Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dr. Bob Sears: What Was His Role in the 2009 San Diego Measles Outbreak?

I am keeping a list of reactions (pro and con) to the California Assembly Bill 2109 (AB 2109), which would make Personal Belief Exemptions (PBE) to required school entry vaccinations  slightly -- very slightly-- more difficult to obtain.

But there's a side issue.  One of the opponents to the legislation, Dr. Bob Sears, has been caught in ... a fib?  a misunderstanding?

I decided not to add those posts to the list, because the Dr. Bob question isn't really about AB 2109, but about the veracity of a physician who has done more to raise false fears of vaccines.  (If you think that's an exaggeration, why don't you read The Problem With Dr. Bob's Alternative Vaccine Schedule (full text at Pediatrics or  Download Offit_Problems_Dr_Bob_Alterna_Schedule (PDF))
What Dr. Bob claimed:


"I was not involved in that [the San Diego measles outbreak] at all."
But he was.
December 29, 2008, in the Orange County Register:
As it turns out, the boy who spread measles is a patient of Dr. Bob Sears, pictured at left, a member of the famous San Clemente pediatrician family and author of “The Vaccine Book.” 
"NOR have I ever spoken with Seth [Mnookin]"
But he has.
A number of people stepped up to confront Dr. Bob, both in commentsat the Huffington Post and later on other blogs.
And here is Dr. Bob's rather ranty response to Lilady's repeated questioning.

Updated 3/28/2012 There is some confusion.  From news reports in 2008:
The measles-in-the-doctor's-waiting-room transmission:
Eight of the measles cases originated from the Cooperative Charter School, while another four stemmed from the Children's Clinic in La Jolla, according to county health officials.
And this news report from February 16 2008 at SignOn San Diego

The measles outbreak is San Diego County's first since 1991. It began when a 7-year-old patient returned from Switzerland on Jan. 15 with what would later be confirmed as measles. He or she infected two siblings and at least four classmates. The 8-year-old patient identified yesterday is a classmate of the 7-year-old.

On Jan. 25, the 7-year-old's parents took the youngster to the Children's Clinic of La Jolla. The child may have coughed and sneezed in the office, thus infecting four other children.

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