmunol.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/5/373

    “EPIDEMIC STREPTOCOCCIC INFECTIONS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE SCARLET FEVER TOXOID IMMUNIZATION OF DICK-POSITIVE ADULTS*”
    Can Med Assoc J. 1931 November; 25(5): 584–586.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC382736/

    “Some Aspects of Active Immunization”
    Annual Review of Microbiology
    Vol. 1: 291-308 (Volume publication date October 1947)
    J Freund.

    http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.mi.01.100147.001451

    • shotinfo says:

      Paul, I’m not sure I understand your point. Since I am in Australia and the graph referred to the Australian mortality figures, I thought when I said that we had never had the vaccine – it would be apparent that I was referring to Australia. As for open to abuse, there is where you and your anti-choice friends always go. You see, for me, this could be open to discussion, to argument, even to heated debate – but abuse? There is no call for abuse in any discussion between adults even if the adults don’t agree with each other. Look to your own thinking (if you want to call it that) and figure out whether you really want to be threatening to abuse people simply because you did not understand what they said.

      Oh and lastly – none of the information you have put down above has any relation to the situation in Australia – so what was your point exactly? I showed a graph where 90% of the decline occurred before the 1930s – before the vaccine we never used here and before antibiotics. You and your compatriots are still trying to claim that medicine was the cause of this decline. I say that these attempts are false and unscientific. What do you say to that?

      • Fred says:

        You are taking this out of context just like you article. Where have you included the known methods of reducing risk, lessons learnt from o/s etc. You have some facts but you have neglected to include all the facts making this a very biased article that only goes to serve those happy to endanger other peoples lives. This article is no argument for not giving children vaccines in fact it is an argument to give them vaccines.

  34. Reeces says:

    While penicillin is often touted as the ‘world’s wonder drug’ (and it does indeed have its ‘occasional’, beneficial uses), when prescribed by overzealous doctors, it actually causes more problems, both short and long-term.
    Unfortunately, I was brought up with the ‘whatever the doctor says is right’ attitude and this subsequently (almost) cost my children their very lives. It certainly cost them their health and their childhood, spending the majority of their younger years in hospitals and doctors surgeries.
    It wasn’t until I started to investigate their (alleged) conditions, their personally prescribed pharmaceuticals, nutrition and alternative therapies that we started to see positive results. We need to understand that WE (and only) we have a genuine vested interested in our individual health and wellbeing. We effectively need to become our own doctor, as there are far too many ‘conflicts of interests’ in the medical fraternity these days that have the potential to deride our true agenda…our health!
    By the way, who uses Wikipedia as a medical reference?
    Well written article Meryl…keep up the good work!

  35. zee says:

    there are vaccines a plenty for entities that are treatable with antibiotics. pneumococcus anyone? HiB anyone? Thanks Meryl for continuing to make good points. Vaccines have eradicated NOHTHING except good overall health of children.

  36. Patrick Thomas (USA) says:

    .

    Embarrassing, indeed, for those who persist in carrying the torch for the discredited religion-of-vaccination.

    There is ZERO comeback possible for what Meryl and Christine provided.

    Just brutal.

  37. Christine says:

    To Chris Higgins
    You say this couple developed a vaccine in 1924 that was later eclipsed by penicillin in the 1940’s. You poor thing! Looking at the chart (don’t you know how to read one?) even in 1924 the fever incidence had dropped significantly. So what is the point of your response? And penicillin in the 1940’s? It was almost gone by that time. So do you really know more than the chart is showing? Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source either so it doesn’t count. Maybe you could have a centipede for a mascot. You could count the legs then, which might be more reliable. What about whale.to? Oh I guess that isn’t allowed by you!!! Oh well, go back to your Dicks where you will be much happier, while you wait for the next question that maybe you can answer with more relevance.

  38. Chris Higgins says:

    “Husband and wife Gladys Henry Dick and George Frederick Dick developed a vaccine in 1924 that was later eclipsed by penicillin in the 1940s.”
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scarlet_fever#History)

    That was way too easy, Meryl. Next!

    • shotinfo says:

      Awww Chris – you have to stop getting your information from Wikipedia! We never used the scarlet fever vaccine in Australia. Not only that, the vaccine created by the Dicks was not ‘eclipsed by penicillin’ – it was run out on a rail. There were so many cases of serious reactions in vaccine recipients it was decided that the shot was more dangerous than the disease. So no – the scarlet fever vaccine that wasn’t used in Australia was not responsible for the decline in Scarlet Fever deaths in Australia. You will have to try a bit harder.

  39. Keith says:

    Well, that one’s a no-brainer. Unlike the multitude of mainly viruses that we vaccinate against- scarlet fever is a bacterial infection and so managing streptococcal infections with antiobiotic prevents the progression to scarlet fever. Vaccination was never needed for that one because we developed penicillin.

    • shotinfo says:

      Keith, I’m sorry but according to the graph, the majority of the decline in scarlet fever mortality took place before mass use of penicillin. This drug was discovered in 1928 and it was another 10 years or so before its use became commonplace. By then, looking at the graph, you will see that the death rate was already very close to 0. Penicillin had no more to do with the decline in mortality from Scarlet Fever than vaccination did.

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