Archive for vaccination

Snark Matter

Posted in Ecological resilience, Organic agriculture with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2014 by rgwallace

autism v organics1“Do not eat from the tree of knowledge!”–the first prohibition which is clearly a joke, a perplexing temptation whose point is unclear. –Slavoj Žižek (2012)

A sarcastic graph circulating on social media among sciency contrarians shows increases in cases of diagnosed autism highly correlated with increases in sales in organic food.

The jibe takes caustic aim at proponents of natural medicine who won’t vaccinate their children on eminently refuted grounds shots cause autism.

The snark here may actually be onto something it never intended.

Continue reading


The Great Recession Flu

Posted in Evolution, Influenza with tags , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by rgwallace

Swine flu is so 2009. Like La Roux and v-neck t-shirts.

And yet here we are nearly two years later and the United Kingdom is suffering a swine flu attack worse than anything it previously faced. The number of flu patients in intensive care has risen by 60% in the past week to 738, four times greater than at the pandemic’s peak in 2009. Some hospitals are on ‘black alert,’ canceling non-urgent operations and running short on intensive care beds.

Children are taking the worse of the blows. The incidence for the under-four age group is approaching 200 per 100,000, the epidemic threshold, even before the post-holiday return to school, where flus best incubate.

Since its emergence the novel H1N1 strain which swept the planet mid-2009 has quietly remained the world’s dominant influenza strain, sharing the stage with seasonal H3N2 and influenza B. As we’ve discussed several times here, the sustained global presence would likely permit the virus the opportunity to evolve independently across multiple populations under different social and public health regimens.

Continue reading