Believe it or not, measles isn’t the only vaccine-preventable disease that is still around.
While you likely aren’t too surprised about the flu deaths and the cases of meningococcal disease, did you know that kids still get Hib, babies still get hepatitis B, and that there were three cases of human rabies and a case of diphtheria in the United States last year?
When Was the Last Case of Diphtheria?
That’s despite the fact that the diphtheria vaccine has been around for over 100 years, long before it was combined with the first whole cell pertussis vaccine and the tetanus vaccine to form the DPT vaccine.
A vaccine that helped control respiratory diphtheria, which could lead to the formation of a pseudomembrane in a child’s airway, giving diphtheria the nickname of the “strangling angel.”
The last big outbreaks of diphtheria in the United States occurred in the 1970s, although sporadic cases had continued since, albeit at lower and lower levels each year. Eventually, endemic respiratory diphtheria was declared eliminated in 2009.
Still, we know that there have been some recent cases of diphtheria in the United States.
In April of 2014, a teen from Montgomery County, Ohio developed diphtheria.
And again in April of 2018, someone in Oklahoma developed diphtheria.
Why do we care about a few isolated cases?
Because we know how quickly diphtheria can come back if we stop vaccinating our kids!
Just look at what is happening in many other countries that once had these diseases under good control:
- a 22-year-old unvaccinated women who died in Australia (2011)
- an unvaccinated 3-year-old who died in Belgium (2016)
- a family that became infected in South Africa in which at least one child died (August 2017)
- at least 7 cases of diphtheria in Ukraine (2018)
- an unvaccinated man in Australia who died (2018)
- a case in Canada (2018)
- 8 cases and 3 deaths in Columbia (2018)
Not to mention the large number of diphtheria deaths in Yemen, Venezuela, Haiti, and among Rohingya refugees.
Let’s not bring these diseases back. Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and obviously necessary.
More on the Last Case of Diphtheria
- VAXOPEDIA – Eradicated Diseases
- VAXOPEDIA – Diphtheria in Canada
- VAXOPEDIA – Grave Reminders of Life Before Vaccines
- VAXOPEDIA – When Was the Last Time Someone Died from Being Bitten by a Rabid Dog in the United States?
- VAXOPEDIA – When Was the Last Measles Death in the United States?
- VAXOPEDIA – Milestones Towards the Eradication of Polio
- VAXOPEDIA – Should I Be Worried That My Kids Didn’t Get the Smallpox Vaccine?
- DOH: Increase in diphtheria cases seen in Bicol, Davao regions, Soccksargen, ARMM
- Jakarta to vaccinate 1.9 million children against diphtheria outbreak
- AAP – Diphtheria: A largely forgotten disease because of a vaccine
- AAP – 14 Diseases You Almost Forgot About Thanks to Vaccines
- CDC – What Would Happen If We Stopped Vaccinations
- Ask the Experts about DTP
- 2014 Annual Summary of Infectious Diseases Ohio
- Selected Reportable Diseases, 2018 Oklahoma
- MMWR – Notes from the Field: Respiratory Diphtheria-Like Illness Caused by Toxigenic Corynebacterium ulcerans — Idaho, 2010
- MMWR – Fatal Respiratory Diphtheria in a U.S. Traveler to Haiti — Pennsylvania, 2003
- Study – Respiratory diphtheria in the United States, 1980 through 1995.
- MMWR – Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Fatal Diphtheria — Wisconsin
- Study – Diphtheria in the United States, 1971-81.
- MMWR – Diphtheria Epidemic — New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, 1990-1994
- MMWR – Diphtheria Outbreak — Russian Federation, 1990-1993
A 10-year look at more than 600,000 children comes at a time when anti-vaccine suspicion is on the rise again.
Danish research again dispels link with vaccine at a time of surging measles cases globally
The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine does not cause autism, according to a major study carried out in an attempt to reassure growing numbers of vaccination-doubters, as measles outbreaks surge.
Doubts about MMR were sown by the gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield, who hypothesised in 1998 that it was linked to autism. The symptoms of the condition often begin to manifest at about the time the jab is given, between 12 and 15 months old.
Amazon’s charity arm allows shoppers to donate to an organization of their choosing – including anti-vaccine groups
Amazon appears to be helping fund anti-vaccine not-for-profit organizations through its charity arm, the AmazonSmile Foundation, the Guardian can reveal.
The AmazonSmile fundraising program – through which Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price of a shopper’s Amazon transactions to an organization of their choice – is promoted on the websites of four prominent anti-vaccine organizations: National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), Physicians for Informed Consent, Learn the Risk, and Age of Autism.
Men most foul!
Anti-choice doctors and health officials accused of obstructing legal terminations after 11-year-old girl gave birth to rapist’s child
The lives of thousands of girls in Argentina are being put at risk as legal abortions are delayed and obstructed by doctors trying to force pregnancies to full term.
The issue of anti-choice doctors, medical institutions and government officials deliberately trying to hold up legally sanctioned terminations was brought into sharp focus last week when it emerged that an 11-year-old girl’s baby was born alive because health officials delayed her request for an abortion. The girl had fallen pregnant after being raped by her grandmother’s boyfriend.
As vaccine advocates we can change our tone but companies such as Amazon, YouTube and Facebook must stop profiting off human vulnerability
When it comes to providing accurate medical information, social media is a hot mess. Reporting by the Guardian and elsewhere over the last few months has revealed many troubling examples: the top searches for vaccines on Amazon turn up anti-vaxx books instead; YouTube purposely keeps viewers on its website by suggesting increasingly conspiratorial content; Facebook is a safe haven for propagandists and helps anti-vaxx profiteers make money.
The result? We are experiencing rising outbreaks of eliminated diseases like measles, and the World Health Organization has named vaccine hesitancy one of the top threats to global health in 2019.
Ethan Lindenberger tells Congress anti-vaxxers such as his mother obtain information ‘anecdotally’ from web not doctors
The Ohio teenager who defied his mother’s wishes and got himself vaccinated for measles has appeared before a congressional panel to assert his confidence in the efficacy and safety of the US vaccination program.
Related: Revealed: AmazonSmile helps fund anti-vaccine groups
For centuries, herdswomen have lured cows with haunting melodies.
Source: The Spellbinding Swedish Song That Calls Cows Home – Gastro Obscura