Saturday, October 25, 2014

Vaccine Dysfunction

Vaccine denial, more accurately refusing to take vaccines or allow one's children to do so, is indeed a symptom of Dunning-Krugar syndrome, Those seeking a reason why something awful has happened to their children, especially autism are easy prey to self promoters such as Andrew Wakefield, and let Eli be frank, for others it is a living. As David Dunning points out we are "unbridled pattern recognizers and profligate theorizers " especially when there is no there there. Respectful Insolence deals with the disinformers on a daily basis.

The hippie bashers view this as a suckiness of the left, but it is not so simple.  The Council on Foreign Relations has constructed an interactive map of dysfunction, showing the number of cases for such things as measles and whopping cough

South Asia and Africa are in particularly bad shape, if nothing else driven by poverty and the shallow reach of immunization programs.  It emerges that the US has way too many cases of whooping cough, with a small number of, but preventable measles cases, not just on the east and west coasts (where the most people live) but also in the staunch heartland, wherever that is, such as Kansas.  The UK is full of measles epidemics.  Thank you Andrew Wakefield.


Anonymous said...

In the UK, the Daily Mail was as bad as anyone (but not the only one) at promoting the hoax.


Lionel A said...

The Daily Mail carried opinion pieces by a certain Melanie Phillips who bowled in support of Wakefield's arguments.

Ben Goldacre (see his blog 'Bad Science') answered here in the Guardian:

which drew this response from Phillips:

Phillips has also weighed in on climate change with another of her ill informed extreme views:

Very disappointing that she was not challenged on her views. Have to have balance don't we Dimbleby.

There is a Singer 'moment' just a click away at that last one.

Fernando Leanme said...

Why would the incidence be so pronounced in the US NW as well as British Columbia? Would it be associated with the high tech industry attracting Christian fundamentalists who refuse to be vaccinated?

Bryson said...

Hard to say why so many middle-class, well-educated people buy this nonsense. Self-confidence, privilege, never seeing childhood diseases and not realizing how serious measles or pertussis can be... D-K seems to be a big factor-- I've read self-congratulatory comments from parents about how their vaccine-free kids are so healthy. One thing I suspect-- it would be interesting to study it-- is that because they strongly associate 'natural' with 'good' (advertisers spend a lot of money building on that association), the impression that vaccines are 'unnatural' makes selling fear of them very easy. At a pro-vaccine event at our university, an audience member asked us plaintively if there was a 'more natural' way to induce immunity than vaccines...But stimulating the immune system to develop immunity without actually getting the disease that would normally be required to induce immunity is about as clever and elegant a use of nature as I can imagine...

JDM said...

What part of "it is not so simple" did you not understand, Fernando?

Fernando Leanme said...

JDM, I´m going to propose some of you guys for an experimental plan to give you a sense of humour implant. It will make you life a lot more enjoyable.

Fernando Leanme said...

While I'm at it, this is a public service announcement. A new post at my "What's up with Ebola" blog.

It's a shiort training set of cartoons. If you lack a sense of humor you should avoid it.

Everett F Sargent said...

I would blame the Internet, social media (shwitter, fartbook, etc), Internet toys (smartphones thru tablets), and general hearsay that all the above generates (at least in the 1st world nations).

Everett F Sargent said...

Oops, left out blogs and bloggers.

The signal-to-noise ratio is on a definite permanent downswing.

Bryson said...

What people need (and mostly lack) are some decent filters...


"The hippie bashers view this as a suckiness of the left, but it is not so simple. "

Indeed, it depends on whose hippies are bashed.

Anonymous said...

So, vaccination good - prevention beats cure.

And I just got my flu shot.

But like everything else, there are nuances:

The 1918 flu, it is now theorized, was deadly, not because of the virulence of the strain, but the unique and intense immune response of those who were exposed to an earlier variant.

Presumably, that same response would have occurred had the exposed been vaccinated against the previous variant.

That's not a reason to avoid vaccination, but it is possible that vaccination will actually hasten the day that the phenomenon of the 1918 flu repeats.

Anonymous said...

Would it be associated with the high tech industry attracting Christian fundamentalists who refuse to be vaccinated?

Yeah, that's what this video seems indicate.

Hank Roberts said...

"... the spread of the disease has been in part caused by development in the region—relatively modern roads connect villages in the Gueckedou prefecture to cities, where the disease has spread rapidly. ... Deforestation may also have played a role. Human incursion into previously untouched land increases contact between humans and animals that may carry the disease."
-- CFR

Hank Roberts said...

> US NW as well as British Columbia?

Privilege, literally "private law"

These are people who believe that "One Law for the Lion & Ox is Oppression." — William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

These people believe they can "stand above the common herd" and benefit without participating in herd immunity -- they think vaccination is only for the little people, and their own kids are protected by being surrounded by vaccinated kids.

I don't understand how they can think this. But I've met enough of them to know they do.

Bryson said...

From the CDC:

No, a flu shot cannot give you the flu. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine).

An inactivated virus can't produce the kinds of viral loads that would produce a cytokine storm. IF we can identify a flu virus that could cause a 1918-like epidemic, we can vaccinate against it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Fernando,

take the following as humor: You are an ill-informed fear monger. To improve the comic, why not add a final frame "Nuke them from orbit, it's the only way to be sure." That was the polite version.

From the WHO fact sheet:

The incubation period, that is, the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days. Humans are not infectious until they develop symptoms. First symptoms are the sudden onset of fever fatigue, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding (e.g. oozing from the gums, blood in the stools). Laboratory findings include low white blood cell and platelet counts and elevated liver enzymes.

For more on what the experts have to say on the idea of mandatory quarantine:

Brian Dodge said...

Predictably, yuppies who know a lot about operating systems, network protocols, HTML, and Javascript overestimate their understanding of microbiology, and the capability of wealth to combat physical reality.

(yes, I'm being snarcastic; my gut tells me it probably has more to do with the influence (influenz?) of population density on the dynamics of transmissible disease. My head says my Dunning Kruger propensities insure I'm at best oversimplifying)