In 2010, a nasty whooping cough outbreak hit the country; in California, it was the worst outbreak in 60 years. That was bad then, but things are worse now: once again, California is in the grips of a whooping cough outbreak — but this time it’s even worse. The state is currently facing it’s worst outbreak in 70 years, and has nearly 1,000 more cases than it did in 2010.
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection and it peaks every three to five years. The disease is extremely dangerous to infants, who are also more likely to catch it. The CDC says that 50% of all children under a year old who catch the 100 days cough need to be hospitalized, and up to 2% of that population end up dying. Dr. William Schaffner, the chairman of preventative medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee told ABC news that “The last time a series of outbreaks occurred across the country, California started the parade.” He added that “this is a harbinger we are fearful of.”
A vaccination for the disease was developed in the 1940s, and it’s a very effective vaccination, with some minor side effects, like most other treatments. Unfortunately, it is a vaccination, and in certain populations politely called “stupid,” it triggers a reaction identical to the one that Creationists or Global Warming denialists have when they hear the words “evolution” or “anthropogenic global warming.”
Since children under two months old can’t be vaccinated, mothers are encouraged to get vaccinated instead, so they can pass the immunity on to their children.
Between anti-vaxxers and the fact that we’re entering an era of post-antibiotic effectiveness thanks to factory farming (and then doing the stupidest thing imaginable — depending on the free market to produce more antibiotics), I’m beginning to think that we’re asking for it.
You can watch the report below: