On swine flu:
From Newsweek and factcheck.org: Inoculation Misinformation. An excellent article dispelling myths about the H1N1 vaccine. I guess I don't have the right kind of crazy email-forwarding friends, because I had NO IDEA the misinformation was this ridiculous.
From the NYTimes: Flu Story: A Pregnant Woman's Ordeal. Aubrey Opdyke was pregnant when she contracted H1N1. She spent four months in the hospital, five weeks of that in a coma, and had six collapsed lungs and a near-fatal seizure. Her baby had to be delivered at 27 weeks by emergency C-section and lived only seven minutes.
On vaccines in general:
From Wired: An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All. This was really interesting--it's the first article I've seen that states really clearly that by weakening herd immunity, parents who don't vaccinate don't just make their own children vulnerable, they endanger children and adults who have been vaccinated, because vaccines don't always "take":
The frightening implications of this kind of anecdote were illustrated by a 2002 study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Looking at 3,292 cases of measles in the Netherlands, the study found that the risk of contracting the disease was lower if you were completely unvaccinated and living in a highly vaccinated community than if you were completely vaccinated and living in a relatively unvaccinated community. Why? Because vaccines don’t always take. What does that mean? You can’t minimize your individual risk unless your herd, your friends and neighbors, also buy in.
From Slate: My Son Has Cancer. He Can't Go Into Daycare Because of Unvaccinated Children. Less subtle, this one, but effective.
Labels: science is fun