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Is Mystery Colombia Teen Illness Vaccine Related or Hysteria?

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Is Mystery Colombia Teen Illness Vaccine Related or Hysteria?
News broke in August 2014 that 370 minors were treated at the local hospital in El Carmen de Bolivar, Columbia for a mysterious illness. Out of those patients, only one was male and the rest were girls between the ages of 9 and 16.

The symptoms began just after the community participated in the government’s HPV vaccination campaign for inoculating the young girls.

The girls complained of headaches, backaches, loss of feeling and control of their limbs after they’d been given the vaccination Gardasil two months earlier. Parents rushed their incapacitated children to the hospital, only to be told there was very little that could be done for their daughters. The girls returned home, many unable to resume a normal life, fearful of the next attack that typically follows. Some girls have experienced multiple attacks.

Concerned and frightened parents blame the vaccine for the mysterious illness that has baffled the hospital medical staff. However, drug giant Merck (USA) that produces the Gardasil vaccine used in the Columbia HPV vaccination campaign denied any connection between the illness and their vaccine. Merck continues to insist that their vaccine is safe.

HPV and Gardasil Vaccine Risks

HPV (Human papillomavirus) is a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) that causes cervical cancer. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) states that all boys and girls ages 11 or 12 should be vaccinated. (1)

For those who don’t get vaccinated as children, the CDC advises that males through the age of 21 and females through the age 26 be vaccinated. It takes years, even decades before cancer may develop from HVP. There are screening tests for HVP cervical cancer, but none for detecting throat or mouth HVP.

In 2011, Top Secret Writers reported on the proven dangers and side effects of the Gardasil vaccine. After taking the vaccine, 49 patients died and 213 patients were on permanent disability. (2)

Despite Merck’s reassurances, El Carmen de Bolivar parents are still certain that the Gardasil vaccine caused their children’s illnesses. In fact, the tensions and accusations became so heated that Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos stepped in to further reassure the public that the HPV vaccine was safe and not responsible for the strange illness. Santos then offered an alternative explanation that the girls were victims of the “phenomenon of collective suggestion”.

Instead of President Santos’s message finally giving parents an explanation that could ease their minds, it had the opposite effect. Outraged, the parents rejected what they viewed as a trivialization of their children’s ongoing illnesses. Unconvinced that their daughters’ fainting spells and subsequent numbness of limbs was caused by anything other than the vaccine, the parents protested.

gardisil vaccine

Symptoms Develop after Taking Gardasil Vaccine

According to the Daily Mail, at the onset of an episode, the girl’s hands and feet become cold, often numb. The child then turns pale and is paralyzed. Some of the girls go into convulsions and collapse onto the floor. In several cases, the girls lost consciousness. (3)

One 15–year-old was quoted as saying that she’d passed out seven times in the span of one month. The treatment at the hospital only consists of a saline solution IV and the administering of oxygen. Once able to go home, the girls are taught breathing techniques by the nursing staff in the hope that the children can stave off future fainting spells.

The unpredictability of when another episode will strike has made it impossible for many of the girls to return to normal lives. Some simply stay home.

During a recent visit to El Carmen de Bolivar, Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria was greeted with boos and burning tires. Gaviria discussed the measures his office is taking, such as collecting patient data, setting up new tests and providing psychological counseling to the girls and their families. But, like President Santos’s attempts to reassure worried parents, Gaviria’s words fell on deaf ears.

In the face of these safety claims by Merck and the Columbian government, the news media reports that some countries abandoned their vaccination campaigns. CCTVAmerica (China Central Television) reported that in 2013, when those receiving the vaccine had convulsions, joint pain and difficulty in walking, the Japanese government suspended its recommendation that girls be vaccinated until further studies could be conducted.

In a short expose on the mysterious illness gripping the children of El Carmen de Bolivar, CCTVAmerica reported that between 2006 and 2008 the CDC published a 2-year study of girls and women between the ages 9-26 who were administered the Gardasil vaccine. The patients showed various symptoms of nausea, headaches, numbness, dizziness and autoimmune disorders. The CDC reported that 32 patients died after receiving the vaccine. (4)

So far, over 3 million women in Columbia have been administered the vaccine and over 170 million doses have been administered worldwide. (4)

References & Image Credits:
(1) CDC
(2) TSW: Proven Dangers and Side Effects of Gardasil from Merck
(3) Daily Mail
(4) CCTVAmerica
(5) YouTube
(6) Yahoo News
(7) HNGN

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Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

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Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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