March 8, 2008

Vaccine related Autism

Vaccination related autism. There is a debate going on right now between the parents of a child and, not only many U.S. doctors, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The family believes she developed autism related symptoms, including arching of her back and a painful fever when she was 19 months old. The battle over whether or not there is a relation between the vaccinations that the child received and her autism like symptoms rages on even after a federal court in Atlanta ruled the vaccines did in fact trigger the encephalitis that brought on her symptoms of autism. But a doctor, the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, put forward that this does not mean, without a doubt, that vaccines cause autism. It is widely believed as this story unfolds that the child is not and will not be the last victim of this. Her father has stated, “this case is echoed among thousands of similar cases”. Adding to the matter is the fact that her father is also a doctor of neurology in Athens, Georgia. He believes the core problem in the vaccines is the mercury containing agent thimerosal. Many doctors still believe that parents should still have their children vaccinated; believing that the media attached to this case could do more harm in the long run. They state that there is no evidence to support the theory that the child’s case was caused by the vaccinations and that there was nothing linking the vaccinations to the worsening of underlying mitochondrial diseases, as suffered by the child. I find as I search “Mom” sites like Cafemom.com that many parents are now concerned about getting their children vaccinated. As a parent hearing a story like this, especially after the federal ruling, it makes me a bit concerned over whether or not vaccinations are safe any longer. But on the other side of that, what happens if we don’t get our children vaccinated. Online you can find plenty of websites that show the symptoms of diseases like measles, mumps and rubella. Is the risk of autism, still an under-studied phenomenon, worth keeping the above mentioned diseases at bay? Or are we risking too much in using these vaccinations without further evidence of what side effects they may cause.