Measles is deadly. But one anti-vaccination campaigner has cast it as a fun romp in a children’s book. So now the internet is doing what the internet does best – taking the piss out of it in hilarious style.
So it’s obviously the perfect topic for a book.
We’re not talking about a horror story, though. Nor a disease outbreak thriller. Not even an epic romance set in the squalor of a remote impoverished village.
A Brisbane woman thought the joy of having measles was the perfect concept for a children’s book.
Stephanie Messenger, the woman who organised Sherri Tenpenny’s aborted anti-vax misinformation tour last month, published Melanie’s Marvelous Measles in 2012.
According to Messenger, she wrote Melanie’s Marvellous Measles, “to educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully.”
She also says, “history shows that in industrialised countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body.
Yes, Stephanie thinks having measles is benign and beneficial.
Let’s be clear: In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year. In 2013, thanks to vaccination, approximately 145 700 people died from measles – mostly children under the age of 5.
With a measles outbreak currently sweeping across the US, people are more than a little miffed about the effect that misinformation is having on vaccination rates.
And they’ve shown that frustration in a hilarious way by reviewing Stephanie’s book on Amazon.
Some of the best 5-star reviews include:
Measles is good for jobs.
As a carpenter who specializes in itty bitty coffins I can’t say enough good things about this book, my customer base has been growing at an epidemic rate! – Sandra Bradley.
And who doesn’t love a hug?
“Encephalitis is just your brain giving your skull a cuddle.” – Rachael “Wednesday”
It’s a great read if you feel like you’ve made a terrible mistake:
“Finally! A children’s book with an agenda I can get behind! I always thought I loved kids until I actually had one of my own and boy was I wrong! I researched anything and everything I could possibly do to get rid of the little brat, but I didn’t want to be arrested for murder and childhood cancer is just too darn unpredictable. Fortunately, I stumbled upon ‘Melanie’s Marvelous Measles’, and learned that there is a huge community of people who hate children as much as me! Thanks to Melanie, I was able to ignore my pediatrician’s recommendations to vaccinate my daughter before our trip to Disney World, all while acting like I want what is ‘best’ for my child.” – Brittany.
And for anyone hoping to raise a dangerous ruler.
This book is great! After years of trying and failing to poison children to death at the school I work at, I finally realized I don’t have to do a damn thing! Kids will naturally try to kill themselves if given the opportunity, you just have to ensure they are surrounded by a dangerous environment. Kids are dropping like flies now. Only 600 more until I can resurrect Voldemort! – Mark D
Or who may in fact be a dangerous ruler.
Very good propaganda. – Kim Jong-un.
Then there’s the other books in the series.
Don’t overlook the lesser known Dr. Seuss books in this series – “Horton hears an air raid siren”, “Oh the places you’ll itch”, “How the Grinch caught Chlamydia “, “And to Think That I Contracted It on Mulberry Street”, “Skull Fracture Mayzie”, “Hop on your remaining foot”, ” The 500 days in ICU of Bartholomew Cubbins”, and “If I Ran the Mortuary”. – Nat Parkinson.
And this epic list of other titles (which goes right through the alphabet – if you can bear to read past “Carol’s Colourful Chlamydia”).
“If you enjoyed this book, check out these other fine titles from the same author:
Abby’s Absolutely Abundant Abscess
Addie’s Adorable Adenoma
Adelia’s Addled Alzheimer’s
Andys Amazing AIDS
Anne’s Incandescent Anorexia
Annette’s Astonishing Aneurysm
Annie’s Awesome Asthma
Arnie’s Artful Addiction
Barack’s Baroque Barbiturate Overdose
Barry’s Bitchin Beri Beri
Beatrice’s Bawdy Bronchitis
Bella’s Beloved Bell’s Palsy
Bennett’s Breathtaking Boil
Bertha’s Blossoming Bulimia
Billy’s Bodacious Botulism
Bobby’s Bitchin Bubonic Plague
Bobby’s Bubbling Buboes
Bob’s Bodacious Bone Break
Boris’s Big Blister
Bradley’s Brilliant Bradycardia
Candy’s Candid Candida
Carl’s Chewy Cancer
Carl’s Cool Cauliflower Ear
Carol’s Calm Coma
Carol’s Colorful Chlamydia”
You can find more great reviews here.
And if you want to read more about how to respond to anti-vaccination arguments, you can read a handy cheat sheet here.