Wednesday, March 24, 2010

White, college-educated, upper-income, viral incubators

A recent measles outbreak in San Diego started with an intentionally unvaccinated child, who contracted the disease in Switzerland, brought it home to his school where 11% of the children were also unvaccinated.

After 839 people exposed, 11 additional children with measles, three babies hospitalized with 106 degree fevers and a few hundred thousand dollars in expenses all is contained.

According to a University of Michigan study, parents who "under-vaccinate" tend to be college-educated whites with middle to upper incomes. They tend to believe that autism is linked to vaccines, and that a healthy green lifestyle will protect them.

"There are several reasons why parents are choosing not to vaccinate," said study co-author Albert Barskey, a CDC epidemiologist. "Some are afraid of adverse events, and a lot of these fears are unfounded. Others feel that if their child does get sick, the current health-care system can take care of any unfortunate events, and some just don't see measles as a risk. They don't think it's in this country any more and don't think of traveling to Europe as a place where they might contract measles."

Even if you live your life at one with the Earth, Mother Nature still doesn't love you.

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