Childrearing

There’s A Whooping Cough Epidemic In California Thanks To Dumb Parents Who Don’t Believe In Science

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shutterstock_72109813-280x189There’s been 800 new cases of whooping cough reported in the last two weeks in California. Late last week the state public health department declared that the disease has reached “epidemic proportions.” Happy anti-vaxxers? How much longer can you all remain completely oblivious to the importance of herd immunity? Get informed immediately. It’s not cute anymore.

Every time we write an article on the importance of vaccinations, there is always someone bringing this argument to the discussion: If your child is vaccinated, why do you care?

Short answer: Because I also care about humans who aren’t in my family. Go figure.

Long answer: Diminishing the public vaccination rate reduces “herd immunity.” If you’ve never fully grasped the importance of herd immunity, here is a short explanation:

Herd immunity is a form of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of a significant portion of a population (or herd) provides a measure of protection for individuals who have not developed immunity.

It arises when a high percentage of the population is protected through vaccination against a virus or bacteria, making it difficult for a disease to spread because there are so few susceptible people left to infect.

This can effectively stop the spread of disease in the community. It is particularly crucial for protecting people who cannot be vaccinated. These include children who are too young to be vaccinated, people with immune system problems, and those who are too ill to receive vaccines (such as some cancer patients).

Parents who turn their backs on science to follow the misinformed rants of the anti-vaxx crowd have effectively chipped away at herd immunity, by allowing their children to remain compromised. The argument that whooping cough is a disease that healthy children can conquer without issue is a perfect example of how short-sighted anti-vaxxers are. It’s great that you believe your child is strong enough to get through a highly contagious disease that causes bouts of intense coughing that can last several weeks – but what about those who have compromised immune systems like the elderly or cancer patients? What about babies too young to receive their immunizations? Do you really feel comfortable making decisions for those people, too? Here are some facts about the symptoms of whooping cough:

  • During a bout of coughing, you repeatedly cough over and over again. The face often goes red and the body becomes tense. Eventually, there is a desperate attempt to breathe in, which may cause a whooping sound. Note: the whooping sound at the end of a bout of coughing only happens in about half of cases.
  • Some children may stop breathing at the end of a bout of coughing and go blue for a short time. This looks worse than it actually is, as breathing usually quickly resumes.
  • Each bout of coughing typically lasts 1-2 minutes.
  • Several bouts of coughing may occur together and last several minutes in total.
  • It is common to vomit at the end of a bout of coughing.
  • The number of coughing bouts per day varies from case to case. You may only have a few bouts each day but some people have up to 100 bouts per day. The average is about 12-15 bouts per day.

Who knows how long it will take to reverse the effects of this epidemic and achieve herd immunity once again? Vaccinate your children and spread as much knowledge about the importance of vaccinations as you can to those around you.

(photo: Nomad_Soul / Shutterstock)

158 Comments

  1. Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

    June 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Here’s a video of what whooping cough does to small children, a child far too young to be vaccinated. Warning: It’s disturbing.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/mum-releases-distressing-whooping-cough-video-warn-parents-5050186

    Prevent germ warfare. VACCINATE YOUR MINIATURE TERRORISTS.

  2. SunnyD847

    June 17, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I caught whooping cough from my step-mother when I went to CA over the holidays. It sucked, but I had a mild case because I had been immunized. My step-mom was REALLY sick for over a month because she’s older and hadn’t been immunized in a long time. Prior to that, I did not realize that whooping cough is bacterial rather than viral so you don’t get lifetime immunity from the vaccine.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      They realized that in 2006, about two weeks after I contracted whooping cough. I am now hyper-vigilant about my boosters.

    • AugustW

      June 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      I think I may have had a very mild case of whooping cough when I was pregnant, nearly 4 years ago. I was vaccinated as a child, but I’ll tell you….nearly the entire pregnancy I had an awful barmy cough that wouldn’t go away for anything. My dad actually postulated at one point that I had TB, lol. (I was exposed years previously, but sometimes things like pregnancy can bring TB out of dormancy).

  3. lucie uk

    June 17, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    You can’t even be that careful. Both my son and I vaccinated but we both contracted about 2 years ago. Not lifetime immunity. We figured he picked it up, probably from Polish kids at his school, as uk has massive immigration from eu countries. I would not wish it on a young one. Over here they call it hundred day cough and it really is. I had to have odd days off work because so sleep deprived. I ended up with bleeding retinas because the cough is that violent. Cough until vomit. Dragging air into lungs because can’t catch breath. Anti vaxers are knobs

    • whiteroses

      June 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm

      There is no reason whatsoever why kids should be dying from vaccine preventable diseases in 2014, an era in which we have had more access to good quality healthcare than we ever have in human history.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 2:25 am

      Except for the fact that all vaccines are no where near perfect.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

      Nobody ever said they were. But vaccinations actually give kids a better chance at staying healthy than keeping them unvaccinated.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      No public health is not important, it is actually a problem. Humans are the only species that tries to keep the weak, sick and old alive as long as possible. Which all that does is put huge strains on our resources. Natural selection works.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Sources?

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Sources? Throughout history, species remained healthy and strong by allowing the sick, injured and old die. If you do not understand the basics, then you are one of the mindless cowardly masses.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 4:00 pm

      Nah, I’m just asking you to back up your statements with statistics, not emotion or name calling. Shouldn’t be that difficult.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      There are no stats to quote. It is how nature works. The weak, ill and old are left behind, or outright killed by their own. Wolves will kill their own, before allowing a non contributing pack member to drain food resources. Lightening strikes causing fires to old growth, making room for new growth.
      Humans are the only species on earth that does not live by survival of the fittest. Our species has become old and weak. And if you cannot understand that, then you are part of the herd that needs to be thinned.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      Nope- everything has statistics.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Im sorry centuries of evolution and natural selection in the wild is good enough for me. I have never seen a pack of wolves helping their sick old or injured. Actually they usually kill them off. You can find that info just about anywhere.

  4. Ursi

    June 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    Aw jeez, now I have to make sure I’m up to to date with shots before seeing family from CA next near.

    • AugustW

      June 17, 2014 at 11:40 pm

      Getting blood titers is super easy and cheap if you go to your family doctor. I did that instead of getting a new chicken pox shot, for work.

    • JenH1986

      June 18, 2014 at 2:58 pm

      Check your local hospitals. We have a hospital here that provides free Tdap shots at certain times/days. All you need is an expecting mothers name and due date. They don’t even have to be a patient at that hospital.

  5. Rachel Sea

    June 17, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I live in the county with the second most cases, and work in the county with the most. The public schools have vaccination rates which provide herd immunity, or near herd immunity. The private schools do not, with vaccination rates as low as 26%.

    The myth that a healthy lifestyle is a shield against communicable disease is literally killing people here.

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 4:25 am

      Wow, it’s almost an unintentional peasants’ revolt with whooping cough and measles as the accidental weapon. To be honest if you talk about vaccinations as a dangerous thing around the council house estate that makes up half of my kids’ primary school the mothers will look at you as if you have sprouted an extra head and have told them that you live on the moon. My contact with anti vaxxers tends to be people with enough posh education to think they know everything but not enough to actually have the real facts.

    • whiteroses

      June 18, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      Which is incredibly dangerous. I am relatively well-educated (two advanced degrees, and my intelligence level is measured at “superior”) and I feel so strongly about vaccinations that I will defriend someone on Facebook and in life over them. If I know that a child doesn’t have vaccines by his parent’s choice and wants to play at my house, it isn’t happening. As a family, we have far too much contact with people who can’t be vaccinated to start that mess.

      Vaccinations are really the only thing I truly judge other parents on.

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Agreed. I know a few parents of kids who can’t be immunised and obviously they are also the kids who would probably have a far worse infection with nastier complications if they did catch something. There is a little girl in my daughters class who has a compromised immune system due to a life limiting condition and I would hate myself if I contributed to her further hospitalisation or even death by carelessly infecting her through my daughter with something preventable. People who rely on herd immunity are far more vulnerable to infection than a child who is not immunised by choice.

    • K.

      June 18, 2014 at 9:45 am

      I get seriously pissed off with the whole “my healthy lifestyle will prevent us from contracting disease!!” These people clearly have no clue how “disease” works.

      People who suffered from yellow fever ate all organic food, usually plant-based, were a hell of a lot more active than we are today, and had far fewer environmental toxins than we do today. They also didn’t have vaccines, which is why they died (and why there are still people today dying from yellow fever)

    • CRod

      June 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      That’s what’s so crazy to me, is that these anti-vaxx people are predominantly highly-educated, well off individuals. It just doesn’t make sense. You have the capability to educate yourself and, yet, be such morons.

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Obviously I can’t generalise for everyone but from my observations it isn’t my highly educated friends or my friends who were let down with a bad education, it tends to be the ones in between. None of my friends with PhDs or science based degrees dispute the need for vaccines, for example. In my acquaintance it tends to be people with a privileged background and enough education to give them confidence in their opinions over the masses but not enough education to have the right information or the real skills to sift through bad and good information. It seems to be the classic cliché of a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing, because in this case it is badly applied and misunderstood.

  6. RayneofCastamere

    June 17, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Why do I care if I’m vaccinated? Because I care about the people who, for legitimate medical reasons, CANNOT be vaccinated. Yes, vaccines can have horrible side effects in certain people. Those are the people that herd immunity is FOR. So they can be safe even if they can’t be vaccinated.

    Also, because I hate the implication that I’d be better off dead than non-neurotypical. I like my life just fine, thanks. The autistic spectrum isn’t fucking cancer. AND YOU DON’T GET ON THE SPECTRUM BECAUSE OF FUCKING VACCINES!

    SCIENCE! It r hardful!

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    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 4:16 am

      Good grief yes. I agree with all of that. There are a lot of people unable to vaccinate out there and they are the same people who would have far more devastating consequences if they caught the diseases we vaccinate against. Also while I am sure many of the anti vaccine parents see autism as a terrible consequence of vaccines (despite no scientific evidence), just as they all want their children to be geniuses and have beauty pagent standard looks or whatever other list of “perfection” they have, autistic children are every bit as lovely and children without autism. The idea of rather risk death or serious illness for your child is rather insulting to those on the spectrum or with children on the spectrum.

    • Rachel Sea

      June 18, 2014 at 11:53 am

      This site does a great job explaining the link between vaccines and autism. http://howdovaccinescauseautism.com/

  7. Edify

    June 17, 2014 at 7:52 pm

    We’ve had a few outbreaks of measles in Australia and I can’t tell you how relieved I was when our baby received his first MMR dose last week. It’s scary having an unvaccinated baby when there are outbreaks

    • Gangle

      June 17, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      We have had a number of measles outbreaks in my town just recently – and I have noticed while out doing the shopping parents out with their contagious little ones. It scares me enough that I am going to worry about my baby once she arrives until she gets her shots. Have you read though, that in WA many doctors are refusing to sign off on ‘vaccine objectors’ so they can get the family tax benefit? There needs to be more of that. In my mind, unless you have an actually medical reason to not vaccinate you should not get the family tax benefit at all.

    • Edify

      June 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      I hope your immunisations are current and working, it must be pretty worrying being pregnant around it. My blood test during first pregnancy were fine but my second showed I was no longer immune to rubella. It didn’t even occur to me to check this between babies. The day I delivered I was given a booster.
      I agree, as part of social health policies, doctors should only be able to sign off on it if there are medical reasons or perhaps demonstrably proveable religious reasons and there should be follow up on that to ensure current practice.
      We are asked for current vaccine certificates at daycare and now school enrollment but I’ve been slack getting those as the website is always down. There is never any follow up, it’s just a box they check which I guess just feeds into the problem.

    • Gangle

      June 17, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      My immunisations are current… I *hope* they are working. I just don’t get these people. I mean, it is bad enough not vaccinating, but then being a big enough arsehole that you would take your contagious child into public? As I understand with the doctors, they are under no legal obligation to sign off for parents who choose not to vaccinate, and in some areas they are finally acting on that and refusing. But I guess there will always be some doctor out there who doesn’t give a crap and will sign off anyway. Even for religious reasons… like you said, they should have to show current practise etc, although how you could realistically police that I don’t know. I just don’t think that one persons personal beliefs trumps someone elses right to live.

    • Edify

      June 17, 2014 at 8:51 pm

      That pretty much sums up the entire situation. No government is prepared to step on religious practices because that’s a huge minefield but no government would be willing to fund follow up measures. It could be followed up by state family and community services but they are already substantially underfunded and no doubt based on the current budget outlook, potentially going to become worse.

      I sincerely think that the next public campaign needs to be about booster shots in adults beyond those about to become parents.

    • Edify

      June 17, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      I hope your immunisations are current and working, it must be pretty worrying being pregnant around it. My blood test during first pregnancy were fine but my second showed I was no longer immune to rubella. It didn’t even occur to me to check this between babies. The day I delivered I was given a booster.
      I agree, as part of social health policies, doctors should only be able to sign off on it if there are medical reasons or perhaps demonstrably proveable religious reasons and there should be follow up on that to ensure current practice.
      We are asked for current vaccine certificates at daycare and now school enrollment but I’ve been slack getting those as the website is always down. There is never any follow up, it’s just a box they check which I guess just feeds into the problem.

    • CW

      June 17, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      What on Earth does vaccine status have to do with taxes? That is a MAJOR abuse of the government if people are not getting all their legal tax deductions and credits just because some busybody doesn’t like the parenting choices the parents are making. What’s next- denying formula feeders their child tax deductions?

    • whiteroses

      June 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      And… here it starts. Awesome.

    • AugustW

      June 17, 2014 at 11:39 pm

      I imagine the state will need to use that money to fight off the next major epidemic caused by anti-vaxxers.

    • CW

      June 18, 2014 at 12:53 am

      There are plenty of parents out there making $#++y parenting choices. Why single out ONE of those choices for denying tax refunds legally due and not all the other bad choices? Smoking around your kids, for example. That is WAY more likely to result in harming the child’s health than simply opting out of vaccines.

    • brebay

      June 18, 2014 at 12:57 am

      Uh, cigarettes are already subject to a hefty tax penalty…

    • Gangle

      June 18, 2014 at 1:51 am

      Cigarettes are heavily taxed.

    • OptimusPrime*

      June 18, 2014 at 3:07 am

      While not likely, if the smoking parent only smokes at home or in the car, he or she isn’t actually putting other people and other people’s children at risk, just his or her own. Anti-vaxers are putting other people and other people’s children at risk.

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 5:24 am

      Probably partly because it is an easy one to administer while finding out who the parents who smoke around their kids are to penalise them through benefit reduction doesn’t sound easy to put into practice. The other part is that vaccinating children potentially saves the tax payer money if you live in a country where health care is free on point of access. The tax payer in the country where I live carries the burden of my children’s medical costs if they need medicine or are hospitalised due to a severe case or complications with a disease. Tax payers also pay for the far more expensive treatment that could arise if someone who can’t be immunised due to a compromised immune system catches something off my children, for example the little girl in my daughter’s class with a severe and life limiting heart condition that will require a transplant when she is a teen. When she gets ill she often has long stays in hospitals with expensive equipment and possibly expensive surgery that her mother doesn’t have to pay a penny for as the tax payer (gladly and proudly) picks up the bill.

    • K.

      June 18, 2014 at 9:39 am

      Smoking and vaccines are not equivalent.

      And restricting a tax BENEFIT (which, by definition, is a perk, not a right) is not the same thing as imposing taxes.

    • whiteroses

      June 18, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Cigarettes are already taxed. And sad to say, but cigarette smoking around your kids really only affects your kids, depending on where it’s done.

    • Gangle

      June 18, 2014 at 1:50 am

      Because their ‘personal choice’ affects every single person around them. If a parent decides to formula feed, that is an individual choice that literally affects nobody else except that parent/s and that child/ren. But enough people decide not to vaccinate? Well, that destroys herd immunity. It doesn’t just affect one little family, it affects whole communities. So people who are immune-compromised, or unable to vaccinate or too young to vaccinate are put at risk. I am sorry, but I don’t think any parent deserves to be rewarded for putting my baby who is too young to be vaccinated at risk of serious health complications or death. Or cancer patients. Or anyone else who is immune deficient. And yeah, here, if a doctor doesn’t sign you off on your form that you are exempt for being a ‘vaccine objector’ you don’t legally have a claim to the family tax benefit. Because vaccination is a social responsibility, not some cutesy-crunchy parenting choice.

    • the_ether

      June 18, 2014 at 3:44 am

      I’m in Brisbane, and cases keep popping up here. I’m 28 weeks pregnant and nervous as all hell.

    • Edify

      June 18, 2014 at 7:46 am

      Don’t you just wish there was a bubble you could live in for a little while? I hope you stay safe.

    • Gangle

      June 18, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I don’t live far from you, and we have had the same. Stay safe.

    • Edify

      June 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      Sounds like you both should go on holidays to a remote disease free island and rest until babies are born. That’s exactly how pregnancy should be done!

    • Gangle

      June 18, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      I like your thinking! We could call it pregnant island and fully vaccinated waiters can bring us non-alcoholic beverages with umbrellas in them, make our favourite snacks and give us foot rubs until the baby comes.

    • ChickenKira

      June 18, 2014 at 7:28 am

      My daughter is 3 weeks until she turns 1 and can get her MMR shot. We’ve had two cases of measles confirmed in our city council area, I cannot wait for 3 weeks time.

    • Edify

      June 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Is there any chance they would do them early? The whooping cough was meant to be at 2 months but when we started getting outbreaks, they brought it forward to the current 6 weeks

    • ChickenKira

      June 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Apparenty it doesn’t count on the national register if done before the child’s first birthday. I asked the nurse why at the 6 month shots and she just shrugged and said “red tape”. Nice.

    • Edify

      June 18, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      I’d maybe make a few calls and ask about that. And I’d rather fight a battle about it being on the national register which you could prove with medical records than contracting measles in an area with break outs

  8. whiteroses

    June 17, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    It’ll always be hilarious (in the sense of not being funny in the slightest) to me when people argue that it’s a personal choice.

    No, it’s not. If your kid gets sick and then gets someone else sick, you’ve just made YOUR decision their problem. So therefore, they get the right to tell you to suck it up and get your kid vaccinated. In all honesty, if I care about your kid’s health more than you do, something’s not right with that.

    • AugustW

      June 17, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      In many places, if someone knows they have HIV and doesn’t warn their partner, and infects them, they can be considered financially and legally liable.

      I wonder if an anti-vaxxer were to get my 2 month old sick with something preventable, would they be liable as well?

      As the law stands now, probably not, but I would be interested to see lawyers make a case for it in the future.

    • Andrea

      June 18, 2014 at 7:47 am

      I’d love to see that. Well NO I would not want your 2 month sick for any reason; but I would be VERY interested to watch the legal ramifications of that.

    • whiteroses

      June 18, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I think that we’re not that far from something like that happening. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s going to take a widespread epidemic that kills hundreds before people wake up.

    • guest

      June 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

      Honestly, I’m waiting at this point for a massive amount of deaths due to preventable disease and hopefully, HOPEFULLY, that will wake people up. At this point, I can’t see it going anywhere else.

    • Kelly

      June 18, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      Same here. Eventually a bunch of kids are going to die and it’s going to be even more tragic because it’s so preventable.

    • Blueathena623

      June 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      A Law and Order SVU episode staring Hillary duff addressed that idea.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 2:21 am

      Yes, let’s take our life advice from Law and Order.

    • Blueathena623

      June 19, 2014 at 8:06 am

      I dont know if you’re being snarky, but I do think its interesting that SVU had an episode about a baby too young to be vaccinated dying from measles passed on by a non-vaxxed kid, and the mom of the unvaxxed was sued or arrested or something. The episode was 2009, so they were on the ball.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 2:20 am

      No you do not get to tell me what to do medically. No way no how. Understand?
      We go by our doctor’s advice and that is all we go by. So that means no flu shot and no chicken pox vaccines.
      So take your holierthanthou attitude and shove it.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 10:47 am

      If your objection to vaccines boils down to “screw the rest of you, I’m looking out for me and mine,” then it’s a good thing the rest of us don’t feel that way.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      No I am not relying on you and your family. I am relying on the educated advice of a doctor I trust. Not some pompous poster in here.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      Definition of herd immunity: http://www.vaccines.gov/basics/protection/

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm

      Wow you know how to post a link. Does not change a thing. I have no problem with nature taking it’s course.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Hope you remember that when you’re old.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:48 pm

      Trust me, once quality of life is gone, and I am just draining resources, I hope to hell someone takes me out.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Good to know. Not everyone shares that philosophy.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Yes, because everyone tries to fight nature. Guess what, no matter how good your science gets…..Mother Nature will still kick your ass.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      I prefer today’s modern healthcare to the whims and vagaries of “Mother Nature”. Most parents do.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 6:35 pm

      And you will lose. Nature is more powerful, more adaptable than science, than humans. When nature decides to thin the herd, all you drug addicts will be the first gone, because your bodies natural defences will be too weak.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      Interesting theory. One which, unfortunately, is not backed by science.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 10:06 am

      Yes it is. There are numerous examples of vaccine and antibiotic resistant strains of virus’ diseases.

    • whiteroses

      June 24, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      Which are…?

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 10:08 am

      If you honestly believe that humans can beat nature, then you need help.

    • C.J.

      June 19, 2014 at 8:17 pm

      So you would be ok with it if one of your children or future grandchildren died of a vaccine preventable disease because it is “nature taking it’s coarse”.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Am not aginst all vaccines, but some like chicken pox and flu are ones we don’t do. Our bodies need to naturally fight some, or our species will become immunity compromised.

    • C.J.

      June 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Vaccines build immunity. That is why we don’t see diseases like polio in developed countries anymore.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      They do not build immunity. They articficially create the immunity. And if you are a normally healthy individual you do not need the flu shot. You do not need the chicken pox vaccine.
      And as for the idea I should accept medical treatment against my wishes, so that you feel better is bullshit. The day that the gov’t mandates medical treatments is the day I and a lot of people I know will take up arms.

    • C.J.

      June 20, 2014 at 9:59 pm

      That’s your opinion. I prefer to believe science. I happen to think that the complications that can come from chicken pox are not worth the risk.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 21, 2014 at 3:20 am

      It is also the opinion of our family doctor, whom I trust more than commentors on a blog.

    • C.J.

      June 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

      My family doctor has the opposite opinion, whom I trust more than commentors on a blog.

  9. BexleyS

    June 17, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    A couple of years back, there was an outbreak in the UK of whooping cough in babies under 8 weeks (when they get vaccinated) and we are so lucky that pregnant women in the last few weeks of pregnancy are recommended to get re-vaccinated to provide their baby with immunity for the first weeks of their life. The vaccination is free and offered at a routine midwife appointment so people don’t have to go out of their way to have it done. Yet I know people that haven’t. I honestly can’t think of anything more heartbreaking than watching your new baby die and doctors being able to do nothing about it. If you’re offered the choice to prevent this, I can’t for a second understand the mindset of people that choose not to. To me it wasn’t even a choice, I was getting that vaccine, no questions!

  10. C.J.

    June 17, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    I am just so tired of these stories. Seriously, what is wrong with these people. It is just not logical to turn your back on science. There really should only be medical exception for people who can’t get vaccinated. The rest of us should be getting vaccinated to protect ourselves, our children and everyone else that can’t get vaccinated.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 2:27 am

      Slippery slope. Mandating any form of medical treatment will only lead to more and more, until you lose authority over your own health care.

    • C.J.

      June 19, 2014 at 9:26 am

      They are already mandatory to be able attend public school, there is just a lot of loopholes. They have been mandatory for years and the government hasn’t tried to take over our authority over our own health care decisions. They wouldn’t even need to be mandatory if there weren’t so many people who fall for the conspiracy theories, people would just go get them on their own. The government has better things to do than sit around all day trying to find ways to take our medical decisions away from us. I had absolutely no problem being required to have my children vaccinated to start school. Not vaccinating is a public health risk.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Would I prefer that vaccinations were completely voluntary? Sure. But that’s not going to happen any time soon. And frankly, it probably shouldn’t.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:28 pm

      No over vaccinating is a public health risk. Secondly, I have had a school want to refuse my daughter for not having the chicken pox shot. Our doctor quickly fixed that by reminding them that school policy does not overrule his authority as our family doctor.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      I’d love to hear the sources that back up your assertion that “over vaccinating” is a public health risk. Considering the fact that you believe natural selection will pick out the weak, sick and old- and that this is a good thing- then herd immunity doesn’t exist, right? And it doesn’t matter if people get these diseases and are permanently disabled by them?

    • C.J.

      June 19, 2014 at 8:04 pm

      How is protecting against disease a public health risk? We are lucky enough to live in a country where we are able to prevent some horrible diseases. We are starting to lose that protection because too many people think google = research.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 10:11 am

      It is weakening the species. By keeping the sick, old, and injured alive we weaken the whole. No other animal does this, and yes humans are animals.

    • C.J.

      June 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      Our species isn’t weakening. We live longer and healthier than ever before. Unlike other animals we have the ability to think and problem solve. We have the ability to develop technology and medicine. Comparing humans to other mammals is like comparing apples and oranges, they are not the same thing.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 20, 2014 at 9:39 pm

      Living longer does not make the species stronger. After a certain age people are no longer contributing to the species. Healthier? Depends on how you look at it. Obesity is not healthy, and the majority of the population is over weight. And when all the baby boomers are of the age where they need more and more medical attention, you won’t want them living too long. With all the different conditions that come on with age, the baby boomers are going to really push the healthcare systems to the limit, and we are already seeing it now.
      An old population is not a healthy nor strong population. It is an old and weak population. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, and all the seniors in my family. But it is a reality.
      Yes we can create tech and medicine, all of which has made us weak. Should we run out of fossil fuels today, and could no longer rely on tech, because there is no power for it…………do you know how much of the population would survive? Very little. And guess what, all those animals you think are beneath us, their populations would flourish.

    • C.J.

      June 20, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      I value all life, not just the young and strong. Without those baby boomers we wouldn’t be here. They still have a lot to contribute with their wisdom. We survived without technology before, we could do it again if needed. We would find other ways.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 21, 2014 at 3:26 am

      Without power, over 75% of the earth’s population is gone in just a winter. You wouldn’t stand a chance.
      Your statement about valuing all life is emotional, with no basis in reality. Humans are the only animals that try to extend life far past it’s limits. Overpopulation isn’t because of birth rates, it is because of extended lives.

    • C.J.

      June 21, 2014 at 11:25 am

      We have other ways of making power. I think you read too much in to the conspiracy theories. Vaccinating and modern medicine isn’t going to cause the collapse of the world.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 22, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Maybe you should learn to read, period. Never said vaccines would cause the end of the world you moron.
      I don’t give a shit how many ways you think you can create power, without fossil fuels little idiots like you are fucked.
      Humans are a part of nature not superior to it.

    • C.J.

      June 22, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      You keep talking about how our species is weakening. All you are doing is giving your misguided opinion. Whenever anyone asks you to back up your opinion with facts you can’t. As usual you resort to name calling and insults when people don’t agree with you or question you. Very mature. We are all allowed our own opinions, that doesn’t make it fact and we can disagree with acting like children.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 24, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      You want facts……..open your eyes. The largest generation, the baby boomers are all aging to senior levels, where they no longer add to the pool, they just use resources. In not so many years there will be more people drawing on health care, than there will be working to support it. That is the ultimate in weakness you stupid bitch.

    • C.J.

      June 24, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Yep, again with the childish behavior. Are you not able to have a respectful adult conversation. I’m done talking to you.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 25, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Thank you, have had my fill of stupidity this month.

  11. Alp

    June 17, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    I remember vividly a almost dying from whooping cough at age 6…

    • Surly Canuck

      June 18, 2014 at 11:16 am

      Yeah, I had it at 8 years old. I remember being so sleep deprived because the coughing fits would interrupt my breathing. Apparently that was a mild case. You can bet I got my booster when it was offered.

  12. Momma425

    June 17, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    Why I care about outbreaks even though my child and I are vaccinated:
    -I work in a community health center. I care about my patients.
    -I want to have a baby. Who will not be old enough to recieve vaccinations right away. The thought of my child dying because of someone’s uneducated, selfish decision really grinds my gears.
    -Although my child and I have been vaccinated- vaccines do not always work 100%. The more people who DO get vaccinated, the less chance of an epademic going around that will test MY child’s immunity. And quite frankly, my immunity as well.
    -I care about people who cannot recieve vaccinations for legitimate medical reasons.
    -I care about children who are not my own. By care I mean I at least do not want them to die of some terrible disease.

  13. CW

    June 17, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Sorry, the epidemic is NOT due for the most part to anti-vaxxers but rather older children and adults who were previously vaccinated but whose immunity wore off. But it’s much easier to scapegoat the tiny fraction of anti-vaxxers than blame the much larger population of those who aren’t up-to-date on their booster shots.

    • whiteroses

      June 17, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Sources?

    • AugustW

      June 17, 2014 at 11:44 pm

      It may be a combination of the two, but anti-vaxxers are certainly to blame as well.
      It’s one thing to get vaccinated and not know that it may not last for life.
      It’s another thing to purposely make the choice that you and your beliefs are more important than the health and safety of the rest of the world, and not get a damn shot.

    • Korine

      June 18, 2014 at 12:27 am

      Well, no. No this isn’t true. It is infuriating how uneducated internet users are able to spread madness like this so quickly. And make no mistake, the anti-vaccination movement is madness that will be studied in history books one day.

    • CW

      June 18, 2014 at 12:57 am

      How about Harvard Medical School? “Half of all the cases [of pertussis] that occur in this country are among teens and adults.” http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/no-big-whoop-adult-pertussis-may-not-produce-the-whooping-cough-20100913358

    • brebay

      June 18, 2014 at 12:58 am

      These are the first generation of Sears Cult anti-vaxers, congrats, you just made the opposite of your point.

    • CW

      June 18, 2014 at 1:02 am

      Umm, no. Vaccines weren’t particularly controversial when my oldest child was a baby in 2002. I only started hearing a big debate over the issue in 2007 or so. So those kids are still in elementary school or younger.

    • CW

      June 18, 2014 at 1:04 am

      I just looked up when Jenny McCarthy’s book about her son’s autism got published- 2008. That sounds about right for when I started hearing about the vaccine controversy.

    • brebay

      June 18, 2014 at 7:57 am

      Again, Jenny was NOT the catalyst of this nonsense, just a loudmouth. It’s been around a lot longer than that. And, again, the reason it grew is because of the internet and, because, you know, things start small, and get better. And when YOU heard about it is not the measure of when it began.

    • whiteroses

      June 18, 2014 at 8:23 am

      I started hearing about anti-vaxxers in the late eighties- and that’s only because that’s when I started taking health classes. And even then, as a seven year old, I thought all the folks who could get vaccines and just couldn’t be bothered were nuts.
      Time has not improved my opinion.

    • Kelly

      June 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Oh wow, so you get your medical news from Jenny McCarthy…

      There’s no hope for you.

    • brebay

      June 18, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Uh, no. Just because YOU didn’t start hearing about it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. The Sears’ were publishing in the late 70’s and early 80’s. It started small, and without internet, and this is the first round of a large number of people opting out of herd immunity.

    • Kelly

      June 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm

      I had my son in 2001 and yes, they were controversial. Your ignorance of that fact does not negate it.

    • CW

      June 18, 2014 at 12:59 am

      Whereas only 2% of entering CA kindergartners have a vaccine exemption on file. So the number of anti-vaxxers really *IS* small, despite all the hysteria in the media and blogosphere.

    • Blueathena623

      June 18, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      But yet they have a much higher rate of disease. So as that number grows, the outbreaks will grow proportionately. Let’s say we have 100 people and a 95% vaccination rate. Disease breaks out, 10 people get sick. I will be super generous and say that 80% of the people sick were vaccinated, so only 20% were unvaccinated.
      For the vaccinated, 8 out of 95 people is about 8% illness rate
      For the unvaccinated, 2 out of 5 is 40%.
      So now let’s imagine a horrible world with 100 people, 50 vaccinated, 50 unvaccinated. Using those same illness rates, 4 vaccinated people are sick, and 20 unvaccinated are.

    • Kelly

      June 18, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Oh, I see. So you’re blaming people who didn’t get their boosters rather than people who were never vaccinated in the first place.

      So, you should never have to get any shots because… you’re special? But everyone else needs to go get shots and stay up to date on boosters because… we’re not special?

      Typical anti-vaxx bullshit. The rules should be special for you and fuck everybody else. Of course, as soon as there is an epidemic, you tsk tsk about how people should be vaccinated. If you can’t see the hypocrisy in that, you’re a fool.

    • Blueathena623

      June 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm

      Yes, the pertussis vaccine is not as long lived as one would hope. From what I’ve read, 10 years is about max, although immunity starts to drop off pretty sharply after even 5 years or so. So EVERYONE needs to get boosters.
      But removing the scapegoating, people still need to be immunized in the first place because those who had the vaccine, even if their total immunity has waned, tend to have less severe versions of the disease.

  14. AugustW

    June 17, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    The vaccination debate really does bring out the “social contract” in people. For all their talk of love thy neighbor and it takes a village, It’s amazing how quickly so many people are willing to take a “fuck everybody else” approach.
    Really? Is avoiding a shot yourself really worth the potential deaths of others who can’t do the shot?

    • Kelly

      June 18, 2014 at 12:26 pm

      Yep, that’s what anti-vaxxers always end up resorting to; “Fuck other people.”

      It’s hard to take them seriously when that’s their stance.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 10:45 am

      *AMEN*.

  15. CW

    June 18, 2014 at 12:49 am

    The following was from an article on my local news site: “Health officials [from the CA Dept. of Public Health] said whooping cough is cyclical and that cases peak
    every three to five years. The last peak was in 2010, so this year
    could be another peak year, officials say.” So this is just a normal high point in the cycle, not something unusual to freak out over.

    • OptimusPrime*

      June 18, 2014 at 3:02 am

      Unless if you, like me, are one of those people who cannot have the Pertussis vaccine and are forced to risk your life because some people can’t understand basic science–or just don’t care.

    • whiteroses

      June 18, 2014 at 8:20 am

      Sure. And I’m assuming you’re volunteering a kid you love to test that theory… what’s that you say? You’d never do that? Then why on earth would you think I’d volunteer mine?

    • Kendra

      June 18, 2014 at 9:28 am

      I give you 1,000 upvotes for this comment.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 2:28 am

      And you would have us drug and vaccine our species into a state of weakness. Way to go.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      Nope. Just give the people who can’t get vaccinated a fighting chance. And prevent diseases like smallpox and polio from becoming prevalent again, or epidemics of other diseases from occurring. The reason why we’re still seeing these diseases is because people can’t (or more likely won’t) get vaccinated against them.

      I get it- “personal freedom” and whatnot- but right to life is pretty important too.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      Exactly. Right to life. Which means we should allow natural selection to work, instead of fighting it. Population problems are just as much from keeping the old, sick and infirm alive longer than they should. Severely draining important resources.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      If you have more than one child, you’re also contributing to population problems. If we allow a human being to die by sitting on our thumbs and not giving them access to health care, that’s called murder.

      And what are these “important resources” that cancer patients and old people drain? Name them.

  16. brebay

    June 18, 2014 at 12:56 am

    These are the same people who want a district-wide ban when their little Typhoid Mary is allergic to tree nuts…

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 4:20 am

      Yes, they often are but I had never thought about it like that until you mentioned it. Somehow no child their kid comes into contact with can have ever looked at whatever their kid is allergic to yet their child is free to spread all the diseases they want.

    • Kelly

      June 18, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      Oh yes, they’re assholes. They only care about their health of their own children and to hell with everybody else’s children. But they also expect other parents to put the health of their super special snowflakes above that of their own children.

      It’s insane. “I only care about MY kids and you should only care about MY kids too!” Um, no. It doesn’t work that way.

    • cabinfever

      June 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

      They often are? Where is this supposed correlation between anti-vax parents and food allergic children coming from?

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Not food allergic children, kids with allergies could happen to anyone and obviously their allergies should be taken seriously. We are thinking more of the kind of parent who takes it a little too far in terms of what other children who go near their child can do, particularly the ones who exaggerate the allergy or intolerance.There are kids with genuine, sometimes life threatening, severe allergies and intolerances whose requirements should be taken seriously and then there are a few parents out there with kids who have a slight reaction or where the parents have read about the evils of a particular food but the kid doesn’t have an allergy at all, and they take protecting their kid to incredible extremes and make sure everyone knows about it in great depth, not just those in a position to protect the kid being aware.

      As for the correlation between those parents and anti vaxxers it is nothing scientific or necessarily universal, just that in my own experience and I would assume Brebay’s too, those parents tend to be one and the same. Perhaps that isn’t the case beyond our own respective social circles, but we both found it true enough of the people we know to want to vent about it.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      June 18, 2014 at 6:58 am

      Or gluten-free, when half the time the kid can tolerate gluten just fine.

    • Spiderpigmom

      June 18, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Half? I find you optimistic. And this fad is hugely prejudicial to people who really have celiac disease because they aren’t taken as seriously as they should. Grr.

    • CrazyFor Kate

      June 18, 2014 at 10:30 am

      YES. My sister has celiac (trust me, I’ve seen her ill from it, it’s not pleasant) and the eye-rolling she gets is unbelievable. People, stop with the fad health shit, please and thank you.

    • JenH1986

      June 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Or admit it’s a preference not a necessity and let everyone else move on.

    • Lackadaisical

      June 18, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Yes, it has got to the point where I have known people to roll their eyes about gluten free and say “how trendy”, even to the few people I know with genuine celiac disease. Genuine celiacs are not messing about to be trendy and if they ignore their very real dietry restrictions it can cause all kinds of nasty complications in the long term as well as the short term problems but in my own experience so many people are used to perfectly healthy people being neurotic about it that they don’t quite believe in the real cases.

  17. M.

    June 18, 2014 at 7:48 am

    This is just horrifying…I’m pregnant with #2 right now and am planning on getting vaccinated again, along with my husband and 14 year old stepson. My grandma had a brother who died of whooping cough as an infant, and I think people have just forgotten how awful these diseases are, since most of us have grown up in a world largely without them.

  18. ted3553

    June 18, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    As an adult, I caught whooping cough from kids I was teaching swimming lessons to. The doctor explained (when I was shocked that basically anoyone got whooping cough because i assumed people got vaccinated) that the Mennonite community I had in lessons at the time, had very low vaccination rates. The test involves sticking a pipe cleaner thing up your nose so far it feels like it’s in your brain and was one of the most painful and uncomfortable things I’ve gone through and that didn’t even include the nastiness of having whooping cough. I can’t imagine exposing my child to that and the disease.

  19. AP

    June 18, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    LAX and SFO are the two main points of entry to the US from the Asian continent, plus the southern border of California is a major point of entry from Central and South America. All places with low vaccination access and rates.

    Even if there was 100% vaccination rates among native-born kids, there would still be tons of people streaming through California who have exposure to spreading diseases that most Americans have been vaccinated against. It’s a very good reason to vaccinate, because our world is shrinking due to air travel.

  20. Jenni

    June 18, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    So, my husband was one of 3 cases of whooping cough one year here in Oklahoma. We think his older sister got it at school and brought it home and it got him, the baby. The whole family was quarantined in the house, and he could have died (well, my husband could have died quite a few times in his life. This was one of the most extreme times though).
    What boggles my mind is that his older sister, the one who was a little Typhoid Mary and brought the disease home, is now considering not vaccinating her kids all the way. When his parents casually mentioned that to me, I went off with all the scientific facts I could on why that is a harebrained idea. And, to make it all the crazier seeming to them, we don’t even have kids so “why should we care?”

  21. CRod

    June 18, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    I live in CA, in the Bay Area, right in the middle of anti-vaxx country. Anyways, my coworker’s son is vaccinated for whooping cough and still got it. He’s about 4. He had a persistent cough for about a week. It wasn’t even that awful where he stopped breathing, it was just frustrating to the little guy that he would get in to these little coughing fits. She took her son to the doctor and sure enough it was whooping cough. So, those anti vaxxers are not just putting un-vaccinated people at risk, they are putting everyone at risk. Don’t be a moron. Get your kid vaccinated. And if you aren’t doing it so that your kid doesn’t have autism (there’s nothing that says that this is true)….I would rather have a healthy, autistic kid, then a non-autistic kid with the whooping cough, measles, mumps, or god knows what other diseases. Get real people.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 2:29 am

      Yes yes get them vaccinated because it worked so well for your coworkers kid.

    • whiteroses

      June 19, 2014 at 10:50 am

      Had he not been vaccinated, he could have died. He was, so the chances that he would die were a lot lower.

    • Warren Pacholzuk

      June 19, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      Could have died? He still could have died even being vaccinated. Just wasn’t his time.

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