May 09 2008
Remember my rant about people who don't get their kids vaccinated because they're afraid for the health and safety of their children? Guess what? The health and safety of kids who attend the East bay Waldorf School in El Sobrante, California are at risk due to an outbreak of whooping cough. Students and a teacher were diagnosed with the disease, which lead to the school being closed until rounds of antibiotics can be administered to everyone who came down with the disease. School officials went on the record as saying that an unusually high number of students weren't vaccinated for pertussis at that school, which is something that California state law permits at this time.
Let me break this down for everyone: When They (yes, the omni-present They whom Everyone is afraid of - see, I can make sweeping generalizations, too!) say that a disease has been eradicated, it doesn't mean that every last bacterium or virus which causes a disease has been eliminated from the face of the planet. Short of sterilizing the entire planet with nuclear weapons, that simply isn't possible. It means that so many people are either immune to a disease or have been vaccinated against it that the virus or bacterium can no longer affect the populace in any meaningful way. When you don't vaccinate children against diseases, you expose them to the risk of contracting the disease. If they're lucky, their lives will suck for a while because they'll have to be treated and time will be necessary to get better. If they aren't so fortunate, they might die. One of the reasons that vaccines were invented was because some of these diseases were known to be lethal.
What's going to break out next? Polio?
On second thought, don't answer that.