False Government Mumps Scare Stories - (Reply to
Lawyer, graduate physicist, former university examining lecturer in law
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Re: False Government Mumps Scare Stories - (Reply to Jennifer Best)
FALSE GOVERNMENT MUMPS SCARE STORIES - (Reply to Jennifer Best)
The sort of paper  that has provoked this and other exchanges is
precisely what Government jumps on to run false mumps scare stories in
I am obliged to Jennifer Best for her response  which assists to make
some of the main points I set out earlier .
Ms Best says she has no intention to scare. However, her response omits
matter that will give a misleading impression of risk and could result
in scares. The omitted matter is contained in the HPA leaflet I quoted
verbatim in my earlier response . The HPA state (and Ms Best does
also fails to observe that the HPA figures are global for adults and not
just for children, yet the HPA aims them at parents in the context of
- mumps is rarely fatal
- cases resulting in meningitis have no other
Further, as Ms Best confirms was the practice with rubella, we do not
have to vaccinate everyone. We could leave it to people to decide as
they reach adulthood if they have not developed natural immunity by
contracting the disease naturally in the wild. Accordingly, we could
leave nature to take its course. Those who want natural immunity can
have it and those who do not or have not achieved it by adulthood can
Ms Best also refers to 1200 hospital admissions each year which shows
also makes no comment on the fact that adverse vaccine reactions are not
being diagnosed or recorded so we have no proper idea of the acute and
chronic short and long term harm caused by vaccines. Hence, my use of
the terminology 'Child Harm lobby'. The practice of prophylactic mass
vaccination for the vast majority who are at no risk from the disease
has to be questioned in the absence of data on risk of vaccination.
- her figures cannot be right if the HPA's own
leaflet  confirms mumps goes in three yearly cycles so it is
impossible to have 1200 admissions annually
- the concern is with hospital admissions (a cost
indicator) rather than outcomes (a health indicator for the
individual), which makes the point that the purpose is not
individual health but NHS wealth
Unlike my prior response  Ms Best makes no effort either to put what
she says into a risk context others can understand, nor does she comment
on the fact that the risks are nowhere as bad as a one-sided set of
statistics with no balance or context might lead others to believe
exists. She further does not comment on the relative risk contexts my
prior response provides.
Mumps and the UK epidemic 2005 BMJ 2005;330:1132-1135 (14 May)
Re: Mumps and Rubella 25 May 2005
False Government Mumps Scare Stories 24 May 2005
email Clifford Miller at cgmiller"insert an 'at' sign
Competing interests: None declared
Clifford G. Miller,
Government Mumps Scare Stories
24 May 2005
Lawyer, graduate physicist, former university examining lecturer in law
Send response to
Re: False Government Mumps Scare Stories
FALSE GOVERNMENT MUMPS SCARE STORIES
The information at the end of this response is from a UK Health Protection
Agency leaflet on the alleged risks of mumps. The leaflet is sent repeatedly to
parents (one example, by letter 4 times in six months) by some UK general
medical practitioners with a letter offering the MMR booster vaccination and
asking for written confirmation if the booster is not wanted for their child.
This seems to be done so the GPs can hit their vaccination targets and get the
money offered by the British government as an inducement for doing so. Its
effect is to pressurise and frighten parents into vaccinating their children
when there is no need. Some practices strike off their patient roster parents
who refuse vaccination for their children (an illegal practice).
The HPA figures are grossly misleading. Whilst sent to warn of the risks of
mumps, they make no distinction between the risks for a child (minimal, as mumps
is a relatively benign illness in children) and the risks for adults (higher).
Despite the fact that the higher adult risk figures are provided, the worst
statistic is profound deafness in one ear occurring in 1 in 15,000 people. The
true figure for children is likely to be much lower but that will not prevent
the HPA from sending information like this out to be used as a scare tool.
Similarly, the risk of death from encephalitis is so low it equates to one
person dying every ten years or so and it is so rare the adult figures provided
have a 50% error margin. The risk is between 1 in 400,000 to 1 in 600,000 cases.
What is more, it is not simply a matter of chance. People do not die simply as a
lottery but because they are already ill, have some pre-existing disposition or
a weakness in their immune system, so not the normally healthy person.
This also shows that the HPA information is misleading. It further shows some
GPs have no qualms about sending out misleading information and putting their
patients unnecessarily at risk. It further ensures HPA information cannot be
relied on by the public as accurate or impartial medical information.
Additionally, to put the 1 in 15,000 figure for profound deafness in adults in
Accordingly, in the
deafness stakes, mumps is so low down the scale as to be irrelevant. To put it
further into context,
six times more people each year are struck by lightning in the UK (a
pretty rare event) as died in the major measles outbreaks in 1988, the year it
was decided to introduce MMR. And despite being such a rare event, that is
thirty-six times more than will achieve profound deafness as a result of natural
these figures overstate the position by a further factor of at least three times
because lightning strikes every year, but mumps and measles come and go. There
were approaching 80,000 measles cases in 1988 and 47,000 in 1987 and there will
be less between major outbreaks as natural herd immunity is gained and then
- 3,750 in every 15,000 people in Great Britain have some
hearing difficulty (375,000 percent higher).
- for 750 of them, it exceeds 25 decibels. That is a hearing
loss that interferes with speech acquisition in a child or effective
conversation in an adult
- the proportion with a 25 decibel hearing loss is 75,000
percent higher than profound deafness in one ear caused by mumps
To put this further into context,
- there are 1500 asthma deaths each year
rising at 1% per annum - 10,000 percent more than measles deaths in 1988
- vaccines are implicated in allergies like asthma and
- 1 in 1000 infants die from SIDS
- SIDS was rare prior to 1950
- vaccines are implicated in SIDS deaths
- over 12 times more children are killed on our roads
each year .
These figures reveal
the purpose of mass childhood vaccination programmes. These are not to protect
the child from harm but the UK National Health Service from the cost of treating
mumps cases. These figures are insufficient to justify a mass vaccination
campaign for mumps amongst children. Mumps, like rubella, is testimony to cost
being the predominant factor for vaccination. The justification for mass mumps
and rubella vaccination of children is paper thin. In children mumps and rubella
are mostly benign childhood diseases. The risk from rubella is to the developing
foetus. To deal with this, we used to vaccinate pre-pubescent girls who tested
negative to rubella antibodies.
- 5000 people die each year in hospital from MRSA and other
hospital caught infections and a further 2500 survive (it is claimed in
recent media reports that these figures are understated by the DoH by a
factor of six)
Further, contrary to legal and ethical obligations, when the HPA information is
sent out, no information on adverse effects is provided. Even if figures were
provided on adverse vaccine reactions and even if they were not subject to
exaggeration, there are no proper figures that can be provided that are reliable
because no proper figures are collected on short and long term adverse vaccine
reactions . This enables the pro-child harm lobby to promote vaccines
unencumbered by the true scale of harm they cause.
Add into this mix the habit of government to exaggerate figures when it suits
and downplay similarly, parents are wise to hold back from vaccinations for
mumps and avoid the risks of adverse reactions. These are real risks as the
Honda/Rutter et al paper on Japanese incidence of autism demonstrates when
corrected. There was a 150-200% increase in vaccinations in Japan in 1993
simultaneously with the substantial rise in autism reported by Honda/Rutter from
then on. Notably, the vaccinations were particularly for measles and rubella.
Well nourished western economy children with clean drinking water rarely die
from measles. Those that do are likely immunocompromised.
RISKS OF LISTENING TO THE CHILD HARM LOBBY:
To the question 'How many people in the UK each year die or suffer long term
adverse effects of vaccines' the answer is 'Don't know. Who's counting'.
Most adverse vaccine reactions are neither recognised or diagnosed. Fewer are
reported. There is no also long term monitoring of vaccine safety. It could
indicate if modern medicine causes increases in well known conditions (cancer,
diabetes) or has created new ones (MS, ME, life threatening food allergies, food
Then the risk to the adult population of contracting childhood diseases needs to
be taken into account. This exists because vaccination does not confer lifelong
immunity, it does not confer absolute immunity but might reduce morbidity and
reduces the beneficial effect to adults of naturally boosting immunity by
exposure to the wild viruses.
And be wary of medical professionals who say new illnesses have solely genetic
causes. Genetic change in a single generation in multiple individuals (eg. food
allergies) is impossible.
UK Department of Health Information Inherently Unreliable
The UK DoH has potential legal liability for costs and damages for
death or injury but also wants to achieve the short-term 'savings' of
vaccination programmes so will have a tendency not to release voluntarily full
information on vaccination risks.
TEXT OF HPA MUMPS LEAFLET
Mumps is an acute viral illness spread by saliva or droplets from the saliva of
an infected person.
Symptoms begin with a headache and fever for a day or two and then swelling of
the parotid glands which may be unilateral (one side) or bilateral (both sides).
The parotid glands produce saliva, and are located in front of the ear, At least
30% of cases in children have no symptoms.
The incubation period is 14-21 days and mumps can be spread from several days
before the parotid swelling to several days after it appears.
Although rarely fatal, complications of mumps can include:
- Meningitis in up to 15% of cases, though usually without
- Orchitis (inflammation of the testes - usually unilateral) in
up to 20% of post-pubertal males. Sterility seldom occurs.
- Oophoritis (inflammation of the ovaries) in 5 percent of
post-pubertal females. Sterility seldom occurs.
- Profound deafness occuring in one ear 1:15,000 cases.
- Encephalitis between 1:4000 and 1:6000 cases, case fatality
rate for mumps encephalitis is 1.4%.
- Pancreatitis, neuritis, arthritis, mastitis, nephritis,
thyroiditis and pericarditis may also occur.
- Although no evidence of foetal abnormalities, mumps in the
first trimester of pregnancy may increase the rate of spontaneous
no specific treatment for mumps. Treatment is based on alleviating symptoms.
vaccine is one of the components of MMR vaccine. The introduction of MMR
vaccine in 1988 effectively halted the three yearly cycles of mumps
There is no single antigen mumps vaccine licensed in the UK, and single
mumps vaccine has never been used as part of the national immunisation
Since 1998 MMR has been given to children between 12-15 months and since
1996 it is also given at 4 years of age. There is no upper age limit and
where required, two doses can be given, separated by a three monthly
Email for Clifford Miller: bmj050521-insert_at_here-cliffordmiller.com