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flu deaths

Pediatric flu-related deaths — highest since before COVID pandemic

With our focus on COVID-19, we forget about diseases like the flu and RSV. During this 2022-23 season, flu-related pediatric deaths have reached the highest level since before the pandemic started.

I know that there is a chunk of the population who thinks that flu is a minor disease not worthy of attention, but it kills. In years before the COVID-19 pandemic, in which masks, social distancing, and social isolation reduced the flu virus transmission, influenza regularly kills around 50,000 people annually in the USA alone.

Read More »Pediatric flu-related deaths — highest since before COVID pandemic
sugar children hyperactivity

Does sugar cause hyperactive children? Science says nope

I’m sure you have all heard the oft-repeated myth that giving your children sugar (or sugary treats) will cause them to become hyperactive. When I had kids, I believed that this was true.

But then I grew into the old feathered dinosaur, and I became much more skeptical of claims that seem to be widely accepted including sugar and hyperactivity in children. When I first thought of writing this article, I relied upon my education in glucose metabolism and insulin, and I started to realize that healthy humans, including children, have very complex and effective methods of controlling blood sugar. And hyperactivity is not one of those methods.

Lucky for me, there appears to be some solid science out there that does debunk this claim, as I did with sugar being as addictive as cocaine (it isn’t). And as I usually do, I’m going to review the scientific research in the area.

Read More »Does sugar cause hyperactive children? Science says nope
childhood vaccines

The value of childhood vaccines — saving lives and money

Those of us who support vaccines have long known that the value of childhood vaccines is incredible. It saves lives. It prevents hospitalizations. And it saves money.

Now there is a peer-reviewed paper that examined the value of the childhood vaccines program for children in the 2017 US birth cohort. And it confirms what we all knew, vaccines prevent dangerous illnesses, vaccines save lives, and vaccines are beneficial to our society.

I want to briefly review the paper and then reiterate the value of childhood vaccines not only for the lives of the children but for society at large.

Read More »The value of childhood vaccines — saving lives and money
baby food autism

Baby food and autism — do the lawsuits and internet claims have merit?

For Facebook users, “targeted ads” are a way of life. I ignore them until I saw one from lawyers who were suing baby food manufacturers for causing autism. I guess that they weren’t getting anywhere with the trope that vaccines cause autism (they absolutely don’t), although the quack Del Bigtree continues to push the myth.

As I did for vaccines, I’m going to show you that baby food may or may not be linked to autism. There seem to be some problematic issues with baby food manufacturing, but that does not show a direct link to autism.

Oh yeah, one basic principle you need to understand — lawyers and judges do NOT establish science.

Read More »Baby food and autism — do the lawsuits and internet claims have merit?
BCG diabetes vaccine

BCG diabetes vaccine — beginning pediatric phase 2 clinical trials

A pediatric phase 2 clinical trial using bacillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine, or BCG vaccine, to reverse even advanced type 1 diabetes mellitus has begun. Type 1 diabetes is considered irreversible, so if phase 2 and 3 clinical trials show that the vaccine is safe and effective in reversing diabetes, it would be one of the most important advances in medicine.

Let’s take a look at what is type 1 diabetes (since a lot of people confuse it with type 2 diabetes), the clinical trial, and other information. Maybe one of you is close enough to the trial centers so that you may, if you have type 1 diabetes, can sign up to participate in the trial.

I am very hopeful about this clinical trial, but I also know that it will take many years before we know if it works.

Read More »BCG diabetes vaccine — beginning pediatric phase 2 clinical trials
COVID-19 diabetes

New evidence — new pediatric diabetes cases spiked during COVID-19 pandemic

I have written other articles about the link between COVID-19 and diabetes, and now a new study has been published that shows an increase in new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes among children at one institution. Although it only included data from one healthcare institution, it represents more troubling data that COVID-19 may be closely linked to new cases of type 1 diabetes.

Let’s take a look at this new paper and determine what it tells us.

Read More »New evidence — new pediatric diabetes cases spiked during COVID-19 pandemic
woman holding sign

COVID vaccine safety and effectiveness for 5-11-year-olds

On 30 December 2021, the Centers for Disease Protection and Control (CDC) released two studies on COVID-19 vaccine safety for 5-11-year-olds that showed that there were few serious safety issues and showed that the vaccines prevented serious illness and hospitalization.

These two studies provide strong evidence for COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness for children and should provide confidence for parents to make sure their children get the vaccine.

This post will examine these peer-reviewed articles and pull out the key data for the reader.

Read More »COVID vaccine safety and effectiveness for 5-11-year-olds
sexual promiscuity and the HPV vaccine

Sexual promiscuity and the HPV vaccine – debunking an ignorant myth

There is a myth pushed by the anti-vaccine religion that the HPV vaccine leads to sexual promiscuity. I’ve debunked this fable previously, using peer-reviewed research, but you know the anti-vaccine zombie tropes – they never really die, and they always come back to life.

Let’s look at a couple of new studies that, once again, debunk the myth that sexual promiscuity is linked to the HPV vaccine. There is no link. Period. Full stop.

Read More »Sexual promiscuity and the HPV vaccine – debunking an ignorant myth
vaccine adverse events

Vaccine adverse events are rare – vast benefits outweigh small risks

Like all medical procedures, devices, and pharmaceuticals, vaccines are not perfect – there are rare vaccine adverse events. What matters is that the benefits, not only medically but also economically, outweigh any risks. As far ask I know, no perfect medical procedures, devices or pharmaceuticals, none, that are perfectly safe or perfectly effective. Sometimes the ratio is small. For example, there are chemotherapy drugs that only add a few months to a patient’s life, usually with substantial side effects to the medication.

Yet, if you ask a patient whether it was worth it, to spend just a few extra months with their children and loved ones, the value becomes nearly incalculable. But mostly, the FDA and other regulatory agencies demand that new products and procedures must meet or exceed the safety, and meet or exceed the financial and health benefits of currently acceptable versions. Actually, the FDA examines a lot more than that. They check the packaging, shelf life, instructions, manufacturing practices, and so much more, it would take a book to explain it (and there probably are several). It may not be a perfect process, but it’s better than what we had 100 years ago, and it continues to improve every single day. People tend towards a form of confirmation bias where they remember where a drug may or may not have been found to be dangerous (best example is Vioxx).

But they forget about the millions of medications and devices that save lives or measurably improve the standard of living. Read More »Vaccine adverse events are rare – vast benefits outweigh small risks