9/04/2009

Viral ignorance: AoA's got it (continuing yesterday's good news)

Apparently, the article from yesterday that I wrote about has engendered a case of viral ignorance over at the resident "let's see what we can butcher, spindle, or otherwise mutilate all while we clap ourselves on the back for our incredible wisdom in recognizing the world is out to get us" site.

I'm used to the comments being worse than the articles themselves. I'm used to routinely reading ugliness and certitude masquerading as "knowledge." But reading folks blithely dismiss rotavirus as insignificant and continue to spread that ignorance this morning was something else. First, it proves fairly conclusively that I'm in a nasty habit of breaking my rule of no AoA in the morning. Second, those comments prove that those folks, for the most part, are not interested in objective reality.

So, continuing from yesterday's study on rotavirus (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol9no5/02-0562.htm):

"Overall Illness from Rotavirus Gastroenteritis Worldwide

By adding the total prevalence of rotavirus illness in children in developing and industrialized nations, we estimated that each year rotavirus causes approximately 111 million episodes of gastroenteritis that require home care only, 25 million clinic visits, and 2 million hospitalizations in children <;5 years of age worldwide (Table 4)."

Up to 55,000 children in the US are hospitalized each year from the rotavirus. (http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1533/mainpageS1533P0.html)

Gosh, JC, so no, not like eating prunes. In fact, to any parent who's had a child with rotavirus, that comment makes you look like an insensitive arse.

"Each year, rotavirus causes an estimated 111 million episodes of diarrhea requiring only home care, 25 million clinic visits, 2 million hospitalizations, and 352,000–592,000 deaths (median 440,000 deaths) in children <5 years of age. In other words, by 5 years of age, almost all children will have an episode of rotavirus gastroenteritis, 1 in 5 will require a clinic visit, 1 in 65 will require hospitalization, and approximately 1 in 293 will die (Figure 3). The incidence of rotavirus disease is similar in children in both developed and developing nations. However, children in developing nations die more frequently, possibly because of several factors, including poorer access to hydration therapy and a greater prevalence of malnutrition. An estimated 1,205 children die from rotavirus disease each day, and 82% of these deaths occur in children in the poorest countries."

No, the deaths from rotavirus in the US is not large. Just 30 kids a year, no biggie, right, AoA? And those half a million deaths worldwide, that's irrelevant, too, right? Apparently. I have never read an article at AoA where the actual risks of the diseases have been discussed. Ever. We either see hate speech from individuals suggesting it's eugenics at its best and survival of the fittest to let these diseases winnow out the fragile (no, I am not kidding or exaggerating) from the very people who do nothing but whine that their child was harmed by vaccines (and Lyme disease and SV-40). So, other people's kids getting ill and dying: good. Your child harmed by a vaccine: bad.

Sometimes bitterness fosters and breeds ignorance. It certainly breeds contempt for others, an appalling lack of compassion, and an unwillingness to consider anything outside of what feeds the bitterness.

No, rotavirus isn't as dangerous in older children. It's uncomfortable, and certainly it's messy and inconvenient. So, it doesn't tend to be an illness that older kids need to be vaccinated against. It is, however, incredibly dangerous to babies under the age of two. And the poorer you are, the more likely it is that it will kill your child. To dismiss this, to laugh it off as AoA has is yet another confirmation that the editors are not about the kids first. Not about making the world safer. No, they'd like to prevent the 2 million kids a year who are hospitalized with the rotavirus from getting the vaccine that would prevent serious enough illness to put them into the hospital. They dismiss the half million little ones who die each year who might have lived had they received the vaccine.

Yup, rotavirus is just like eating prunes. Not.

4 comments:

Clay said...

"We either see hate speech from individuals suggesting it's eugenics at its best and survival of the fittest to let these diseases winnow out the fragile (no, I am not kidding or exaggerating) from the very people who do nothing but whine that their child was harmed by vaccines (and Lyme disease and SV-40)."

Wow, that's really ironic (and bigoted)! On second thought, "ironic" is insufficient to describe such self-serving, "other"-screwing mind manipulations that obscure the idiocy of their own words. Who was it who said, "Never underestimate the stupidity of the American people"? He sure had that right.

kathleen said...

Ahh Kim...it is really worse than that-you see, those half million deaths happen in "other" places...not here- so that, it seems, makes it o.k.
Sick isn't it?

davidbrown said...

I think the "real" problem groups like Age of Autism have about vaccines is that they are technological rather than "natural", and directed to children. As I understand it, Rotateq is recommended at an especially early age, which likely attracts further suspicion.
The greater irony is that "Age of Autism" would write multiple articles against rotateq and its creators, even though this vaccine didn't even exist when the "autism epidemic" became a concern.
PS. My latest correction was censored.

KWombles said...

Glad to know it's not me overreacting to the stuff. Somedays that place is more difficult to read than others (I know the AoAers who love it are all "then why bother?" -- because the AoAers don't see their stuff as a problem and they really ought to have the human decency to see it).