NOTE: Thank you to Vaccinations News and Dr. Y for allowing us to excerpt this post. Read more at Vaccination News.
By F. Edward Yazbak MD
On December 13, 2001, I published “Autism 2001: The Silent Epidemic”.
It was the third yearly investigation I had published and to my knowledge, the first time anyone had ever described Autism as a “Silent Epidemic.”
It is with sadness and trepidation that I use again, some 14 + years later, the same term to describe the latest significant and possibly inadvertently created iatrogenic epidemic.
The May 2016 issue of The American Journal of Managed Care was a Special Issue totally devoted to Hepatitis C Viral Infections.
- Four Clinical Reports
- Two Commentaries
- One Editorial
- Four Policy Statements
According to M. Caffrey who reviewed the publication on May 4, 2016, the CDC has reported that:
- Some 20,000 individuals died from hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and complications in 2014, more than in any other prior year
- Because of poor reporting, it is likely that the death toll from the HCV infections was actually higher
- Estimated cases of HCV disease doubled between 2010 and 2014
- HCV infections - related complications had become the top cause of death among all 60 listed infectious diseases, including HIV and tuberculosis.
It is likely that most of us in the United States were bombarded with more reports about two cases of Ebola, a couple of hundred cases of measles and Zero case of Zika microcephaly in the last 3 years than about the thousands of cases of Hepatitis C that, for reasons unknown, seemed to receive as much attention from the media as the autism disaster we have been battling for years.
Nationwide, discussion of HCV disease has been mostly focused on new therapies, their availability and their exorbitant run-away prices but not on what really caused the spectacular increase in the number of patients with the disease. The focus of this presentation is the discussion of what may have suddenly caused this second “Silent Epidemic.”
We are presently being repeatedly warned about shingles and how 1 out 3 individuals will suffer from that painful disease. The message from Merck is that if you had chickenpox, the virus remains dormant in your body for years before it shows up as a very ugly and painful rash. This is usually followed by a gentle admonition to see your doctor or your pharmacist to discuss the available vaccine.
The TV commercial does not mention that shingles was previously less common because after recovering from chickenpox, individuals who were constantly re-exposed to the disease in the community received frequent and substantial boosting of their own good and strong cellular mediated Varicella – Zoster Virus (VZV) immunity, thus preventing shingles except rarely in older individuals.
In the past, pediatricians were convinced and told parents that chickenpox provided “lifetime immunity”. What many did not realize was that the life-long immunity was not only the result of the acute illness but also of the constant boosting of that immunity through recurrent exposures.
This all changed when VARIVAX ®, a chickenpox vaccine was developed, approved in 1995 and administered to every child in the United States, quickly preventing chickenpox nationwide and in all likelihood contributing to the increased shingles incidence in spectacular fashion. That in turn created a need for a shingles vaccine and ZOSTAVAX®, a concentrated chickenpox vaccine, was promptly developed. The vaccine was licensed in May 2006 and vigorously marketed. The vaccine’s overall efficacy in preventing shingles has been ~ 51%. https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/z/zostavax/zostavax_pi2.pdf
For a more comprehensive review of the subject, please see: http://www.vaccinationnews.org/20110113ChickenpoxVaccineYazbakFE
Read the full article at Vaccination News.