The Globe and Mail today has a story about the totally unnecessary increase in the incidence of whooping cough.
A highly contagious bacterial disease is spreading in four provinces, infecting as many as 2,000 people with a violent, uncontrollable cough and killing an infant in Alberta, as public-health authorities scramble to boost their vaccination programs.
British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, southern Alberta, parts of Southwestern Ontario and New Brunswick are dealing with severe outbreaks of a disease that was once on the wane – pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, which can be especially deadly if contracted by infants. The United States, meanwhile, appears headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than five decades, with more than 18,000 cases reported so far.
The increase is due to two factors:
- a decrease in the number of children being vaccinated
- a failure of adults to be re-vaccinated
The decrease in childhood vaccination for pertussis can be directly attributed to the pseudoscience and lies of those who are against vaccinations in general. People such as Jenny McCarthy, who has decided that her instincts as a mother trump the knowledge of doctors and researchers. Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who has been convicted of fraud in his determination that vaccines can cause autism. Naruropaths, who do not accept that diseases are caused by bacteria or viruses. They refuse to acknowledge that their unfounded beliefs are killing people, particularly children.
Additionally, there is a need for adults to have pertussis booster shots
Routine vaccination efforts, however, have stopped by the time they reach adulthood.
“We’ve got waned immunity,” said Doug Sider, Ontario’s acting associate medical officer of health. “We’re great at emphasizing childhood vaccinations. We need to do a much better job at emphasizing adult vaccinations.”
Without adequate public vaccinations, communicable disease are cyclical, returning every several years with the major impact being in children.
Whooping cough peaks every two to five years. Babies are especially vulnerable because they haven’t been fully immunized against the disease. It can lead to pneumonia, brain damage and death. Infants under six months of age represent nearly 90 per cent of all pertussis-related deaths.
Science based medicine is constantly developing new and better preventatives and treatments, but in some cases such as the germ theory of disease and the importance of vaccinations the science is settled. Vaccines save lives, anti-vaccine propaganda kills.