Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Around the World
December 9, 2014 11:18 AM   Subscribe

 
Two hundred years after working out vaccinations, humanity had been working to remove communicable diseases as a cause of premature death. Two hundred fucking years. And then one asshole knocks out two centuries of work almost overnight.

If you don't get your child vaccinated (if they're able to), if you spread bullshit propaganda about proven public health programs, the blood is on your hands and it will never come off.
posted by Talez at 11:32 AM on December 9, 2014 [13 favorites]


Vaccine-Preventable Disease Outbreaks Around the World

I think you misspelled negligent manslaughter.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:35 AM on December 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


Jesus Christ, look at the rubella numbers in the past two years. This is an issue I consider myself fairly informed on, but what the hell is going on with rubella? It's a lot less contagious than measles, chickenpox, or even pertussis I think. Holy hell.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:39 AM on December 9, 2014


Jesus Christ, look at the rubella numbers in the past two years. This is an issue I consider myself fairly informed on, but what the hell is going on with rubella? It's a lot less contagious than measles, chickenpox, or even pertussis I think. Holy hell.

Rubella is actually extremely contagious and people haven't been getting the MMR vaccine. Not sure what else was going to happen.
posted by Talez at 11:46 AM on December 9, 2014


Rubella is actually extremely contagious and people haven't been getting the MMR vaccine. Not sure what else was going to happen.

I know, I know, but it managed not to even be a blip on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly for so long when we were seeing pockets of measles & mumps in the early 2000s. Sigh.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:14 PM on December 9, 2014


The rage I feel about this is intense. It's one of the few instances where the extreme left is as anti-science as the extreme right. It is also one of the few ideological issues that will cause me to stop being friends with someone. Seriously, I've stopped hanging out with friends I've known for over a decade because it isn't pure ideology: it's an existential threat to my children (and theirs).
posted by lucasks at 12:18 PM on December 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


There have been abuses and experimentation, from the monsters who brought you Guantanamo,
Are you aware Rumsfeld serves on the board of Gilead, a vaccine designer maker?

It kills me to see educated young parents fail to vaccinate. It was a nightmare vaccinating my kids, I feared for them, but I did it. Whooping cough is on the loose in our town.
posted by Oyéah at 12:19 PM on December 9, 2014


Are you aware Rumsfeld serves on the board of Gilead, a vaccine designer maker?

I'm trying to understand how that has anything to do with anything.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:26 PM on December 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


The thing that really gets me is how selfish it is. Herd immunity only works if the herd is vaccinated. People who don't vaccinate their kids are free-loading on the (small) risk everyone else takes and making it more dangerous for those that do vaccinate but who don't have a sufficiently strong immune response to make the vaccine effective (I've heard as much as 20% of those who receive a vaccination do not develop immunity)
posted by lucasks at 12:33 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I seem to end up posting what's effectively a public service announcement on "'Vaccination: the next best thing you can do after washing your hands to keep from getting sick!' to my Facebook network each year. This time, I'm using this video as a talking point, with the following text:

"If you're like me, you may not see a doctor regularly, and even when you do, they probably won't ask about what vaccines you've had and when. Have you had a tetanus shot in the past 10 years? If not, consider asking about the Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diptheria & pertussis (whooping cough). More than 48,000 people caught pertussis last year in the U.S., and 13 infants died from it. One shot can protect you and people around you, and keep you from stressing out the next time you step on a rusty nail! And like the other vaccines on this list (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/find-pay-vaccines.html) it's free (yes, FREE: no copay, no coinsurance) to you if you have Medicare Part D, Medicaid, any Obamacare plans, and most private insurance plans in the U.S. You can even get one at some Walgreens or CVSes - just make sure they know to charge it to your insurance if you have one."

This topic infuriates me, but I know it's important to keep calm and conversational about it if we want to reach people who are uncertain or ill-informed. Heck, I recently learned that even my parents (who have gotten flu shots every year since the mid-90s) haven't had a Tdap vaccine in probably two decades. Pediatricians have been fighting this fight, but primary care docs (who are increasingly crunched for time, I know) aren't doing good followup on keeping adult herd immunity.
posted by deludingmyself at 12:45 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Are you aware Rumsfeld serves on the board of Gilead, a vaccine designer maker?

So. Fucking. What.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:13 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


What are Russia, Scandinavia, and South America doing right that the rest of us aren't?
posted by Anne Neville at 1:17 PM on December 9, 2014


Education, greater focus on the greater good and less 'rugged individualism,' prizing the word of experts, take your pick.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Seriously, can't Wakefield be charged with crimes against humanity already?
posted by dilettante at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2014


There have been abuses and experimentation, from the monsters who brought you Guantanamo,
Are you aware Rumsfeld serves on the board of Gilead, a vaccine designer maker?


Wouldn't it be great if morality were totally black and white, and nothing good or effective could ever come from a bad person doing something, or from someone doing terrible things?

If you think Gilead is doing something objectionable now, that's another story; maybe then we should boycott them. But having Rumsfeld on its board is not evidence of that. And, of course, even if Gilead is doing something bad, that doesn't mean all vaccine manufacturers or all vaccines are bad.
posted by Anne Neville at 1:38 PM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


It turns out children dying of preventable diseases is another charming retro thing Americans wanted to bring back.
posted by The Whelk at 1:42 PM on December 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


What are Russia, Scandinavia, and South America doing right that the rest of us aren't?

I took a look out of idle curiosity over whether the Russian Federation's official numbers might be different than the real story, but at least where vaccine coverage is concerned, the WHO's estimates match up with theirs(pdf). So I dug around a little more, and it looks like the USSR went through its own anti-vax scare during perestroika, causing huge drops in Tdap coverage and concomitant increases in infection:

"During the 1970s and into the 1980s, the Soviet Union maintained control of pertussis through compulsory immunization. Perestroika changed all that. Its anti-government bias spawned an active anti-vaccination movement, one of whose targets was the pertussis vaccine. Soviet virologist Galina Chervonskaya inspired the Soviet media to launch a campaign to discredit vaccination, and DTP vaccination coverage rates fell by 30 percent. Not surprisingly, the Russian Federation (figure 5) also began to experience pertussis epidemics (Gangarosa et al. 1998)." Diptheria spiked at the same time.

So what's going on with this map? The intro to the interactive version says "the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking reports by news media, governments, and the global health community on these outbreaks since the fall of 2008." But the number of pertussis cases in the Russian Federation in their data from 2008-2014 is zero. The UN, in contrast, lists the number of Russian pertussis cases as 7,220 in 2012, and they say they're using WHO case data.

I love shiny data visualizations, and I hate how cavalier North Americans have become about vaccination, but in this case, I think the visual in the OP may be over representing the problem closer to home due to a bias towards Western reports on the problem. At least for Russia. I haven't looked at anywhere else yet.
posted by deludingmyself at 1:54 PM on December 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, the map may be making the U.S. look "higher" proportionally, but as long as they aren't overestimating the numbers, then things are still looking pretty bad from any absolute perspective. The Russia data just means the global situation is even worse.
posted by synapse at 1:59 PM on December 9, 2014


Oh, for sure. But if we were hoping to learn something from what Russia is doing right after their own anti-vax scare three decades back, I'm not sure whether there's a lesson there or not. Hard to say. I'd be interested if anyone knows more about this topic.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:08 PM on December 9, 2014


Maybe people should stop using athletes as roll models.
posted by srboisvert at 10:02 AM on December 10, 2014


I don't see how you avoid having professional cyclists as roll models.
posted by phearlez at 10:38 AM on December 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Maybe the Affordable Health Care Act will result in more doctor visits for underserved children of all ages, resulting in more vaccination coverage. I imagine the dumbass anti vaccination movement, helps some poor parents who can't afford well child visits be mollified by thinking there is controversy and they might be doing the best thing.

With regard to assassinating vaccination teams, maybe in violent areas where literacy is low, pictures on the vans might better explain their purpose to the trigger happy. A red cross and hypodermic needles.
posted by Oyéah at 11:23 AM on December 10, 2014


If we told people in 3rd world countries that we are choosing NOT to vaccinate for these diseases, they would laugh and say "well fine, give us the ones you don't want. You go ahead and die. I choose to live."
posted by stormpooper at 7:42 AM on December 11, 2014


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