Friday, July 3, 2015

I Blame Jenny McCarthy and RFK Jr.

Anti-vax activist Jenny McCarthy
Among others: Measles kills first patient in 12 years
The USA has suffered its first measles death in 12 years, according to Washington state health officials.

The woman's measles was undetected and confirmed only through an autopsy, according to the Washington State Department of Health. The woman's name was not released, but officials said she lived in Clallam County.
Anti-vax activist Alicia Silverstone

The woman was probably exposed to measles at a medical facility during a measles outbreak this spring, according to the health department. She was at the hospital at the same time as a patient who later developed a rash and was diagnosed with measles. Patients with measles can spread the virus even before showing symptoms.

The woman, who died of pneumonia, had other health conditions and was taking medications that suppressed her immune system, the health department said.
Anti-vax activist Toni Braxton
Chances are, if she had immune suppression, she was not vaccinated for measles, or, if she was, it didn't take. But that wouldn't have mattered if a high enough fraction of the population was vaccinated, and the disease couldn't spread.
 The woman's death was a preventable, but predictable, consequence of falling vaccination rates, said Peter Hotez, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children's Hospital Center for Vaccine Development in Houston.

Measles has surged back in recent years as groups of like-minded parents have opted against fully vaccinating their children. Last year, 644 people contracted the virus.
Anti-vax activist
Kristin Cavallari
And the anti-vaccine hysteria has been spread by such popular stars and politicians as Jenny McCarthy, Alicia Silverstone, Mayim Bialik (yeah, I had to look her up), Kristin Cavallari, Toni Braxton, Tisha Campbell-Martin, Bill Maher, Jim Carey, RFK Jr., and Donald Trump (which would make him ineligible for the GOP nomination, if he weren't already a joke).
Communities need to vaccinate at least 92% of children to prevent outbreaks, said Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

In Washington state in 2013-2014, 546 of 1,634 schools with kindergarten students had vaccination levels for kindergartners under 90%, USA TODAY found.
I find it hard to blame Hollywood types. They're generally as dumb as stumps, focused on their careers, and easily mislead by junk science and junk politics. However, I therefore blame the media and politician types twice as much for amplifying and propagating their anti-scientific views.

Wombat-socho snuck in with "Rule 5 Sunday: Independence Day Weekend Edition" late Sunday evening.

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