Apr 29, 2008

Measles



Tell me if this seems reasonable.

One of the guys I work with at the hardware store asked me to move this garden statue of Buddha from one location in the store to another because, as a Christian, it would be against his values to do it. Oh yeah, it was still in the shipping box.

Does this mean that I get to refuse to stock pest control products because I don't think we should kill things? Can I refuse to sell grass seed because it is environmentally unfriendly to the desert?

Here's something else, but I'm not sure what my point is.

Our city is in a state of heightened alert over some cases of the measles. I'm not sure when measles became a big deal in this country, but apparently it is. I'm guessing the because it is so rare, it is newsworthy.

Back in the 1950s my siblings and I, along with most every kid we knew, got the measles. For us, this meant staying home from school, wearing our PJs all day and getting to wear sunglasses, because it was believed that measles made for very sensitive eyes and blindness was a possibility.

No one I ever knew died or was maimed for life by the measles. In fact the odds against a kid in the US dying from the measles was only about one in one thousand in the late 1950s, prior to the introduction of a measles vaccine in 1963. The vaccine eliminated the virus in the United States for all intents and purposes.

The homeopathic and naturopathic husksters use the low rate of death from measles in the years just prior to the introduction of the vaccine as proof that it is not needed. The fact is, that measles deaths declined as children's health and hygiene improved throughout the twentieth century. Measles kills almost exclusively those with weakened immune systems and those living in unsanitary conditions.

However, if we have a vaccine that keeps a million kids a year from contracting the virus, why wouldn't we use it? For sure, from time to time a child dies from complications of the vaccine, but very, very infrequently. Far less than the one in one thousand that measles will kill.

In the year 2000, measles killed 750,000 children worldwide, almost all in third-world countries. The American Red Cross, WHO, the CFDC and UNICEF, through the Measles Initiative, have vaccinated 400,000,000 children worldwide and by 2006 the number of children worldwide who died from measles was down 68%. In Africa, the rated plunged 91%. So clearly, the quacks are wrong about the effectiveness of childhood vaccines. But idiots can never be convinced against their wills.

Want to hear something sad. In Africa, parents often didn't bother to even give their children names until they survived their bout with the measles. It just killed too many of them.

All our local cases of the measles are connected to a visitor from Switzerland who had not been vaccinated and contracted it prior to arriving here in our fair city.

So, I guess my point is that the next time you hear some imbecile raving about how childhood vaccines are dangerous and unnecessary, tell them Merle Sneed says that they are irresponsible and ignorant of the facts.












Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

5 comments:

alicesg said...

Hahaha on the buddha statue. Sometimes people can be very supertitious. Another is not walking under the ladder but it makes sense not to walk under rather than superstition.

Kurt said...

I think his value of laziness is what is at work here.

Steve said...

Re. the Buddha statue: That is just plain silly. That guy needs to go check his handbook on How To Be a Christian.

Re. vaccines, they're definitely beneficial, and I would advise any parent to vaccinate their children. But I also suspect that they may have some ill effects we don't fully understand yet. All things considered, the benefits outweigh any possible risks.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately some Christian churches teach that Buddhism is a cult or even a dangerous, sick cult depending on the church. (I've seen the "sick dangerous" paperwork and it made me sad that adults are teaching kids this kind of thing.)

Vaccines-- proven to work.

Professor Montblanc said...

Perhaps he confuse the statue with the Voodoo ,
Le Bu Du Doll. Perhaps too heavy is real troubles.