Pertussis: Yo-Yo Stats

February 14, 2008 by
Filed under: CDC Watch 

yo-yo.jpgPrevious CDC articles: Stupid , Measles

Pertussis, popularly known as Whooping Cough, is an illness that ranges from mild to very dangerous. The levels of incidence seem to be a bit of a mystery. One department of the CDC claims that the vaccine is doing a great job of protecting us from death-dealing outbreaks of pertussis while another department of the same organization claims that pertussis is endemic in the United States. Follow me down the bureaucratic rabbit hole, as we try to discover the truth about The Cough!

From the CDC’s “What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations? Pertussis

Since the early 1980s, reported pertussis cases have been increasing, with peaks every 3-4 years; however, the number of reported cases remains much lower than levels seen in the pre-vaccine era.

Simple enough. The vaccine works. Right? Surely there would be more pertussis if we weren’t vaccinating all the babies. That is why we have to keep on vaccinating all the babies because this effective vaccine is the only thing that stands between us and disaster.

The CDC continues:

In the U.S., prior to pertussis immunization, between 150,000 and 260,000 cases of pertussis were reported each year, with up to 9,000 pertussis-related deaths.

That is utterly terrifying and a lot of deaths. But (are you surprised?) they don’t provide a date for this statistic. Could be anywhere from 1850 up to 1930 or so. I do wish the CDC believed in citations and references for us stupid parents! Couldn’t they at least tell us what year the vaccine was licensed so we could go look up the statistics for ourselves? Without references what we are being handed is scaremongering statistics that may or may not be relevant to current conditions. If the statistic of 9,000 deaths is from tenement dwellers in 1910 it isn’t exactly relevant to middle-class families in the 21st century, is it?

A bit more:

Pertussis cases occur throughout the world. If we stopped pertussis immunizations in the U.S., we would experience a massive resurgence of pertussis disease.

But wait a moment. They said that pertussis has been increasing in the U.S. since the early 1980s, despite vaccination. So we don’t have to wait for pertussis to come from anywhere else in the world. Whooping Cough is not an alien at the borders, it is a disagreeable cousin living down the block.

Are you beginning to have that “Twilight Zone” feeling? You haven’t seen anything yet! Here is the CDC in a press release pushing pertussis vaccination for adults:

Pertussis affects an estimated 600,000 adults every year, aged 20 to 64 years, and can result in weeks of coughing, cracked ribs from severe coughing spells, pneumonia, and other complications.

That is at least 3 times the peak number before vaccination? Of course the population has grown. And they are talking estimated and not reported. But this is not great evidence for the effectiveness of the vaccine, is it?

But it gets better. This is what the CDC tells doctors about why the new vaccine is needed:

Pertussis, an acute, infectious cough illness, remains endemic in the United States despite routine childhood pertussis vaccination for more than half a century and high coverage levels in children for more than a decade¹

Translation: vaccinating babies hasn’t worked.

Let’s sum up the two positions:

To Parents of Babies: Vaccinate your baby or pertussis will “come back”, and we’ll see 200,000 cases a year once again.

To the Press, Physicians and Teens: Whew! Aren’t you glad we figured out how to make a vaccine for older children and adults because we have over 600,000 cases a year, and pertussis has “remained endemic” no matter how many babies we vaccinated with a whopping 5 shot series of an extremely reactive vaccine.

Reassuring, isn’t it, to know that the Centers for Disease Control is in control of their numbers and never the twain shall meet.

Next time: Mumps, or maybe chickenpox…

(1) Preventing Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Among Adolescents: Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccines
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)


15 Comments on Pertussis: Yo-Yo Stats

  1. stone on Fri, 15th Feb 2008 3:42 pm
  2. The British Government have persistently ignored the warnings of Prof Gordon Stewart about the hazards and ineffectiveness of pertussis vaccination:

    but even their own Medical Research Council study in 2006 testified to its ineffectiveness:

  3. john on Sat, 23rd Feb 2008 1:26 am
  4. the vaccine racket marches on with the CDC as its main cheerleader. The CDC is just a bunch of white collar criminals, similar to the AAP as Dr Ayoub points out.

    [2008] Dr Ayoub Speech at rally: “The AAP leadership knows very well that vaccines cause autism. We need not waste anymore efforts in trying to educating them, we need to indict them. They may be morally bankrupt, but they are not stupid. They have lied to legislators, they have lied to journalists, they have lied to Pediatricians, and worst of all, they have lied to you and your children…..One thing is abundantly clear, the don’t give a damn about scientific truth and they don’t give a damn about you or your children. I hope the autism community continues to move forward and expose all those involved who have put millions of children in harm’s way. ”

    “The CDC would be the last place in the world to go for information regarding health. The CDC is a government bureacracy funded by theft (taxation that has reached confiscatory levels) and run by white collar criminals who regularly misinform and misdirect the public while creating pandemonium in the marketplace (unnecessary destruction of livestock, recalls etc) and conspiring to incite public panic on an almost daily basis, in violation of the constitution of the United States.”–Dr Duffy DC

    […] – the very young, and the very old (like most communicable disease).  Here is an excellent overview of the muddy statistics  surrounding this vaccine (their pages contain invaluable information for any parent sifting […]

  5. Patrick on Sun, 8th Aug 2010 7:18 pm
  6. The CDC press release moved:

  7. admin on Sun, 8th Aug 2010 7:33 pm
  8. Thank you, Patrick. I’ve updated the post with the new link.

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Judy Converse, Judy Converse. Judy Converse said: Parents, pls read this analysis of pertussis vaccination. Is it working? […]

  9. Michael on Mon, 29th Nov 2010 3:39 am
  10. Hmmm…. what about this quote “During the 1970s, widespread concerns about the safety of the older pertussis vaccine led to a rapid fall in immunization levels in the United Kingdom. More than 100,000 cases and 36 deaths due to pertussis were reported during an epidemic in the mid 1970s. In Japan, pertussis vaccination coverage fell from 80 percent in 1974 to 20 percent in 1979. An epidemic occurred in 1979, resulted in more than 13,000 cases and 41 deaths”
    and this one
    “A study* found that, in eight countries where immunization coverage was reduced, incidence rates of pertussis surged to 10 to 100 times the rates in countries where vaccination rates were sustained.

    *Reference for study: Gangarosa EJ, et al. Impact of anti-vaccine movements on pertussis control: the untold story. Lancet 1998;351:356-61.”
    And of course this one…
    “In infants, it can also cause pneumonia and lead to brain damage, seizures, and mental retardation.”
    Do you want your infant to have that risk? Lower the vaccination rate and all this could be yours!

  11. admin on Mon, 29th Nov 2010 6:38 am
  12. Hi Michael,
    All of that would be much more impressive if pertussis could be easily, accurately and consistently diagnosed. All of the numbers you quote are based upon that assumption, which is untrue in all of these narratives. Do you really believe that doctors diagnose pertussis cases accurately in vaccinated populations? This year, with 10 deaths from pertussis in the U.S. we have the declaration of an epidemic. In, I believe, 2006, there were 39 deaths from pertussis and no such declaration. This year, however, there is a huge push to get adults vaccinated against pertussis…

  13. Michael on Mon, 29th Nov 2010 10:23 am
  14. With regards measles then, how do you explain this:

    In an outbreak of 25 cases of measles in Qld in Q1 2009, NONE of the cases were vaccinated. Also, referring to another outbreak, “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”

    During an outbreak in Q2 2006 in NSW, of the 33 children with measles, only 6 had received 1 dose of MMR, and the others none. None of the cases had received two doses

    Vaccination, it appears, protects! Only people not or under-vaccinated suffered from measles. Why were vaccinated people not diagnosed? Because they didn’t get symptoms.

    But that’s OK then if you don’t vaccinate, because, as far as the CDC is concerned:
    “In the U.S., up to 20 percent of persons with measles are hospitalized. Seventeen percent of measles cases have had one or more complications, such as ear infections, pneumonia, or diarrhea. Pneumonia is present in about six percent of cases and accounts for most of the measles deaths. Although less common, some persons with measles develop encephalitis (swelling of the lining of the brain), resulting in brain damage.”

    Brain damage is only rare.

  15. admin on Mon, 29th Nov 2010 10:38 am
  16. Michael,
    Please look at the post above and my response. We were talking about pertussis. So why did you suddenly switch the topic to measles? Are you admitting that the pertussis numbers are utterly unreliable? That pertussis is misdiagnosed? That doctors are told to look for pertussis and the rates shoot up? Good. I’m glad to see that you are willing to admit to the facts.

    If you want to talk about measles, please go to one of our posts on the topic of measles (there are a few) and post your comment there in response to what we actually said.

    If you want to talk about pertussis, then please respond either to the points in the post or to what I actually said about pertussis.


  17. Marconi on Mon, 29th Nov 2010 8:47 pm
  18. Ah yes, the old hoary Gangarosa. A study that had serious flaws with an incorrect reference with regard to the Japanese data quoted, amongst a whole other raft of fictitious factoids. On just the Japanese pertussis issue alone, when the correct reference was pointed out to the Lancet, along with the fact that Gangarosa deliberately chose an incorrect statistic, the Lancel refused to publish that information, or any other relating to Gangarosa’s tripe. Such is the power of vested interests.

    Admin, don’t get into discussions with trolls.

  19. Michael on Tue, 30th Nov 2010 12:13 am
  20. OK.
    I will.

    […] An InsideVaccines blog entry about pertussis […]

  21. vicky on Tue, 10th Apr 2012 4:09 am
  22. I wish that I had known about getting a child tested for Pertussis. Looking back now, I could swear that my daughter had it a few years ago. No one else in the family had it but her, but she coughed so bad that she would throw up. This went on for days. While she never exhibited a seal-bark like cough, she did have violent coughing spasms. And the cough itself never subsided until a month later. While it did lesson and was not so violent. So I wonder now if that is what she had.

  23. Cindy on Tue, 2nd Oct 2012 10:05 pm
  24. Pertussis is not known to have a barking cough, but a “whoop ” sound as the person inhales during a spell, whereas croup is described as having a barking cough.

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