Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Tackling a Common Doctor Tactic: Local Epidemics

One of the top vaccine-related statements I hear from parents:

Doctor: “Well, at least get little Timmy the XYZ vaccine, b/c there has been an XYZ epidemic in our town!”

I get a message with this comment relayed from a concerned parent almost every day. Yes, every day! It is a common, effective tactic b/c it makes the parent feel an intimate and relative risk. It assumes 1) that the parent is scared of the disease and 2) that the parent chooses to protect her child from vaccines on the basis of “my child will never get sick.”

Both of those assumptions are generally incorrect. Most parents have researched the diseases, the risks of complications and effective ways to keep the child comfortable during the infection. And most parents would like to see natural contraction of the illness during childhood, when the illnesses are milder and provide additional benefits such as a reduction in asthma and cancer later in life.

But anyways, your doctor has just told you that the zombies of death and disease are coming your way. You’re not sure what to think. Is there a raging epidemic of illness outside your child’s bedroom door?

Apparently the children-zombies are coming to get your child, and only with  vaccine-related -zombie-disease.

Check out the report managed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Click on the link to download the PDF of the most current issue. The numbers will be towards the end of the document. You will find lists of reportable diseases in America with the numbers/areas updated weekly (every Friday to be exact). You can see how many cases have been reported for the nation, region and state through the week, year or even previous years.

So take a look around, then IF you do not want to fire your doctor for manipulating you and lying to you, consider giving your doctor the link so she can stay up to date, too. 

Yeah, there's zombies in your town, but of a different variety.


  1. Thank you for sharing this great resource. Last winter we were informed by our pediatrician that there already cases of pertussis in November. I was not surprised, it seems to go around. But clearly the aim was to stir up a fear-based response from me. I asked if the cases were in vaccinated or un-vaccinated children and she seemed surprised by the question. She paused, and then answered that they were un-vaccinated. I still wonder whether it was truthful reply.

  2. I hate Dr. fear mongering. Glad to see you discuss the MMWR database. Not enough people know about it!