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RE: OT - Vaccines

From: Lisa Corell Auerbach <>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 05:54:42 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Hi Ross - you wrote -

> I haven't even *heard* of a case of tuberculosis..rubella....malaria... *years*.

Actually, tuberculosis is not really that rare - in fact, I had a very good friend who wound up with a positive PPD (tuberculosis test), apparently exposed while working in a Virginia health department with a large HIV caseload. Immunocompromised persons are quite prone to tuberculosis. We saw TB positive people on a regular basis - not a lot, but enough that I was surprised that folks think it is gone.

However, the "shot" for tuberculosis, in almost all cases, is a test for the disease (a PPD), not a vaccination against the disease.

 From my somewhat elderly copy of _Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases_, published by the CDC -

Diptheria averaged about 3 reported cases per year, nationwide, from 1980 to 1993. In contrast, in 1993, over 40,000 cases were reported in the countries of former Russia.

Rubella had 192 reported cases in 1993, down from 57,686 in 1969. Worldwide incidence AFAIK is unknown.

Polio is quite rare in the US (what few cases occur most often breakouts from the modified live virus) Outbreaks of "wild" polio have occurred on the US/Mexican border, but AFAIK not recently. In 1993, 9700 cases were reported worldwide.

Pertussis in 993 had 6,586 cases and 12 deaths in the US. It's found worldwide.

Malaria is not a disease children are normally vaccinated against. Not sure why it's in the list?

If you're interested in learning more about the theory behind vaccination policy, the CDC book (available online, I believe) is a good way to see the rationale. Whether or not you agree with vaccination, it is an interesting book, and it gives the hard numbers where available.


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Author: Lisa Corell Auerbach

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Received on Fri Aug 17 2001 - 07:54:42 CDT

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