as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues


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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Daisy » Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:19 pm

Intentionally misquoting DrJay, who wrote:A significant percentage of patients in hospitals die not from the ailment they were admitted for, but from ailments they contracted while staying in the hospital.

That's scary, especially coming from someone in the know! :? So DrJay, are you a member of the death panel at your local hospital? 8-)
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby El Toro » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:07 pm

It is important to understand the distinction between health effects at an individual and population level. While advanced technology may benefit an individual to a significant degree, there is no guarantee that this will have a net positive effect at a population level. In fact, the resources devoted to that individual may detract from population health in a number of ways.

A nice general audience article outlining the complex interactions and occasional counterintuitive impacts of modern medicine (with references) can be found here http://www.novamagazine.com.au/article_ ... dicine.htm

Don't discount the article because of the publication it is in because the references used are to legitimate research. One of the main references,The role of medical care in contributing to health improvements within societies, is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and can be found here http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/1260.full

The IJE was rated by the Australian Research Council world-wide peer assessment groups as an A* journal, the same as Nature, so it's not produced by an anti-science ideologue and published by hippies.

ARC definition: Typically an A* journal would be one of the best in its field or subfield in which to publish and would typically cover the entire field/subfield. Virtually all papers they publish will be of a very high quality. These are journals where most of the work is important (it will really shape the field) and where researchers boast about getting accepted. Acceptance rates would typically be low and the editorial board would be dominated by field leaders, including many from top institutions.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:38 am

I scanned the article quickly and it sounded like a bit of a commercial for holistic medicine to me.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:09 pm

gh wrote:I scanned the article quickly and it sounded like a bit of a commercial for holistic medicine to me.


How do you take something like that seriously. The whole thing is just one big advertisement.

For example:

A major Australian study found an association between increasing mortality and an increase in the doctor supply , which is attributed to increasing adversities or complications caused by, or resulting from, medical treatment within society.

What does that mean? It could mean healthy people tend to not go to the doctor. And people who are mortally ill do.

As for cleanliness beats all, this is from the current issue of the New York Review.

"The mutation of polio into a serious disease can be blamed on improved standards of hygiene. The polio virus is passed on via human feces (the virus breeds in the small intestine). A regime of hand-washing, regular baths, and clean underwear cuts down transmission. The catch is that clean habits rob communities of resistance to the virus; and when nonresistant older children and adults contract the disease, it tends to take an extreme form. Thus the very measures that subdued diseases like cholera, typhus, tuberculosis, and diphtheria made poliomyelitis a threat to life.

The paradox that while strict hygiene lessens the risk to individuals, it weakens resistance and turns the disease lethal, was not widely grasped in the heyday of polio. In afflicted communities, eruptions of polio would trigger parallel and no less morbid eruptions of anxiety, despair, and misdirected rage. "

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archive ... ral-brink/

And yes it is a review of a novel and not a scientific article, but still worth noting the importance of the polio vaccine.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby El Toro » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Conor Dary wrote:How do you take something like that seriously. The whole thing is just one big advertisement.


The article advertises no product at all, only a better understanding of elements contributing to population health.

Conor Dary wrote:For example:

A major Australian study found an association between increasing mortality and an increase in the doctor supply , which is attributed to increasing adversities or complications caused by, or resulting from, medical treatment within society.

What does that mean? It could mean healthy people tend to not go to the doctor. And people who are mortally ill do.


If you had done any follow up or thinking you would have not have embarrassed yourself with such a ridiculaous statement. Here is the author of that paper you refer to http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/centres ... rdson.html - clearly an friggin anti science hippy :roll: and here is the paper http://www.buseco.monash.edu.au/centres ... /wp137.pdf if you care to stick to "facts not fiction" rather than mere handwaving. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handwaving
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:03 pm

Anti-vaccination sentiment running high in private schools.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/AP-E ... 851495.php
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby jhc68 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:44 pm

Private and home schooled kids are too special to get sick.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Daisy » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:47 am

jhc68 wrote:Private and home schooled kids are too special to get sick.

Are the bookies running odds for when the first epidemic strikes?
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:42 am

gh wrote:Anti-vaccination sentiment running high in private schools.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/AP-E ... 851495.php


California lawmakers are considering a first-in-the-nation bill that would require parents to discuss vaccinations with pediatricians or nurse practitioners before they would be allowed to exempt their children


That's not first-in-the-nation, Washington state already requires this if you are taking a personal exemption (you don't have to do it if you claim a religious exemption). I had Eddie in daycare twice a week for a month while my husband started a new job several hours away, and I had to make a 45 minute trip to the pediatricians office to get the paperwork signed because we are delaying the Hep B vaccine. It was a pretty big PIA at the time.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:22 am

Pretty insane. Back to the early 20th century, like when my father was born in 1910, when epidemic diseases, like whooping cough were common. Or even pre 1954, when I was born and the polio vaccine was not around.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:28 am

Conor Dary wrote:Pretty insane. Back to the early 20th century, like when my father was born in 1910, when epidemic diseases, like whooping cough were common. Or even pre 1954, when I was born and the polio vaccine was not around.


Not all vaccines are equal. I choose to do most vaccines on time. It's great that we have options, and it's great that diseases like polio have been almost eliminated.

The latest whooping cough vaccine is not very effective. We're having a major epidemic of it up here is WA, and the vaccination rates for it are higher than ever. The vaccinated kids are getting it at the same, or worse, rates than the unvaccinated kids. They're also the ones spreading it around, because they get less sick when they get it, so they often don't know they have it, and keep showing up for school/work/daycare. The CDC is investigating whether or not improperly stored and expired vaccines are contributing to the outbreak here.

FWIW we did all of the pertussis shots on time, even making a special appointment for the 15-month shot. I'm not anti-vaccine, but I also don't demonize parents who make an educated decision about delaying or skipping some shots.

The vast majority of readers on this message board had only a fraction of the vaccines that kids today do. That's not a bad thing, but it's not all a good thing either. Most of us have a natural immunity to chicken pox. It's going to be interesting to see how well the chicken pox vaccine provides a lifetime of protection. Adults tend to be very bad about getting routine booster shots. I would rather my kid get a natural immunity to chicken pox, but if they don't by the time they are 10-12 we'll get the vaccine. No one in our family has ever had a bad reaction to chicken pox.

How many of you are up to date on your Tdap? How many of you even know off the top of your head how often you are supposed to get it?
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby jeremyp » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:30 am

Usually one equates private schools with better education. Obviously not so much. To allow your child to get immunized from a disease by contracting it naturally, rather than through vaccination, shows that the autism/vaccine paranoia still lives on. I just contracted Shingles. I was about to get vaccinated. Wish I had been, as I think the side effects would have been easier than the disease.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:59 am

jeremyp wrote:Usually one equates private schools with better education. Obviously not so much. To allow your child to get immunized from a disease by contracting it naturally, rather than through vaccination, shows that the autism/vaccine paranoia still lives on. I just contracted Shingles. I was about to get vaccinated. Wish I had been, as I think the side effects would have been easier than the disease.


My child has not had every vaccine they are supposed to at this age, and I am not the least bit concerned about autism. Not everyone who chooses to not blindly follow the AAP is blindly rejecting all vaccines, or doing it because of autism fears.

I would suggest that the vaccination rate is lower _because_ the parents are more educated, but I don't actually know that.

However, I don't think it majorly infringes on your personal liberty to have to consult with a doctor or nurse before opting out. You don't _have_ to send your child to daycare or school, and most pediatricians will just sign the form after making sure you are somewhat aware of the risks of opting out.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:04 pm

And then there's fluoride:

<<....It's a dental story told so often it borders on cliche.
When someone moves to Portland from another state - and that's most people you meet in this city of transplants - their new dentist takes one look at their excellent teeth and concludes they must have been raised elsewhere, a place that puts fluoride in its drinking water....>>


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/nation/article/Po ... z26Hu807p5
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:06 pm

I have heard some pretty wacko stuff about fluoride. My fave is that the nazis used fluoride to make their prisoners more docile, and that the government puts it in our water to make us more docile :lol:
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Pego » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:22 pm

polevaultpower wrote: I would rather my kid get a natural immunity to chicken pox, but if they don't by the time they are 10-12 we'll get the vaccine. No one in our family has ever had a bad reaction to chicken pox.


Chicken pox hardly ever represents a major problem. I could count on fingers of one hand all cases of chicken pox encephalitis I encountered in 1/2 century. The problem with your attitude of trying to cherry pick standards is that it may (perhaps, if you are lucky) work on an individual case, but as a herd immunity is concerned, the system breaks down when too many people think that way. You probably know more about the stats and problems with pertussis vaccination in Washington State, that is not something I would comment on, but I would still say that properly vaccinated population has a better chance of not getting massively infected than the one that is not. I have seen bad cases of pertussis, I have seen diphteria, it is not a pretty sight.

Lastly a response to jeremyp. Too bad you did not get the shot early enough, zoster is a bitch. Hopefully it will not become neuralgic. BTW, I did get the shot once it became available.

polevaultpower wrote:My fave is that the nazis used fluoride to make their prisoners more docile


That was bromide :wink: .
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby j-a-m » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:32 pm

polevaultpower wrote:I have heard some pretty wacko stuff about fluoride.

Here's a serious question about fluoride, though. The health benefit comes from teeth getting exposure to fluoride. And potential health concerns come from fluoride being digested. So wouldn't it make much more sense to just put the fluoride into toothpaste instead of into the drinking water?
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:55 pm

Pego wrote:You probably know more about the stats and problems with pertussis vaccination in Washington State, that is not something I would comment on, but I would still say that properly vaccinated population has a better chance of not getting massively infected than the one that is not. I have seen bad cases of pertussis, I have seen diphteria, it is not a pretty sight.


I am not anti-pertussis vaccine. It's a bitch to get pertussis at any age if you are not vaccinated. A friend my age recently got it and it was not fun. We all, everyone in my extended family plus the kid, got vaccinated. Generally the vaccinated get a milder form of the disease.

I am anti-blaming those who chose not to get the vaccine for the latest outbreak, when the evidence (at least locally) says otherwise.

I think the outbreak here is actually far worse than the CDC knows. Only the fairly bad cases are getting tested. I think a lot of kids are getting pertussis and no one realizes it. Heck, my kid had a cough off and on for months that we never got checked out. I think it was probably just allergies, but I can't say for sure that he did not have a mild case of pertussis.



That was bromide :wink: .



Fluoride, bromide... they both end in "ide" so close enough, right :lol:
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby j-a-m » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:17 am

gh wrote:Anti-vaccination sentiment running high in private schools.

"Opt-out" indicates that if parents don't get active one way or the other, then the child gets vaccinated. If that's correct, then out of those that get their children vaccinated, some do because they think it's the right decision, other because they don't make any decision at all. So if this is really "opt-out", then the actual number of vaccination supporters among parents may be significantly smaller than it initially seems.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby jeremyp » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:19 am

polevaultpower wrote:
I would suggest that the vaccination rate is lower _because_ the parents are more educated, but I don't actually know that.
People in private schools usually are, but are these parents making these decisions because they are really educated about vaccines or because they follow the herd? Do we really want to see contagions again? Who is driving the "no vaccines" mantra anyway? It would be interesting to know.
http://bigthink.com/age-of-engagement/t ... h?page=all
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:55 am

having had more years of school and "being educated" are, of course, two completely different things. If you close your mind to science, doesn't matter how many years you spend in school or hhow high your grade-point is.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Daisy » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:04 am

gh wrote:or how high your grade-point is.

Interestingly, some of the best graduate students don't have great gpa's.

We are so swamped with information now, the real skill required is to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. From what I have seen in the news, the anti-vaccination camp perpetuate some of the flawed reasoning as 'truth'.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:15 am

Daisy wrote:
gh wrote:or how high your grade-point is.

Interestingly, some of the best graduate students don't have great gpa's.

We are so swamped with information now, the real skill required is to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. From what I have seen in the news, the anti-vaccination camp perpetuate some of the flawed reasoning as 'truth'.


    The forces of irrationality are arrayed on this issue. There are conspiracy theorists, well-meaning but misguided citizen groups who are becoming increasingly desperate and hostile, irresponsible journalists, and ethically compromised or incompetent scientists. The science itself is complex, making it difficult for the average person to sift through all the misdirection and misinformation. Standing against all this is simple respect for scientific integrity and the dedication to follow the evidence wherever it leads.

    Right now the evidence leads to the firm conclusion that vaccines do not cause autism. Yet, if history is any guide, the myth that they do cause autism will likely endure even in the face of increasing contradictory evidence.

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/anti-vaccination_movement
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby j-a-m » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:21 pm

gh wrote:having had more years of school and "being educated" are, of course, two completely different things. If you close your mind to science, doesn't matter how many years you spend in school or hhow high your grade-point is.

That's correct; and people closing their mind to science can be found on both sides of this issue.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Conor Dary » Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:52 pm

j-a-m wrote:
gh wrote:having had more years of school and "being educated" are, of course, two completely different things. If you close your mind to science, doesn't matter how many years you spend in school or hhow high your grade-point is.

That's correct; and people closing their mind to science can be found on both sides of this issue.


Both sides? :roll:
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Thu Sep 13, 2012 6:54 pm

Most people today who delay/decline vaccines are not citing autism as a reason. But if it makes you feel better to paint us all as uneducated hysterical idiots, go ahead.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby j-a-m » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:15 am

polevaultpower wrote:Most people today who delay/decline vaccines are not citing autism as a reason.

Exactly; just because a small group bases their decision on that autism nonsense shouldn't take away from the valid reasons that exist.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby kuha » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:21 am

I believe that the real issue here was the implication of some sort of even-handed division of opinion ("on both sides of the issue") by the scientific establishment. I don't believe that exists.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:48 am

Who knew? A 1986 federal law created a "vaccine court"

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/P ... 894230.php
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby guru » Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:27 pm

gh wrote:Who knew? A 1986 federal law created a "vaccine court"

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/P ... 894230.php



I did

viewtopic.php?p=626659#p626659

guru wrote:As I've stated before, it's interesting there is federal law protecting the financial liability of vaccine makers.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:09 pm

shingles part of this discussion moved over to the geezer-shots thread, which was moving in that direction at the same time.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:26 am

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/ ... gh30m.html

Although much has been made of some Washington residents' reluctance to immunize their children, in fact, most parents are vaccinating their children against pertussis, acknowledged to be a bad bug. Of those children ages 3 months to 10 years who came down with pertussis, about 76 percent had received the recommended vaccines.


That's not 76% of parents are vaccinating against pertussis in WA, the % is much higher than that. That's 76% of kids with pertussis are fully up to date on their pertussis shots.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Daisy » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:56 am

polevaultpower wrote:That's not 76% of parents are vaccinating against pertussis in WA, the % is much higher than that. That's 76% of kids with pertussis are fully up to date on their pertussis shots.

The key here is that there are unvaccinated kids that have a far greater chance of contrating the disease and spreading it. The whole point of vaccination is to reduce the chance of this. As you get fewer kids vaccinated then there will be a greater chance of an outbreak.

I have not been following this on the news. Just how large is the problem in Washington State? It's hard to judge from % figures.

Edit: I just read the article and it says 10 times higher number of cases than normal. Is this a cluster of cases? Possibly a more virulent strain?
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby polevaultpower » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:46 pm

Vaccination rates in WA for pertussis are higher than they have ever been. The current vaccine is less effective than in the past. There are also reports that many doctors were storing it improperly.

Vaccinated kids who get pertussis are less sick than unvaccinated kids and sometimes it does not have the "whoop" sound to it. My hypothesis is that the vaccinated kids are the ones spreading it because they are less likely to stay home from school because the parents think they just have a cold, that it couldn't be whooping cough. I also strongly suspect that the number of cases is being under reported, that the mildest cases are not being treated/tested. I would have loved to see the CDC drop some $ to test everyone in hard hit areas who had cold symptoms.

I'm not anti-vaccine. My kid and my whole extended family are up to date on pertussis shots.

The outbreak is worse in some areas than others but it is a problem in almost every county in the state, and expected to get worse now that school has resumed, and the perpetual rain should return soon.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Daisy » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:18 pm

polevaultpower wrote:The outbreak is worse in some areas than others but it is a problem in almost every county in the state

Sounds like an interesting example. I expect we'll be hearing a lot of different expert opinions on what is happening soon enough.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Pego » Sun Sep 30, 2012 5:35 pm

Daisy wrote:
polevaultpower wrote:The outbreak is worse in some areas than others but it is a problem in almost every county in the state

Sounds like an interesting example. I expect we'll be hearing a lot of different expert opinions on what is happening soon enough.


The eventual CDC summary should be most interesting.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Pego » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:25 am

There is a superb analysis of diphteria outbreaks in the 40's Europe in September/October issue of Skeptical Inquirer, unfortunately not available online. Highly recommended to everybody who has interest in the subject.

Oh yes, I witnessed a few cases of diphteria as a young physician. Not a pretty sight.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby gh » Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:10 am

tough one to spell too! :-)

harkening to your previous post about the CDC, I assume you've noticed that its website is essentially unusable while the morons in D.C. have their pissing match.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby Daisy » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:01 pm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

Interestingly they decided to keep pubmed functional.
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Re: as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues

Postby mcgato » Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:02 pm

I've been reading Nate Silver's book "The Signal and the Noise," which spends part of one chapter covering the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak, the dire predictions, and some of the reasons that the predictions were way off. The book is all about predictions, some good but most bad, and why they are or are not accurate. Nate got famous by predicting the last two US presidential elections pretty much spot on. And he is a fellow UChicago alum.

It was a fairly interesting chapter that covered the prediction of diseases in general. With the flu vaccine, the health people have to predict which strains to put in the upcoming season's vaccine and that has to be done by about August in order to have vaccines available for the flu season. As far as predicting how serious the flu season will be, they have to predict how contagious the strains are going to be and how lethal they are going to be. But until flu season gets going, those are very difficult numbers to predict.

If memory serves (and its been a few weeks since reading it), they overpredicted the contagiousness of H1N1 based off of how contagious it was in 3rd world countries the previous season. But those areas are generally where people live much more densely and much closer to livestock, especially pigs and chickens which carry the virus. Also the lethality was based on relatively few cases in southeast Asia in the previous flu season. As the flu came to the US, the contagiousness was much lower and that season's strain was not as dangerous as the previous season.

He also discusses in that chapter and elsewhere in the book how the predictions of near certainty or predictions of global calamity tend to backfire more often than not. After the prediction fails to materialize, people are much less likely to believe the next prediction that those people make.
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