Health

Mom's Brutally Honest Post About Her Daughter's ER Visit Over Chicken Pox Is Going Viral

A pediatric nurse is going viral for her post on how her daughter wound up in a hospital emergency room, suggesting it had to do with the rise of the anti-vax movement.

11-year-old

Camille Echols of Atlanta had to rush her 11-year-old daughter, Ashley, to the hospital after Ashley was exposed to a child with chicken pox. Ashley, as Echols writes in her June 21 Facebook post, had a liver transplant, making her especially vulnerable to certain diseases. 

"I've been relatively quiet on social media about the 'Anti-vax' movement," her post begins.

"I've seen smart-ass memes saying 'why would my unvaccinated kids be a threat to your vaccinated kids if you're so sure they work?' THIS is why. There are people who cannot have live vaccines, like my daughter, who had a kidney transplant when she was 2 years old. She got one varicella vaccine but couldn't get the second because she was immunosuppressed and instead of developing immunity, she would have contracted the virus."

"She was exposed to a child with chickenpox this weekend and now we are in the ER."

child in hospital bed

As Echols added in an a later edit, "I never claimed that the child with chicken pox was not vaccinated. That is irrelevant. The resurgence of chicken pox, whooping cough, measles and other diseases that were nearly eradicated years ago is a direct result of a large percentage of the population deciding not to vaccinate their children without sound research the support that decision."

She's not pulling this information out of thin air.

TIME published a piece back in 2014 titled, "4 Diseases Making a Comeback Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers," and chicken pox made the cut.

"In 2012, a county in Indiana experienced a major chicken-pox outbreak of more than 80 cases, which was thought to start from an unvaccinated child," TIME reported. Measles, mumps, and whooping cough filled out the rest of the list.

Children are hit harder by these diseases than adults. As TIME noted, "according to the CDC, for every 1,000 children who get the measles, one or two will die."

Ashley's exposure to chicken pox isn't being taken lightly, especially considering she is a transplant recipient. "She could become very, very sick from this," Echols writes, adding a plea:

Please, if you are someone who believes your child will get autism from vaccines, PLEASE educate yourself.

"There isn't a single peer reviewed study that came to that conclusion," she continues. "And the people choosing to skip vaccinations put children like my daughter at risk. She has been through SO much already. And this was avoidable." (On Wednesday, Echols posted an update saying that "Ashley is doing well.")

The anti-vax movement gained momentum due to a piece by Andrew Wakefield which was later retracted for "insufficient data."

Wakefield wrote a series of articles for the Lancet in 1998 that tried to link the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine to autism, causing panic.

A piece from the Indian J Psychiatry for the National Center for Biotechnology Information pointed out "despite the small sample size (n=12), the uncontrolled design, and the speculative nature of the conclusions, the paper received wide publicity, and MMR vaccination rates began to drop because parents were concerned about the risk of autism after vaccination."

They continue (emphasis mine):

"Almost immediately afterward, epidemiological studies were conducted and published, refuting the posited link between MMR vaccination and autism.[3,4] The logic that the MMR vaccine may trigger autism was also questioned because a temporal link between the two is almost predestined: both events, by design (MMR vaccine) or definition (autism), occur in early childhood.

The next episode in the saga was a short retraction of the interpretation of the original data by 10 of the 12 co-authors of the paper. According to the retraction, 'no causal link was established between MMR vaccine and autism as the data were insufficient.'"

And there was another issue with Wakefield's piece: he had a financial stake. "[The retraction] was accompanied by an admission by the Lancet that Wakefield et al. had failed to disclose financial interests (e.g., Wakefield had been funded by lawyers who had been engaged by parents in lawsuits against vaccine-producing companies)."

vaccines

By 2010, Lancet decided to remove the piece altogether. But MMR diseases are back, regardless. NPR reported in 2014 that "here in the U.S., the prevalence of whooping cough shot up in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases. Last year cases declined to about 24,000 — which is still more than tenfold the number reported back in the early '80s when the bacteria infected less than 2,000 people."

These diseases are avoidable. When precautions to avoid them aren't taken it comes at the expense of others.

You can read Camille Echol's entire post below.