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Letter to the editor of The Sheridan Press, Sheridan, WY
In an A.P. article in The Press on Aug. 12, 2003, called "Hepatitis outbreak remains a threat", it is stated, "Hepatitis A is curable; hepatitis B is not and lasts a lifetime. About 25 percent of those infected with hepatitis B die of either cirrhosis or liver cancer."
The information below contradicts the above article and is taken from the National Vaccine Information Center, (NVIC) of Vienna, VA, at http://www.909shot.com/Diseases/hepbnlr.htm from an article called "Hepatitis B: The Untold Story":
At the CDC web site, a hepatitis B fact sheet says, "Death from chronic liver disease occurs in 15-25% of chronically infected persons."
There are acute cases and chronic cases. People with the acute form have their blood chemistry return to normal within six months. Those with the chronic form have not cleared the virus from their blood after six months following exposure.
When I studied a table included in the hepatitis B information packet published by the National Vaccine Information Center, I found information that shows that the actual cases of serious liver damage would be about 25% of all chronic cases, and would be about 0.25% of all hepatitis B cases in the U. S.
My understanding of hepatitis B is that in about 95% of cases, it is curable and does not last more than a few months. T.F. Bader wrote a report which was used in the NVIC hepatitis B packet article from which the table was taken. According to the article, Bader pointed out that " 'It is widely taught that 5-10% of patients advance to the carrier state' but that this figure 'should not be taught at all; instead, a notation of the fact should be made that chronicity varies widely depending upon a number of defined and undefined factors.' These factors include age at infection, gender, race, general health, and the functioning of the individual's immune system."
The same NVIC article said, "Chronicity occurs in less than 5% of acute cases." Contact me for the source information for this and other statements.
So when I read in the AP article that hepatitis B is incurable, lasts a lifetime, and that 25 percent of those infected with hepatitis B die of either cirrhosis or liver cancer, I decided to correct the mistake. Are these and similar statements what scare parents into having their children vaccinated with the hepatitis B vaccine?
Wyoming state statutes allow exemptions to vaccination. They include SS 35-1-201, SS 14-4-116, and SS 21-4-309. I notice that every year the school districts in Sheridan County fail to mention this fact in the newspaper. Wyoming's "Basin Republican Rustler" points out that special conditions apply and suggests that parents contact their private physician or health authority. That newspaper also states, "Waivers may be obtained only from the State or County Health Officer upon submission of written evidence of religious objection or medical contraindication to the administration of any vaccine."
This part wasn't included in the letter to the editor of the Sheridan Press. It is a correction to an NVIC quotation that I included in the first part of the letter.
In the second paragraph of the quotation from the NVIC article called Hepatitis B: The Untold Story, I think the NVIC has made a mistake, too. It is the sentence that says, "...Of those who do not recover completely, fewer than 5 percent become chronic carriers of the virus with just one quarter of these in danger of developing life threatening liver disease later in life, according to Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease (1994), a medical college textbook." They should have left out the phrase, "Of those who do not recover completely," because about five percent of the people who get hepatitis B become chronic carriers. It should have said, "Those who recover completely from hepatitis B infection acquire life-long immunity. Of those who have hepatitis B disease, fewer than 5 percent become chronic carriers of the virus with just one quarter of these in danger of developing life threatening liver disease later in life, according to Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease (1994), a medical college textbook."
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