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posted by Woods on Wednesday June 18 2014, @02:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the replace-cough-with-zombie dept.

CNN reports that the number of whooping cough cases in California has officially reached epidemic proportions with 800 cases reported in the past two weeks alone. And the number of actual cases may be even higher, because past studies have shown that for every case of whooping cough that is reported, there are 10 more that are not officially counted. The public health department in California is strongly urging people to make sure their vaccinations are up to date, especially if they're pregnant. State health officials are working closely with schools and local health departments to spread the word.

But there's a vaccine for whooping cough so why is there an epidemic? According to Dylan Matthews it's hard to blame any single cause for public health problems like the recent rise in whooping cough, but it's clear that anti-vaccine activists aren't helping. Researchers at Johns Hopkins, Emory, and the California Department of Public Health found that California communities with large numbers of parents claiming "nonmedical exemptions" from vaccines from their kids (that is, parents who don't vaccinate for religious, personal, or other reasons not backed by medical professionals) were 1.73 times more likely to see outbreaks of whooping cough; another study looking at Michigan found high-exemption areas were 2.7 times as likely to experience high levels of the disease. "Unlike some other vaccine-preventable diseases, like measles, neither vaccination nor illness from pertussis offers lifetime immunity," says Dr. Ron Chapman. "However, vaccination is still the best defense against this potentially fatal disease."

 
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  • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Wednesday June 18 2014, @07:35PM

    by HiThere (866) on Wednesday June 18 2014, @07:35PM (#57097) Journal

    It could mean that, but it could also mean that they weren't vaccinated recently enough, or that the vaccine needs to be more effective. If the health care professionals say that a larger percentage of people being vaccinated would reduce the likelihood of an epidemic, I'll believe them.

    However, I find this a quite difficult statement to believe "I'm anti-vaccine, but not anti-science.", and it causes me to doubt the honesty of your entire post.

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  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Thursday June 19 2014, @12:35AM

    by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Thursday June 19 2014, @12:35AM (#57196)

    However, I find this a quite difficult statement to believe "I'm anti-vaccine, but not anti-science.", and it causes me to doubt the honesty of your entire post.

    That's because it's impossible to have a rational scientific argument about the problems with vaccinations without being labeled anti-science. It's by far the easiest way to marginalize me and my views without actually presenting any kind of defense grounded in reason or fact.

    Vaccines are fucking simple. Easy to understand. I get how they work with the immune system.

    What isn't so simple, and requires one to fight a very large industry beyond control or even question, is whether or not the implementations, ingredients, and controls are scientifically sufficient. I've read some anti-vac pamphlets. Not every single bullet point is coming from some crazy lady that home schools her kids and thinks Creationism is sound science. There are genuine questions that need to be answered like why an infant gets the same dose as I do, and no reason to include heavy metals so why do it? While it sounds like a good idea, and it clearly works, what about the questions regarding the long term affect on the immune system?

    I trust the science behind the vaccines and the idea itself, but not the monied interests behind them. Not for one second do I think they really have the best interests of anyone at heart, and have shown that when the decision comes down to killing a few people out of thousands versus the dollar... well... some people are just going to die for the shareholders.

    But yeah, go ahead and marginalize me. I'm just crazy right? Big corps and government are as clean as a preacher's sheets on Sunday...

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19 2014, @05:26AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 19 2014, @05:26AM (#57275)

      See, the main bunch of people to blame would then be the FDA being super slow on approvals of new vaccines.
      They have a good reason for that though - an untested vaccine could be pretty terrible, with side effects or the exact problem you're talking about - lack of effectiveness.
      And acquiring good epidemiological data to evaluate the quality of the vaccine takes many years.

      About dosage, that point is invalid and no, you probably don't know how the immune system works.
      In case of vaccines, you need a dose that activates the immune system and that's generally constant with age. Children do not have more aggressive immune systems.
      Neither do older people. If anything, more courses should be applied.

      Toxic metals are no longer used as boosters.

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Thursday June 19 2014, @07:45PM

      by HiThere (866) on Thursday June 19 2014, @07:45PM (#57584) Journal

      The point is that different diseases are DIFFERENT. They don't all act the same way. Smallpox was easy to vaccinate against. Polio is much less so. Whooping cough is reasonably easy to vaccinate against, but it's not as effective a vaccine. And it wears off over time. And those most susceptible to the disease can't be vaccinated against it, so you need either herd immunity (and hope it's good enough) or quarantine. And the higher the level of vaccination, the stronger the herd immunity (i.e., the more quickly isolated pockets of contagion die out).

      P.S.: I'm neither a doctor nor a medical student, but this stuff is BASIC. And it's as much in the field of public health (which I'm also not in) as in the field of medicine. But as I said it's basic. If you don't understand it, then you are wrong if you think you understand about vaccinations.

      P.P.S.: I agree with you about the trustworthiness of corporations. But if you want me to trust in something else instead, you've got to at least suggest what. Are you advocating quarantines? That is the only known alternative that occurs to me, outside of living in extremely small groups with little transportation between them, which is, in effect, an informal implementation of quarantine.

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