Baby dies from pertussis in Idaho

It’s heartbreaking to have to bring news of the first death from whooping cough in Idaho, a state that has experienced a spike in illnesses due to lack of vaccinations.

Idaho infant dies from whooping cough amid regional outbreak | Reuters.

Whooping cough took the life of a 9-week-old girl from Idaho this week, the first death from an outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory disease that has hit Idaho, Washington state and Montana, health officials said on Friday.

Few details were available about the infant, who was treated for whooping cough at a hospital in Pocatello, Idaho, before being flown on Wednesday to a medical center in Salt Lake City, where she later died, hospital and state health officials said.

The death in Idaho and the spike in whooping cough cases elsewhere have led health officials to renew a call for the vaccination of children, and boosters for adults who are in contact with babies and young children.


Tip: @SteveSilberman on Twitter

I hate this.

Idaho and Washington are among 20 states that allow parents to forego vaccination for philosophical reasons. Their philosophy is misguided and dangerous to their children and their community. The article notes that in western Montana, the number of school-age children who have not been vaccinated for religious or medical reasons caused health officials there to request 115 students stay home for three weeks to avoid contracting whooping cough.

It’s a damn shame how often immunization advocates have to say it: VACCINES SAVE LIVES. Not only does inoculation prevent you from succumbing to the infection, it prevents the spread of disease to those who can not be vaccinated yet or have compromised immune systems. It’s SO simple. And yet, misinformation is rampant.

Is the answer to vilify parents who choose not to vaccinate? At this point, yes. I’d have no hesitation to be blatant about speaking my mind (that would reveal my anger) about an anti-vax stance. The more this point gets driven home, the more people will realize that it is such a wrong-headed way of thinking and it kills children.

  8 comments for “Baby dies from pertussis in Idaho

  1. May 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM

    “Idaho and Washington are among 20 states that allow parents to forego vaccination for philosophical reasons.”

    WTF????

  2. David
    May 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    Awful.

  3. Zone
    May 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    I live in Washington, in one of the counties with the lowest vaccination rates. I know many people who have chosen not to vaccinate their children. My experience is that there is no reasoning with them. Their distrust of the government and medical system is a part of their identity.

    Most people have no idea how to evaluate the quality of information they hear or read. With the explosion of misinformation on the web, a short search will turn up a site to support any whacked belief one has.

    Please vaccinate your children. Even more importantly, teach them critical thinking skills.

  4. Moose McNuggets
    May 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    I like the part at the bottom about “do not reproduce without permission.” Can we apply this to the anti-vaxers?

    • May 6, 2012 at 3:10 AM

      It seems as though the wrong people tend to reproduce in this world, while worthy people have to jump through hoops to adopt.

  5. Massachusetts
    May 5, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    Zone wrote:

    “Most people have no idea how to evaluate the quality of information they hear or read. With the explosion of misinformation on the web, a short search will turn up a site to support any whacked belief one has.”

    You make an excellent point. That’s the key issue, that many people don’t have basic critical thinking skills. If that was fixed, so many of the issues we read about on this blog wouldn’t be a problem at all.

    Education is the only answer, ultimately, but it’s a slow process at best. I may be wrong, but critical thinking seems to be a lower priority at the secondary school level and earlier. I think Universities do a better job, but by then it may be too late for many, not to mention that fact that many people don’t go on to attend Universities after high school.

    Also, the apparent Laissez faire attitude the state governments have on this issue is very frustrating. Their inaction has caused a serious public health risk.

  6. Jodie
    May 6, 2012 at 10:06 PM

    Unfortunately, this trend started with the idea that vaccines were responsible for autism. What is even sadder is that these same people are unaware that the physician responsible for those studies was found to have falsified his data. It will take years to undo that belief.

    http://inthearena.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/05/breaking-news-landmark-autism-study-by-dr-andrew-wakefield-was-an-elaborate-fraud/

  7. Pinky
    May 9, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    i’d nominate them for a Darwin, but they’re unfortunately dangering the entire herd.

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