Tina K. Russell

November 12, 2008

FUD kills

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Tina Russell @ 10:50 pm

Global Update – Measles Outbreak Affects 1 Percent of Gibraltar Population – NYTimes.com
A measles outbreak in Gibraltar has infected almost 1 percent of the territory’s 28,000 people in just three months, according to a report by its public health director.

The outbreak, mostly in schoolchildren, made it clear that the authorities had been wrong in assuming that more than 90 percent of children had had measles shots, the report said. Gibraltar is a British territory, and resistance to the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has been high in Britain since a 1998 report in The Lancet speculated that it could cause autism.

That report has been widely discredited, and numerous later studies showed no link between vaccines and autism. Nonetheless, as a consequence of dropping vaccination rates, Britain has had several local measles outbreaks.

Please get your children vaccinated! We have the luxury of not knowing how bad measles, mumps, and rubella are because we’ve been vaccinated for so long. We should pass that legacy to our children, not put them at risk because of our ignorance.

About the title: FUD is “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.” It refers to campaigns that instill a vague, unspoken fear in you about someone or something. Basically, all these stories saying that vaccines “could” cause autism (they don’t), or that there is “debate” among scientists (there isn’t), or that the idea is pushed by anyone with a modicum of scientific credibility (it’s not) are the kinds of things that make you think twice, or put off getting your children vaccinated, when they actually really need it. I’m glad that no one has died so far in this outbreak, it sounds like; I just hope we learn that our children shouldn’t have to suffer because of FUD.

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