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Has anyone else had MS symptoms shortly after having an MMR vaccination...
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Has anyone else had MS symptoms shortly after having an MMR vaccination?

I was able to trace my first symptoms of MS back to September of 1999, when I was given an ultimatum at the hospital where I worked. They told me to either get an MMR vaccination or we won't hire you, because our tests show you have not had one before.  An MMR is a measles mump rubella vaccination and it contains thimerosal which is mercury in the form of a preservative. Mercury is the most toxic non radioactive element and it seems a crime the government puts it in vaccinations, but they have.  

Prior to this event I was very for the most part healthy and athletic with the exception of having asthma. I never had ANY neurological problems prior to the vaccination and was able to ride my bicycle for 60 miles at a time and was pretty much always a member of a gym.  

Well I became ill that very day in 1999, when I was vaccinated and the next couple of days began having dizzy spells which I never experienced before and  numbness in my hands and feet and over the months muscle weakness in my right hand and since then my symptoms have continually progressed.  By 2002 I had a major MS attack which landed me in a hospital for 3 days on high dose IV steroids and I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS by an MS specialist. Since then I have had 7 hospitalizations for acute MS exacerbations.

I took chelating agents a doctor prescribed to me to draw the mercury out of my body because he told me I have mercury poisoning. Overall I am not as bad now as back then, there was some improvement in my overall condition but my MS is definitely progressing and I cant use my right arm to drive anymore due to the muscle weakness.

Another problem I have is I cant seem to stay out of the hospital due to a major attack approximately once a year which lands me out of work for an average of 3 months or longer. Because there are lesions on my brain and I respond to steroids it seems to suggest an autoimmune process is involved, but I think the vaccination in my case was the trigger for the disease.  

I would love to hear any other similar stories, ideas or thoughts on this topic. Thanks for your time...

Mary
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Hi, Mary,  welcome to the forum.  I hope you find some friends here and can stay to offer your experiences and support.  We have a lot of people who are newly diagnosed here.

I'm sorry for what you have gone through, but I'm afraid that it can't rationally be put at the feet of the MMR with or without thimerosal.  Mercury has been looked at over the decades as a possible cause of MS and the evidence is is just not there.

What likely happened to you is that the disease was already established in your brain and the first attack was uncovered by the immune-stimulating effect of the vaccine.  It would have shown up probably soon there after anyway.

You became ill within 24 hours of the vaccine.  That is too short an interval to develop MS which research shows takes years to begin.  But what can begin within 24 hours is the stimulation of the immune system to reproduce the antibodies to Measles, Mumps and Rubella.

Your use of the word "trigger" is right on for what most likely happeded.  We have known for a long time that MS can be "activated" by anything that sets off the immune system.  The most common triggers for the first onset or attacks, of course, are viral infections themselves.  But, immunizations can set MS off also.  They do NOT "cause" it, but once the disease is established in the central nervous system, any bump for the immune system can activate it.

Another potent trigger for MS can be the post-partum period after a pregnancy.  During the pregnancy the immune system is suppressed in the mother so that the mother's body does not reject the baby.  After delivery when the suppressed immune ramps back up is all but guaranteed to include a major relapse.

We all want to point to something that "caused" our MS and 1000's of researchers have looked, ruling out many things and suspecting others.  Many of us were active, athletic and rarely sick before the onset of the MS.  I worked a healthy 60 hour work week as a pediatrician before my first attack.  We have others who were triathletes and mountain bikers or swimmers and never sick until their first attack.  Some people have had their MS appear after anesthesia for surgery.  Some have just awakened with it one morning.

There are three (now maybe four) things that research tells us are likely involved in setting up a person for MS.  These are some element of genetic susceptibility - being most common in caucasians of northern European descent.  Another is an early infection.  The frontrunner here is suffering a bout of mononucleosis from the Epstein Barr Virus.  Other infectious contenders are Human Herpes Virus 6 (causes Roseola), and Chlamydia pneumonia.  The third likely trigger is the level of Vitamin D in the body from fetal development through about age 15 years.

A possible player is currently being investigated and that is partial blockage of the venous drainage of blood from the brain.  What role this might play is actively being researched now.

Toxins of all types - especially the heavy metals - have been looked at intensely.  No evidence has yet been found.  For every person like you who feels that a vaccine is at fault, there are a couple thousand who did not get an immunization just previously to the onset.

So, while it may well have triggered the MS which was already there, there is no evidence that it helped cause the MS.

Your story is similar to so many of ours.  It appears that you have a form of RRMS that is fairly aggressive with such severe relapses every year.  I am glad you still have responsiveness to the steroids.  That means you have a great deal of the immune-inflammatory component still at work in your disease.

Did you ever start a Disease Modifying Med?

Quix

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I double checked this and found that the MMR NEVER contained any thimerosal dating from back in the 1970s when it came into broad use.  This is what I remembered, but rechecked it for accuracy.  So you can exclude this from your concerns.

Quix, MD
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All of my symptoms started 10 years ago when I started recieving a Anthrax vaccine in the military.  
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Since no one completely understands MS than who can say what causes it. I personally think we have a genetic predisposition and then something triggers it and for each of  us that trigger is different. I lived in Key West for several years as a young child and a few years back someone noticed a  high precentage of MS on Key West. I then went onto Camp Lejeune NC where they had dry cleaning fluids in the drinking water. MS is one of the diseases they are looking into.

I do not much worry how I got MS. I feel I would have gotten it anyway. The question for me is how do I live with it?

Alex
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To Mary2010,

I too have had chelation Therapy for high metals in bloods and can also pinpoint when I first started having problems.

The Neurology Hospital in London had my bloods tested and could not believe how high mine were, mangernese in particular.
I had to have chelation therapy but today they are still raised.

The Neurologist was concerned about the lead readings also.
I was exposed to toxic fumes and cannot go in homes that have gas or oil boilers.
Gas fires make me have bad flares so I avoid them.

I live now with only electric heating and avoid any vacines.
Maybe these metals bind to other things they stay in your fat and bones for years.
I have some interesting notes from a toxicologist of what this stuff can do in your body.

Hope you dont have too many bad flares tarter


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Okay, I am going to stand by what I said.  Just because we don't know what causes MS doesn't mean we have not ruled some things out through research.

There is a difference in what "causes" MS and what may "trigger" it's onset.  An immunization, infection or major stressor is a likely trigger.

One way to look to see if a particular metal is a likely player in causing MS is to look at places where that heavy metal is found very heavily in the environment.  The towns in Nevada and Northern California close to gold and siver mines have huge amounts of mercury running in the creeks and sometimes in the ground water.  There are not MS hotspots in those areas.

Yes, many heavy metals are terrible poisons and they are sapping much of the health of our citizens.  I never questioned that.  But all heavy metals do not cause all ills.  Some are associated with certain problems and certain cancers.   Heck, I lived in a rural town where the local water had 3 times the EPA highest limit of "acceptable arsenic".  We all had to drink bottled water - even the schools.  Arsenic is associated with bladder cancer, among others.

So, I am just trying to point out that some of these questions have been asked and answered by research.  And, if one is going to be fearful (or angry) about acute mercury poisoning from a vaccine, they should know that that vaccine never, ever had a mercury-containing preservative.

I agree that heavy metal damage in the brain cannot be a good thing for people with a brain disease - just like smoking is not a good thing for people with a brain disease.

We're on the same page here.

Quix
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As Quix noted, MMR never had mercury and today, the vaccines that do contain thimerosal are multiple-dose vials of flu vaccine, so if you're concerned, ask for a shot from a single-dose vial or get the nasal spray.

The epidemiological studies from countries that keep the most detailed, specific health records on every member of the population have not identified any link between vaccines and MS.

If you find yourself worrying over vaccines, do take the time to research reliable sources. Don't believe the fear-mongering things you read online. A simple example is that people try--for reasons that are unclear to me--to make people fearful of vaccines by stating that they contain formaldehyde. They do. But they contain a residual amount that is far far far less of it than our own bodies make every day. It's nonsensical to worry about it.

If you have concerns about heavy metal exposure, vaccines are the least likely source to be a cause. Other far likelier sources include coal burning power plants, products from countries that don't regulate heavy metal content or monitor it well, or point sources of heavy-metal pollution, such as occurs near mining operations, etc.

Bio
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Thank you, Bio, but now I feel the need to be absolutely clear about MS and vaccines.  A large longitudinal study out of France did find a slightly higher incidence of MS in teens who received the Energix-B vaccine and it was ONLY that brand and not in other age groups.  This has not been found in other parts of the world and is still being investigated.  This is the only link that has shown any validity.

Quix
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Oh...and tertiary and quarternary consumers with lots of fat or a high-fat diet, like large fish, if they live in areas contaminated with heavy metals.

Bio
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Well I don't trust vaccines and have not allowed any since that fateful day in 1999. I had a really bad reaction to a tetanus vaccine that left me vomiting with severe diarrhea initially and then I was temporarily paralyzed for two days when I was 18 years old, so after all these bad experiences with vaccines I cant say I trust the medical establishment too much and will never allow them to inject their poison into me again.

People can say what they want about vaccines, but I worked in a hospital before and I know in general that medicine isnt so much about healing people rather it is about making money..... This is my opinion and don't mean to offend others but its what I have seen firsthand.  I am sure there are some scrupulous doctors, but after experiencing what I saw working in a pharmacy I vowed never to work at another one again.

Mary
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Hi Mary,

I agree with you I too don’t  trust the Pharmaceutical Industries and have precious little confidence in some of the doctors I have come across over the years, either as a patient or working alongside as a nurse.

From bitter personal experience I have seen just how many times the medical profession have got things dramatically wrong when it comes to my own family
.
Toxicologists in particular know exactly what is going on, but a little known fact is that the vast majority of them are funded by the large Pharmaceutical conglomerates.

I suspect that many of the Neurologist are also funded and financed the same way.

I have so little faith now with the medical profession having lost a friend last year who had been exposed to toxic metals, his blood was so full of toxic metals his organs finally failed, whilst he was a  Professor of literature, he researched what had happened to him prior to his death with a friend of his a professor of medicine and they passed on to me much of their research that they had acquired.

I read stories here all the time our people are let down by their neurologist its truly shocking.
Its good that we all have different opinions so complacency doesn’t set in .

Debate is good  and more questions raise awareness  .

tarter      
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Last year in North Carolina the last person in an Iron Lung died. She had a crippling Neurological disease called Polio which we no longer fear because of vaccine. Dr. Salk wanted his next vaccine to be for another disease called Multiple Sclerosis. He could not solve the MS puzzle.



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I respect anyone's personal decision to eliminate anything that is more harmful than helpful.  You just can't assume what is bad for you is bad for everyone - or anyone - else.  

I have my own issues with Big Pharma but it certainly isn't the fault of the manufacturer when a very small minority of people cannot tolerate their products.  It's the responsibility of each of us to know our own bodies and make our own choices.

Please just be glad there are so many people around you who CAN tolerate vaccines.  It is THEIR immunity through vaccination that frees you to make your decision and still remain fairly secure you won't be exposed to potentially severe illness.  As you convince more people around you not to vaccinate, you increase your own risk of contracting preventable disease.
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The forum already knows my views on immunizations.  Despite the occasional problems I see the immunization program as responsible for saving millions of children's lives through the last 40 years and gving them much, MUCH safer lives.  I have watched children die of almost all the diseases that we immunize children against.  This society no longer watches 100's of children die each year from preventable diseases.  HIB meningitis doesn't destroy the hearing or brains of little ones, hundreds of babies don't suffocate from whooping cough.  Infants don't die of tetanus in their first days of life.  Polio which crippled a large number of my relatives in 1950's Kansas, no longer maims our population.

I also feel that the medical profession is more honorable than corrupt.  Most of my colleagues worked tirelessly for the benefit of their patients.  There certainly were enough, tho, that were lazy, greedy and some who who criminal, but I do not feel that the percentages of good and bad differ much from any other profession.  There will always be good and honorable and lazy and corrupt mechanics, lawyers, techs, pharmacists and doctors.  People are just that way.

If I didn't believe that there were a good number of excellent neurologists out there, there would be no point in telling people to move along to find one.

Some people should not receive immunizations and some should avoid just some of them.  Everyone can choose.

But Mary makes a point that I actually worry about.  The overall rate of immunization has fallen almost 2% in the last decade.  We teeter close to a level that would cause many of these diseases to reappear and kill once again.  The only disease that has actually been erradicated from the earth is smallpox.  Polio still occurs in pockets in the Third World under civil war.  But, we are seeing mini-epidemics of measles, whooping cough, and others appearing here and there.  

Everyone who avoids immunizations lowers the protective level.  They are depending on the immunity of others to keep themselves safe.  They place the children, elderly and the immune-suppressed around them at risk if they get infected with a severely communicable disease.  For example, an unimmunized child triggered an outbreak of 100's of cases of measles at a church camp in Colorado in the 90's.  One person died.  I find that the parent who chose not to immunize that child had some responsibility in that death.  The measles virus can survive up to 2 weeks on the hard surfaces of a room after a person with measles has left.

I also feel that the internet wide campaign to get parents not to immunize is an odd anti-Intellectual ideology.  The more educated parents are the ones most likely to buy into this.  And that is the group that we see reduced immunizations levels in.  I am sure that it will take many deaths of their kids to get through to the anti-vaccine groups.  Even then, they will probably still blame the government.

The campaign is being fought largely by fear-mongering - the spreading of lies, misstated facts, and unfounded theories.  Last December there was a huge smear campaign against the CDC by stating that the CDC had stated that "it expected "30,000 people to be maimed or killed by the H1N1 vaccine."  In reality the group had taken a CDC official statement, and using false math had arrived at an absurd number.  The number to be derived from the CDC statement was that, at most, approximately 1,500 might be hurt or killed by the vaccine.  I find this kind of falsehood to be obscene.  The H1N1 epidemic is winding down and has killed about 3,000 people so far, yet the number of people who have suffered severe reactions, such as Guillain-Barre or anaphylaxis is minimal.  I have yet to find more than a couple dozen, if that.

When someone has had bad reactions to vaccines, I totally understand the avoidance of vaccines by that person in the future.  I do not understand the spreading of falsehoods to convince others to avoid them.  And, no, I didn't hear anyone here on this forum advocate such a thing.

This is my opinion, based on three decades of treating children with communicable diseases.  But, I will not go toe-to-toe with anyone else that wishes to post here.  I know that we all have our opinions, and that many will disagree.

Over and out

Quix
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I agree with Quix 100%.  I don't think that vaccines really cause anything but I do agree that they may trigger a disease that's laying dormant and just waiting for something to set it free.  The problem with that is it's not vaccines alone that do that, childbirth to a common cold can trigger the immune system to do some pretty wicked things.  I still feel that mine was triggered after the birth of my son.  We had been out of the hospital 1 day when I became deathly sick.  I spent the next 7 days back in the hospital with a kidney infection in my blood stream.  I could have very easily died.  That was 16 years ago and I can pin point certain MS symptoms that occurred during that time. I may be totally off the wall here but my doctor and I both think that's when it was triggered.

I'll be praying,
Carol
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Quix, you say it all. Without vaccines, in my hometown of 100,000, we'd see about 300 children a week die of these diseases in an outbreak. I just finished reading a book, Tomboy Bride, about a woman living in a mining town in Colorado in the early 20th century. Every single person she knew who had children lost at least one child to the diseases against which we vaccinate today, to which we never lose children any more--unless an unvaccinated, infected person transmits it to a child whose parents chose not to vaccinate or, as with whooping cough, is still to young for the vaccination. I would direct anyone who thinks vaccines are the work of "Big Pharma" and should be avoided on that count to consider what it's like for a two-month old infant to die while trying to suck in breath through collapsing lungs thanks to a pertussis infection.

For the record, I've "taken on" Big Pharma in my research, and I am no shill for them. But I know the immeasurable good and peace of mind vaccines have brought us--apparently, in some cases, without a consciousness of the alternative--and it baffles me that anyone would want to take that away and take us back to the days when diphtheria and polio and measles and whooping cough robbed us of our children in the very bloom of young health.

Bio
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"too young," not "to young." I've never "to younged" anywhere, but I do feel like I "to olded" when I wake up on some days.

Bio
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I often "to olded" too.  

Here in California, whooping cough is rearing it's ugly head again.  Several years ago the doctors suspected that a friend of mine had it.  They are concluding that whooping cough vaccinations don't last a lifetime.  Young children and whooping cough can be deadly.

Old graveyards tell the story of how these diseases came through like a tornado and wiped out entire families.  

On the other hand, I do believe that vaccines can be trouble for certain persons.  It is one of those decisions when the benefits outweigh the risks.  I do not like to see a very young child given multiple vaccines at one time, so we have them further spaced out than usual (but still on schedule) for the kids in our family.
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hi  all just wanted to put my 2 centce in here and say that MMR thing is not what started my MS iv had to take that shot 8 time so far do to it somehow  being to low the first time of corse as a kid with all the other childhood shots

then when i went into foster care i had all the blood work and check ups  the dr found that my MMR  imunity was to low so that got me a shot then one month later went back for more blood workup and the MMR imunity still to low so again another shot

was good to go til my first child in 1995 had to get the MMR shot again then in  1997 another one after my second child and another one in 2005 after my 3 child and finaly my last one in 2007 after my 4th child  and one tetness shot and that shot realy made me sick for about 10 days my whole body hurt and i ran a fever with it too

But i cant say if it was the shot or not cause thats when i found out i was aleragic to Ibuprofen lol  and i have had MS for 20 years now and just over this summer had to start Copaxone due to a realy bad flair up  o by the way i would LOVE to say that the flu shot is what finely killed my mom who allso had MS for 22 years.

but i cant and be fair about it cause it realy was MS that killed her not the shot and her imunsystem just couldnt handle the extra bost that the shot gave her and it went on overdrive and she died her grand mother also had MS  and my dads late sister had MS but she died of cancer not the MS  

i have allso had cancer brest ovaren and lyemphnoma went though all the treatments and came out the winner thank you autoimun syestem (MS) thats what i say helped me kick cancer and of corse if i must say this all the cancer drugs that i didnt want to take do to being a big fat Chicken lol .

so you have to look at this MS thing 2 ways   1 ive got it and its going to kill me my life is now over  might as well pick out my grave now  OOORRR  ive got MS and im going to live each day as it comes and not worry about being sick cause of my wonderful imunsystem is always working overtime to keep me healthy

(( ok laugh on that one cause we know it is some what not true )) but when u do get sick grab a joke book and the barff bag and tisues sit back and ride it out then get back to live again  sorry if i got off topic  about the MMR shot thing

but realy if we are ment to have MS then we will get it no matter how it starts  its in our bodyes for birth thats my way of thinking  so smile it keeps us healthy and people will wonder what your up to  lol bye for now sorry this is so long to read ...
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My trigger I believe was an antibiotic for suspected UTI called Trimethoprim.  I had an anaphylactic reaction to it which I believe is when your immune system goes into overdrive.

Since then within a few weeks I was having MS like symptoms. I had already had mild symptoms before though so it obviously just kicked it all off.  It was already there and would have made itself known eventually anyway.

Interestingly at the age of 18 I had a bad case of mono which took years to recover from. My DR said at the time, it could come back to bite you in 20 yrs. Had no idea what he was talking about, but now I do.


I think Quix there is a lot of truth to the idea of epstein barr virus being connected in some way to MS.

Mistylee
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I just read your post and am amazed!!  My sister had the EXACT same thing happen to her -- worked at a hospital, had to get an MMR for her records....developed MS shortly after!!

I am CONVINCED the vaccine was the trigger, I don't care who says otherwise.

I wonder if we collected enough of these stories we could sue someone.  No one else in the medical community seems to even care to collect this kind of information!

-- Wow --

Still can't believe your story and my sister's are so similar!  It's blowing my mind.

-Carolyn
  
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Your posts are very informative.  I can see that even an infection can trigger MS --- anything that stimulates the immune system to flare up ---
we just need to figure out why the t-cells start attacking the myelin sheaths.....it's like they're supposed to be searching out viruses, and instead start attacking anyting that's protein...(viruses are made of protein, right?)

While I understand the difference between "causing" and "triggering" ---- I still say there is no way of knowing whether or not the pre-existing disease would have stayed "dormant" in a system if the offending trigger was not introduced.  In that way, it  feels like if my sister never was re-vaccinated --- the MS might still be there, quietly,   and her life would not be such a struggle now.  In that way, I feel the vaccine "caused" the the disease because it "woke up" the symptoms.










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CJ - I understand your thinking.  However, a vaccine is a weak trigger when compared to even a run-of-the-mill virus, especially respiratory viruses, gastroenteritis (tummy flu) and influenza.  The chances that the disease would have stayed dormant are slim unless she never again caught "any" type of infection ( this would also include urinary infections and skin infections).

In the people whose MS lesions are found incidentally - like from an MRI after head trauma - the symptoms are rarely far behind.  This disease will make itself known with or without an observable trigger.

We cannot avoid naturally running into occasions when our immune system is stimulated.  It is impossible.  And that is the purpose of having an immune system, to ramp up and protect us in times of attack.  Children born without an immune system die in their first few months after the mother's antibodies wear off.  So blaming a vaccine is satisfying, but fundamentally pretty useless.

In terms of the influenza vaccine and virus, the strong recommendation by MS experts to get the vaccine is based on the repeated observation that the relapses caused by the vaccine are minimal compared to the often horrendous effects of the flu on someone with MS.  We have a member here that almost died from the Flu in early December, is still suffering from damaged lungs and kidneys and struggling with her severe, on-going relapse.  Several others had the relapse from h ell after the flu or simple colds.

I do understand your feelings about the apparent villainy of the vaccine.  But for every relapse or onset by a vaccine I can point to a thousand that had their onset after delivery, after an infection, after surgery, or who seemed to have no discernible trigger at all.

Ther is nothing fair about MS.  I have suggested that we recall the disease.  I've tried it and don't like it.

Your sister has a wonderful advocate in you.  I'm glad you dropped in.  Your and she are most welcome to join us.  

Quix

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@karen99

No doubt that some people do have adverse reactions. A child I know had a hemolytic reaction to vax and cannot have them. Which is, of course, why it's important for the rest of us who can to be sure to do so, keep up the herd immunity, protect those who cannot be protected.

I've had several MMRs because I don't seem to form antibodies in high enough titers after the shot. They tried to give me yet another after my last pregnancy, and I just said no. Enough is enough.

There are currently several outbreaks of disease against which we vaccinate around the country, including pertussis, measles, and mumps. The vectors? An unvaccinated child or person who traveled overseas to another area where vaccine prevalence is low, picked up the illness, and brought it back here.

Bio
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Bio and Melissa - that is so interesting that you needed multiple MMRs.  Me, too.  I had wild measles at age 5 and wild rubella at age 18.  But, with every new job they found I had no measurable antibodies to Rubella.  I had two additional doses of it spaced about 8 years apart and still never mounted an response.

??

Q
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Me too!

My Mom assured me I had measles, mumps, and rubella as a kid before the vaccine was born.  Titers showed low or no immunity so I had the vaccine in my late teens.  It didn't raise my titer so I had another dose of the vaccine.  Still no protective titer so they said to forget it as it would never "take".  I've never had any further symptom of any of the three diseases.

Isn't MMR the vaccine that had to be repeated in a bunch of kids once they were teenagers because they were thought to have received it too early to be protected?  I think they might have been seeing actual disease in that group though as the proof.

MMR must be one that works when it works and duds when it don't.

Mary
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Quix...I had wild rubella, too...and no Abs. Got the shot after my first child...and five years later...no Abs. What's UP with that? I've never had wild measles or mumps...don't know if I've been exposed or not.

Bio
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I was 18 when I had wild rubella - too early for the vaccine, 1970.  We KNOW I had it because I broke out at the National Qualifying Speech Tournament.  Two weeks later a couple dozen other NSL speakers had rubella.  I was an adult, but still didn't manage any antibodies.  I looked back and had to have the MMR three times with jobs.  

I have never heard of other people with this.  I wonder if the MS has something to do with the inability to form antibodies to rubella.


Off to watch the Olympics and give thought and support for the fallen luger from Georgia.

Q
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I got optic neuritis a week after a TDAP vaccine
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