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Wednesday, November 09, 2005 

Dramatic decrease in measles in Africa

Wonder what the anti-vaccination crowd makes of this?

Measles cases and deaths fall by 60% in Africa since 1999

Largely due to the technical and financial support of the Measles Initiative and commitment from African governments, more than 200 million children in Africa have been vaccinated against measles and one million lives have been saved since 1999. Measles cases and deaths have dropped by 60%, thanks to improvements in routine and supplementary immunization activities in Africa.

This dramatic drop has occurred in only a few years, coinciding with a massive measles vaccination campaign throughout the African continent (discussed briefly in this post and in the article linked above). Typically, anti-vaccine folks say that the drop in infectious disease mortality that coincided with increase in vaccination rate was actually due to improvements in diet and sanitation (which, granted, can definitely do a lot to decrease infectious disease morbidity and mortality), but no notable improvements have been made in these areas over the past 5 years during the measles vaccine campaign. Think any of them will finally admit they're wrong?



Yeah, me either.

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About me

  • I'm Tara C. Smith
  • From Iowa, United States
  • I'm a mom and a scientist, your basic stressed-out, wanna-have-it-all-and-do-it-all Gen Xer. Recently transplanted from Ohio to Iowa, I've spent most of my life in the midwest (with 4 years of college spent out east in "soda" territory). My main interest, and the subject of my research, is infectious disease: how does the microbe cause illness? What makes one strain nasty, and another "avirulent?" Are the latter really not causing any disease, or could some of those be possible for the development of chronic disease years down the road? Additionally, I've spent a lot of time discussing the value of teaching evolution, and educating others about "intelligent design" and other forms of creationism. My interest in history of science and medicine is also useful as a way to tie all of the above interests together. [Disclaimer: the views here are solely my own, and do not represent my employer, my spouse, that guy who's always sitting by the fountain when I come into work, or anyone else with whom I may be remotely affiliated.]
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