More parents deem vaccines "unnecessary"

morans-fits fp box

Coinciding with a mumps outbreak on Long Island, a new survey by the American Academy of Pediatricians, has shown that increasing numbers of American parents deem vaccines "unnecessary."

Via WaPo:

The AAP paper's publication coincidentally comes during a week when there's yet another outbreak in the United States of an infectious disease we can prevent through immunizations. Since August, at least 36 people have contracted mumps — whose symptoms include puffy cheeks and possibly serious respiratory symptoms — in one Long Island town.

Health officials said that some of those infected had been vaccinated, leading them to wonder whether there is a new strain going around, but that they still believe immunization provides the best precaution and urged everyone in the area who has not gotten the measles, mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine to get it right away. "We're trying to prevent this from getting larger,"Lawrence Eisenstein, Nassau County health commissioner, told ABC News.

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Watch Penn and Teller's anti-anti-vaccine rant

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Penn and Teller's classic takedown of anti-vax bullshittery. And if you don't know, now you know.

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Six cases of measles confirmed in Tennessee outbreak. Measles was eradicated in the U.S. in 2000.

Measles virus. U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Public Health officials in Shelby County, Tennessee today confirmed six cases of measles in the county, up from two last Friday. Victims of the measles outbreak are "widely diverse" in terms of age, gender and where they live, authorities said.

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Woo with a body-count: measles epidemic follows anti-vax scare

Wales is in the grip of a measles epidemic, thanks to the anti-vaccine scare more than a decade ago. Once the critical mass of herd immunity dropped below a certain threshold, in came the old, deadly -- and utterly preventable -- disease. Read the rest

Correlation between autism diagnosis and organic food sales

Redditor Jasonp55 has a neat demonstration of the perils of confusing correlation with causation, and his well-chosen example makes this a potentially useful chart for discussing this issue with friends who won't vaccinate themselves and their kids.

/r/skeptic, I was practicing GraphPad and I think I may have discovered the 'real' cause of autism... (imgur.com) (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest