Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The fallacy of vaccinations

Iowa is experiencing an outbreak of the mumps. So far this year there have been 219 cases of the mumps mostly in college age people. This is my oldest daughters age group and a group that has all been vaccinated for the disease as infants. The other group affected is my age group. Also a demographic that was vaccinated as infants. The baby boomers more than likely had the actual mumps when they were children. It was expected back then, but in the united states today we don't expect our children to have common diseases. We expect to vaccinate them and never give diseases like the mumps or the chicken pox another thought. The theory was that if everyone was vaccinated the diseases would be eventually non existent. It has been twenty years since Iowa has seen this large of an outbreak of the mumps. It is such a concern that the CDC was called in and they have traced this particular strain of the mumps to an outbreak that occurred in England in 2004. There are two problems faced here. Problem number one is the fallacy of vaccinations. Even though American children all must be vacinated there is now world wide exposure and most other countries especially third world countries do not vaccinate. Illegal immigration has been linked to outbreaks of tuberculosis and other diseases that we have not seen in this country on any scale in over a generation. The second problem is that while these diseases contracted in childhood can be serious, most children recover from them quickly and experience no long term problems. The same diseases however encountered as an adult can be serious and life threatening even to the healthiest of people.