drinksteapots: (matryoblahblah)
drinksteapots ([personal profile] drinksteapots) wrote2014-06-13 12:12 pm

ugh so i just read

...A comment on a CBS article. Specifically this one. It's about how there was an outbreak of measles because people didn't get their children vaccinated. It's really tragic.

But what's more disturbing is this one guy's comment by OWLDOG: My college course paleontologist, a doctorate, (paleontologists are experts in evolution) upon questioning, once inferred that in the long run vaccines are more likely to weaken the human gene pool against infectious diseases, than strengthen it.

He was not a anti-vaxer.
I wanted to reply to him but couldn't. Here was my typed-up response:

Measles is a highly contagious pathogen that is transmitted via air droplets. Whenever the baby breathes, coughs, sneezes, the virus is let out because the virus thrives and replicates in the respiratory pathway. So, yes, ventilation system would do the trick to be considered under "exposure". Open-air does not, because a building provides a more closed environment for the virus to spread. Realistically we cannot track which diseases are spread through an open-air environment, so a site of exposure is usually limited to the buildings entered. Keep in mind that this disease does transmit from person to person rapidly because of its mode, replicate, and then move on. Because of the nature of transmission and where the virus resides in the body, a person does not need to touch, hold, or kiss the child to become exposed. (Like the common cold, you don't need to kiss or touch a person sitting next to you to be at risk to contract it.)

Compare SARS, where since we didn't have a vaccine the only way to "treat" it was through quarantine to those infected and exposed. The quarantine was to limit potential exposure and block off access/entry to a few locations because SARS was thought to be airborne. It wasn't a pleasant time.

These are mircoorganisms, so the transmission of the virus is something we must consider when looking at what qualifies as "exposure". For example, sitting next to a person with HIV does not count as exposure because HIV is not airborne. Sitting next to a person with measles-- or even being in the same room because its transmittance rate is that astounding-- qualifies as exposure for the measles virus.

Now, if you're looking at a geneticist's argument that people should not take vaccines because it diminishes the genepool in the sense that by natural selection those that do not have the genetic make up to fight off an infection die off-- well, the biggest contention for that is ethics and humanity. Would you let an infant die, an individual who parents love and wish to keep, just because they didn't have the proper genes? Or would you look at a way to save them and prevent infection?

Humans tend look for a way to save their child despite their child not having the immunity or resistance needed in their genes. So it's not the vaccines that are "weakening the human gene pool", but the love and the effort other humans go to save others despite their decreased resistance. Because even without vaccines us humans would still look to save/help someone with an immune system that lacks immunity from a virus or the proper internal defenses. Prevention, medicine, support, and, above all, care, "weaken the human gene pool" in the sense that it does not allow a cold, hard line of natural selection to occur.

But everyone knows that a little bit of having humanity is not a bad thing. There's plenty of literature that states that care, altruism, and community support increases chances of survival and reproduction.

Besides, immunity against a virus cannot be passed on, only the mother's antibodies. Letting someone die of a virus won't help the genepool against acquiring immunity inherently. The only thing surviving death by a virus /MAY/ prove is that that particular individual's non-specific immune defense mechanisms reacted quickly and efficiently enough to /THAT/ particular virus and now has developed specific-defense against a future infection against that virus. Yet everyone know that viruses mutate along with us, so whatever defense (specific or non-specific) we had against one might not necessarily apply to the other, and we cannot always pass this on to the next generation.

Vaccines "Weakening gene pool", please. Go take an immunology class.