Sunday, April 23, 2006

Measles? Why Worry?

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma to her friends) recently concluded an Australian tour, bringing her message of peace and love to the crowds. EoR didn't attend, nor did he go through every page on her website(s), but she appears to be the harmless guru type that Western yuppies love, preaching, for example:
Family life is not meant to take us away from God, but to bring us closer to Him. Use it for that purpose, children, without worrying unnecessarily.

Unfortunately, it appears that there was another presence during those meetings other than the devotees and the spirit of god(dess). Seven people (six children and one adult) have been infected with measles. None of the infected was immunised (source: West Australian newspaper, 22nd April 2006).

Amma has made available the Measles Information Sheet from the Department of Health via her Australian website. This includes the shocking advice that
Homeopathic remedies do not provide protection against measles.

Participants in the meetings who are not immunised are also urged to seek vaccination urgently.

EoR is not suggesting that Amma is part of the antivacc brigade (a cursory search of her websites revealed nothing about vaccines or vaccination), but it appears clear that the people attracted to her meetings overlap to a large extent with those for whom vaccination is an evil conspiracy to steal their souls. It's also a good example of what happens when herd immunity is reduced. Instead of having a few unvaccinated individuals within a population that is largely vaccinated, and thus relying on the immunity of the majority to protect them, the meeting appears to have changed those numbers around, allowing the measles virus to opportunistically infect a group of people.

1 comment:

  1. Contagion update from The Sydney Morning Herald 28th April 06:

    A total of 19 measles cases - and still counting. The tour included meetings in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Western Australia, the ACT, NSW and Victoria.


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