Damned lies and idiots

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny is reportedly a doctor, although according to her website, she no longer practices medicine in any recognizable way. Perhaps that's why she utters completely idiotic statements such as this one pointed out to me by Brother Orac:

Study these numbers. We've had SARS, Bird flu and Swine flu. On average, approx. 190 children/year die from the flu. Considering there are about 62M kids under the 14 years of age in the US, this is NOT "statistically signficant" and should not even make the radar screen. See how they manipulate parents into vaccinations?

Next year, PLEASE do not be afraid of the flu. Ever person here should pass this on to at least 25 people! Please pass this to at least 25 friends.

Before we get to the above inane statement, let's see what Dr. Tenpenny claims about her own expertise:

Dr. Sherri Tenpenny is respected as one of the country's most knowledgeable and outspoken physicians regarding the impact of vaccines on health.

As a member of the prestigious National Speaker's Association, Dr. Tenpenny is an outspoken advocate for free choice in healthcare, including the right to refuse vaccination.  

No. No, she's not. Paul Offit is a nationally known vaccine expert. Dr. Tenpenny is not. If you're going to call yourself an expert on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, you should probably have training in infectious disease or immunology and you should probably have published significant research. Tenpenny is a washed-up osteopath who has given up real practice to pursue the one vestige of quackery left in osteopathic education---manipulation. And being "a member of the prestigious National Speakers Association" only means that you are a member of an association of public speakers; it says nothing about your qualifications to speak on any particular topic. No physician with real medical expertise would list something like that rather than, say, their medically-related qualifications.

Anyway, the statement quoted above posted by Tenpenny on her facebook page. The remarkable thing about it is that it's not even wrong. Well, sure, the facts are wrong, but the conclusions don't even make sense. First of all, far more than 190 kids have died this year as a result of the H1N1 pandemic. The CDC does not have complete numbers yet as local agencies have not finished reporting their data, but data to date have been disturbing. Normally, seasonal flu kills the old and infirm. The current H1N1 pandemic has already killed 221 children in the US, and that's just the laboratory-confirmed cases that have been reported to the CDC. That's a lot of preventable pediatric deaths, but only a fraction of actual pediatric deaths for this season. And the pediatric death rate for pandemic influenza is much higher than during normal influenza seasons.

But Tenpenny claims that this number is not "statistically significant".  What does that mean?  Does she even know?  Statistical significance is a tool used when analyzing data, not when interpreting its moral significance.  If, for example, you did a study in which you arbitrarily determined that a p value of < 0.05 would be significant, and the data failed to reach this, then your results would not be statistically significant.  They may or may not be clinically significant.  In looking at raw data, such as the number of confirmed pediatric flu deaths, statistical significance is meaningless.  

What isn't meaningless is that there are hundreds of dead kids that wouldn't have been dead if this pandemic hadn't happened, and whose deaths might have been prevented by aggressive vaccination programs.  Anti-vaccination lunatics are so deeply inculcated in their cult beliefs that dead children mean nothing to them.  As a parent and a human being, I find this abominable.  


More like this

yeah, it's pretty nauseating. this woman is probably making a fortune off others suffering.

I'm going to put my prestigious speakers' bureau appointments on my CV right now!
A very low mortality rate may be a good thing during a pandemic (say, only 100 died instead of the 200 expected with such an illness); but those statistics do not matter if you or your loved one are one of the unlucky 100!
Unfortunately, stamping out this fuckwittery will be as difficult as eliminating the common cold.

Funny,Tenpenny's name** showed up recently when I was checking out yet another *maitresse de woo*. I'm finding that the anti-vax movement is directed by a very small cadre of uh..."professionals"(some of whom are actually doctors),organizers, and publicizers: if you look at a list of their, uh.."literature" or of speakers at their conferences(e.g.NVIC,2009)you'll see how few(similar to the HIV/AIDS denialists).Unfortunately,their effect is not so small,as the internet networks their balderdash far and wide, *and* they now have twitter and facebook.(** what no "dime" jokes?)

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 30 Dec 2009 #permalink

So, according to Tenpenny, flu isn't a problem because only 190 children die/year of it? Is that because 99% of children are vaccinated?

OK, I know that's not true, but there's nothing in her statement to show that vaccines aren't an important part of keeping flu rates down.

As to her suggested flu parties, words fail me.

What, you've mean you've never heard of the National Speakers Association?
I'll qualify for membership in the Nat Academies before I qualify for them! (seriously; who makes 25,000/year on speaking engagements, or gets paid for more than 20 talks a year?)

I think what Dr. Tenpenny and many others are saying is that the number 190 is so small that vaccinating 300 million with a vaccine which is known to be ineffective and unsafe is unnecessary and is probably causing more harm than good. There are some hard facts here http://no-vax.com and encourages folks to get educated before being vaccinated like most doctors and nurses have done.

I'm surprised nobody has hit on perhaps the most brain-twistingly ironic part of Tenpenny's comment: If a "statistically insignificant" number of deaths is something we should just shrug at and ignore, then why the hell is she against vaccines? heh....

Augie: We know what Tenpenny is getting at. You should search around this blog a bit about vaccination before you going saying people should get "educated". Believe me, readers of this blog are "educated" about the anti-vax movement. Boy are we.

To both Augie and Dr. "Smart": Vaccines may be dangerous, but the diseases are way more dangerous. I guess both of you have not lived through epidemics like those of us who grew up in the 1950s did. September was a sobering experience, when ther were empty seats because Johnny was in this thing called and "iron lung".

Gardisil has been "linked" to deaths, but, when anyone examines them, one finds that the links are missing. These are deaths that follow vaccines, thus the only link is temporal.

As for choice, if you choose to turn your kid into a resevoir of disease, please do not mind it when I insist that your disease carrier not attend school. My kids are vaccinated, and I do not want to have your kid test whether mine had a good immune response.

As for choice, if you choose to turn your kid into a resevoir of disease, please do not mind it when I insist that your disease carrier not attend school.

Don't worry. The New Age/New Christian culties are constructing their own indoctrination educational networks.

I am a firm believer in supplements and garlic. Today, I was coming down with symptoms of a cold, but they disappeared when I started making garlic-laced chicken thighs for dinner. Go figure, spending a few hours in a kitchen with garlic odours in the air, worked wonders for me. All of my cold symptoms were gone before dinner was ready!


Listing the National Speakers Association as a credential is akin to mentioning you're a member of MENSA, or your grade school award for best plant project.

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 30 Dec 2009 #permalink

What the hell is the deal with osteopaths? Why are thee doctor wannabes even allowed to practice their pseudoscience on patients under the auspices of state licensure? Someone close to me has a D.O. as her primary care. He has prescribed numerous nonsense to her for real conditions, such as "armour thyroid" for hypothyroidism. He also has her a number of costly supplements, such as Coenzyme Q10 and glucosamine. Why can't we relegate these quacks to the fringes, along with their cousins, chiropractors?

Resevoir of disease? Who is the resevoir of disease? The recentely injected with dead/live/half dead virus or the kids that have not been injected with virus?

@ TGAP Dad: I don't know where you live,but here in NJ(metro NYC),DO's are pretty much *standard medicine*- of course, there are always exceptions(*and* some MD's *have* been known to sample the woo,e.g. Deepak )-my parents(one had diabetes and the other lived to a really advanced age) and other,mostly elderly, family members recieved excellent care(appropriate pharmaceutical treatment,never nonsense) from DO's and were as opposed to pseudo-science as anyone around here: it wasn't philosophy that led them to these doctors but *proximity*.(I am familiar with the *manipulation* chiro-type woo but from reading about it not from the doctors I know).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 31 Dec 2009 #permalink

Aasa: I find that kimche works a treat for a stuffy nose, too. Too bad I'm married to a garlicphobe.


The recentely injected with dead/live/half dead virus or the kids that have not been injected with virus?

Actually the un-vaxed kid who runs around infecting everyone when they do get sick. Like the San Diego kid who returned from Switzerland with measles, and then infected several babies with measles in a doctor's waiting room. Or the kid with full blown pertussis, going to playdates and infecting the new baby.

There is very little chance for a child who has been vaccinated with a modern vaccine to infect any other child. It may have occurred with smallpox, and the oral polio... but they are not used anymore.

If you have evidence that recently vaccinated children are a reservoir of infection to other children, please provide the journal, title, authors and date detailing that evidence.

Also, remember to hold your breath next time you drive by a Waldorf School, a word of advice mentioned in this Measles Quackcast.

Well I saw this on the FDA's website while researching the flumist for my kids...LAIV contains attenuated (or weakened) viruses. These weakened strains usually do not cause illness because they have lost virulence (disease-causing properties). There is, however, a possibility that they can still reproduce and cause disease, especially in persons with weakened immune systems.

Then I saw this on the package insert to the flumist:Eighty percent of FluMist recipients shed at least one vaccine strain, with a mean duration of shedding of 7.6 days (range 1-21 days). The cold-adapted (ca) and temperature-sensitive (ts) phenotypes were preserved in all shed viruses tested (n=135 tested of 250 strains isolated at the local laboratory). A total of seven placebo subjects shed 10 influenza isolates. One placebo subject shed a Type B virus confirmed to be a vaccine strain. This Type B isolate retained the ca, ts, and att phenotypes of the vaccine strain, and had the same genetic sequence when compared to a Type B virus shed by a vaccine recipient within the same playgroup. Six placebo subjects shed nine isolates identified as Type A, two of these subjects had two cultures that grew Type A strains (four isolates) confirmed as wild-type A/Panama (H3N2). The remaining four placebo subjects shed Type A isolates that could not be further characterized, and thus vaccine strains could not be excluded.

So we didn't get that vaccine. I'll listen to the podcast later about measles, but both my kids were vaxxed for measles and both got it...they are not 100% effective. That is also a live virus...I bet it sheds.

We stay away from the recentely vaxxed just in case.

Lack of real evidence posted by Wendy duly noted.

Package inserts don't count.

Wendy, what warped thinking made you think that Flumist would in anyway be effective against the diseases I mentioned. Is it effective against measles? Would it work for pertussis? Didn't the name Flumist give a clue that it was not for either measles or pertussis?

Wait, do you think everyone who is getting vaccinated for influenza is getting only Flumist?

Are you really that clueless?

Truly, tell us where the more common pediatric vaccines transmit diseases. I guess I have to spell out to you in detail...

Since when has the Hib, IPV, and DTaP caused haemophilis influenzae type B, polio, diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis been transmitted from recently vaccinated children to others? Do you have that documentation? Have toddlers recently vaccinated with the MMR and varicella vaccines caused measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox in other kids.

Come on! Show us the real evidence! Give us the journal, title, authors and date of the papers that track that information, not some silly package insert.

Of course, if you really insist on using influenza... is there even a documented case report of someone getting Flumist transmitting flu (much less measles or pertussis)? Just give us the journal, title, author and date of that case report.

Geez Chris why don't you jump down my throat and pull out my lungs for having a negative vaccine comment! What is the big deal here? You own stock in vaccines or something? I had no idea the FDA or the package insert to the vaccine, directly from the manufacturer, would hold no clout. Iâm just a mom reading and trying to make the best choices for my childrenâ¦give me a freaking break. Iâm not going to go look up studies. You want them you find them. My kids are vaccinated. But not with live flumist. Just giving you an example. My God, chill.

The Pharma Shill Gambit is old, unoriginal and worthless.

Next time you make a claim, be sure you can back it up, and don't get huffy if you are actually asked for proof. Try using www.PubMed.gov next time. The package inserts are written by lawyers, and list everything without any context. They are much like the warnings on the covers for car windshields used in the summer that tell you to not drive with it covering the windshield.

Now if you want to make more informed choices here are some suggested reading:

Vaccine by Arthur Allen
Flu! by Gina Kolata
The Great Influenza by John Barry
Polio, An American Story by David Oshinsky
Vaccinated by Paul Offit

I can assume you are interested in learning more on the subject since you came to this blog. I usually read these books while waiting for kids, like at daughter's violin lesson, soccer games, medical/dental appointments and unfortunately while one son was in speech therapy. They should all be available at your local library.

I was researching Dr Tennpenny and found this blog. I like to know both sides of an issue. Don't worry I won't be back here. I think your vaccines made you hateful.

Wendy, some issues don't have "two sides".

Yikes! And here I was thinking I was being helpful with a suggested reading list!

(by the way, the books include both the bad and good side of vaccines, including the discussion of testing vaccines on institutionalized children)

Wendy @ 21

If you weren't being a smug, misdirecting tool, Chris might have gone a little easier on you.

You're quoting non-correllated nonsense & non-sequiturs, using same to argue against a point of view that values proof & the safety of *others* as well as oneself and one's loved ones, and you expect us to be saintly and respond with no more than, "There, there, dear...I think you might have to give this more thought"

Uh, have you ever hear of arrogance & an entitlement mindset? Look in the mirror to see an example.

By Anonymous Coward (not verified) on 01 Jan 2010 #permalink

Informed choice, H1N1 is a mild flu and has been in all flu vaccines since 1998 Fluvirin.com/product information will show you this piece.
The scare is unwarranted and just government propaganda. Anyone that has a brain will look into the vaccines and look into what is in them. We had a pandemic on a flu virus that is normal influenza A. Amazing the propaganda the government will spawn and as for Offit, he has nothing in his background for epidemieology, microbiology nor anything but a general physician. He is the brother in law of the Zealous propangadist Amanda Peet. Are we following the money yet?

OH THIS year BIRD flu will be back, they are doing studies right now in NYs Rochester University, they are asking for subjects to be studied with the live bird flu vaccine!

H1N1 is a mild flu and has been in all flu vaccines since 1998 Fluvirin.com/product information will show you this piece.

There is only one H1N1? Who knew?

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 02 Jan 2010 #permalink

Parent: At the end of June 2009, the WHO had received reports of EIGHTEEN seasonal H1N1 strains in addition to the pandemic strain. Influenza can be broken down by type (A/B), subtypes of A (H1N1/H3N2), and then strain ... and strain is the most specific. Microbiology and virology are much more complex subjects than the media* make them out to be. If you dig deeper, you may find it to be quite a fascinating subject.

* I use the term "media" as opposed to "journalist" or "reporters" since the majority neither journal nor report, and tend to be more shallow than puddles in the desert when it comes to attempting to understand the subject.

OMG what is wrong with you people? I go to two sources the FDA and the freaking package insert to the vaccine I'm thinking of giving my children and all of a sudden I'm quoting non-correlated nonsense & non-sequiturs! Why don't you take that up with the FDA and the vaccine manufacturer pal instead of screaming at me. Lets see your studies that show they donât shed live virus.

Wendy, the injection is inactivated virus, if the "live" *ATTENUATED* version makes you uncomfortable.

Yes, I understand that but the school was giving kids the live version and was unconcerned it sheds for at least 21 days. 300+ kids sheding virus seems like it could start a pandemic. It didn't, so I guess not.

You guessed right. The nasal vaccine is a live ATTENUATED virus, that is in normal hosts it cannot be transmitted or cause disease. The injectable vaccine has no virus at all.

The injectable vaccine has no virus at all.

Huh? Then what's in it?

To keep it relatively simple, killed virus bits.

Actually, its not necessarily bits, but killed nonetheless (viruses aren't technically "alive" but that's the basic idea)

As noted before, the package insert is written by lawyers and gives information without context. Also the attenuated virus would not give you full blown influenza, but perhaps just a mild immune response. I'd be curious if there are any real case reports of the Flumist causing actual flu, and causing it to spread.

You are lucky if your kids' school gave out the vaccine. My daughter's high school only had enough available for kids in high risk groups and/or low income. It was only before winter break the teen health center had enough vaccine for everyone.

To bad. Yours could have had mine. I didn't allow my kids to get it. My teacher neighbor, had 9 out of 30 kids come to class a week after the vaccine push...they definitely had an immune response. She wondered out loud about the benefit. PalMD you are really making me wonder about the contents now of the vaccine. What do you mean by virus bits? I have read there are no pics of actual virus and no one has really isolated one. Do you think this is true? If so what do you think is really in a vaccine?

Wendy, now ur just messing with us. You're seriously giving us the centuries old argument that if you need a microscope to see it it can't be real? You just lost the entire internets.

"I have read there are no pics of actual virus and no one has really isolated one."

Was that written prior to the 1930s? Way before electron microscopy? If no one has ever isolated a virus, how do we have vaccine strains? On a hunch - did this same site claim we never landed on the moon, and list something called "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion"?

Be skeptical and critical of what you read on the internet ... just yesterday a friend found a serious piece claiming the US Navy is in treaty negotiations with THREE extraterrestrial races, in Hawaii while the POTUS and Rush Limbaugh were there as well ... my hat is only aluminum, and definitely not on that tightly.

Wendy, do you know what a library is? Does your community have one? I suggest you visit and get some actual books, like the list I provided. They are not technical, and could help not make silly statements about no pictures of viruses.

Actually, there are some pretty cool pictures of them on this blog:

Thanks for showing me that blog Chris it is really neat. I only saw drawings though. Did you see actual pictures of virus on it?
And yes, I do have a library. That is where I found this book

James McCumiskey also explains the shocking and incredible work of Dr Stefan Lanka who emphatically states that that there is no scientific evidence for the existence of any pathogenic virus such as HIV, mumps, measles or rubella.

James McCumiskey explains that the therapies employed by Modern Medicine in attempting to treat the symptoms of cancers and other diseases are deadly and pointless. Modern Medicine is the leading cause of death and injury in the free world.

With his explanation that 95% of Modern Medicine is wrong, that the germ theory of disease is false, that pathogenic viruses such as HIV and Bird-flu- H5N1 do not exist, and his explanation of German New Medicine and the case studies of people cured from cancer using this therapeutic approach: You have to ask yourself one question: Can you afford not to read it?

Its an interesting book and is mainly about alternative healing and such but he claims no one has ever seen a virus standing alone. I thought that would be easy enough to refute but I haven't been able to find a pic of one. But I haven't really looked that hard either. Just thought it was interesting. I thought I'd ask since you seemed to know about virus bits and at least own a tin foil hat.

According to Mr. McCumisky's website he is an accountant with absolutely no medical background. He also seems to promote the disaster that is New German Medicine. I guess taking medical advice from an accountant is slightly less silly than getting it from an actress.

You really should go to your library and check out a book on basic biology. Do not take an accountant's word that no virus has been seen alone, especially when there has been good research on them for several decades. Do try to educate yourself a bit better:

Chris what is your medical education status ? Are you a physician or surgeon a grad student or just a pharmaceutical ass suck?

I am a parent of a disabled child who has been reading about this stuff since his first seizure over twenty one years ago.

Oh, and the Pharma Shill Gambit is still old, unoriginal and totally lame.

Why would anyone need to be a medical professional to realize that a book on some new medicine by an accountant might not be terribly accurate?

So that means you are uneducated and just talking Shit on a blogg? Yeah I thought so. You know nothing Chris. Your private readings and mental masturbations about vaccines are completely useless and simply constitute your little moments of attempted education. Please do not come on these public bloggs with your inadequate background and give advice. Go back to whatever it is you do, drive a cab or wash windows and leave this type of advice to real proffesionals with medical credentials and perpsective. People who have have gone to medical school and taken board exams, sworn to upheld oaths of ethical practice and have state licensure. People who take care of real medical problems in real people children and adults every day. You are not one of those people so just stop giving advice. YOU DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING CHRIS YOU ARE A WANNABE OK


Please do not come on these public bloggs with your inadequate background and give advice.

Who made you the king of the interwebs?

Hey I do not want to be King of anything but I am real physician and surgeon and your dogmatic position to the readers above is built on cow shit and that is the simple truth. you simply have no clue about what you are talking about Chris and I truly do not want to be harsh but I am compelled to tell the truth. My autistic child just came in the room and now wants type. So I have to let her type now

"Hey I do not want to be King of anything but I am real physician and surgeon and your dogmatic position to the readers above is built on cow shit and that is the simple truth. you simply have no clue about what you are talking about Chris and I truly do not want to be harsh but I am compelled to tell the truth."

Yikes! Please tell us where you practise so we can avoid you like the plague. Then again, I really think you are lying.

Wow, WILLIE is a "real physician and surgeon" I'm impressed. Makes him so qualified to tell people what they should and should not say on a blog. I am not a medical professional in any way, shape or form, so I guess I have no authority over what people can say. According to WILLIE I shouldn't be giving advice here either.

Of course if I were to advise people to get vaccinated WILLIE in his infinite Knowledge would just accuse me of being in the pay of some shadowy pharma conspiracy to keep people sick so that they have to buy 'ebil' drugs.

Wow, I guess I can't really say anything here then. Damn, You win, WILLIE.

Worse than the Google U degree is the rantings of people with real degrees who should know better.

Wow, I hate to see what he tells his mother when she tries to give him advice!

Actually, I think he is lying. He had to urgently go because his autistic child had to use the computer at 3:00AM? I don't know, my family is not well off, we certainly aren't doctors or surgeons. But even us poor rednecks have a separate computer for our children.

Maybe I am just an uneducated hick, but my children are in bed at three in the morning, unless they are sick.

Smart people know about many things, discerning people know what to do with their knowledge, no matter how limited.

Why the vaccine subject so volatile? Why can't we talk about them without the attacks? What is the big deal about asking for a pic of a virus? It should just be, 'here it is'! Its just science right? I'd ask my pediatrician but he came unglued when I refused the flumist! Is there anyone here who doesn't have a vaccine axe to grind?

Dude, Wendy, if you want a picture of a virus, just google the fucking thing. It's not hard.

By Katharine (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

"Hey I do not want to be King of anything but I am real physician and surgeon and your dogmatic position to the readers above is built on cow shit and that is the simple truth. you simply have no clue about what you are talking about Chris and I truly do not want to be harsh but I am compelled to tell the truth. My autistic child just came in the room and now wants type. So I have to let her type now"

Either English isn't your first language, you don't actually have that degree, or you got them from a diploma mill.

Because no normal medical school would let in someone with such a shitty command of the language.

By Katharine (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

Wendy, what you quoted is a germ theory denialist. There are many pictures of viruses, taken with electron micrscopes. There are MANY at the CDC's photo archive, and you can look them up by species even.

This James McCumiskey is not only ignorant of almost a full century of work in virology, but he sounds like his tinfoil hat is on way too tight. Does he deny bacteria exist as well? Bacteria can be seen with light (brightfield) microscopes, and I just finished up a semester of looking at several. I have heard that the smallpox virus can be seen on a brightfield light microscope, but for obvious reasons I cannot personally verify that. All other viruses are too small to be seen with light microscopy, but are easily seen and photographed via electron microscopy.

What you quoted from this James McCumiskey is NOT science ... it is tabloid psuedoscience conspiracy theory at best. And that is the kindest way to phrase it. You would have been better off to have never read that book to begin with, because it is so offbase it should have been shelved in the fantasy fiction section.


If you are truly interested in learning all about viruses may I suggest: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ICTVdb/Images/.

I do truly hope you are looking for more information, because it sounds like the information you have been given is way off base. Please listen to differing viewpoints and keep your mind open, but the information you have given thus far in your comments is quite frankly incorrect and without proof or precedent.

Because no normal medical school would let in someone with such a shitty command of the language.

You'd be surprised.

By Funky Fresh (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

Thanks so much Kristen for your link. Finally someone who doesn't beat me up for asking questions. In his book he talks about virus already being in the body. He is looking for a virus that is not within a host cell. His question is where are the viruses before they enter a hostâs cell? I'm not really sure what I'm looking at so this would be a question for a virologist. I don't think he is a germ theory deniest, just that disease might happen a different way. He thinks virus and bacteria are already in us and we donât âcatchâ them from others.

I am trying to be open to all thoughts about vaccines and diseases and such. Its seems you are suggesting I never look at alternative points of view?


I would also like to point out that James McCumiskey's book is self-published. Which means no publisher wanted to be associated with his book.

Just think about that before you associate yourself with its content.

No, no, just look in reputable places.

A test to see if one has a virus looks for anti-bodies, or the defenses a person's body puts up against the virus.

If viruses were naturally in everyone, why doesn't everyone have the anti-bodies. And why would a person who tests without the anti-bodies and then is exposed to a person who is infected will then test positive.

This is high-school biology.

I'm not associating myself with anyone! This is so strange. Do I have to pick sides? Can't science just answer the question? If no one questions it just becomes faith. I have faith in vaccines because I gave them to my children. Now I'd like the science behind it! I'm seeing more and more people questioning them. I think itâs a great idea for Drs to really have answers ready.

A virus by it's very nature can not reproduce outside a host. It uses the hosts cell to multiply, overfills the cell till it bursts (lysis), then infects other cells (in very simplified terms).

From what I understand a virus can't "live" outside the host cell for long.


If you want the answer, there it is. I wrote it in the most simple terms I can think of. You may look up anything I said to confirm or debunk it.

I am trying to help, I have chosen the side of evidence based science.

I hope you find the insight you are looking for, but I will not argue with you if that is what you are here for.

I found this on Dr.Gary Null's site...

New York University Medical School
Scientific evidence questioning the role of antibodies in disease protection can be found in research performed by Dr. Alec Burton, published in a study by the British Medical Council. The study investigated the relationship between the incidence of diphtheria and the presence of antibodies. The purpose of the research was to determine the existence or nonexistence of antibodies in people who developed diphtheria and in those who did not. The conclusion was that there was no relation whatsoever between antibody count and incidence of disease. The researchers found people who were highly resistant with extremely low antibody counts, and people who developed the disease who had high antibody counts.
Dr. Burton also discovered that children born with a-gamma globulinemia (inability to produce antibodies) develop and recover from measles and other infectious or contagious disease almost as quickly as other children.15

Its doesn't say NY high School it says NY medical school but who knows maybe this Dr is discredited by now. It was in 1981.

I'm not here to argue. I sorry if that is how I've come across...you guys have a nice day. I'll look elsewhere.

I weep for our science education system.

By MonkeyPox (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

"Oh, I'm just asking questions, innocent ole me is just wondrin' 'bout all that sciencey stuff"

Bull. Shit.

You are either:
1) Insane
2) Very, very intellectually limited
3) Perversely anti-reality and unable to in any way get past your own idiocy to learn some actual biology.
4) An uber concern troll

I pity you.

By ButtTrumpet (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

Wendy, Gary Null is not a well respected source of information. He is down there Mercola, whale.to and others.

Really, get to a library and check out a basic biology book.

I believe that Willie was either drunk, or just lying. Though I will note that while the clock on this blog said 3 am, it was only midnight on the West Coast. Though that is an odd time to let your kid on the computer (and in our house each child has their own laptop).

I really was trying to help, she just doesn't understand simple concepts. It seems she was looking for anything to contradict what I said.

I think she is trying to make herself feel smart by "pulling one over" on us "sciency" types. She makes herself look smart in her own mind.

For goodness sake, my four-year-old would get it!

Wendy writes: "Its doesn't say NY high School it says NY medical school"

Thank you for insulting me when I tried to help. You are not a concerned mother, you are a conspiracy troll.

And no, that is not the extent of my knowledge of virology. I was explaining it in a way you might be able to understand, I guess I used too many big words.

Kristen, it is also entirely possible she's just an uncurious moronic boob who can't process Wikipedia to save her life.

I hate people who aren't curious.

By Katharine (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

" I don't know, my family is not well off, we certainly aren't doctors or surgeons. But even us poor rednecks have a separate computer for our children."

"Though that is an odd time to let your kid on the computer (and in our house each child has their own laptop)."

Now we are condemning people for not having a computer for each child in the household? WTF?


Perhaps you don't recognize satire. I was just making the point that if he claims to be a busy surgeon why does he wait in line to use a computer when he has precious little free time.

We also don't have a computer for each child, but we do have a dedicated computer for our five children, complete with parental controls.

Sorry, Isabel... but a successful surgeon should not have to share a computer. And it was midnight (on the west coast, though he could have been in Hawaii for all we know), plus he was being abusive, and using the idiotic Pharma Shill Gambit instead of presenting a coherent argument. There were several reasons to question him, his motives and his veracity.

As for Wendy, I tried. I gave her some good books to read, and yet she trundled down the woo-filled path of total ignorance. Perhaps she is shilling for that accountant's book, who knows? I sincerely doubt that she clicked on the link to the Sciencebasedmedicine blog about the "New German Medicine" (yes, Hamer was struck by tragedy, but he is bringing more to desperate people).

Who do those parents blame next when their kid dies of a disease which could be prevented by vaccines? Blame the anti-vax scamsters like Jenny McCarthey? I doubt it. Unfortunately anti-vax bullshit sells, so you'll see only that on shows like Oprah and not any sensible person who says that vaccines are safe.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 03 Jan 2010 #permalink

Hey does anyone here know of a science blog dedicated to vaccines for the beginner?
Like vaccine 101? Where you could ask questions and actually get an answer in easy to understand language?

Oh and Chris I'm not shilling for Hamer. I found him when my mom was dying of cancer..she had already done all the allopathic medicine. We where looking for anything else that might help. (We were desperate) I remember now the part about the shock and forgiveness nonsense after reading that blog. The only thing that really stuck out in my head was the virus part of his beliefs. She was on hormone therapy with premarin and now we know that can cause breast cancer.

The second part of this post is a reasonable primer, if you're actually interested.

I you were shilling for McCumiskey's book.

There are also several good books at the library on beginners. You need to start at the basics, and the Complete Idiot's Guides and Books for Dummies are actually quite good. I gave you the Virology 101 link, but you need to start with the bare basics, hence the recommendation for those books (don't wait for this blogger's book to published!)

Thanks for the post PalMD itâs really eye opening! I will visit the library tomorrow for the complete idiots guide.

I also enjoyed reading the bloggers post you sent Chris. What do you think causes autism? Also Chris what did you mean to say when you said this: I you were shilling for McCumiskey's book.

Autism has been linked to several genetic areas. As far as you shilling for that book, this is what you wrote:

With his explanation that 95% of Modern Medicine is wrong, that the germ theory of disease is false, that pathogenic viruses such as HIV and Bird-flu- H5N1 do not exist, and his explanation of German New Medicine and the case studies of people cured from cancer using this therapeutic approach: You have to ask yourself one question: Can you afford not to read it?

Did you forget posting that glowing book report? And, yes, I can afford to not read that book. You wasted your time on it.

That was copy and pasted from the website. Geez what is wrong with you? why are you so angry?

You cut and pasted from a website without attribution (that is called "plagiarism") and you think there is something wrong with me?

I am not angry, I am just amazed at how absolutely clueless you are. Mostly what I do when I read your stuff is roll my eyes up and laugh.

Not only do you need to learn the basics of science (especially biology), you might want to take a decent English course that shows you that you don't quote other people without noting that it is a quote.

You are so bizarre. I've quoted from the FDA,the package insert to a vaccine, a book review and Dr Alan Burton ON A BLOG and now I need and English course? I'm not writing an English paper for publication. I think you have anger issues.

Except you did not say it was a quote from a book review.

Okay, seriously guys, time out!
I'm just going to assume here that Wendy does not have a basic understanding of science. She may not have had adequate schooling or she was not paying attention in class. She may very well be a victim of the alt-med folks. I know a lot of people like this in my neck of the woods. They read stuff on-line or they get books that are recommended by their chiropractors, or they have a bad experience with "allopathic" medicine. (A term that she probably heard by some alt-med nit wits.)
I will just assume that she is as ignorant and ill read as she seems and not a book-shill or a worm for the anitvaxers.

In that case, we must use compassion. Please quit insulting her and baiting her. Kristin is the only person here who has sincerely tried to help her. Give her the basic info that has requested and then move on. Just ignore her for pete's sake!!!

By M Conlon RN (not verified) on 04 Jan 2010 #permalink

Thanks for your attempt at kindness RN. I really didn't want anything here just looking up Dr Tennpenny when I stumbled in. For some unknown reason I really ticked a few of you off. It seemed like an easy question to me...pic of a virus...but whatever...we did allopathic medicine with my mom and a little alternative nothing worked so I can sit on the fence either way. I am leaning more alternative though...it doesn't make sense to inject live virus into children especially when it sheds for 21 days but like you pointed out I'm uneducated. It looks like you must have a ton of peoople really bothering you in here about antivaccine stuff so I promise to leave you alone.

I tried, I really tried. Do you not approve of the list of books I posted earlier in the thread (Vaccine, Flu!, The Great Influenza, Polio, An American Story, and Vaccinated)? How about the link to the Virology 101 blog? And I actually do own a couple of the Idiot's Guide to things (though my son took off with my copy of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Physics to college, it is really a good resource!).

The last straw was when she assumed that I should have known she had cut and pasted the book review, without any other information (like a link, or quote marks, or the words "Begin Quote"/"End Quote", or the words "here is a book review:").

I don't believe a goddamned thing she says. She's either a liar, full of shit, or fucking nuts.

By MonkeyPox (not verified) on 04 Jan 2010 #permalink


.it doesn't make sense to inject live virus into children especially when it sheds for 21 days

As you yourself noted it was only in the FluMist, that is not injected. What other vaccine sheds for 21 days?

Again, please do not make claims you cannot back up. You need to work on the tools to understand how to interpret data, and to look for information (do try www.pubmed.gov, some of the papers have free access, and many of the reviews are written actually for non-science people!).

You really need to get yourself some real science education. And that means not from websites of folks like Mercola, Gary Null, CureZone, Whale.to, Rense, NaturalNews and the like. What you really need if you are not willing to actually sign up for a community college course (which I did a couple of years ago before starting grad school after dealing with kids for several years) is to take advantage of free college lectures online.

And do go to your library and check out some basic science books. There are also some very amusing books that might interest you, like Quack! Tales of Medical Fraud from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices (really it was a fun read).

MonkeyPox, do you mean me or Wendy?

I meant Wendy...you know, the idiot.

By MonkeyPox (not verified) on 04 Jan 2010 #permalink

Okay. Thank you.

(I started out on Usenet over ten years ago. I actually tried to reason with John Scudamore (whale.to) and Roger Schlafly (total failure, they are both nuts), and I had Gail Michael tell me my son's seizures were caused by someone thinking about him while on stimulants... so I try not to assume anything, and I have grown a backbone, so I don't get upset or angry, though I do lots of laughing.)

Roger Schlafly is way more sane than his brother.

By MonkeyPox (not verified) on 04 Jan 2010 #permalink


Roger Schlafly is way more sane than his brother.

That is very very true. He was still nuts. Though if you argued him into a corner, he would change the subject!

At that time Japan and Korea were exporting measles (Japan had decided against their version of the MMR) to those of us on the West Coast. Our county had been posting several measles alerts (I got my younger two kids their second MMR early because a nearby private school was having an outbreak due to a student coming back from Korea!).

Roger was teaching at a university in California, where there would be many students coming from Japan and Korea. I asked him how he would protect his daughters from measles. His answer was that he would be okay. Nothing about his daughters. Just some oblique answer that he would be okay.

It was like he assumed that only he would contact folks from Asia, and not anyone else in his family. Absolutely no comprehension that some of the students actually have kids that go to the local schools with his kids.

(Funny story because I also live near a university: In my younger son's 3rd grade class there was a kid whose parents were both post-graduate law students from Korea. One day he came to school telling everyone he was an "alien." What had happened was that he had observed his dad filling out forms for a "Resident Alien in the USA" and the kid did not quite realize what "alien" meant!)

She's either a liar, full of shit, or fucking nuts.

I don't think this is an either/or sort of deal. In my experience with anti-vax loons it is generally a combination that includes variable degrees of all of these. The propensity to pretend they are just out "looking for information and education" makes them a liar, their absolute faith in anti-vax dogma makes them full of shit and their inability to even consider that it just might not be some massive conspiracy - stretching back decades to that fake polio thing - intended by big pharma and Teh Man poison children makes than rather nutty.

You know you guys are right! Pubmed is the place to go! This is what the FDA said and the package insert. I can hardly wait for you to tell me how wrong pubmed is now.
Why do you insist on calling me antivaccine? My kids are vaccinated.

Vaccine. 2008 Sep 8;26(38):4940-6. Epub 2008 Jul 26.

Shedding and immunogenicity of live attenuated influenza vaccine virus in subjects 5-49 years of age.
Block SL, Yogev R, Hayden FG, Ambrose CS, Zeng W, Walker RE.

Kentucky Pediatric and Adult Research, Bardstown, KY 40004, United States. slblock@pol.net

BACKGROUND: Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) is indicated for influenza prevention in persons 2-49 years of age. This study describes the incidence and duration of vaccine virus shedding and serum immune responses after receipt of LAIV. METHODS: A single open-label dose of trivalent LAIV was administered intranasally to 344 subjects in 3 age cohorts: 5-8, 9-17, and 18-49 years of age. Shedding was determined by culture of nasal swabs (on days 1-7, daily; days 9-25, every other day; and day 28). Immunogenicity was measured as serum strain-specific hemagglutinin inhibition (HAI) titers (days 0, 28). RESULTS: Among subjects aged 5-8 years, 9-17 years, and 18-49 years, 44%, 27%, and 17% of subjects, respectively, shed vaccine virus after vaccination, and the mean number of positive samples per subject was 2.2, 1.8, and 1.5, respectively. Shedding occurred on days 1-11 postvaccination. Shedding incidence peaked on day 2, and maximum observed titers were highest on days 2-3 (<5, <4, and <3 log(10)TCID(50)/mL, respectively, by age group). Despite positive cultures, all titers were <1 log(10)TCID(50)/mL after days 10, 6, and 6, respectively, by age group. Shedding incidence was inversely correlated to age and baseline serum HAI titer. The seroresponse rate (4-fold rise in HAI) to at least 1 strain was 59% (68%, 64%, and 47%, respectively, by age group), and strain-specific rates were higher in baseline seronegative/serosusceptible subjects. Reactogenicity, most commonly runny nose, headache, and sore throat, was not associated with shedding or seroresponse. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate nasal shedding of LAIV in individuals 5-49 years of age. Shedding was generally of short duration and at low titers. Study findings support the current recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that LAIV recipients should only avoid contact with severely immunosuppressed persons (e.g., hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients) for 7 days after vaccination.

PMID: 18662737 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, SubstancesPublication Types:

Can people receiving the nasal-spray flu vaccine LAIV (FluMist®) pass the vaccine viruses to others?
In clinical studies, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely. The current estimated risk of getting infected with vaccine virus after close contact with a person vaccinated with the nasal-spray flu vaccine is low (0.6%-2.4%). Because the viruses are weakened, infection is unlikely to result in influenza illness symptoms since the vaccine viruses have not been shown to mutate into typical or naturally occurring influenza viruses.

from http://www.cdc.gov/FLU/about/qa/nasalspray.htm

Uh oh...does CDC trump Pubmed?

Yes. Because they look at all the studies on vaccines, not just one. Did you notice that the phrase "In clinical studies" that they used the plural of the word "study."

What you did is called cherry picking. You also failed to show if FluMist gave other people the actual flu. Doing a PubMed search using the words "Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine shedding" came up with 54 hits, you just chose one.

Looking down the list there is a Mayo Clinic review titled Flu Myths: Dispelling the Myths Associated With Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine, which said this in its summary (the link is the full paper):

Although shedding of vaccine virus is common, transmission of vaccine virus has been documented only in a single person, who remained asymptomatic. In the age groups for which it is indicated, LAIV is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent influenza infection.

If you read to the bottom you will see a list of 60 references. If you go to the subsection titled "MYTH 2: VIRAL SHEDDING WILL RESULT IN VIRUS TRANSMISSION" you will see a bunch of little numbers at the end of certain sentences. If you hover your mouse of the numbers it will show the paper they got the data. If you click on the number it will take you down to the cite, which will often have a link to PubMed and/or the full paper.

You are definitely doing better. Though you have to remember no public health agency makes a decision based on one paper, there has to be a body of work to make decision on. Dr. Mark Crislip wrote about this in response to an article, http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=2495 (it is a long read, with lots of snarky humor), he said:

What if the 14,400 plus influenza vaccine articles on Pubmed are wrong, all the biology and virology and pharmacology and clinical trials about influenza are wrong? What if every brick in the wall was an illusion and the edifice of flu treatment is wrong. What if a few brave souls can see the real truth. I look forward to a review of the 50 years of influenza research in all its complexity. Itâs a huge literature, with multiple lines of evidence all converging on the conclusion that vaccines and antivirals are effective against influenza. Because I would hate to make decisions based on the opinions of a few people reading a narrow sampling of the literature.

(by the way, you should download and listen to his podcasts, which have a few on flu, at http://www.quackcast.com/spodcasts/files/mp3rss.xml )

Okay, the moderated comment is posted!

Wendy, taking a biology class at a community college was actually fun. I learned lots, the labs were fun (something you just cannot get from a web video), and the book had lots of pictures, including pictures of viruses. There is also a great diversity of students, from kids still in high school to older folks like me. One of my lab partners was another mom of a disabled kid (the instructor forced us to change lab partners each week, another cool thing).

I think the community colleges are very important, and serve a great need. I am a big fan (and my 15 year old daughter is thinking of taking courses there during her last two years of high school under our state's "Running Start" program).

Seriously, look into your local community college. You might actually learn something.

I've been to Community college. I have my AA. I know you all think I need all this training but really I just wanted to know if I should give my children this live flumist they offered at school. After reading the package insert, the FDA's website and now Pubmed I'm glad I didn't give it. If one person shed it I don't want it to be my kids. My BIL has lung cancer and he lives 4 houses down. I don't want to be the one whose kid shed it to him and he dies from the flumist's live virus. I'm just being extra careful really. Thanks for all the help you all gave and all the suggestions. I don't want to be a doctor! I just want to make the best choice for my family.

If you have concerns about the BIL you should seek out the injectable vaccine. You may wish to avoid exposing BIL to the live attenuated vaccine, but you also need to avoid exposing him to the (much more problematic)actual virus.

Why are you so angry? I don't agree at all that she is a quack, misinformed, or a liar. I believe her to be one of the more informed persons on this issue of vaccination. She does not claim to know it all, in fact, one of her main messages is "Don't take my word for it, go out there and find out for yourself". We are an overvaccinated, paranoid society in general, so I believe her motivation for the general public to be more informed and to differentiate facts from myths is both empowering and necessary during these current times. Thank you.

Why do you think PalMD is angry?

Is it just because he disagrees with Tenpenny? What actual factual medical literature from PubMed agrees with Tenpenny?

Look at the literature and tell us with actual evidence what vaccine you think is superfluous? Is it pertussis? Measles? Rubella? Hib? HepA? Varicella? Meningitis? Which one? Tell us exactly what real evidence you found that showed the vaccine was worse than the disease.