Perhaps the strangest medical phenomenon discovered in recent years is a link between the lone star tick and an allergy to red meat. The bite of a lone star tick exposes a person to a small carbohydrate called alpha-gal. In a handful of people, this exposure elicits an abnormal immune response that produces a type of antibody called IgE, which causes allergies. Because red meat also contains alpha-gal, people who have been sensitized to the carbohydrate from a tick bite can develop life-threatening anaphylaxis if they consume pork or beef.
Andrew Wakefield, Jenny McCarthy and their anti-vaccination groupies are making less and less of an impact, according to a new report released by the CDC which analyzes vaccination data on kindergartners.
In its latest issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC estimates the worldwide impact that vaccination against measles. The results are both encouraging and breathtaking. What would happen if there was no measles vaccine? Roughly 1.5 million people would die of the disease every single year.
As the anti-vaccine movement garnered Hollywood momentum, science stood largely silent. However, Dr. Paul Offit, inventor of the Rotavirus vaccine, took to the helm to fight for children's health and safety. Here's an informative conversation with a true expert in the field.
The Disneyland measles outbreak in January 2015 prompted several states to tighten their vaccine exemption laws. As for Michigan, the latest CDC data shows that, for the 2015-16 school year, the exemption rate among its kindergartners fell significantly, from 5.3 percent to 3.6 percent. Here's two reasons why the state's new policy is apparently working.
The outbreak began with a Michigan parent who was diagnosed with shingles last October. Despite acquiring first-hand knowledge of the pain and discomfort of shingles, the parent apparently took no significant action to protect his or her 5 kids. Within a month, one by one each came down with chickenpox. And then it spread outside the family home.
In an effort to halt what some pediatricians are calling a rising tide in vaccine hesitancy, the American Academy of Pediatrics have released a statement urging states to crack down on parents who refuse to vaccinate their children. The recommendations go as far as stating that pediatricians reserve the right to exclude anti-vaccine families from the practice who refuse to change their minds. The news is good, and we here at the council welcome it, as a whopping 87 percent of pediatricians this year have been 'challenged' by parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, up from 75 percent in the last decade.
Amidst the talks at the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics annual conference this December will be a session on "vaccines and autism." Chiropractors performing spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) on children and babies is bad enough - by including the session on vaccines and autism at the conference, they are offering children a one - two punch. Now babies that are getting their backs cracked will have whooping cough, too.
As a society, we never grew up beyond high school. Not being smart continues to be cool. Rejecting the collective wisdom of scientists, economists, academics, and journalists is applauded. Spurning the "establishment" has become the new national pastime.
Every time I think that this nightmare might be over, he's back in the news. This time, the rights to the former doctor's 2010 book have recently been acquired, and I fear my nightmare is going to become a Hollywood film. Why are Wakefield's supporters so effective at getting their message out than those on the side of science? In response, what do we need to do?
Death knells are beginning to ring for poliovirus. The CDC reports that, in 2014, there were 359 new cases of wild poliovirus in nine countries. Just one year later, the number of new cases dropped to 74, a nearly 80% reduction.
Unlike draping yourself in velvet, which is not socially acceptable, silk remains perfectly fashionable. In fact, it is all the rage at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Tufts University, where a research group led by David Kaplan is literally wrapping silk around everything it can get its hands on.