Tag Archives: diptheria

Is Forcing Parents to Vaccinate Their Children A Good Thing or A Government Overstep? (Poll)

Earlier this week, Croatia became the first country to mandate that all children be vaccinated for for measles, hepatitis, pertussis, diphtheria and a number of other diseases. After carefully weighing the pros and cons, the Croatian government decided that,

“The child’s right to health is more than the rights of parents to the (wrong) choice.”

Back in late January, The Higher Learning reported on how the anti-vaccination movement has led to a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases in recent years, with measles and pertussis being at the top of that list. The movement has also aided the comeback of polio, which was almost completely eradicated just a decade ago.

Child being given a dose of the oral polio vaccine (Photo: CNN)

I understand that many parents are suspicious of the government as well as the health industry, and a parent is totally justified in being very cautious when it comes to injecting their children with various chemicals and substances that the parents tend to have little knowledge on.

But I also understand that this suspicion is often unfounded or taken to the extreme, resulting in children contracting serious, often life-threatening diseases that are easily preventable with a vaccine.

So what’s your take?

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How a Small Medical Myth Became A HUGE Global Emergency (Graphic)

The Council on Foreign Relations recently published a map that shows outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in the last 6 years. If you click on the map below, it will take you to the interactive graphic on the CFR’s official website.

There, you will see a key showing which disease each color represents. The larger the circle, the more reported cases of the disease (put your cursor over a circle to see the type of disease and exact number of cases).

If you start in 2008 and move forward (you can drag the slider on the timeline above the map), you will see a drastic increase in the spread, size and number of these circles.

The anti-vaccination movement has been gaining traction across the globe in recent years. There are a number of reasons for this.

In 1999, British physician Andrew Wakefield published his first of two papers which “proved” that the MMR virus led to autism. Although his work was quickly discredited (here’s a good analysis of the critical flaws in the two studies), many people had already bought in.

Actress, TV talk show personality and former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy championed the anti-vaccination cause in America, helping to ignite a myth that would continue to spread long after Wakefield’s work was discredited.

As recently as last December, Katie Couric gave the movement a platform by interviewing a woman convinced her daughter died from a vaccination against HPV, although the scientific evidence is questionable at best.

Back in November, The Higher Learning reported on how extremist Islamic sects are spreading anti-vaccination propaganda, saying among other things that Western vaccination teams were, “un-Islamic…purveyors of poison meant to sterilize Muslim women.”

The effect of these unfounded fears is clearly evidenced in the map. Read more from the Los Angeles Times here.

The Coolest Places on Earth: Machu Pichu, Peru (Pictures)

Machu Pichu is a 15th-century Inca site located in the Andes Mountains in Southeast Peru. Click an image to enlarge.

Bonus picture: wild llama roam freely around the site, which led to this epic photo-bomb that I just had to share.

machu pichu13

Most archaeologists believe Machu Pichu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti who ruled from 1438-1472.

It was built around 1450 but abandoned a century later when the Spanish invaded the region.

The combination of the Spanish invaders, as well as a number of epidemics of European diseases including influenze, typhus, diptheria, measles and multiple outbreak of smallpox led to the fall of the Inca Empire in the late 16th-century.