Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Old deathly ills invited back

The pandemic plague is a favorite apocalyptic scenario for authors to spin.  It is almost always some sort of new variant of an existing disease.  It is not generally the some desease that we have already conquered.
As a secondary note, in the modern culture that we live in the general meme is that it is the tea party folks who are the anti-scientific crowd.  As one researcher found out, this is not an idea that holds up well against the data.

A lot depends on which anti-scientific set of beliefs you partake of.  Here a really pissed off Julia Ioffe of the New Republic is ranting at the folks on her own side.

I've Got Whooping Cough. Thanks a Lot, Jenny McCarthy.
Julia Ioffe, New Republic, 11 November 2013 (hat tip: Gene Expression)
It would be an understatement to say that pertussis and other formerly conquered childhood diseases like measles and mumps are making a resurgence. Pertussis, specifically, has come roaring back. From 2011 to 2012, reported pertussis incidences rose more than threefold in 21 states. (And that’s just reported cases. Since we’re not primed to be on the look-out for it, many people may simply not realize they have it.) In 2012, the CDC said that the number of pertussis cases was higher than at any point in 50 years. That year, Washington state declared an epidemic; this year, Texas did, too. Washington, D.C. has also seen a dramatic increase. This fall, Cincinnati reported a 283 percent increase in pertussis. It’s even gotten to the point that pertussis has become a minor celebrity cause: NASCAR hero Jeff Gordon and Sarah Michelle Gellar are now encouraging people to get vaccinated.
How responsible are these non-vaccinating parents for my pertussis? Very. A study recently published in the journal Pediatrics indicated that outbreaks of these antediluvian diseases clustered where parents filed non-medical exemptions—that is, where parents decided not to vaccinate their kids because of their personal beliefs. The study found that areas with high concentrations of conscientious objectors were 2.5 times more likely to have an outbreak of pertussis. (To clarify: I was vaccinated against pertussis as a child, but the vaccine wears off by adulthood, which, until recently, was rarely a problem because the disease wasn't running rampant because of people not vaccinating their kids.)
So thanks a lot, anti-vaccine parents. You took an ethical stand against big pharma and the autism your baby was not going to get anyway, and, by doing so, killed some babies and gave me, an otherwise healthy 31-year-old woman, the whooping cough in the year 2013. I understand your wanting to raise your own children as you see fit, science be damned, but you're selfishly jeopardizing more than your own children. Carry your baby around in a sling, feed her organic banana mash while you drink your ethical coffee, fine, but what gives you denialists the right to put my health at risk—to cause me to catch a debilitating, humiliating, and frightening cough that, two months after I finished my last course of antibiotics (how’s that for supporting big pharma?), still makes me convulse several times a day like some kind of tragic nineteenth-century heroine?
I should note that I have run into a fair number of folks on the right who are suspicious of immunization.


PioneerPreppy said...

You might want to also note that these illnesses came back at about the same time as bed bugs and other things which had been almost completely abolished from Western life prior to the 1960's.

Now what started happening in the 1960's that would bring things like these back into Western civilization?

Anyone? Bueller?

Matt said...

I would also add that the current Pertusis vaccination is included with the Tetanus vaccination.

Going into any collapse situation, it would be worth having both vaccinations updated.

Tewshooz said...

Back in the 40's, even with a vaccination against it, I got pertussis....twice before I reached adulthood. Always had the vaccinations. Five years ago I got it again. I was 68 at the time. So getting vaccinated does not ensure that you will not get it. Amazing that you do not accept any responsibility for your pertussis. Stay away from coughers and keep washing your hands. Just because someone get this disease does not mean he was not vaccinated against it.

James M Dakin said...

PP- can I blame feminism? Sure, its a long shot. I just didn't think Free Love itself caused bed bugs.

PioneerPreppy said...

Well actually it is all enabled by Feminism but I was more eluding to open borders and third world immigration on steroids which brought in so many of these pests and third world diseases again.

Of course Feminism pushed open immigration for it's own ends hoping for more allies against "The Patriarchy" so it is ultimately the core problem.

russell1200 said...

Matt: I agree. What is annoying is that it can actually be hard to get vaccines that have been an historical problem (Yellow Fever) in the U.S.

Tewshooz: Yes it is very possible. That is why it is important that you get as a large a percentage of people vaccinated. People can get it as individuals, but it keeps it from turning pandemic.

Pioneer & James: You have some partial agreement here.

Though the exact cause is not known, experts said it was likely a combination of factors: an increased resistance of bed bugs to available pesticides, more frequent domestic and international travel, a general lack of knowledge regarding bed bug control, and the decline of effective pest control programs at the state and local level.

I would add that American middle class dress and bathing habit have gone way down. A general part of the trend of society culture being pushed down to the lowest common denominator.