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Herd immunity

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Armed conflict remains the major obstacle to ridding the world of this devastating disease. James Gordon, Los Angeles.

Syria’s polio outbreak is a global public health emergency

As if the children of Syria had not suffered enough, the news of an outbreak of polio (poliomyelitis) signals that even more suffering lies ahead. The polio virus invades the nervous system and can kill…
Despite the availability of a safe, effective vaccine, measles outbreaks continue to occur throughout the world. CDC/Wikimedia Commons

Measles outbreaks show the illness is down, but not yet out

New South Wales has become the latest Australian state to issue an alert about a measles outbreak, joining Victoria and Queensland. Queensland’s chief health officer has even written directly to parents…
Too much urging can backfire and entrench some parents' opposition to vaccination. Flickr/skippytpe

Parents' decisions about vaccination and the art of gentle persuasion

Dr Seuss’ book Green Eggs and Ham is built around the urgings of a weird creature, Sam I Am, who insists the narrator eat the food of its title. When the narrator refuses, Sam issues an ever-widening range…
There is no truth to claims that immunisations cause autism, brain damage or sudden infant death syndrome. theloushe

Monday’s medical myth: childhood vaccinations are dangerous

When I was an infant I had whooping cough and was ill for three months. I don’t remember it, of course, but I know it was very distressing for my parents. I do remember later trips with my researcher father…
Interbreeding by modern humans with Neanderthals may have helped boost Homo sapiens' immunity. Flickr/JacobEnos

How breeding with Neanderthals gave us better immunity

Homo sapiens mated with their ancient human counterparts, including Neanderthals, and helped improve the modern human immune…
Chiropractors may be good at what they do but immunisation is not their field. Planetc1/Flickr

Having a crack: what do chiropractors know about vaccinations?

The publication by Australian Doctor of a controversial public lecture given earlier this year by Sydney chiropractor, Nimrod Weiner, has created a flurry of criticism about the lecture, particularly regarding…

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