Spoiler Alert: Melanie is Dead.

Only in a first world country with proper sanitation, plentiful food and water, and good quality medical care can we evolve a breed of people who think that we just don’t need it anymore and everything will be A-OK.

Anti-vaccine book tells kids to embrace measles

(I thought I’d give credit since I first found the reference to this travesty on Salon, but I’m going to reference the Amazon site for the gory details.)  Here’s a description of the book, by the author:

Melanie’s Marvelous Measles takes children on a journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and to know they don’t have to be scared of childhood illnesses, like measles and chicken pox. There are many health messages for parents to expand on about keeping healthy. For an information pack on vaccinations to be sent out free in Australia, people can e-mail growingawareness@yahoo.com and provide their postal address.

Yay! I have a totally preventable disease because my parents don’t believe in science!

Stephanie Messenger, huh … your last name may be appropriate, but not in any capacity that benefits humanity.  I won’t argue with you quite as vehemently on the issue of chicken pox – provided people get it when they’re young – but the measles is a different story.  Has it occurred to you that maybe the reason why children don’t have to be scared of diseases like the measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and others is because we have a way to protect them?

With vaccines?

Take a look at this.  I got this from the WHO website:

  • Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
  • In 2010, there were 139 300 measles deaths globally – nearly 380 deaths every day or 15 deaths every hour.
  • More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructures.
  • Measles vaccination resulted in a 74% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2010 worldwide.
  • In 2010, about 85% of the world’s children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health services – up from 72% in 2000.

Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.

This relationship is NOT up for public debate. It is real.

It remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. An estimated 139,300 people died from measles in 2010 – mostly children under the age of five.

I would consider it a dark day indeed that anyone be unfortunate enough to pick up your book and – not properly armed with enough scientific literacy to understand that vaccinations have saved millions of lives and are demonstrably effective – takes the information inside seriously enough to make the decision to leave their child unvaccinated.

If they have the misfortune of encountering someone with this deadly disease, they too will have a marvelous journey of their own, including but not limited to fever, cough, rash, and (in severe cases) ” … blindness, encephalitis (an infection that causes brain swelling), severe diarrhea and related dehydration, ear infections, or severe respiratory infections such as pneumonia.”

What a marvelous adventure!  I do hope we can bring some friends!

Well, that’s more than a distinct possibility, if an increasing number of parents decide that their homeopath and Reiki therapist have a better handle on how to best maintain an effective resistance to disease:

Melanie’s Marvelous Measles was written to educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, …

No, we’re not taught to fear all diseases … only the ones that could kill us.  And if we have a vaccine that has been shown to be safer than the disease itself, there’s no reason to forgo its use unless you have some sort of allergy to the medium.

… when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body.

Really?  What natural health sources?  What body of scientific evidence in which medical journals show that it’s quite alright to stop getting vaccinations for common diseases because they’re not as severe anymore?  Again, the reason this is true is because of vaccines!

True, if you survive the disease, you will be immune (to measles, anyway).  But if there’s a safer way to obtain that immunity that doesn’t involve fever, rash, pneumonia, and all sorts of other unpleasantness … it should be used.

Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children’s vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against. Surprisingly, there were times when my unvaccinated children were blamed for their peers’ sickness.  Something which is just not possible when they didn’t have the diseases at all.

There are some diseases in which people may not show any symptoms.  Combine that with the general feeling among parents that people like you present a clear and present danger to their health and the well being of their children, I’m not surprised that they reacted that way.  Enough parents like you and the herd immunity collapses.

Stephanie Messenger lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and devotes her life to educating people about vaccine dangers and supporting families in their natural health choices. She has the support of many natural therapists and natural-minded doctors.

Unless you also have the consensus of the medical community as a whole, I’m not going to take any of this crap seriously.

The comments on her Amazon site are pretty cutting, though:

Measles and pneumonia December 29, 2012

Isn’t Melanie lucky that she didn’t get pneumonia from her measles like 1 in 15 children (7%) do? I had measles when I was a toddler in the 1950s before there was a measles vaccine available. I was in hospital in an oxygen tent for over a week with bilateral pneumonia when I had measles. That is a much more frightening experience for a toddler than an injection. To find out the true story about immunisation go to:

December 29, 2012

I can only presume that the author was born after the successful vaccination programme made people complacent about the dangers of measles. I was not so lucky. In the epidemic of my childhood I was nearly blinded, and still have scars on my eyeballs. I was the lucky member of the family; my sister died from complications. Measles kills children. This book is irresponsible and misleading at best. At worst it could lead to the death of a child.

Offensive garbage
, January 7, 2013

This review is from: Melanie’s Marvelous Measles (Paperback)
My late grandmother was born before the advent of the Measle’s vaccine. She permanently lost most of her hearing as a little girl from a disease that could have been prevented by a modern MMR vaccine. Is that “marvelous”?


I guess they all just didn’t clap their hands together and believe strongly enough in the power of living healthy.

This entry was posted in Dr. Bob's House of Crap, generic skepticism, Science Marches On and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Spoiler Alert: Melanie is Dead.

  1. Verrain says:

    Vaccine deniers send me into a rabid frothing rage. I often have to stop myself and gain control when discussing the subject in my health and wellness class lest I rant too long against them.

  2. RC says:

    Perhaps someone should publish a book called “Wendy’s Wonderful Wildfires” using similar arguments for starting (and/or not putting out) fires in the Australian bush. It would have the double whammy of highlight how absurd her argument is, not to mention how offensive it is to use a title similat to “George’s Marvellous Medicine” by Roald Dahl… whose 7 year old daughter died from measles.

  3. Pingback: Anti-”Vaccers” Versus Reality | Crimes Against Divinity

  4. Pingback: Vaccinate. Just Do It. You Won’t Get Autism … | Crimes Against Divinity

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