Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » MORE DECEPTIVE INNUMERACY

    Filed at 9:36 pm under by dcobranchi

    OK, I’ve got to believe this was the reporter screwing up:

    Local and state public health officials are reminding the public about the importance of immunizing children to prevent the spread of highly contagious diseases such as whooping cough, which is increasing in Montana and North Dakota as a result of children not being immunized.

    “People need to know these diseases still exist. We know immunizing works, so there’s no reason not to immunize children. In 2001 there were 285,000 deaths in the United States from Whooping Cough,” Richland County Health Department R.N. Kathy Helmuth said. “The development of immunizations is the greatest public health accomplishment of the past century; there’s no reason to not vaccinate your child.”

    And what does CDC have to say?

    Whooping Cough

    Number of new whooping cough cases: 9,771 (2002)
    Cases per 100,000 population: 3.4 (2002)
    Source: Health, United States: 2004, table 51

    Health care use
    Percent of children ages 19-35 months with DTP vaccination: 80% (2002)
    Source: Health, United States: 2004, table 72

    Number of deaths: 18 (2002)
    Source: Deaths: Final Data for 2002

    So there was either a big, BIG drop in cases between 2001 and 2002, or somebody’s going to get yelled at by the assignment desk tomorrow.

    But what drew me to the piece in the first place was this:

    “There is a growing anti-immunization movement which I think is related to the increase in reported numbers of whooping cough,” Helmuth said. “Even if you live in the middle of nowhere and homeschool your children, sooner or later they are going to come into contact with the public whether it’s at church or in the grocery store or library. They will be exposed to other people.”

    Such subtlety.


    Comment by
    January 25th, 2005
    at 10:25 pm

    285,000 deaths from whooping cough? Oh lordy, get me the salts, I’m coming down with the vapors! 😉

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    January 25th, 2005
    at 11:29 pm

    The really amazing thing is that if the percentage of fatal cases remained constant, 154,000,000 folks got Whooping Cough in 2001. That was a helluva epidemic!

    Comment by
    Tim Haas
    January 25th, 2005
    at 11:35 pm

    You’d think after all this time we’d get news from the frontier a little more quickly.

    Comment by
    January 26th, 2005
    at 8:42 am

    Oh man, remionds me of this time last year, when there were a good 30 or so cases of whooping cough here. It was an epidemic! Nobody died, and in speaking with the local health nurse, only one family that had it were not immunized, and it didn’t start with them.

    And that’s what I don’t get. If they’re immunizing to prevent it, how come people who are immunized still get it?

    Comment by
    January 26th, 2005
    at 3:06 pm

    Here’s what’s been going on in my neck of the woods:




    Andrea, that’s a good question.