How? Through vaccination.
Yup. The first reports of polio were confirmed in April — 413 of them. However, that ended in late June, when no new cases were reported. That is credited to the thousands of doctors and nurses who not only vaccinated at least 97% of the children in each region of the mountainous country, but also flooded the area with multi-lingual informational leaflets, posters, and banners.
And they succeeded! With no new reports, it appears this outbreak was stopped cold.
And with the AVN in Australia getting hammered repeatedly in the press, I can now have some hope that the movement here in the United States, spearheaded by Jenny McCarthy, will die off as well. Vaccinations work, and they save a lot of lives.
Meryl Dorey, head of the flailing Australian Vaccination Network — an organization dedicated to twisting the truth about vaccines and saying anything at all to scare people into an antivax stance — has once again put fingers to keyboard, and as usual the truth eludes her.
She wrote a lengthy essay about her dealings with Toni and David McCaffery, who lost their four week old infant Dana to pertussis two years ago.
I hardly need to point out that her interpretation of reality doesn’t come within a glancing blow of it; you can read what Dorey wrote, and then compare it to Toni McCaffery’s response detailing what really happened, and why Dorey is so wrong.
I also received a note from David McCaffery about a terrific site that helps educate people about vaccines: Chain of Protection. They have really good videos describing benefits of vaccinations. Here’s the one about herd immunity which shows just why it’s important:
Check out the site. It’s what Meryl Dorey wouldn’t want you to do.
Polio vaccination stops an epidemic while the anti-vaccination campaigns in the US produce a pertussis epidemic that has killed 7 infants. Parents in Tajikistan are joyful while parents in California are mourning.
A young child get whooping cough and dies most likely because the herd immunity from vaccination against pertussis fails. The infants died because they were too young to get a vaccine. Pertussis is a nasty way to die for young child.
Whooping cough is one of the most infectious diseases around. One infected person can infect up to 17 other people. In order to develop herd immunity so that we can protect the lives of young babies, perhaps 94% of the population has to have immunity.
In 1934, before the vaccine was developed, 265,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in the US. In 2001, there were 7.
But vaccination rates dropped, mainly due to the unreasonable fear spread by anti-vaxxers, and the rate of infection has risen tremendously, rising to 25,000 in 2004 and remaining above 10,000 cases every year since.
Infants die who do not need to. The hard won efforts to create herd immunity are being lost.
Many Cargo Cult Worlds really only affect those who create them. In some cases the creation of Cargo Cult Worlds hurt the rest of us. The anti-vaxxers have again and again depended on unreliable facts to bolster their Cargo Cult World. Reading the continuing falsehoods that are being spread by the AVN really helps understand just how threatening reality is to their Cargo Cult World.
Let me help threaten it some more. Vaccines save lives. Refusing to vaccinate kills people.