Saturday, July 28, 2012

The stupidity of mankind is killing our children …

I have written before about the resurgence of Whooping Cough, a bacterial disease for which we’ve had a perfectly good vaccine for ages. But the inherent laziness and stupidity of mankind has seen significant numbers of people withhold these vaccines from their children.

So last year, a disease that had been virtually wiped out in the west, has surged forward in the US, Canada and Europe.

A few quotes …

There have been more than 18,000 cases of whooping cough reported in the United States so far this year, and nine deaths. Winter, when respiratory illnesses hit hardest, is yet to come, so they will likely far surpass the record 40,000 cases back in ’59.

That’s how fast the world goes to hell when too many people stop thinking and governments are too scared or too lazy to enforce basic public health policy. Since it is occurring all over the west, this is clearly a universal failing.

Well-meaning parents are shunning vaccination in small but significant numbers because of imaginary fears largely concocted by quacks and charlatans. In doing so, they are giving almost-forgotten diseases the ability to resurface and cause real harm.

I disagree. Such parents are not well-meaning. They are stupid. Plain and simple. There are some vaccines you should be careful with … the flu shot for example. But even those have been safe for years and years. Pertussis has been safe for decades!

In some cases, it can lead to pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and death. One in every 200 young children who is infected with pertussis dies; all of them suffer.

The tragedy in all this is that the adults who have been making these stupid decisions are not the ones who suffer. It is the kids, as always.

Whooping cough remains a major cause of death globally, killing more than 300,000 children each year.

Obviously, the stats quoted here are for the west, which vanquish this disease by the 60s. The rest of the world loses hundreds of thousands of children per year. A strange choice when there is definitely money out there. One wonders, though, why we feel we have to repeat it. Even in cases of religious belief, public health policy must always win.

But in Canada, like in all developed countries (and many developing ones), we vaccinate kids. They get pertussis vaccine, along with diphtheria and tetanus, a combo known as DTaP (we will explain the little “a” in a minute) at two, four, six and 18 months, and then again at ages 4-6 and 14-16.

Babies like Harper Whitehead are too young to be vaccinated. They depend on others to do so. Universal vaccination creates what is called herd immunity, making it difficult for bacteria like pertussis to circulate and infect the vulnerable, like babies, the frail elderly and those with weakened immune systems.

And here is the kicker. Even people who vaccinate their kids can lose a child that is too young to be vaccinated because of the stupidity in their community. Herd immunity is the whole point when eradicating a killer.

I’m just so disgusted with the lack of critical thought so aptly demonstrated in this example …

Folks … this is but one scourge that has returned due to a small group of short-sighted, muddled-thinking people … I am 100% sure that I have offended some of my readers, and for that I do not apologize. Because if you are choosing to not vaccinate your kids, then you bear shared responsible for future deaths caused by damages to our herd immunity.