Another day, another study that underscores the societal benefits of vaccines and the consequences we’d face without them.
A recent study finds vaccine refusals have, indeed, accelerated the resurgence of whooping cough and measles here in the U.S. The findings are making headlines around the country — and comment sections are filling up with vitriol from anti-vaxxers — but it would feel amiss not to highlight the study on a blog dedicated to public health. But first, let’s remind ourselves of the pain and suffering that preceded vaccines.
I usually shy away from getting too personal in my work. But in the spirit of Thanksgiving and as a new mom, I was thinking about things for which I’m particularly grateful. One of the first things that came to mind as a public health reporter? Vaccines. So, in that vein, let’s celebrate some new and promising numbers on the worldwide effort to eliminate measles.
A Q&A with public health leaders on emergency preparedness: ‘It should be approached as a permanent and consistent part of what public health does, not a quick fix’
“All response is local” is a commonly heard phrase among public health practitioners who serve on the front lines of disease outbreaks, emergencies and disasters. Whether it’s a measles outbreak, a terrorist attack or a hurricane, public health agencies are at the ready to deploy an emergency response infrastructure designed for one overriding purpose: to protect their communities against preventable disease and injury.
In a somewhat frightening illustration of anti-vaccine trends, a new report estimates that among groups affected in the recent measles outbreak, the rates of measles-mumps-rubella immunization might have been as low as 50 percent.
Recent pieces address the toll of measles; evidence vs. hype in treating heroin addiction; why foodborne-illness outbreaks linked to poultry keep happening; and more.
Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014 features two pieces that remind us how public-health interventions can become less effective if we as a society don't use them effectively