California Whooping Cough: 9 Dead, Infections On The Rise
Because of unfounded, and frankly insane, fear-mongering on the part of some groups, people have stopped getting vaccinated for lots of diseases. Straight from the article (emphasis mine):
All of the whooping cough-related deaths in California occurred in babies too young to be fully immunized against the illness, which is why parents and caretakers are being urged to get booster shots. Typically, babies are given a series of vaccinations, then receive booster shots between ages 4 and 6 and again after age 10.
Many parents forgo vaccines for their children because of concerns about autism, typically fueled by misinformation on the Internet, said Dr. Mark Sawyer, a University of California-San Diego professor and fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The vaccines against whooping cough are free of the additive thimerosal, a preservative containing mercury that has been the subject of a long-running public debate about whether it can cause autism.
A federal ruling in March said there was no connection between autism and thimerosal.
"We need to remember that vaccines are probably the biggest reason that so few of us lose our children when they are young," said Dr. Patricia Samuelson, speaking on behalf of the California Academy of Family Physicians. "They used to say in this country, 'Don't count your children until after they've had measles' because so many would die."
Not that the ruling or any of this will stop the conspiracy theorists, but the fact that people are avoiding vaccines that don't even contain the ingredients they incorrectly think cause autism makes them even dumber.
Failing to vaccinate your kids not only puts them at risk, but everyone else they come in to contact with. You are a selfish ass if you fail to do it.