A great website to read about science, tech and science fiction is io9.com. One posting caught my eye with its headline: “This graph of whooping cough cases in Washington State should scare the crap out of you.” Here’s the link.
The Centers for Disease Control graph shows the 1300 percent increase in pertussis cases from early 2011 to June 16, 2012. While the nation is experiencing a pertussis epidemic, the incidence in Washington is far worse – more than seven times the national average. The likely reason: Washington’s high percentage of “antivaxxers” – parents who either don’t or won’t let children be inoculated against such diseases as pertussis. Without the herd immunity provided when more than 90 percent of the population is vaccinated, diseases spread more easily. This is a topic we’ve editorialized on several times, most recently here.
For more information on the state’s pertussis epidemic, click here.