A Frightening Trend.

Day 12. This is actually a lot easier than I thought it would be, writing a post everyday.  I actually look forward to it!

And, yes, I’m back, despite my little rant yesterday, which in case you missed it, you can read here.

What’s on my mind today?  Vaccines.  I know, I know, it’s a volatile topic and I’ve discussed it before, but you see, the baby is 8 weeks old today (my goodness, when did that happen?) and he will be going for his first set of vaccinations next week. For me, it’s a no-brainer that he will be vaccinated.  All of my kids were vaccinated.  I didn’t even give it a second thought.  Now, that’s probably because I am a physician and a rational, logical human being.  Okay, that last part was a bit of a dig.  I am just so sick and tired of parents thinking that just because they’ve done their “research” on vaccines (ie. have read about Wakefield, everything that Jenny McCarthy has to say on the subject, and discussed it with their “friends” on countless message boards), does not mean that they understand the science and study behind creating a vaccine.  These parents haven’t seen the devastation that Polio caused, they haven’t seen what congenital Rubella syndrome looks like, nor have they had to tell their son that they may never be able to father children because the Mumps caused orchitis and has the potential to limit his fertility. And let’s not forget the risks of meningitis from certain strains of pneumococcal pneumonia, Measles, and rarely, chicken pox.

I was a resident in family medicine working on the Pediatric ward when a 15 month old girl was admitted with seizures.  She had been diagnosed with pneumonia 2 days earlier.  Blood cultures revealed a particular strain of bacterial pneumonia.  This strain is one that is covered by a vaccination available here, called Prevnar-13.  A review of this child’s medical records showed that her parents declined all vaccinations.  The seizures were eventually controlled, she was diagnosed with encephalitis and a few weeks later was found to be completely deaf.  Totally preventable had she only been vaccinated as an infant.

At least once every few weeks I see a news article about an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable illness.

It’s becoming so common these days, it’s actually starting to scare me a little bit.  If we continue down this path of non-vaccination, herd immunity is going to fail.  We will see the resurgence of illnesses we haven’t seen in twenty or thirty years.  I have never seen a case of measles but I’m sure one day, at this rate, I will.

What’s next?  A North American outbreak of Polio?

4 thoughts on “A Frightening Trend.

  1. I am terrified of people not vaccinating too. Our school board says they care, but they don’t – I know kids who aren’t vaccinated and the school hasn’t said a word to their parents about it. Then, of course, I read this cbc article (Syria’s polio outbreak may threaten Europe) and get even more worried, especially with the amount of travel between Europe and Canada and because I live in a small university town where lots of the students backpack across Europe in the summer, staying in close quarters, sharing fluids (if you know what I mean…).

    I am frightened :/

  2. OMG! Don’t even get me started. I am way too heated about this right now too (as I sit here and am 1.5 months behind on my kid’s 18 month boosters). Seriously people! We had a kid on our wards who had cellulitis and septic arthritis from a vaccine preventable strain of bacteria. Not as bad as the case you describe, but still, totally unacceptable. I feel like this is becoming an impossible discussion to have people people who “think” they are “informed.” That is my daily rant. Sorry.

    • No, no, rant away, please!! 😉

      I remember my husband asking our pediatrician why we should vaccinate our daughter against the chicken pox. Of course, we both had it as children and didn’t have any complications. To which the pediatrician responded, “Well, let me tell you about the child who will need a new hip in about 20 years because of the septic arthritis he developed from the chicken pox infection; and the 2 year old who is deaf in one year after contracting chicken pox and developing encephalitis… ”
      Husband replies, “Yep, go ahead and give her the needle.”

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