Eli Federman, writing at Forbes, points out that Measles has a far deadlier recent history than Ebola currently does, and yet it’s fear of science that’s allowing both diseases to thrive:
Western anti-vaxxers are just like the tribal people protesting against modern medical intervention to treat Ebola in Sierra [Leone]. Both groups oppose safe modern medical intervention, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of its benefits, and both are foregoing treatments that have saved millions of lives in the 20th century, and could save countless more in the future.
We know there’s no definitive cure for Ebola yet, but Federman writes that properly quarantining patients would go a long way to preventing future outbreaks and it doesn’t help that one family “forcibly removed” a patient from the hospital in order to take her to a traditional herbalist. Meanwhile, we know vaccines could stop the spread of Measles, but anti-science forces are convincing people not to give shots to their kids.
This is why science education matters. This is why we must continue to be vocal when religious groups try to dumb down science standards or talk show hosts make bad arguments against vaccination.
There are real life consequences.
(Image of Ebola via Shutterstock)