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.
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.