Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
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Polio-like illness in California: let's not jump on the anti-vaxxers

News reports are coming out today about a crop of polio-like illnesses amongst children in California. Something is attacking the nervous system of these kids, resulting in paralysis of the limbs. Sounds like a good number of these are in the SF Bay Area (where I grew up and live right now), which is scary for all the folk I know with kids.

On the Jezebel and CNN articles, I see a lot of comments attacking anti-vaccine folk. While I think that it's harmful and misguided for people to not vaccinate their children, it is completely unwarranted to blame them right now. This is not actually polio, which all 5 recent cases have been vaccinated against. Instead, two of the children are found to have enterovirus 68, which is incredibly rare.


If anything, I think this is a reminder that we should have strong public health infrastructure. This includes vaccinating against the known nasties, but also keeping an eye out for any new or rare bugs which rear their ugly heads. Blaming this on a lack of vaccination is hasty, unscientific, and not helpful right now.

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