Colin Bendell's Reviews > The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin
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's review
Jun 26, 11

Read from June 09 to 21, 2011

A fascinating history of vaccines and the generations of opposition to vaccines because of religious conviction and ignorance. People such as Andrew Wakefield, Jenny Mccarthy and Opra are the recent villains in this story using greed, mis-information, bad science and emotive plees to convince well educated and well meaning parents to not vaccinate their children. As a result society's herd immunity has been compromised for viruses that were eliminated decades ago. The deaths of hundreds of children caused by the of recent outbreaks in whooping cough, measles and other forgotten child hood illnesses is the blood on Wakefield's, McCarthy's and Opra's hands.

One very interesting point he raises is the role of the internet to allow silos of mis-information to perpetuate. Where once these silos were forced to reconcile their thoughts with the challenges from the majority, now the fringe groups can find more like-minded across the globe and more easily ignore the challenges to their ideas. The anti-vaccination crowd continues to grow in spite of the building evidence that contradicts each assertion they put forward. MMR and mercury don't cause autism yet the anti-vaccination community still fervently believes that big pharma is somehow to blaim and not genetics.
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