Wednesday, June 13, 2007

vaccinations and autism

Saw a show about a month ago on Oprah that really caught my attention. Did anyone know that autism is the fastest growing disease .... even higher than breast cancer? I had no idea.

While watching the show, there was one mother who made it very clear that she blamed the vaccines and believed it had something to do w/ that - all the families on the show had children w/ autism. Being a mother w/ a infant who is now getting their vaccinations, it frightened me.

So yesterday I'm watching the various news programs that come on in the afternoon and, yet again, the topic of autism comes up and how some 4,800 (give or take) families in the U.S. are suing drug companies, saying their children were poisoned by this mercury-based preservative called thimerosal... which was always in the vaccinations given in the U.S., or at least up until 1999, this is when it was taken out.

This is a paragraph taken from an article I read about it (it's one of many):

"Debate over links between mercury and autism is decades old. Among the evidence cited by parents of children with autism, individual doctors and researchers, and many others is that the discovery of autism in American children in 1943 came 12 years after ethyl mercury (thimerosal) was added to the pertussis vaccine. Similarly, autism was not seen in Europe until the 1950s, after thimerosal was added to vaccines used there. Those who believe in the link note that autism is often diagnosed around the same time children are inoculated against infectious diseases."

In the news program I was watching, it stated that the U.S. took this out but other developing nations had not. So.... seeing that the baby has been sick since he got his 2nd injection this past Friday and doesn't seem to be recovering, we take him into the dr. yesterday afternoon. Because all or most of the families on the Oprah show stated that their children had been sick as infants... especially after the injections. And Naief has been really sick w/ fever, coughing, nose congestion and eye drainage.....

While there, I asked the dr. about this and asked whether or not this mercury is still in the vaccines given in Bahrain. And can you believe he stammered around a bit and said that mercury is still in the vaccines.... but made it obvious he really wasn't for sure. And... knowing me.... I'm like "WHAT????" This is when I told him that the U.S. took it out back in 1999, and this is when he said that if they did, then it's out. OH OK.... that sure makes me feel better!

But you know, I don't feel assured by him. The drugs they get here, the vaccines, even the stuff that numbs your gums at the dentist is gotten from other countries, and depending on who's making it will testify to the type of medication in the vaccine and the quality of the drugs you get. Now... I don't know if that pertains to the vaccines and I do pray to God that it doesn't.... but I will investigate this further. I think writing to the GDN about this might help... but I also think asking one of the Shura Members.... because I really want to know if my child is safe from this. Because, honestly, I had canned fish while pregnant and fish (even tho my sister told me NOT TO DO IT and that her dr. would not allow any while she was pregnant. i asked my dr. and she didn't seem to have a problem until she found out about the canned tuna and then said something about the high levels of mercury...... just what i needed to hear!!)

I think that, as mothers, we have the right to know if some type of mercury is floating around in the meds they are injecting into our babies in this country. My husband said that he believes Bahrain isn't doing it because they're part of the WHO, but... really, does that mean they aren't?! I want to know... I have the right to know this.

I know that I asked my NEW dentist at AMH recently about the stuff they give you to numb your gums because I had heard from a friend that there are different varieties and strengths... and it all depends on where they get it from. Hardly being able to believe my ears, I asked and SURE ENOUGH.... it depends. Jordan makes some of it and it's not checked thru the proper channels so there's no way of knowing if it meets the standards .... American standards. But AMH gets their stuff from Switzerland and.... another country... maybe Germany, but not sure.

Does that mean I can feel safe..... not saying that he'll get it.... but I think any mother would think about this or should seriously consider the possibilities of it.


Sunshine said...

its really sad our standards in bahrain rnt that high.. my sister developed a mental disability while she was growing up, and my mother always said that maybe, just maybe, if we had better healthcare this could have been avoided, or even dealt with.
the thing about autism and mercuty is quite intresting, i never heard that befor, but since the number of autistic kids in bahrain is growing i really think it shuld be look at and investigated.
dont worry about naief, he'll get better soon inshallah, and will grow up to be a healthy kid, iv had a few cosins who were always sick, but have grown to be very healthy kids :)

Um Naief said...
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Um Naief said...

sunshine, my SILs boys are sick a lot as well. one is very healthy body wise but he gets sick all the time, but the other is thin. so i don't think it matters in that regard.

i was wondering about autism in bahrain. if it's been on the rise and such.

when i first came to bahrain, i taught conversation english and i had this guy in my class that worked at GPIC and he told me to NEVER eat the fish from here because of all that's going into the waters. i have many times... and i'm not saying that naief will get anything because of it, and Lord forbid it...

i really think there's a link tho. it's the fastest growing disease and what makes me mad is that hardly any attention is paid to it.

my only want and concern at this time is to find out if it's in the vaccines or not.

i hate to see naief sick. i'm sure it was really hard for your mother to see what was happening to her daughter, and to not be able to receive the best health care possible is a shame and isn't right.

the ppl in charge seem to talk a lot about it and there are enough seminars & conferences here to choke a horse.... but does it create change? truly?

Sunshine said...

im planning on visiting autism and down syndrom societies when im back to bhrn next week to get them to do something about care and facilities of metaly disabl people in bahrian, but il be sure to bring this up, i think they'd be intrested in knowing..
maybe if we get enough voices someone will realise the gravity of this issue.

thnx for bringing this up, this issue is close to my heart, i honestly think people dont understand how hard it is to have a mentaly disabled person in ur family until, god forbid, it happens and its too late to prevent or avoid it.
awareness is important and thats what we'r lacking in bahrain right now..

Um Naief said...

if u'd like another voice... i'd love to help out!!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Or is the rise in autism being caused by cell phones?

Steve B said...

Cell phones? Mmmm...I haven't seen many infants on the phone lately, though the way things are progressing, it wouldn't surprise me.

But, seriously, it is notable that the rise in autism coincided with the spread of television. There have been studies that suggested that putting infants down in front of a tv set might be a factor. Something about the 2D world of the screen not developing the mind the same way as the 3D world of reality.

Um Naief said...

moody, are you talking about the affects of the cell phones on the mother prior to birth or causing something in the mother that causes autism later in any unborn children?

steve, nice to see you around again! you know, that's an interesting thought you have. and it makes me a little paranoid in the fact that i allow naief to watch tv w/ me at times. when i was young, i watched saturday cartoons, gilligan's island and such, and that's about it. the rest of my day was spent outside playing, and we only came in when it was time to eat. nowadays, kids hardly go outside.

Jane said...

I understand your concern. I had worries about the vaccinations my kids got and was a pest to their pediatrician. But you have to be, if you are a good parent. After reading up on it I decided that the risks of not vaccinating was worse then of going through with it. But I'm in the US and am able to get good information on what's in the needles. Good luck, dear.

Casmee said...

Congratulations on insisting to try and know what is in the vaccines. Unfortunately in the Arab world patients are really kept in the dark about their medications and what is in them, or are blow off by physicians who do not really respect the patient as they do in the US. I mean respect in the sens that the physician is all-kowing and the patient is there scrapping for info and is patronised--very kindly I might add. You end up looking like a hysterical foreigner and a suspicious one at that!

Gazza said...

Their was a scare in england a few years ago with the mmr jab,so ppl were geting the jabs done in 3 goes instead of the 1 and it was supposed to be mutch safer but more expensive so the parents had to pay the cost(about 30 pound)if they wanted it done seperate,scarey that the dr didnt know what was in the jabs he was ging out?

Munther said...

Wow that's scary ! I have a very distant cousin who has autism and a colleague's son has it too ! I think people just started to notice it as a midecal condition quite late hence the exposure, people who had it prior to that were concedered loners.

In my case, knowing the two families is due to sheer coincidence, not related so called rise.

Regarding the levels of mercury in vacs, now that's a reason to be concerned not to its probable connection to autism but due to mercury being a very lethal substance ! Sadly, doctors over here aren't that good T; I am sure that we had a similar discussion regarding the matter before; and I think that this is the actual reason for him/her staggering in his/her answer !

I've asked my mum "specialized in microbiology" about kids being ill while being vaccinated and she said that it was normal and had nothing to do with autism, so calm down my friend ! I am sure that Naief will be fine :)

Regarding fish, don't worry, nothing wrong with the fish over here, people seems to get very paranoid these days !

Um Naief said...

jane, you're right about the risks of not vaccinating. he could get all sorts of illnesses if not, especially traveling and such. i do want to know about this though, and it concerned me that the dr. really didn't know...i could tell that he didn't... and as a pediatrician, personally, i feel that's something he should know about.

casmee, i agree w/ you. i think the drs. could really stand more education. i know they hold lots of conferences and such, but i've been to these and i see what it's all about. ppl talk and a lot is said, promised and whatnot, but when it comes down to it... is anything being done to change the situation?!

gazza, i'll tell ya, i'd rather pay the extra cost to get the shots separately. here they give them all in one... i think he's getting like 4 or 5 of them at once... and i'll swear, i bet anything that the mercury stuff is in 'em!! i'm on a mission though and will find out. me and hubby were talking about it and if the vaccines are coming from switzerland or germany, i would say that their standards are very high, so maybe the chances of the MMR being in them is low.... i hope.

munther, most of the ppl at hashim's work said that it's normal for the baby to get sick after his injection. but... it still worries me somewhat. i just want him to get well... and now... me and hashim are getting it. also... does ur mom know anything about this being in the vaccines???

Olivia said...

Further to Minstrel's comment about cell phones - think of it - all the radio waves, microwaves, and other frequencies that pass through our bodies every day now. Who knows the long-term physiological effects of our technology of the past couple of decades?

Munther said...
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Munther said...

Sorry there was a very embarassing typo, had to delete the comment ! ;)

Yes, mercury or a mercury based substance (forgot the proper name) :P is used in vaccines as a preservative; its common practice and had been used ever since the 30s. It is also used as a fail safe last line of defense in front of bacterial contamination which may happen to the vaccines while in storage. My old lady says don't worry, it is big at the US because a congress man, wanted to get into the front pages some 6 years ago ! There is no proof what so ever that autism and mercury are tied. If so all of us would've been affected !

Also regarding both of you catching stuff off the baby, the old lady says: "welcome to parenthood" ;)

Hope this eases your concerns my friend ! Now quite worrying T ! You'll get ulcers if you don't :D "god forbid" ;)

Um Naief said...

munther, honestly, it concerns me that this is used here. they took it out of the vaccines in 1999 in the U.S. but said that undeveloped countries were still using the old stuff. i hated to think that bahrain is undeveloped, which as much as you read about and hear w/ respect to healthcare.

there is no proven link, but... there have been enough children getting it since it's been added to cause concern.

and i know or have heard that children get sick after their injections, but what naief is experiencing isn't from the injection, the dr. said. he has gotten something and IS STILL sick from it... fever went up again today. i know everyone says not to be worried and the smart woman inside of me tries not to be, but there's still this little itch that grabs me every now and again and worries the hell outta me....

and... old lady?? i wonder how old ur mom is!!??