vaccine preventable diseases

Before I start this little spiel, I need you all to know: I’m not hating on people who don’t vaccinate their kids, and while I know for a fact BASED ON facts that vaccines don’t cause autism or other “defects”, I’m all for continuing research to make them even better and safer.

But you know what really, really scares me about the anti-vax movement? As a future Public Health Professional, the thing that scares me most about this is the fact that our cultural mindset has become so CHILL about vaccine-preventable/”childhood” diseases that there is even room for such a movement. Let me explain.

Do y’all know what an R0 is? The R-naught, as it is called, is the basic reproduction rate of a disease. It tells you how many new infections can come from one existing infection. For example, an R-naught of 3 (R3) means that, on average, one sick person will infect three other people. Every disease has an R-naught, some greater and some lesser.

Do you remember when everyone was freaking out about Ebola? Everyone was terrified of catching it, because it’s SOOOOO contagious and deadly, right? Ebola has an R-naught of 2. That’s it. R2. One person with Ebola, on average, will get 2 more people sick. And we were freaking out about that.

Well guess what? Measles is the most contagious disease known to mankind, and it has an R-naught of 18. 18. One person with measles will give it to 18 new people, and those people will give it to 18 new people EACH, and so on. That’s what happened with the Disneyland outbreak; it’s so ridiculously contagious that just ONE sick child was enough to start an epidemic.

And yet very few people are as scared of measles as they are of Ebola. Why is that? One reason could be the nature of the disease, sure; Ebola is terrifying in its progression and symptoms. But I would suggest that a major reason is that measles has been so well-contained by vaccination that people no longer fear it. It’s not a part of every-day life anymore; this disease is no big deal because nobody gets it, because so many people are vaccinated against it. Let’s put this another way.

What are the diseases that scare everyone the most: Ebola, HIV/AIDS, and SARS are pretty high on the list of terror diseases. But let’s look at the R0s, shall we: Ebola-R2. HIV/AIDS-R5. SARS-R5. 

Now let’s look at diseases that people are voluntarily rejecting vaccinations against: Measles, Pertussis, and Diphtheria are the major ones. Their R0s? Measles-R18. Pertussis-R17. Diptheria-R7.

Everyone focuses on the former set of diseases– rightly so, I suppose– because they’re more dangerous at the present time. What makes them more dangerous? Not their R0; it’s the fact that there is no viable treatment, and NO VACCINE. Seriously, that’s why the medical community is worried about them. There’s no way to treat or PREVENT their spread biologically. Well guess what? There’s no viable treatment for Measles or Pertussis, and only limited treatment options for Diphtheria. That’s why the medical community doesn’t focus on them as much, because we can prevent them at the biological level, safely and effectively.

But now that the Anti-Vax movement has taken hold so firmly, the medical community is now being forced to once more worry about diseases it had almost eradicated. And not only that, it’s endangering herd immunity for the people who can’t receive their own vaccines due to compromised immune systems. I’m allergic to eggs, so I can’t receive the flu shot, but I’m also asthmatic so I can’t get the inhaled vaccine. I rely entirely on the people I associate with to keep me safe from the flu by getting their yearly shot. This made public school a living nightmare, because almost NOBODY got their shot. They caught it, and while it didn’t affect them TOO terribly because they were generally healthy, when I caught it, it was very dangerous because of my asthma. And then there’s that time when I caught the flu, and then right after because of my weakened immune system, I caught Whooping Cough from someone who hadn’t been vaccinated. I HAD been vaccinated, but my body was so fatigued from the flu that it couldn’t keep up with immune demands. And so I caught it.

Have you ever had Pertussis (whooping cough)? It’s hard enough on someone with full lung capacity; it can break ribs, it makes you cough so hard. You cough until there is literally no air in your lungs, and you have to inhale so forcefully it makes the “whooping” sound that gives it the name. It’s painful beyond belief, and it can last for weeks. Some people will survive it. But add that to asthma, or to a young child, or to an elderly person, and you are looking at either permanent damage or death, no exceptions. When I had it, I was about 6 years old, and asthmatic; I spent 81 hours awake because the coughing was so violent I physically couldn’t sleep. I tore abdominal muscles. I vomited during coughing fits and aspirated the vomit. I was actively dying. The doctors could barely suppress the cough enough for me to breathe at all. My inhaler wasn’t helping, none of the cough syrups or breathing treatments were helping; I was getting pneumonia on top of the virus. It was Hell. I was LUCKY that I didn’t die.

Who would wish that on their child? Nobody, I hope. And if you KNEW you could keep your child from ever experiencing that, wouldn’t you do whatever it took to ensure their safety?

Or would you look at the safeguard and say, “Nah. I’ll take my chances with my child’s life.”?

That is what the anti-vax movement is doing. Perhaps not purposefully, but that’s the end result. These aren’t just names on syringes designed to make a child cry; the diseases are real, and real threats to health and life, and the vaccines are how you prevent them. Yet we are so far removed from the impact and effects of these diseases BECAUSE of the peace brought to us BY vaccines that people now feel no qualm about refusing vaccines.

That’s what scares me about the anti-vax movement; people have become so complacent that they no longer worry about these very real, very deadly diseases. They’d rather risk their child’s life than get a shot? The side effects of vaccines are unproven (nonexistent), but the efficacy of vaccines are very much proven.

When the pertussis vaccine first came out, people jumped on it right away. They were so grateful to have it, and for a while everything was smooth sailing, and whooping cough was on the decline. Then, in the 70s, some groups started claiming the pertussis vaccine was causing brain injury in young children. Less than 50 in 15 million cases were reported, but it was enough to scare people away from the vaccine. And children began dying again. It was later discovered that it was NOT the vaccine, but the result of infantile epilepsy, that caused the brain damage. People began once more vaccinating their children, but not before hundreds if not thousands had died.

And that’s what’s happening now. A falsified claim scared just enough people that time-tested, lab-tested, fully-proven, totally safe vaccines are being rejected, and we’re already starting to pay with lives. And I’m scared it’s going to get worse. People don’t really grasp the full import of these diseases and the necessity of the vaccines until they have experienced the disease. I’m scared that it’s going to come down to new epidemics before people will realize the mistake of not vaccinating.

Right now we’re still in the semi-safe zone. Enough of the population is immunized that we could probably keep most pandemics of these diseases at bay. But if this movement keeps gaining momentum, there might come a day when measles and pertussis could once again destroy thousands of people yearly. Imagine if some terrorist group weaponized Ebola and used it against this country; so many people would die, because we have no vaccine for it, no way to prevent it. That is what could happen with diseases like mumps, rubella, measles, pertussis, Diphtheria, and polio. Except it wouldn’t be terrorists using a disease as a weapon; it would be some kid in your child’s class, or your neighbor across the street, or the guy who delivers the mail to your office. That’s how life used to be, and if someone from the pre-vaccine era could see us now, they’d weep for joy at the idea that we can prevent these horrific diseases; and then they’d weep in sorrow at the idea that people are voluntarily turning down that safeguard.

It’s true, vaccines aren’t always 100% effective; I was immunized, but still got Whooping Cough (lowered immune function, if you recall). But you know who didn’t get it? My baby sister. My big sister. My cousins. My mother and father. My classmates, the other kids at my doctor’s office. The nurses at the hospital. The pharmacy workers. Their children. The kids my mom taught at school. All those people were safe because of vaccines. And you know what else? When I was in India, I was exposed to polio. Didn’t get it. Know why? I was vaccinated. I was exposed to chicken pox in 5th grade. One unvaccinated kid got it, and the other 4 kids in our class who weren’t vaccinated got it. But you know who didn’t? The rest of us who WERE vaccinated.


Vaccination may not be perfect, and the only way we will improve them is by continuing research. But the fact remains that as they are now, vaccines cause no lasting side effects (injection site pain goes away), and are extremely effective at preventing dangerous, painful, debilitating, often deadly diseases. Let’s keep researching, yes, but in the mean time, PLEASE vaccinate. It’s not worth your life, or your child’s, or anyone else’s. Vaccines save lives, not destroy them.

undead0relived  asked:

more pta sans please, its to die for, thank you and have a nice day~

Well, since you asked so nicely…
~~~

Sans: *sits there, tears rolling down his skull*

Toriel: Sans… Sans please. You don’t have to do this.

Sans: no…. I have to. It has to be done. *looks up to the ceiling* dad…? i love you. more than anything…. and i’d hate to do this but… *begins to cry* there’s just no other option!

*the rest of the PTA watch from a distance, not believing their eyes*

Sans: *tears a hole into time and space to access the Void* i’m sorry dad! i’m so sorry! *throw’s Helen’s lemon squares into the Void*

Gaster: *recoils in horror* Son! How could you do this to me! I thought you loved me!

Sans: father! i do! i still do, but the universe just can’t take it!

Gaster: NOOOOOO! *slowly begins to melt away into nothingness*

Sans: *sobbing hard*

Helen: OKAY OKAY WE GET IT YOU DON’T LIKE MY LEMON SQUARES JESUS CHRIST!

~~~

Linda: *notices that Sans is strangely absent from the PTA meeting and that it’s just Toriel* *sighs in relief*

Toriel: *smiles politely* So, where shall we start?

Linda: Well, I was thinking, for the upcoming sports season, we should separate the boys and the girls, as well as separating the monsters and humans.

Toriel: But that is so costly, as well as unnecessary.

Linda: Well it will have to do, Toriel. We can’t go around forcefully mixing these two races! It’s just not fair to the humans.

Toriel: Now Sans and I think that-

Linda: Sans isn’t here right now, so it doesn’t matter what he thinks! He’s the idiot who doesn’t believe in mandatory gluten free lunches! And thank god he decided to miss out on-

Toriel: Ah ah, not so fast. *pulls Sans out of her inventory*

Sans: heard you were talkin’ shit, bitch.

Linda: OH MY WORD-

Sans: fuck your word, your gluten free lunches, your racism, and you.

~~~

Helen: So yes, I do think vaccinations should not be mandatory.

Sans: well, come on. we have to keep our kids safe. vaccinations will prevent disease.

Helen: *pinches the bridge of her nose* Sans, you wouldn’t understand. You don’t have a child.

Sans: whoa whoa- excuse me?!

Helen: Frisk is human. You’re a monster. And besides, you don’t even have a position here. You’re just filling in for Toriel, who is a teacher

Sans: *opens his mouth*

Helen: If she wasn’t a teacher, we wouldn’t even have her at these meetings. I don’t see why we still continue to let her, though. She’s the only monster in this school, filling our children’s heads with nonsense. She needs to be fired.

Sans: *clamps his mouth shut, just gritting his teeth*

Helen: Anyways, back to what I was saying-

*1 week later*

Fiona: *head of the PTA* And I am sad to announce I will be retiring from my position as head if the PTA. However, we have been able to fill in positions that had been previously absent! Monsters, as well!

Helen:….. What?

Fiona: Allow me to introduce Undyne, the Athletics coach for both boys AND girls!

Undyne: *bursts in* Hell yeah! With me on board, we’re gonna win EVERY game!

Fiona: Mettaton as the drama teacher.

Mettaton: *comes in, posing* Truly there is no finer choice!

Fiona: Alphys, our new nurse!

Alphys: *politely sitting in a chair* H-hi…

Fiona: Gaster, our new physics teacher.

Gaster: *appears* My son built a machine to drag me out of the void just for this. Oho, I’m gonna vaccinate soooo many of your children.

Fiona: And Papyrus, our head booster mom.

Papyrus: I can’t wait to start our first fundraiser! We will sell ALL the cookie dough!

Helen: *gawks* *turns to Sans* You enlisted your entire family?!

Sans: *only chuckles*

Helen: Toriel put you up to this, didn’t she? I will speak to the head of the PTA about this!

Sans: *his chuckles turn into a low and deep laugh, before transforming into a horrifying cackle, slowly growing louder and louder as he laughed evilly* *the lights go out, his sockets go dark, vast pits and a maniacal grin is spread across is skull* *his next words are spoken in a empty, haunting tone* Toriel IS head of the PTA.

Have a nice day~
World Rabies Day!

Today, I sacrificed my morning to attend ½ days that my clinic is hosting a FREE rabies vaccination event. We pick up all of our gear from the clinic and transfer ourselves to an area of low income, where most dogs are picked up by animal control for not having a license. We come out as a team to get paperwork done and keep a continuous supply of dogs receiving vaccinations from our 1 veterinarian. We pass out flyers on how to read canine body language in the hopes of preventing bites and vaccinate to prevent the spread of rabies.

Let’s not forget that we do this, practicing our fear-free methods. Lots of love, adaptil spray, kong cheese, and pupperonis for all.

Last year we vaccinated over 500 dogs in 8 hours. It warms my heart to provide a service to the community and I love that I found a group of people who are dedicated to just that.

anonymous asked:

it is so refreshing to see a vegan who isn't against vaccinations! if you choose not to get vaccinated, you are putting so many people in danger (newborn babies, chemotherapy patients, organ transplant patients) who cannot get vaccinated themselves and rely on "herd immunity" for safety. Vaccines may not be vegan, but getting vaccinated against preventable diseases is surely the most compassionate way to live as it protects so many other people. Thanks Ally x

No problem ☺️ It’s a sad reality that animal testing still exists but if I hadn’t been vaccinated as a kid I might not still be alive today or could have made other children dangerously ill. Since introducing vaccines, Diphtheria, H. influenza, Hep A or B, Measles, Mumps, Polio and Rubella all decreased between 98-100%. I’m very grateful for that xx

theantigunner-deactivated201703  asked:

Hi Wayfaring What's your opinion about vaccinations being correlated with autism? Lots of people who aren't going in to medicine have a lot to say about it, but I want to hear from a medical professionals point of view. :)

For those of you who are well indoctrinated into the collective Medblr pro-vaccination movement, there will be no new information below for you. 

Moving on…

- Let’s talk about what makes a scientific study useless: when it only contains a tiny number of subjects, it’s easy to come to any conclusion you want. The single study linking vaccines to autism only enrolled 12 patients. Twelve. In science terms, that’s like essentially zero. A recent meta-analysis encompassing 1.2 million patients has completely shut down the supposed associations between the MMR vaccine/thimerosal/mercury and autism.

- Andrew Wakefield, the (now former) doctor who did the study, has admitted to falsifying data on every single patient in that study. He lost his medical license and was essentially shunned by the medical community.  The Lancet published a retraction of his paper 2 years after it was originally published in 1998. 

- Wakefield’s study was published in 1998 and was retracted in 2000. It’s 2015. Why are we still talking about this stupid study?

- The people who continue to circulate nonsense about vaccines being linked to autism base their views on opinion and deeply flawed studies. In science, we go with facts that can be tested and proven. The facts say that vaccines prevent diseases (diseases that kill babies, btw, which is way worse than having autism) and that they do not cause autism. No opinions needed. 

- Finally, why is autism considered more scary than vaccine-preventable diseases? It’s absolutely ridiculous. Because the folks who are afraid of vaccines haven’t seen a baby in respiratory distress from pertussis or H. flu or who dies of measles. They don’t see the thousands of babies that die of dehydration from rotavirus around the world. They haven’t seen a pregnant woman end up intubated in the ICU from the flu. They don’t know what an absolutely horrific way to die tetanus is. They are too concerned that their kid being a little different from the others in kindergarten to stop and consider that without vaccines and the herd immunity that comes from most people vaccinating their children, their kid may never make it to kindergarten. 

#146: Baby Series | Doctor Visits

A/N: I’ve totally forgotten how much I fucking love writing on this story

Suggestion: Read the other prefs to get a better comprehension

Pregnancy Series Masterlist

First Night Home With The Baby

Breastfeeding

Diaper Changing

Bath Time

Bottlefeeding His P.O.V

You’re Insecure About Your Body After The Birth

Walks In The Park

Your Baby Laughs For The First Time

Luke:

”So when did the coughing start?” Your doctor asked with a polite smile, opening William’s journal on her laptop screen before her eyes adverted towards you. “It has been going on for two days… At first I thought it would be a small flue but he kept on having high fever and now diarrhea and his loss of appetite. I’m just very afraid it’s something serious.” You whispered the last part under your breath, your eyes not focused on anything but William resting on Luke’s lap, his face pale, his hair dampen from the fever and his eyes mixing between opening and closing. None of you had gotten any sleep the last two days. Luke had been constantly awake to watch William and when Luke couldn’t stay awake for any longer, you took the shift and sat with him trying to shush his small cries. “He has breathing problems as well.” Luke added, his face showing no expression but worry in his eyes told everything. He wrapped his arm tight around yours to show his support even though he was just as nervous as you were, you just showed it more than him. “I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. All I’m gonna do is take a check on his breathing and if it is what I think it is, we can cure it with some medicine.” She took out her stethoscope from her drawer, placed it in her ears and by the help of you to move up William’s shirt, she started listening to his breathing while silence fell over the room. You held your breath while looking down at her with wide eyes, craving for the answer now and you could feel the tears starting to prick in her eyes. “It is just like I predicted. The breathing problems, the fever, and the weakness he shows. He’s suffering with a small bacterial pneumonia. He’s going to feel like this for a few more days but if you try to keep him away from packing him up in clothes and blankets and make sure he gets his medicine he’ll be fine within time.” She placed her equipment back in the drawer and started to type in on his journal. You let out a breath of relief but were still shaking from the impact, holding Luke’s hand tight in your grip. “I’ve made this receipt for you, you can pick the medicine up at any pharmacy as long as you remember to bring William’s health insurance.” Both you and Luke nodded your head in unison, shaking her hand and Luke took the receipt from her hand when he stood up with William. “By the way, how is the foot Luke?” She asked with crossed arms, noticing his ability to walk without crutches now. “It’s doing well. I returned the crutches to the hospital last week so it’s nice to finally walk on my own again.” He said in polite and shook her hand that wasn’t holding William, mumbling out a goodbye before the two of you headed out on the hallway. “Oh my god…” You sniffled just as soon as you were alone and the tears slipped down your cheeks softly. “Hey… Don’t be sad, he’s gonna be fine.” Luke whispered reassuring, embracing you with his free arm and placed a soft pick to your forehead. “I know… I guess it was just a motherly instinct to react like this?” You mumbled and looked up at him with an apologizing smile. “I know and it only makes you an even better mother than you already are. Crying because of your son’s health isn’t ridiculous. It only shows how much he means to you.” Luke removed the last tear falling from your eye with his thumb, gazing down at you with a warm smile before you guys headed towards William’s baby carriage, ready to head over to get his medicine and home.

Calum:

Trying to find a local doctor while being on tour had got to be one of the most difficult times because being on the road made it difficult to even find a place without leaving for a whole different country at the same day. But now when you guys were in the UK, you managed to stay in London for a few days because of having three gigs in row at the same arena. It meant that Calum could finally find a children doctor and get a time without having to worry about you guys not making it and you knew it was time for Alex to get his checkups. But being on tour with the boys meant that going places without them were rare. The look on the unfamiliar doctor’s face, who seemed to be new educated, was priceless just as soon as you walked in with four tall Aussies and a baby in your arms, his eyebrows furrowing as he watched you and Calum take a seat on the two chairs, Michael, Luke and Ashton standing behind you trying to be as quiet as possible. “So this Alex Hood we’re going to check today?” He said unsure by the three boys looking at him, and you nodded your head agreeing and looked down at Alex with a smile. “Great. I’m Dr. Walther, and I’m his doctor for today. I’m concluding this is just gonna be a normal 4-month checkup. I assume he isn’t sick or suffering with anything at the moment like eating problems or such things like that?” He said and opened a journal on his computer, finding the check list in one of his files. “No he’s a great eater. He still gets breastfeed we don’t really know when the time is over and when to start eating porridge.” You explained, feeling Calum smile beside you and Dr. Walther nodded his head understanding. “He never fails to eat anything, Michael and Luke almost tried to feed him with a cookie last night.” Ashton commented silently from behind but it was enough for both you, Dr. Walther and Calum to look up at him with wide eyes. “We did not give him any cookie you don’t have any proof.” Michael responded back in a whisper-yell looking at Ashton with wide eyes. “Guys!” Calum exclaimed in the same tone and shushed on them, rolling his eyes by their behavior. “They gave him a fucking cookie?” You mumbled under your breath and looked up at Calum who gave you the look that told ‘not now Y/N’. “Okay.” Dr. Walther said, his eyes wide while he looked between the six of you a bit confused. He shook his head with a small laugh making his red-haired curls bounce and he looked back at the screen in front of him. “Okay so what I’m gonna start with is to check his mouth for any oral yeast infection and if there’s any signs of emerging teeth.” He instructed and took a small flashlight, rolling his chair around so he was sitting right in front of you and Alex. “Did he say oral?” Michael asked goofily behind you to Luke, and it made Calum stand up with wide eyes looking at the boys. “I should have listened to Y/N when she said it would be a bad idea to tag you guys along. Now please leave and wait in the waiting area while he checks up on Alex, you’re too distracting.” The boys whined in unison by Calum’s request and he started to push them one out of one out of the door. “Are they always like this?” Dr. Walther asked you curious, opening Alex’s mouth to his confusion while feeling his gums. “Every single day I’m with them.” You mumbled under your breath and he laughed quietly at you while checking up Alex, Calum hurrying over to your side again t to hear everything Dr. Walther had to say.

Michael:

Michael bounced his lap up and down in a slow tempo, his eyes focused on the doctor in front of him while his hand were wrapped around yours tight, concentrating on the many rambles that came from the doctor in front of you guys while you leaned your head against his shoulder tiredly, wanting to get home from this as soon as possible. He could feel your body vibrate with nervousness, and he pecked your forehead shortly and smiled down at you. Celeste was sitting wrapped up in your lap, her eyes looking around curiously between you, Michael and the female doctor in front of you guys. It was a needed thing for Celeste to have her checkups, having the doctor to check that everything was alright with her health, making sure that she was developing with the time line and have learned the things she should learn at the age of 4 months old. “So this was everything as from my checklist. There’s only one thing left.” The doctor said with a smile, checking up on all the things she had done with the checkups before opening one of the drawers attached to her desk. Your eyes adverted towards Michael for help and he stroked your hand softly and mouthed “It’s gonna be alright” with a reassuring smile. “The immunizations.” She hummed while taking out a needle and a small bottle, opening the lid and placed the needle in to suck it into the container. You held your breath while looking down at the needle, your hand starting to shake just by the thought of it and your hand came up to hold in the sob that was ready to spill from your lips. “Awe Y/N. Fear of needles?” The doctor asked sympathetically and you nodded your head slowly, the tears in your eyes welling up. “I’ll take him okay.” Michael said softly and grabbed Celeste, her eyes confusing to her mother’s odd reaction, not really knowing what’s going on. “I know this is hard for some mothers but we have to do it. It’s a part of helping the child and injecting vaccines to prevent future disease.” You nodded your head agreeing, knowing that it would be the best for Celeste and it was obligatory but it was still too much for you. Just the sight of the needle getting near you or your daughter was enough to give you an emotionally breakdown. “So Michael if you turn him around a bit so I can stick the needle into her thigh it would be great and we make sure that the amount of pain won’t be that huge.” You watched carefully as Michael readjusted Celeste on his lap, making sure to mumble weird and soft things to her ear while the doctor placed the needle into her skin, starting to press it further into the skin and that was when the small cries appeared. Your hand came up to your mouth again to hold in your sobs and you closed your eyes and leaned your head against Michael’s shoulder who was taking the situation with a great hand. He kept on the mumbles, sometimes stroking his thumb over the skin of Celeste’s arm and even though she was very distracted from the needle in her thigh, Michael seemed to catch her attention and the cries only lasted for seconds before Michael managed to cool her down. The doctor took out the needle from her lap and placed a small patch on top of the small dot, and a small smile broke on your face when you saw Celeste giggle up at her father. “See, it wasn’t that hard, I think you even cried more than Celeste did.” Michael smirked up at you, placing a small kiss on the top of Celeste’s head, and you shook your head and dried off some of the mascara that had smashed down from your crying, rolling your eyes by his comment.

Ashton:

“Oh my god can we get some tissues, she’s drooling all over my hand.” Ashton exclaimed with a laugh while having Cloe on his lap, his arm dragged around her and making her dripple down the drool that was almost floating out of her tiny mouth. “Oh my.” The doctor mumbled with wide eyes, reaching her hand forward to grab a few tissues placed in a box and Ashton smiled in politeness when she reached out for him to grab it. “She’s in this state where she doesn’t do anything else but drooling, babbling and laughing. It’s nothing alike her brother she’s the one making noises all the time.” Ashton explained and looked between the twins in your laps, you sitting with Zack in your embrace and leaned against Ash’s shoulder. “That’s actually a problem.” The doctor announced and looked between the two journals in front of her, her eyebrows furrowing. “It is?” Ashton asked almost worried, looking at her with furrowed eyebrows copying hers. “Yes, somehow it is. If we look at their developments Zack is always the one in the lead, comparing to the fact that he has learned how to roll over, like Cloe hasn’t. What kind of sounds does he make?” Both you and Ashton looked down at Zack who was much quieter than his sister, sitting with his big hazel eyes looking up at Ashton. “He makes squeals at times but it isn’t as noisy as Cloe.” You responded, casually, feeling worry starting to grow in your veins along with Ashton who seemed to trip more in his leg, looking between the doctor and Zack. “Has he laughed yet?” She asked and wrote something down in his journal, looking up at you guys with curious eyes. “Yes, he was actually the first one to laugh.” Ashton responded and cocked his head while thinking back at the memory. “But has it continued from that or is it only once in a while he does it?” “It’s not as much as Cloe that’s for sure. All Ashton can do is look down at her and she’ll end up drooling all over her face and giggle the exact same contagious laugh like him. Zack is more the quiet one but when he has to sleep he’ll start mumbling out weird babblings. It’s faint but he does it at times mostly when he’s alone. He keeps us all up at night including his little sister.” You explained and Ashton chuckled lightly by your explanation. The doctor nodded her head understanding while chewing on her pen, clearly in thought and you furrowed your eyebrows. “We need to do something about it definitely.” She commented and nodded her head agreeing to what her comment. “What can we do? We’re willing to do anything. Twins are hard to keep up with at times especially now when everything is going so fast and they’re developing on different levels.” Ashton questioned and the doctor nodded her head agreeing, and she crossed her right leg over the left one. “I know you probably already do this but the only advice is to talk to him. Whenever you’re near him talk, mumble and laugh. Simply do anything to get his attention because that’s the only way he’ll start to make noises himself. Since we made a check with his ears and he seems to react by his name all I can say is talk. Of course not as much as Cloe because she might end up feeling left out because you only give the attention to Zack.” “I don’t think that will be a problem.” You commented with a giggle and placed a kiss on Zack’s forehead. “Ashton is a talking waterfall he even talks to them when he’s in the shower or at the toilet even though the door is closed.” “Hey I don’t do that!” He exclaimed and looked at you with wide eyes that told much. “Okay maybe I do that. I just love talking to the twins. It’s the most amazing thing ever to see them react to my voice.”

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Science is being defunded around the world.
Help us spread the importance of science, by sharing this video!

Despite our achievements, science and society are often at odds. Scientific discoveries like the Earth is round, that our planet revolves around the sun, or that diseases are spread through germs were all once ideas that were rejected by society. So much so that Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for suggesting the Earth wasn’t the centre of the universe, and even Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for supporting the theory. Today we see the rejection of scientific evidence for vaccinations - leading to preventable disease like measles coming back, after being wiped out in the year 2000; or the rejection of scientific evidence for climate change, despite the vast consensus among scientists.

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MSF is running vaccination campaigns to protect almost 188,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia’s Gambella region against pneumonia and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

A key tool in fighting child mortality in emergencies is the pneumonia vaccine, but it’s priced out of the reach of many humanitarian organizations and developing countries.  Help us #AskPharma to lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine so all children get a fair shot. http://bit.ly/1I4Vt61

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Vaccine-preventable diseases.  Getting my nerd on for The Lacquer Legion’s Weird Science challenge– I wanted to celebrate vaccines by showing some of the pathogens they protect against.  From pinky to thumb: diptheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae), polio (poliovirus), smallpox (variola virus), measles (measles virus), and rabies (rabies virus).

An open letter to anti-vaxxers.

Dear anti-vaccine proponents:

Like most of you, I am an American from a generation that remembers vaccines as an unpleasant or even traumatic element of my doctor visits, but are too young, in  to remember much about the childhood diseases prevented by vaccines.

My mother has poor eyesight.  This is because of an extremely high fever she had during a rubella outbreak.  She was lucky to get by with only her eyes affected.  A close friend of mine who serves the role of ‘second mother’ to me, tells me of how much polio scared people.  All the public swimming pools shut down at even the hint of a rumor that polio was around.  Children in iron lungs were the lucky ones, children who died were the unlucky ones.  The children in the iron lungs often went on to be amazing adult disability rights activists in iron lungs, like Ed Roberts.  But they could have just as easily died, and most of them would have rather not had polio and the pain and suffering that went with it in the first place.  

I’m not asking you to pity them.  Pity is the last thing they ever wanted.  I’m asking you to understand that people died, and people suffered, and that this suffering and death has been made unnecessary by vaccines.  And that is the work you are trying to undo.

Also I have a beef with this on a personal level.  I am autistic.  I’m not just autistic, I have a condition called autistic catatonia.  Autistic catatonia means that the motor, cognitive, and sensory aspects of autism have become progressively more pronounced for me over the years, rendering me in need of much more assistance to get through the day than I needed before. 

Unlike many people would have you believe of me, I am not someone who believes autism causes no suffering.  My sensory processing issues alone cause me pain and nausea on a regular basis.  I am rarely able to speak, and during some medical emergencies I am too weak to type, either.  This has put me in danger.  I walk into traffic (and have been pulled out of the way of moving buses by total strangers) because I can’t perceive moving cars accurately.  I have automatic, involuntary movements that have resulted in my opening car doors on the highway while the car is doing over 60 miles an hour, which scared all of us in the car including myself.  I used to wake up screaming and scream myself hoarse throughout the morning.  When I was a teenager, my father had to sleep outside my door in his running shoes because I would try to run out of the house at night and head-butt my way past him.  I often had a catatonia-related problem where I’d run around the house until I fell over from exhaustion.  And as of today, while I have mastered the art of controlling the worst of my behavior, I still need considerable assistance to get through every day.  In fact, by definition, a person with autistic catatonia needs to have the following traits (highlighted are the ones especially requiring assistance):

  • Increased slowness affecting movements and verbal responses
  • Difficulty in initiating and completing actions
  • Increased reliance on physical or verbal prompting by others
  • Increased passivity and apparent lack of motivation

Other features include:

  • Reversal of day and night
  • Parkinsonian features: tremor, eye rolling, dystonia, odd stiff posture, freezing in postures, etc.
  • Excitement and agitation
  • Increase in repetitive ritualistic behavior

They noted that “In this study, a diagnosis of catatonia was given when exacerbation of certain features of behavior occurred in sufficient degree to interfere with movement and everyday functions of self-care, education, occupation, and leisure.”

So basically, this is not a diagnosis given out lightly.  I have had symptoms of autistic catatonia since I was twelve, but I was only diagnosed when Wing and Shah’s paper came out when I was 19 or 20.  My psychiatrist, who had known me since I was fourteen, diagnosed me immediately upon being faxed the Wing and Shah (2000) study.

But at any rate, my ability to care for myself is severely limited, and that has been the most obvious effect of autism for me.  Not that I don’t have as many social problems as the next autistic person, they just aren’t my focus in life when I have visual processing problems so severe I am functionally blind in new locations, and when I need so much help just to get through the day.  While I do not agree with the application of functioning levels to autistic people, I can say that none of my doctors has ever told me I am mildly affected by autism, and many of them have used terms like ‘severe’ to describe me.  I would say that I am severely disabled, and autism is only one part of that picture.

But regardless of being autistic, regardless even of autistic catatonia, I would gladly endure even the worst aspects of being autistic, rather than go unvaccinated and contribute to the suffering and death of some of the most vulnerable populations:  Infants, very young children, children with severe physical diseases, adults with severe physical diseases, and elderly people.  I have heard anti-vaxxers express sentiments to the effect of, “That kind of person would have died anyway, we just have to accept that weaker people die of diseases.  Maybe it’s better if they die and fail to pass their weak genes down to the rest of the population.”  Not all anti-vaxxers believe that by a long shot, but having heard it from some even turns my stomach.  Especially because I am one of those people who could die from a vaccine-preventable disease.  I don’t think autism is caused by vaccines, but even if it were, autism would be so much worth the price of keeping people alive.

I have bronchiectasis.  Most people in the USA have never heard of bronchiectasis.  They think I mean bronchitis.  If they have heard of bronchiectasis, they have heard of it in the context of cystic fibrosis, its most common cause in first world nations like the USA.  However, it’s actually a very common condition in countries that don’t have vaccines or adequate medical care.  Because two of the most common causes of bronchiectasis are vaccine-preventable childhood diseases, and inadequate healthcare.  I got my bronchiectasis through inadequate healthcare.  Whether the actual event that caused it was breathing in lots of concrete and wallboard dust during illegal construction on my building, or a subsequent set of lung infections that resulted in the partial collapse of one of my lungs.  Or some combination of both.  In either case, I was discriminated against for having a developmental disability, and doctors did not treat me until the infection had gotten really bad.  Afterwards, they refused to believe I was still having symptoms, until my pulmonologist did a high resolution CT scan and found bronchiectasis.

Bronchiectasis, in brief, is a rare form of COPD in which the walls of the breathing cells are damaged.  They become loose and floppy.  They produce more phlegm, but have more trouble clearing that phlegm.  This results in both susceptibility to infections, and the creation of more of the same damage through lingering infections that you can’t get rid of.  If you can’t halt the vicious cycle, you eventually need a lung transplant.  With proper treatment, however, it is only slightly more dangerous than asthma.  The question is, in countries where people struggle to get vaccinated and see doctors at all, how many are going to be able to afford the proper treatments of mucus thinners or 7% saline to keep the disease from progressing until it’s fatal?

So I already have one vaccine-preventable disease.  I also have adrenal insufficiency (not adrenal fatigue, which is a catch-all quack diagnosis, but adrenal insufficiency, which is a potentially life-threatening lack of ACTH and cortisol) and myasthenia gravis.  Those have nothing to do with vaccines on the surface.  But both of them are treated frequently with dexamethasone and other steroids.  Those steroids suppress the immune system, leaving people like me more susceptible to diseases other people wouldn’t get.  Including diseases people vaccinate for.

I know someone else with adrenal insufficiency, who is permanently on Prednisone, which suppresses her immune system.  She caught whooping cough from an unvaccinated child and almost died.  As it was, she dislocated several ribs from coughing, became severely dehydrated, and had a lot of seizures.  Now that I’m on steroids permanently, I’m wondering if I’m looking at my future there.  I rely on other people being vaccinated for my own safety.  I am at risk both because of potential immune suppression, and because bronchiectasis makes some of the diseases themselves more severe and likely to lead to lasting infection.

And the thing is, vaccines don’t cause autism.  They just don’t.  But even if they did cause autism, it would be worth it for some people to be autistic, in order to save people the death and suffering that comes with these other diseases.  Even if I absolutely hated being autistic, I would still see it as worth being autistic if it meant it saved the lives of people who would otherwise die from vaccine-preventable diseases.  And if it meant that people wouldn’t end up with things like bronchiectasis — I can tell you that even mild bronchiectasis is not something you want, let alone the severe kind.

So please, please vaccinate your kids.  And vaccinate yourself, when it comes time for your own shots.  People like me are counting on you for our continued survival.  And most autistic people I’ve talked to, even those who strongly dislike being autistic, say that even if autism was caused by vaccines, it’s better for some people to end up autistic, than for other people to end up dead. 

Signed,

Mel Baggs (a multiply disabled autistic person whose life is at stake when people don’t vaccinate)

tl;dr:  I’m autistic, and not just a little autistic.  I also have diseases, and take treatments for those diseases, that put me at high risk for catching and dying from vaccine-preventable diseases.  My continued survival depends on people vaccinating.  And even if being autistic were caused by vaccination, I would gladly endure the worst parts of being autistic, forever, if it meant that some people’s lives were saved by vaccination.  But autism is not caused by vaccination.  And I could get really sick if people don’t vaccinate.  So could lots of other people like me, who people forget about, because they only like to think about healthy people.  So vaccinate your kids, and vaccinate yourselves, it’s horribly selfish not to unless you have really good medical reasons (of which fear of autism doesn’t count).

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Stop ignorance now!

don’t put up with it!

Bleach is toxic, vaccines do not cause autism, autistic people get overwhelmed easily, we are born completely overwhelmed that’s what leads to problems for us; and by problems I mean people can be really ignorant and not compassionate to the way autistic people are born!

Do you know what vaccines actually do? they prevent diseases that can kill your child!

Only neglectful bad parents do not vaccinate their children!

Vaccines do not contain Mercury they never have contained Mercury vaccines used to contain a completely non-toxic “cousin” of Mercury but now Vaccines do not even contain that.

If you really want to change vaccines for the better demand vaccines without egg products, because some people who are severely allergic to egg products cannot get many necessary vaccines.

Autism is a genetic mutation found in naturally in all ethnicitys and sexes equally spanning the globe. (except found perhaps more commonly in XXX chromosome females but this is only a theory.) It is a mutation in the same way having red hair is a mutation. You would have to kill all redheads and red-hair gene carriers to “cure” red hair…or autism. You can “cover up” autism with being taught better social skills and therapy but It will always be there birth to death so get used to it! accept us for us! We are a diverse people like all people and we want love and respect just like everyone else!

Disease

There are a number of stories that have infectious diseases play a major role in the plot. It’s a great plot device, if used well—it forces isolation, people to work together, fear, panic, and death. The problem comes when authors don’t understand how diseases work. It is true that fantasy author do have more leeway when it comes to what they can do with their diseases, but there are still some basic points that should be kept in mind.

Infectious diseases come in the form of either viruses or bacteria. In fantasy, magic is a third choice, which will be covered later. In terms of general writing, unless you’re writing a medical thriller or something of the sort, you don’t need to know a whole lot about the differences between the two. There are some differences that are important to note, especially if you are writing about a time since the invention of vaccines and/or antibiotics. Vaccines exist for both viral and bacterial pathogens. That being said, some of the early vaccines were for viruses; the first vaccine was for smallpox. They are generally used as preventative measures to keep people from getting certain diseases, and some may require boosters to stay effective. Antibiotics (or antibacterials), on the other hand, only work for bacterial diseases, and they either kill the bacteria or inhibit its growth. This means that they will not work on things like the flu.

If your invented disease is magic, clearly these rules don’t apply. What that means, however, is that you shouldn’t have your doctors using antibiotics to fight the magical disease. They can attempt it if they don’t know that it’s magic, but as soon as they figure out that it’s not bacterial, they should not try to use it. Similarly, it would probably be incredibly difficult if not impossible to vaccinate against something caused by magic.

Infectious diseases spread in certain ways. This doesn’t mean that all diseases spread the same way. A few possibilities are as follows: though physical contact, though ingestion of infected water or food, through sharing of fluids, or through the air. Many of these are obvious. For sharing of fluids, this can include blood, seminal or vaginal fluid, or saliva.

Magical diseases are, of course, different. For one thing, as opposed to regular diseases, magical diseases can be set to specifically target or spare people, depending on the magic system of your world.

Drug-resistant bacteria are a real threat. To spare you the details, the more an antibiotic is used, the more likely it is that large sets of the bacteria will become resistant to it. This can appear in a number of different ways, with bacteria being resistant to varying numbers of drugs. Some are only resistant to one can be treated by simply switching to another drug. The bigger problem comes with things like XDR-TB (extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis), where the strain of TB is resistant to not only the first line drugs but also the second-line drugs.

Vaccines aren’t 100% effective. Boosters (getting a second or third shot of the same vaccine) help with this by boosting the immune reaction to the virus or bacteria, but even with this, there is never a 100% guarantee that someone who received a vaccine cannot catch the disease. Along with that, not everybody can receive vaccines for various reasons. These reasons can include weakened immune systems, such as those of people with TB or HIV/AIDS, as well as people with egg allergies. The second reason is because many vaccines are harvested in chicken eggs. Herd immunity helps with this problem. The basic idea behind herd immunity is that, if enough people have immunity, the disease won’t spread to those who don’t have immunity.

There are many controversies around vaccines and around disease prevention or treatment in general. In some religions, there is a feeling that vaccines and the like are circumventing God’s work and that, if God wanted someone to live or die, it should happen without other people getting involved. In some Muslim countries or communities now, there is a feeling that American doctors who are providing vaccines are instead trying to sterilize them.

Not all cultures are or always have been as knowledgeable about diseases as first-world countries are now. This may seem obvious, but it is important to remember for writing about any time or place with different levels of scientific knowledge than ours. Words like “bacteria” and “virus” might not be used. Vaccines may or may not exist, depending on when and where you’re writing about, as they were first invented (or at least finalized, as I’m using the introduction of the smallpox vaccine as the start date) in 1798. There have throughout the years and cultures been thoughts that bad smells, an unbalance of the humors, the theft of the soul by an evil spirit, or numerous other causes to have been the cause of disease.

If you are thinking of implementing a specific disease into your story, you should obviously research that disease and how it works at more depth. The important thing to remember is that you should attempt as much as you can to get this correct. Magic is an okay excuse if you have magic as the reason for your disease, but you should still know about how diseases work before writing about them.

“Always believe we have more solutions than problems”

Xiaojun Wang, Immunization Specialist

UNICEF Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand


Tell us a bit about your background. 

I was born and grew up in a least-developed province in China, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and dreamed of living in a developed city when I was a little girl. The dream was realized: I went to Shanghai, one of the most developed cities in China, 30 years ago, and completed my medical education in Shanghai Medical University. I eventually worked in Beijing for 10 years before starting an international career.    

Keep reading

Steam: Chapter Fourteen

Read it on AO3

Steam

When something hot meets something cold.

Chapter Thirteen: High Maintenance

Genos woke up first as usual and pried himself out of Saitama-sensei’s vice-like grip. Sensei rolled and mumbled groggily at his absence, but Genos was nearly wide awake moments after waking. He rarely felt groggy, thanks to all his body modifications, he was nearly always alert.

He tucked his half of the blankets around Sensei’s waist and fetched some shorts from one of the drawers in the closet and one of the baskets they took to the public bath house before making his way to the bathroom. Normally, first thing in the morning he would check online to see if there were any current disasters that needed immediate attention but he had taken the day off from the Heroes Association. He had a lot of personal maintenance to take care of.

Genos cut the shower on and stripped off his clothes as the water heated up. He stepped into the warm stream and for a moment just let the water beat a pattern against his chest, dousing his head under the stream. It felt nice. Then he sighed and got to work.

Keep reading

Amanda Schaffer on the return of whooping cough: http://nyr.kr/1iqaYYh

“Last February, researchers identified mutant strains of the bacteria in eleven patients in Philadelphia. These mutants, it turns out, appear to be the dominant form of the bug in this country. Whooping cough has evolved in a way that vaccine-preventable diseases rarely do.”

Illustration by Matthew Hollister.