Gov't: Girl’s Autism-Like Symptoms Linked to Vaccines
Federal Officials Say Vaccines Worsened Condition That Led to Autism Spectrum Disorder in Georgia Girl
WebMD News Archive
Autism-Vaccine Link: Hannah's Story continued...
"Every treatment has a risk and a benefit," he says. "To say
there are no risks to any treatment is not true.
"I don't think the case should scare people," Poling adds.
"Sometimes people are injured by a vaccine, but they are safe for the
majority of people. I could say that with a clean conscience. But I couldn't
say that vaccines are absolutely safe, that they are not linked to brain injury
and they are not linked to autism."
Poling hopes the fed's decision will trigger government action. "I hope
it will force government agencies to look further into what susceptibility
factors are out there for children to develop brain injury after vaccination,
to look into the susceptibility factors of people at risk."
His advice for parents? They should demand to know a vaccine's safety record
before agreeing to give it to their child, including any known links with
metabolic disorders and susceptibility to injury, he says.
Hannah Poling suffered from a form of mitochondrial disease caused by a
genetic defect in her mitochondrial DNA.
Mitochondria are organelles -- tiny bodies within our cells -- that carry
their own DNA, which we inherit from our mothers. Mitochondria provide the
energy cells need to function.
Edwin Trevathan, MD, MPH, director of the CDC's National Center on Birth
Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said at the news conference that when
children with mitochondrial disorders are placed under severe stress, such as a
high fever, their bodies don't make enough energy. This often damages the
brain, the body organ that needs the most energy.
The type of problem such children develop depends on the part of the brain
that is affected. Some may become spastic and have trouble walking. Others may
have seizures, problems with language, and sometimes problems with social
behavior, Trevathan said.
Children who have mitochondrial disorders, even though they seem normal, are
predestined to have a problem when they have stress," he said at the CDC
news conference. "This is distressing for parents who watch their children
suddenly deteriorate. Most are normal appearing until they exhibit signs of
disease when placed under severe stress. Most do not have problems with