Measles, CMV, meningococcal, and more…

FSM News & Articles

‘The course is making money’ – University to drop Chinese medicine degree: “It’s a historical tradition that pre-dated the scientific era… There’s nothing wrong with looking at that using modern scientific techniques. The problem is people don’t, they tend to teach it like it’s an established fact.”

FSM Friends News & Articles

Dr. Robert Sears vaccine info misleads parents about measles: “The CDC has scientifically established the rate of complications from measles at 30% (pdf). That includes 6% of people getting pneumonia, about 1 out of 1000 get encephalitis, and around 2 out of 1000 die.” So when an anti-vax doctor claims the risk is “as close to zero as you can get without actually being zero” he is spreading lies, and failing his duty to his patients.

Explainer: What’s cytomegalovirus and why do pregnant women need to know about it? Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common viral infection that may cause disability in an unborn child, if contracted by a woman for the first time during her pregnancy. As CMV is commonly carried by children, pregnant women have a risk of contracting CMV if they have contact with fluids from young children. They can reduce their risk during pregnancy by not sharing cutlery with young children, washing hands after nappy changes, avoiding kissing on the mouth or putting dummies in their mouth while they are pregnant.


Essential oils in the ambulance: This post was inspired by a recent visit to my local pharmacy. Two employees (not pharmacists) were earnestly discussing the health benefits of essential oils. It took much self-control to not light into them. No doubt these same employees would delight in passing along their “knowledge” to customers. I like essential oils, they smell very pleasant. But I do not rely on them to destress me, energise me, aid my digestion, or (shudder) boost my immune system. This is likely all based on folk medicine with no basis in fact. If you like essential oils and they make you happy, that’s great. Just don’t expect anything more from them.

What is meningococcal disease and what are the options for vaccination? The inevitable question parents ask is, “Should I pay to get my child vaccinated against MenB and MenACWY?” In an ideal world, the answer would be “give both vaccines”. If you or your child has immune system weaknesses then definitely go for both optional vaccines. Another way to answer would be to state what we know. We know both vaccines are effective against severe disease. We know they can be given on the same day safely. But we also know no vaccine is 100% effective, anda person may still become infected even after immunisation. If you are very worried your child may have meningococcal disease, whether vaccinated or not, seek medical advice immediately.

Great Moments in Health and Science

John Snow and the Birth of Epidemiology: The study of disease distribution and causes owes some of its early roots to a John Snow who knew quite a lot, actually.

Today’s Abused Health Concept

Environmental causes for Autism – A new study reinforces the conclusion that autism is primarily genetic: Anti-vaxxers tend to (conveniently) blame autism on environmental factors, so that they can then select anything they don’t like form the environment, and blame it. Such as vaccines… Yet the evidence consistently shows that risk for autism is largely related to heritable traits, like genetics. News like this is very inconvenient for an anti-vaxxer.