Congratulations, Anti-Vaxxers: Whooping Cough Reaches Epidemic Level in CA
Since I started the ACA Signups project, I've generally restricted my posts to ACA enrollment-specific articles and data. After all, the subject of healthcare is so huge, and there's so many other far better sources for developments in the medical field, etc, that it seems best to stick to the subject at hand.
However, the anti-vaxxer movement, which started as the punchline to a bad joke named "Jenny McCarthy" has ceased to be amusing and has now become flat-out frightening.
From January 1 to June 10 this year, California already had 3,458 cases of whopping cough, which already exceeds the number of cases reported in 2013, and following a surge in the incidence of the disease in the past two weeks, health official found it necessary to declare an epidemic.
On Friday, the state department of health announced that the incidence of whooping cough in California has reached epidemic level with 23 percent of all documented cases in 2014 reported in the past two weeks alone. Sonoma, Marin and Napa counties were the hardest hit and those affected were mostly infants, children and teenagers.
Sadly, you can expect more and more stories like this over the next few years.
There are so many things wrong with the anti-vaxxer mentality--not just medically or scientifically, but in terms of the social contract and the state of the news media, that I don't know where to begin.
The most disturbing thing about it is that most (not all, but most) of the anti-vaxxer "movement" seems to be on the left side of the ideological spectrum; in fact, in many ways, it has turned into the left's equivalent of climate change denial. I have good friends who are intelligent, well-educated and are otherwise very respectful of scientific facts and hard evidence...but when it comes to vaccinations, they simply refuse to accept the reality that a) vaccinations have no connection with Autism, and b) without vaccinations, the number of people would be suffering & dying from diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox and on and on would increase into the millions.
My own father was a doctor. He passed away from cancer 26 years ago, but would be livid if he knew that a small contingent of well-meaning but flat-out wrong parents were deliberately refusing to vaccinate their kids and inavertantly causing the number of children (and adults) suffering from horrific diseases to increase by several orders of magnitude.
So yes, going forward you can expect me to post articles on the subject here. Penn & Teller summarize it nicely: