Having an autistic child is not the end of the world--far from it. It is my hope that through this blog, at least a handful of people will get to understand that. My child is amazing, she brings us tremendous joy. We have good days & bad days, but we CHOOSE to focus on the good. Our belief is that by loving our daughter, giving her the most comfortable environment we can, and by most of all accepting her differences, she will continue to blossom--in her OWN way.

4/18/08

Again, It's NOT The Vaccines

PhotobucketKev at Left Brain/Right Brain writes about Pertussis (a very real, very lethal disease). If you visit here, click to listen to what whooping cough sounds like. I'm still scratching my head over those who claim a possibly fatal disease like pertussis, or say measles, is preferable to autism. On Tuesday, a 9 month old baby boy died from pertussis. Here are the risks and complications of this disease:

Pertussis can be a serious illness, particularly for babies and young children. More than 50% of babies with reported cases of pertussis must be hospitalized. Coughing can be so severe that it is hard for babies to eat, drink or breathe.
  • Babies may bleed behind the eyes and in the brain from coughing.
  • The most common complication is bacterial pneumonia. About 1 child in 10 with pertussis also gets pneumonia, and about 1 in every 50 will have convulsions.
  • Brain damage occurs in 1 out of every 250 children who get pertussis.
  • Pertussis causes about 10-20 deaths each year in the United States
I suggest you re-read those numbers. More than 50% of those infected will be hospitalized, 1 out of every 250 will have brain damage, and 10-20 will die from pertussis. The anti-vax brigade will declare that not that many babies die from pertussis. So, it's no big deal, right? I mean, what's a handful of infants dying anyway? In the year 2000, 17 infants died from pertussis. I can't imagine reading the two case studies--how the babies suffered, and not feeling pain for their families. In Oregon alone, from 2000 to March 2008, 5 babies died of pertussis. Those who claim those fatalities are nothing significant, I suggest they speak to the families of those babies. Perhaps they should ask them if it was a big deal or not.

From Medical News Today:
"While pertussis cases in all age groups have been rising, it is important to know how the disease is spread, particularly to infants who are too young to be vaccinated themselves, so that steps can be taken to prevent infections in these vulnerable infants and potentially save lives," said Annelies Van Rie, M.D., assistant professor of epidemiology in the UNC School of Public Health. "It is troubling to learn that infants are often infected with pertussis by their own family members, who are often unaware of having pertussis themselves."

Herd immunity is important to us all. You will read claims that the concept of "herd immunity" is all a sham. People will explain that since there are states with lower percentages of vaccinated populations, and there is no widespread outbreak of disease, that herd immunity is not legit. What they fail to realize is that with each parent who opts to not get their child vaccinated, those percentages dip further and further. We are on the brink of a tipping point. It's no wonder just in the last year, we've seen outbreaks of measles in Milwaukee (just this past week, reports are ongoing), San Diego, Pima County, Arizona, elsewhere, and pertussis in Mississippi, South Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio. This is only a sneak peek of what will come, should the numbers of children not getting vaccinated continue to rise.

If you're unsure what the diseases that can be prevented by vaccines look like, have a look:





**I commend actress Keri Russell for doing her part to get the word out on pertussis.

4 comments:

leila said...

Holy cow, whooping cough sounds awful. You can tell the child is desperate to breathe in some air. That is one vaccine I don't want my child to miss.

Club 166 said...

There is an epidemic of science ignorance, and it's getting worse all the time.

Joe

S.L. said...

Leila: Isn't that a dreadful sound? I hear ya, doubly glad both my girls are vaccinated against this one. Now, just have to hope that their immunity is enough to stand up to their un-vaxed peers who could catch it at some point.

Joe: BIG TIME "epidemic of science ignorance." I love that (well, I hate it...but I love the phrase--perfect). No end in sight, either.

Paholaisen Asianajaja said...

I was very sad to hear of this case. Particularly because pertussis isn't even supposed to be deadly (let alone exist) in this modern age.