Friday, August 22, 2008

Am I missing something?

Measles is back, but I'm not sure I agree with the reason why:
Measles—a highly contagious disease-causing virus—is making a comeback in the U.S., thanks to parents fears over vaccines. Fifteen children under 20, including four babies, have been hospitalized and 131 sickened by the red splotches since the beginning of this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in 15 states and the District of Columbia.

The CDC had announced in 2000 that the disease was eliminated in the U.S. thanks to a vaccine that can completely control it. But fears of autism have led some parents to forego this treatment and at least 63 of the sickened children were unvaccinated. (Chanman's emphasis)
I teach history and not math, but by my count, the article states that 146 total cases of the measles have been recorded this year, and of that 146, 63 were not vaccinated against the disease. So I assume that to mean that the other 83 were vaccinated against the disease, but caught the measles anyway. Sounds to me like your chances are better if you skip the shot.

Correct me if my numbers or logic are wrong, but the article shoots down its own thesis as soon as it cites the number of cases.

Good Day to You, Sir

7 comments:

Larry said...

What are you, some kind of RightWingExtremeist?

Don't be using logic--go with the flow!

Don't step on the nuance.

Get over being hung up on the details.

And don't worry about the history, it will be on GMA as "news".

Donalbain said...

Your maths IS wrong. The population of unvaccinated kids is smaller (much smaller) than the population of vaccinated kids. Thus, the unvaccinated kids have a GREATER (much greater) chance of catching the disease. Thankfully for you guys, measles is not endemic to the USA,as your vaccination rates have not quite dipped low enough. Sadly, the bastards like Andrew Wakefield have scared enough people in the UK out of vaccination that it is endemic here.

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/08/thanks_again_jenny_mccarthy_and_andrew_wakefield.php

Thats a good blog on the issue..

rightwingprof said...

"The population of unvaccinated kids is smaller (much smaller) than the population of vaccinated kids. Thus, the unvaccinated kids have a GREATER (much greater) chance of catching the disease."

And your epidemiology is wrong -- or would that be epidemeiologies IS wrong. The larger the population of vaccinated children, the less chance the unvaccinated will contract the disease.

Look it up.

M.A. said...

The article says "at least 63 were unvaccinated". This means it could be more than 63, so I don't know if we can draw any conclusions from these numbers. Eighty-three is at least 63, so your numbers could be reversed, right? This would lead to the opposite conclusion.

How is it that they do not know the exact number?

Don, American said...

Don't get me started on "science."

Donalbain said...

Rightwingprof:
No.. I was referring to the comparative risk to each group. The population of unvaccinated kids is SMALLER so given a roughly equal number of measles infections, it is the unvaccinated kids who are at most risk.

I will put in the numbers to show what I mean. 90% of the USA is vaccinated against measles. The US population is 300million.

That means that 270 million vaccinated, with 30 million unvaccinated..

So, the odds of a vaccinated person getting the disease is 83/270,000,000 or 3x10^-7 while the odds of the unvaccinated person getting the disease is 63/30,000,000 2x10^-5

So, the unvaccinated population is at MUCH greater risk than the vaccinated population.

And that is just the selfish way of looking at it. It doesnt take into account the fact that immunisation is necessary to infer herd immunity, protecting those who, for whatever reason, can't get the vaccination.

Donalbain said...

Also, note that in British English, 'Mathematics' is treated as a singular noun and is shortened to 'maths' also treated as a singular noun. So, hold back on the snark, lest you look somewhat silly.