At this writing, I have been coughing for 72 days. Not on and off coughing, but continuously, every day and every night, for two and a half months. And not just coughing, but whooping: doubled over, body clenched, sucking violently for air, my face reddening and my eyes watering. Sometimes, I cough so hard, I vomit. Other times, I pee myself. Both of these symptoms have become blessedly less frequent, and I have yet to break a rib coughing—also a common side effect.Several clarifications were pointed out in this article by Tara Haelle. But what struck me was the content of a bunch of anti-vaxer commenters who swarmed the original post, many locking in on a term called shedding, which they used to blame those of us who get vaccinated for outbreak as opposed to those who avoid them. It's classic pseudoscientific bunk and hostile ignorance on parade. Plus I do not think the word shedding in that context means what they think it means.
... There’s a reason that we associate the whooping cough with the Dickensian: It is. The illness has, since the introduction of a pertussis vaccine in 1940, has been conquered in the developed world. For two or three generations, we’ve come to think of it as an ailment suffered in sub-Saharan Africa or in Brontë novels. And for two or three generations, it was.
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- Meet Ming the Mollusk, who passed away peacefully at a mere 500 years old.
- Would you like to watch Comet ISON? There's an app for that!
- The grim toll from Super Typhoon Haiyan continues to rise.
- Tomorrow morning beginning around 9:30 AM EDT we'll be joined by renowned climatologist Michael Mann to discuss current weather events and some new material he has published. If all goes as planned he'll be available in comments to respond to your remarks. You can follow us at @MichaelEMann or @SAndrewDKos, and I'll post a hashtag tomorrow to field questions there as well.