Mystery Virus Affecting Children Across Country

Dailypost130 379

There’s a lot in the new lately about the Enterovirus as more diagnoses are happening across the U.S., and affecting children. The latest news: a neurologic illness and limb weakening in a handful of children in Boston. Doctors are investigating if there is a tie to the neurologic illness and Enterovirus. Though most children recover, the mystery of the virus and unknown complications is frightening.

The recent headlines about the neurologic illness is a flashback to the days of polio, pre-vaccine. Though there is no known vaccination for the Enterovirus, there is a vaccine for polio and so many other things, but there is also a growing population of parents choosing to not vaccinate (“anit-vaxxers”) their children. A story on NPR yesterday did a great breakdown of how vaccine controversies are as social as they are medical. The story was based round a new book titled “On Immunity: An Inoculation” written by Eula Bliss, who when pregnant with her son started researching vaccines. What she discovered was that socioeconomic class and distrust of government weigh into the vaccine controversy as much as medical concerns.

One thing I took away is that some parents who can afford heath care choose not to vaccinate simply by choice. Then there are families who can’t afford regular health care and don’t complete all vaccines. This swirl of non-inoculated children can (is?) resulting in diseases that were once at bay surging again, such as whooping cough, and measles and mumps.

I’m no doctor, but I don’t want my child to be sick, extremely sick if I can prevent it. Every parent has choices, but it is our job to do our best for our children. Read the facts and do your research before deciding against vaccines. And as cold and flu season surfaces, start pushing children to wash hands often (easing off the antibacterial soaps).