Yesterday, TV3 treated New Zealand parents to a massive dose of ignorance with a story about a boy called Boston, who had a nasty superinfection in chickenpox spots on his back.
His mother is urging New Zealand parents to pay $50.00 so that their children won’t suffer like her son did.
This story is a top class example of the elephant in the room ignored by ignorant TV journalists today.
Boston’s complication has been known, for over two decades, to be a complication of immune fragility - one cause of which is using PAMOL to reduce chickenpox fevers.
Read this: (That blog addresses pamol generically, not specifically relating to chickenpox, but maybe a blog on pamol and chickenpox will be my next job.)
Given that this boy got the chickenpox from his 3 year old sister, who plainly did okay, why did the journalist not ask the doctors WHY the boy had trouble and his sister did not?
The mother’s comment might have provided one blindingly obvious answer: “We couldn’t control his temperature” Apparently this child just kept falling asleep all the time.
So, did Boston’s parents pile in pamol dose after pamol dose, and when that didn't bring down his temperature, give yet more pamol????
I’m guessing – and it’s only a guess – that that is what those parents did, because that’s what most parents do with fever.
Like I said, chickenpox is notorious for doing exactly what Boston’s chickenpox did when anti-pyretics are used to control fever.
Why does pamol do that? Because PAMOL disables the arm of the immune system which deals with the secondary bacterial infection which has set up in the spots and THAT is why some children given fever reducers can land up with Group A streptococcal infection complications.
And if Group A streptococcal infection is what this boy had, ….and if those parents used constant pamol doses to try to reduce the fever, then PAMOL is one reason why Boston landed up in trouble.
If that is the situation in this case, then the real story SHOULD have been to warn parents NOT to use PAMOL for fever, during any infection. If that is not the situation, then questions should have been asked about Boston's immune system, because normal children do not respond to chickenpox this way. His sister had no problems, so why did he?
The medical profession needs to educate all parents, that using pamol during any infectious fever is child abuse because they know that pamol can increase the duration, illness severity and the likelihood of dying from many infections. For example, if that fever is related to any meningococcal infection, then pamol increases the chance of Boston getting the disease more seriously, and increases his chances of dying.
There will come a day when Pamol is banned as an over the counter medicine in this country. It's already banned in many European countries. But that won’t happen while Johnson and Johnson meticulously pulls the chains of the Ministry of Health, so that J & J can extract the maximum dollar from Pamol for as long as possible.
Until that time, there will be more Bostons in this world, simply because doctors and hospitals refuse to educate parents about the immunological threat posed by Pamol when used during any infectious fever.