boutell: (shave)
Vaccines are not 100% effective. But if everyone gets them then the odds of the disease propagating go down. Eventually to the point where a case of measles can't replace itself, on average, with more than one case of measles and the disease is no longer epidemic.

Stick to your guns long enough, as we did with smallpox, and the disease may become extinct - no more dead children from that cause, ever again ever. This is good.

But if enough people become overconfident and stop immunizing their kids, that ratio of new cases to old cases creeps above 1.0 again, and the disease starts to spread and may become epidemic once more. This is bad.

The good news is that the measles vaccine is highly effective after the second dose. The bad news is that the second dose is given at age four. The dose at age one is only 95% effective.

So even kids whose parents are doing their best to protect them are needlessly at risk of something that could lead to deafness, or even death (roughly 3 out of every 1000 cases). And decisions not to vaccinate, made by other parents, are directly responsible for this.

I would have to think twice about taking a baby on a New York City bus this month. And people who live there don't get a choice.
boutell: (Default)
Philly locals who stuffer from OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) may be interested to hear that a free treatment program is available through the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at Penn. They definitely have openings, so this is an excellent time to contact them. If that is something that might benefit you, visit the site or call Jamie at (215) 746-3327.
boutell: (Default)
The FDA did the right thing and approved the HPV vaccine. It's a damn good thing the recommendation was universal on this one. When "plan B" was up for approval, they trumped up a lone objection into an excuse to reject it outright.

Merck felt obligated to promote abstinence as part of their marketing for this. They did what they had to do, and got something people need approved, I'm not pissed at Merck. In fact, it's sort of promising that the religious right was forced to admit that saving the lives of sexually active people has a value greater than zero. Um... here in Bizarro Country, where that would ever be in doubt! Ahrgh! But they did. At least.

We can thank the midterm elections for this, I think.

The vaccine is approved for women and girls from ages 9 to 25. Yes, Merck is studying the vaccine's safety and efficacy in men.

Ganked from [profile] opadit.

Say, the latest version of the rich-text WYSIWYG editor on livejournal is pretty swank, I could almost use this other than by accident.[profile] [profile]
boutell: (Default)
No muscle relaxant last night. Shoulder: still better. Tom: mysteriously smart again! Or anyway Tom thinks so. Still a little morose around the edges, but just vastly better than yesterday.

Which is good, because I have entirely too much work to do. I am Captain Mister Busy. Although I wouldn't turn down a date for Friday night.

Eleanor is home with a cold. Poor thing's feeling really lousy, and being very good about it, and letting me get stuff accomplished. Apropos of which, back to the grindstone.
boutell: (Default)
Yipes. Not the first time this has come up, but the evidence that cell phones next to your head are Just Not Good For You is starting to add up. We already seem to be at the point where you Really Really Shouldn't let your small child have one, at least unless and until someone very convincingly refutes this stuff.
boutell: (Default)
All week I had a headache that wouldn't quite go away. Which I blamed on a million things. But this morning I woke up with a cold. Chills, sore throat, headache, fatigue, even a touch of nausea.

Nothing I can't cope with. But... wanh. I say, sir, wanh.

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to admit feeling under the weather. I seem to have a lot invested in the idea of my own indestructibility. So I'm going to try to make a point of acknowledging these things. I don't get sick often (see? STILL in denial), so it shouldn't become a tedious feature of my LJ.

And hey, you suffered through this entry, you deserve an excellent recipe for gnocchi. (I made them without the egg, used a little bit of soy milk to make up for the missing liquid.)
boutell: (Default)
The Voice of America News reports that those who continue to hold intellectually challenging jobs throughout their working years are less likely to develop Alzheimer's. The article suggests that working as a crossword puzzle editor may keep Alzheimer's at bay.

I'd like to believe that. It's nice to think that writing code will prevent amyloid plaques from forming in my cerebellum. Unfortunately, I can't help thinking of another other logical explanation: the disease starts earlier than we think, and people tend to lose or avoid mentally challenging work as a result.

But hey, on the bright side of things, it might be true, and if it is, you have a gold-plated excuse to play Scrabble.

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