Friday, September 05, 2014

Mapping Preventable Disease

British doctor Andrew Wakefield has a lot to answer for. His fraudulent research paper, claiming a link between the measles vaccination and autism, has proved to be an international health disaster. A British General Medical Council inquiry found four counts of dishonesty in his paper and Wakefield is now barred from practicing medicine in the UK.

Despite this there is still an alarmingly high number of idiotic parents around the world refusing to allow their children to be vaccinated against measles and other preventable diseases. This Council for Foreign Relations map visualizes Vaccine Preventable Outbreaks around the world.

The rise in measles is not the only tragedy visualized by this Google Map. The map plots outbreaks of measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, rubella, and other diseases that are easily preventable by inexpensive and effective vaccines.

On a more local level this map of California’s Growing Public Health Threat shows vaccination exemption rates in California's kindergartens. The kindergartens on the map are color-coded to show their level of 'personal belief' exemption rates.

About 950 of the kindergartens on the map have exemption rates exceeding 8%, This is the level above which experts say an epidemic is likely. That is a hell of a lot of stupid parents.

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