IFMF Addresses the Alleged Measles Death from the RTV6 Interview

Again we would like to thank RTV6 for doing the news story, and we thank IFMF co-founder Melissa Sfura for agreeing to be interviewed, especially during a time of such a hot button issue.

We want to address another statement Dr. Christenson made in the article listed below.

 “I’ve had a star soccer player from Indiana die of measles and encephalitis,” Dr. Christenson said. “He was unvaccinated.”

That’s odd, a measles death of a healthy star soccer player that hasn’t made news or been brought up across the nation especially with measles stories running across the country. So, we reached out to RTV 6 to clarify the year this death happened. The reporter’s response in summary said that she had asked Dr. Christenson, but he did not remember the year of the death. He thinks it was around 15 years ago, and the neurologist that treated the patient has died.

Then we reached out to the Indiana State Health Department to get information on this alleged measles death. Measles is a reportable disease, so there should be a public record of this death.

The response from their state epidemiologist was this:

“I am writing to you in response to your inquiry regarding the measles news story that mentioned a soccer player who died from measles.  Neither my supervisor or myself are familiar with the death that Dr. Christenson is referring to in the article.  You may want to reach out to Dr. Christenson if you are looking for the specific year that this may have occurred.  He has been in practice for more than 30 years so I am not sure when this may have occurred.”

So, the Indiana Health Department has no record of the Indiana athlete Dr. Christenson says died from measles maybe around 15 years ago. Dr. Christenson recalls the patient played soccer and did not have vaccines, but he does not recall any other details, including the year, that such a significant death occurred. We have not reached out to the physician yet.

Last week Del Bigtree did a news story on his show, The Highwire, about measles including the death rate and the most recent deaths from measles in America. Here is a link to his show.

Starting at minute 33, Del starts interviewing pediatrician Dr. Bob Sears. Dr. Sears says the fatality rate of measles in the United States, before the vaccine was introduced, was 1 in 10,000 children. When adults are included in the total death rate, it is 1 in 500,000 people.  Dr. Sears goes on to state that if you are exposed to measles and get two days of high dose vitamin A, the complications are significantly lowered.

Investigative reporter Jefferey Jaxson joins around minute 39 to give his investigative reporting on the last deaths from measles in the U.S. He appeared to be able to find measles deaths based on public records.  In 2015 an adult woman with underlying medical conditions that required her to take drugs to suppress the immune system was listed as dying from measles. She had an unknown vaccine status but may have been vaccinated as a child. Her public medical records were partially redacted. She died of pneumonia, but after she died, a blood test for titers was completed. Titers showed antibodies to measles, but her vaccine status was unknown and people who are vaccinated usually test positive for measles titers. Due to the measles titers, her death was declared to be from measles. In 2003, a child who received a bone marrow transplant for a rare disease died four months after the transplant. The measles was diagnosed post mortem, and the child was declared to have died from the measles.

Why didn’t Jefferey Jaxson find the death of the Indiana star soccer player that Dr. Christenson spoke of in the interview? We don’t know, but it seems no one else, including the CDC who tracks measles deaths, has been able to find it either. We do not want to make light of a death, any death is horrible. We do however want to verify the statement made in this story, because it is a death that does not appear to have ever been mentioned in all the news stories through out the entire country including on CNN. When a physician uses a death to back up his statement about taking away religious freedom, we would like to get the details. According to his bio, Dr. Christenson has worked in multiple developing countries including West Africa and Central America. Could he be mixing up a patient from one of those countries? We really do not know.

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