Whooping cough outbreak in Hope, BC

Twenty new cases of pertussis have been reported in the Hope area since August. While previous outbreaks have been due to children going unvaccinated, in this case, it seems the outbreak is resultant of people not getting their boosters.

The health authority is asking healthcare professionals and members of the public in the Hope area to be alert for the signs and symptoms of Pertussis, or whooping cough.

“It has been many years since British Columbia has had an outbreak of Pertussis so there is very little natural immunity,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, the Fraser Health Authority’s chief medical health officer, in the statement.

Buynder is advising residents to ensure all the vaccines of all family members are up to date.

“The best protection against Pertussis is to get vaccinated. Pertussis in very young children can lead to hospitalization and even death,” he said.

“The vaccine that most people get when they are infants only offers protection for four to 10 years, so there are many people without adequate coverage.”

My own pertussis vaccination status is well out of date. I need to remedy that.

Canadian-made HIV vaccine headed to human trials!

And I damn well want every syringe to be stamped “Made In Canada”. The FDA has approved a 40-person trial of a vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang of the University of Western Ontario.

“FDA approval for human clinical trials is an extremely significant milestone for our vaccine, which has the potential to save the lives of millions of people around the world by preventing HIV infection,” said Kang.There have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses that failed.There have been three clinical trials for an HIV vaccine in the past using live viruses that failed. (Apichart Weerawong/Associated Press)

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Mike Adams doesn’t know a skeptic from a strawman, part 1

Natural News’ crank ranger, Mike Adams, launched an all-out assault on skeptics recently for what they believe (though by recently I mean in January 2010). Skeptics, as a group. As though we believe anything in any unified or dogmatic manner. I know PZ Myers and Steven Novella have already gone over this particular well-poisoning polemic, but my dear friend Erin sent it along when she saw it posted to a parenting forum she frequents, asking me to have my way with it. And my way with it I shall have!

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Our newest Canadian import: flu vaccine scaremongering

The Agora Cosmopolitan, a.k.a. The Canadian, has a piece up about the flu vaccine that gets pretty much everything about them wrong. It’s no surprise, mind you, considering the article is copied wholesale, verbatim, in its entirety, from a crank website that it links at the bottom of the page as the “internet site reference”. Lazy beggars. They begin:

Thimerosal is a widely used vaccine preservative that is present in the majority of flu shots and other vaccines. Thimerosal is 49% mercury by volume, an extremely toxic chemical element that wreaks havoc on the nervous system, neurological function, and overall biological function [1]. Each dose of flu vaccine contains around 25 micrograms of thimerosal, over 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit of exposure.

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Which is a better political bludgeon: HPV vaccines, or cancer?

Via Greg Laden elsewhere on FtB:

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Michelle Bachmann has fired the footgun in a big way while attempting to take aim at Rick Perry in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, by claiming that the HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. Knowing full well that the Human Papiloma Virus vaccine is a controversial issue amongst evangelical conservatives and others who feel that protecting people from STDs will encourage promiscuity, Bachmann was evidently hoping to score rhetorical points against Perry for having made this order by recounting an anecdote wherein a mother approached her after a rally telling her this story. The attempt has backfired spectacularly.

A bioethicist has offered Bachmann $10000 if she can show a single person having developed mental retardation after receiving the vaccine. Personally, I’d just like some proof that the mother Bachmann mentioned actually exists and actually told her this story, or if Bachmann’s misremembering some Jenny McCarthy nonsense about autism and framing it as though it happened first-hand.

Meanwhile cervical cancer, caused in almost every case by HPV, is the twelfth most common type of cancer, and fifth most deadly in women. It affects 16 per 100,000 women per year, and kills 9 per 100,000 per year. The HPV vaccine is effective against two of the most prevalent strains of the virus, making up 70% of all cases. This would reduce mortality and morbidity to this disease significantly, and it costs almost nothing compared to treating women who have suffered from the disease.

That is not to mention the stunning talent this world loses every day to the disease. Talent like Stephanie Zvan, a co-blogger here at Freethought Blogs and close friend, without whose presence my life would be significantly poorer. She takes Bachmann to task for her emotional manipulation, providing herself as an example of a real person whose life might not have been in such jeopardy, who might not have had to endure such “helpful violence” as she was forced to endure, with the HPV vaccine.

To be quite frank, I hope this scuttles Mayor Crazy of Crazytown’s presidential bid.