That is an actual herpes virus.
I am quite tempted to close comments for this one, but that's a move I hate in other bloggers and I try not to be a hypocrite. So try to be sane if you comment. You don't have to agree with me, but be polite and be prepared to back up your claims with that little thing called science.
I was reading a story about a woman who ended up in a 10 hour standoff with a SWAT team over vaccines, as far as I can tell, but it was the comments to the story that really stood out for me. Over and over again: vaccines aren't necessary. They vaccinate for stupid shit these days like chicken pox. Chicken pox is totally harmless in children and only dangerous in adults, so if you make sure your children get it, they'll be safe.
No. Just fucking no.
The chicken pox virus, herpes varicella, is not killed by the human immune system, it is only suppressed. It hides in the base base of nerves and if the suppression fails for some reason, which it does in 50% of adults over 50, it travels up the nerve to wherever the nerve ends, usually on the skin, causing shingles. (At this point, it's called herpes zoster.)
I have had shingles 4 times, well, 3 maybe 4. Nobody's certain if what was on my labia was a severe allergic reaction or shingles, but it definitely wasn't herpes simplex I or II. Either way, I've had it 3 times on my face. Shingles is, if you are very, very lucky, excruciatingly painful for about 6 weeks. That's if you're lucky. If you're not lucky, you can end up with permanent nerve damage, leading to virtually untreatable pain.
What part of permanent nerve damage, leading to virtually untreatable pain is normal and harmless? What part of that is something you would want for your child?
Even permanent nerve damage, leading to virtually untreatable pain is lucky, in a way. If the virus erupts on the optic or otic nerve, you can end up blind or deaf. My high school clarinet teacher killed herself after an episode of shingles left her permanently deaf. She was a wonderful woman and the world is a lesser place without her in it. She, in her quiet, calm way, made high school bearable for me. She shored up my self esteem and started me on a journey to finding myself beneath all the layers of hiding my childhood created. Oh, and she was a fantastic clarinetist.
My suffering, the suffering of millions of others and her death never have to happen again. Get a chicken pox vaccine, don't get chicken pox, don't get shingles. It's that simple.
I know, I know, mercury and autism and population control and stuff I can't even begin to follow, but ask yourself something: are blown out of proportion, unscientific fears a good reason for my child to suffer? Is Jenny McCarthy really a more trustworthy scientific source than doctors and medical researchers? Hey, it's your choice, but your kids will pay the price.