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Polio Causes Global Health Emergency 126

mdsolar (1045926) sends this news from Bloomberg: "The spread of polio to countries previously considered free of the crippling disease is a global health emergency, the World Health Organization said, as the virus once driven to the brink of extinction mounts a comeback. Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria pose the greatest risk of exporting the virus to other countries, and should ensure that residents have been vaccinated before they travel, the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement today after a meeting of its emergency committee. It's only the second time the United Nations agency has declared a public health emergency of international concern, after the 2009 influenza pandemic. Polio has resurged as military conflicts from Sudan to Pakistan disrupt vaccination campaigns, giving the virus a toehold. The number of cases reached a record low of 223 globally in 2012 and jumped to 417 last year, according to the WHO. There have been 74 cases this year, including 59 in Pakistan, during what is usually polio's 'low season,' the WHO said. "
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Polio Causes Global Health Emergency

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  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:07PM (#46932951)

    Fuck you Jenny McCarthy and your anti-vax followers.

    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:11PM (#46933031)

      Fuck you Jenny McCarthy

      I wouldn't do that. What if you catch something? Especially something preventable with vaccination!

      • Ironically, they don't make vaccines for idiocy.

        • by ackthpt ( 218170 )

          Ironically, they don't make vaccines for idiocy.

          Sure they do, it's called a Guillotine. Problem is, we don't use it.

          it's simple cause and effect

        • It wouldn't matter if they did. The idiots wouldn't take them anyway.
          • So you're saying what we really need is a vaccine against *other people's* stupidity? Nah, it'll never be allowed to happen - just think what that would do to politics!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The antivaxers are starting to recognize their autism argument is debunked, they are coming up with other reasons now. Vaccines cause sids, trying to rope in Pandas, all this utter garbage. It has become an I will do what I want with my kids!

        • It's amazing how vaccines always cause conditions that were mis- or undiagnosed in the past. Let me guess - vaccines cause ADHD, too?

          I've got tourettes, and my girlfriend has ADHD and aspergers, and whilst we're thankful our conditions aren't debilitating, we also cherish the positive aspects they bring to our lives.

    • I don't disagree that the anti-vaxxers constitute a health hazard in the US, but how are they responsible for outbreaks in Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria?
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        Because the efforts are global, and the feed into other anti-vaxxers, as well as fund them.

        • Because the efforts are global, and the feed into other anti-vaxxers, as well as fund them.

          Right, because misogynistic societies like Pakistan and Syria have a long history of giving a fuck what women have to say...

          Oh, not just women, but hedonistic Western women. Who became famous for sexual exploits.

          Yea, sure, that's the ticket... []

          • I can see them all huddled around a TV screen saying "this is just utterly obscene and filthy, back it up a bit and show that part again."

        • I understand global warming skeptics have good reasons, but I can't come up with a reason for funding anti-vaxxers around the world. If such campaign exists, it is the only anti-system movement of today, very curious thing.

          Since I also don't understand how one can be pro- or anti- vaccines. Consider the ramifications of always trusting vaccinations because the principle is sound (you might as well ingest 2kg of pork meat every day because the principle of nutrition is just as sound) and the ramifications of

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        No, it's the CIA [] that's responsible, not the anti-vaxxers.
      • The anti-vaxxers are not one unified community. There have been groups in third world countries that have been suspicious about western medicines and programs of innoculations. Ie, rumors that it's a government plot to infect people with HIV, stuff like that. And of course, because it was a doctor pretending to do door to door vaccination that was used to track down bin Laden, that put a big setback to vaccination in parts of Pakistan.

    • Because I'm sure that villagers in Sudan go to former Playboy Playmates for their medical advice.
    • In the case of polio, it is religion and the religious, not anti-vaxers.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    those bastards are persistent and need to be eradicated, the bull shit they come up with to avoid vaccinating their kids is epic. They are starting to knowledge that autism is not caused by vaccines but they have come up with other bull. The newest one seems to be that vaccines cause SIDS, they wont produce any info on this and I have googled away and the only thing I find is reference to a settlement given by a vaccine company in a case of lupus in a child (they state this is proof the vaccine caused sid

    • So is it the whole anti--west Islamic world you want to exterminate? That isn't very tolerant of you. Sure, they're homophobe misogynists, too, but we need to be diverse!

    • Maim.

      Illiteracy doesn't actually make your argument stronger, it just makes it unlikely to be read past the point where you appear to be illiterate.

  • by ChilyWily ( 162187 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:12PM (#46933035) Homepage
    It did not help that the CIA had a DNA collection, excuse me, "Intelligence gathering" operative working as a Doctor in one of the countries where the problem is the worst. Now health workers are getting assaulted and the poor who could get vaccinated, are without.
    • by mirix ( 1649853 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:22PM (#46933199)

      Yep, this has to be one of the dumber plans the CIA has come up with. We were getting pretty close to entirely wiping out a second disease (after smallpox), and they had to go and screw it up to 'find terrists' or some such.

      Surely polio has killed and maimed more people than terrorists could dream of.

      • The Taliban was actively campaigning against vaccinations well before the CIA used a local doctor to collect DNA under the guise of hep B vaccinations.

        It didn't help however the idea it was a turning point is sadly mistaken.

    • What didn't happen was some asshat's desire to demonstrate his knowledge of "inside knowledge" outweighed the oath he or she took to keep their mouth(s) shut.

      It wasn't the method that was used to gather the intelligence that caused the problem, it was the disclosure of that method.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        No, using that means to gather intelligence is the issue. IT's bad, and it undermines the basic trust for people trying to care for people and p[rovide care.

        The fact that they got caught isn't why it was bad.

      • What didn't happen was some asshat's desire to demonstrate his knowledge of "inside knowledge" outweighed the oath he or she took to keep their mouth(s) shut.

        It wasn't the method that was used to gather the intelligence that caused the problem, it was the disclosure of that method.

        Right... just like it isn't your fault if you lose business because you're selling clothes that don't actually exist -- it's the fault of the intern who broke his contract to tell people that they weren't wearing any clkothes.

        Shoot the messenger much?

        I'm sorry, but I'll take asshat with integrity over government operation that compromises global health integrity any day.

        After all, what's the problem if there's nothing to hide?

        Also: Doctors also take an oath. This one broke his oath before any other alleged oathbreaking took place (I pledge to uphold the Constitution trumps gag orders/NDAs, the Hippocratic oath trumps both).

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        Just like it's not robbing the bank that was the problem, it was getting caught? Shoplifting is all good as long as you get away with it?

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        Right, Their completely unethical behavior had nothing to do with the problem.

        Much of medical and any profession is about trust; what the CIA did is violate that trust they had credentialed doctors saying one thing while doing another. The were perpetrating FRAUD, and you are arguing the problem is they got caught.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:27PM (#46933265) Journal
      I'd advocate the 'poetic justice' approach myself.

      A nice relaxing life sentence inside an iron lung would give the responsible parties plenty of time to think over the fact that the CIA's most serious targets, much less its biggest successfully averted incidents, are total chickenshit compared to what public health people (along with contemporary sanitation infrastructure) work to keep at bay.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        sadly it would be their kids and grand kids that suffer, not the people spreading the lies.

        • Oh, I was referring to the CIA agents who were so myopic and/or ethically disinhibited as to compromise the fight against a rather nasty disease just to score a DNA sample. That's far worse than common murder.

          The locals who are directly attacking health workers also need to be punished, of course; assault and/or murder are criminal acts and they deserve to suffer for them; but they are largely a symptom, just peons doing the grunt work for a situation above their heads. The people who hatched a plan that
    • by swb ( 14022 )

      Because stopping CIA data collection is a higher priority than making sure your people don't end up crippled from polio?

      Sure, you can "blame" the CIA for this, but at a certain point isn't guaranteeing your kids won't get polio a little more important?

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        Because stopping CIA data collection is a higher priority than making sure your people don't end up crippled from polio?

        To the Pakistani Taliban, sadly yes, it is. They are primarily the ones targeting polio workers in Pakistan.

      • by ChilyWily ( 162187 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @05:08PM (#46933809) Homepage
        Sure... but when you have an enemy that calls innocent people dying as "collateral damage" and when they show no restraint with drone attacks and midnight raids, it is quite fearful for the local population to be very afraid of getting vaccinated because are you getting a real Doctor/Health care worker or are you getting into a CIA database where one day you will be killed? It doesn't help that one the other side you have the Taliban who now target *all* health care workers as working for the enemy... to the detriment of the poor people.

        The CIA has the big brains, the big budget and they may have gotten the 1 person they wanted, but the misery they brought to many people, many children at that, does not justify the means. They did much evil in that case and it will cause hurt to many.

        Is even a slap on the wrist not warranted for the CIA?
        I don't even want to start with the other things the US Government has done in the "homeland" such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiments on African-Americans. []
        • What utter bullshit. You are treating the Taliban like foolish children who are out doing bad things to health workers because they are confused. Fuck that. They are responsible. They and their leaders bear the blame.

          Also tossing more fuel on a 'blame the West' fire is beyond outrageous.

          • They are like foolish children compared to educated Westerners who didn't grow up immersed in violent fundamentalist nutjobbery. Or perhaps they're closer to mentally ill.

            Anyway, the CIA taught them that medical staff cannot be trusted. There's a reason using medics for espionage and attack in war is a war crime, it's the same reason that using ambulances to transport SWAT teams and this incident were incredibly horrible, dangerous ideas with grave consequences that are now being felt.

            • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @09:30PM (#46935825)

              They are like foolish children compared to educated Westerners who didn't grow up immersed in violent fundamentalist nutjobbery. Or perhaps they're closer to mentally ill.

              Lets see how sensible the Christianists are after their lives, land and countries have been fucked with for a century by Muslim Imperialism. After the state-run oil companies in Venezuela and Iran get together and overthrow [] the governments of the U.K. and the United States. After the Revolutionary Guard spends 15 years threatening the United States with total obliteration [] if it made use of a nuclear weapons program that it says does not exist []. And says crippling sanctions that killed 5,000,000 kids in the U.S. (adjusted for population) was worth it. []

              But I don't expect that partial list to make a dent in the cognitive dissonance in all the Bill Maher's [] running around in the comments.

              • And it's impressive that Iranians are relatively level-headed and peaceful after all this, even many western cultures wouldn't be able to contain their lust for vengeance in such circumstances.

                But I wasn't talking about them. I was talking about the Taliban.

          • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

            Bill Maher [] posts on Slashdot! Who knew?

          • by Sabriel ( 134364 )

            Stop and _think_ for a moment, will you? Nobody here is defending the Taliban. Nobody here is saying the CIA shouldn't fight the Taliban.

            The whole bloody point of having a free country is not just having the ability to criticise our government when they do the wrong thing, but also that the ability be exercised. If we don't, history is pretty bloody clear that we end up with a government similar to the Taliban in charge of us.

            If the CIA has a problem with carrying out its assigned tasks under the restrictio

        • It doesn't help that one the other side you have the Taliban who now target *all* health care workers as working for the enemy... to the detriment of the poor [brown, Muslim] people.

          If you really don't think that was another -ahem- bullet point in the CIA's slide deck for this operation, I have some swamp-based bitcoins to sell you.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      It was a local Dr. and nurses.

      And health workers getting assaulted and people stopping them for giving vaccinations has been going on far before that. sadly.

  • by OglinTatas ( 710589 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:13PM (#46933055)

    It couldn't have anything to do with this (CIA using polio vaccinations as cover) could it?

    http://articles.baltimoresun.c... []

    • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @04:28PM (#46933269)
      Taliban was recommending against polio vaccination long before that, because of rumors it causes sterilization. The CIA collecting DNA in Abbottabad from hepatitis (not polio) vaccinations didn't help though.
      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        Methinks you're downplaying the significance of the CIA'a actions. Jenny McCarthy has been an anti-vaxer for some time. If it was proven that a few dozen kids had contracted autism via vaccines, what would it do to the size of her following?

    • The CIA 'vaccination campaign' was actually for hepatitis B; but the locals obviously aren't terribly interested in allocating distrust according to the specific vaccine type. There have been assorted 'zOMG Western campaign to sterilize our wimmenz!' outbreaks from time to time before that one came to light; but an actual CIA vaccine conspiracy certainly didn't hurt the credibility of anyone who accused vaccination of being a cover for some sinister western agenda...
      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        To be fair, it wouldn't be the first time the U.S. engaged in forced sterilization.

        • I was going to disagree with you, but then I remembered instead that it was the Secret Service who was for increased fertilization.

        • Oh, indeed not. And you can get contraceptive vaccines (albeit only for certain non-human pest and livestock mammals at present, humans aren't quite working yet). As it happens, though, concerned parties have had the vaccine lots sent off for analysis in places they trust, and some campaigns have even deliberately emphasized use of vaccines sourced from 'friendly' countries rather than the US or similar, and nobody has ever come across a sterilization/fertility reduction agent hidden in one of these vaccine
          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            I don't think we actually have such a program running there, I just wanted to point out that from their perspective it is hardly a paranoid fantasy.

    • It's already been done, using similar diseases.

      See Japan Unit 731 [] from WWII.
      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        Already been the freaking Paleozoic era. No comparison to the most powerful man in the world giving credence to modern conspiracy theories as to the "real" purpose of vaccination programs.

  • Probably started this to distract us from Benghazi, didn't you??

  • dude did a ted talk a couple years back full of optimism. Why can't we all just say, fuck you polio, and git her done?

    if i can imagine one thing most everybody should be able to get behind it should be the eradication of disease. Lets all agree that polio is bad, and getting rid of polio is good. and if the WHO can convince warlords to help with the vaccination effort in the moments between open conflict, why isn't this problem kicked?

  • Emergency Powers! WHO! Where's the paranoia?
  • Did anyone else read the title and think the post would be about some global food recall?

    On my screen, with the font slashdot uses for titles (and with my eyes) I can't distinguish i and l.

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