January 5, 2006

A RUN OF GOOD NEWS:

2 Vaccines Sharply Decrease Grave Diarrhea Cases (Thomas H. Maugh II And Karen Kaplan, January 5, 2006, LA Times)

Two competing vaccines designed to combat rotaviral diarrhea, one of the world's leading causes of childhood death, sharply reduced severe disease and hospitalizations, according to the results of two unusually large clinical trials released Wednesday.

In the developing world, widespread vaccinations would significantly decrease the 600,000 fatal cases annually of children younger than 5, experts said.

In the United States, where readily available medical care limits deaths to about 40 a year, routine vaccine use could eliminate most of the 70,000 disease-related hospitalizations and 87% of the workdays missed by parents, saving billions of dollars, according to the studies, published in the current New England Journal of Medicine.
[...]

The two vaccines were developed in response to the 1999 withdrawal of RotaShield, a vaccine with a rare but potentially fatal side effect. Even countries with numerous rotavirus deaths shunned the vaccine as a result.


Sadly, no known vaccine prevents stupidity.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2006 10:05 AM
Comments

I'm stealing this from Bjorn Lomborg, but if it weren't for misplaced priorities in the west and the political and ethnic mire found in Africa, getting reliable clean water to everyone on Earth would be technologically trivial and not all that expensive. No other single program could improve life on the planet more.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 10:36 AM

According to the CDC, ~47,000 Americans die each year of diseases that vaccines can prevent.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 10:40 AM

In other words, the latest hysteria of the anti-Vietnam generation kills as many Americans every year as the war did?

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 10:50 AM

Given that most of the victims are children, this really is a situation where "Darwinian" can be accurately applied.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 12:03 PM

But Michael, given regression to the mean, is there any reason to suspect these poor child-victims to be as dumb as their parents?

Posted by: Kirk Parker at January 5, 2006 12:16 PM

From my experience, they should be administered to troops in the field.

Posted by: Genecis at January 5, 2006 1:24 PM
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