I was going to blog about my experience renewing my car’s license disk today, and about the shocking incompetence of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, but now I’ll do that later. Or maybe I would have blogged about the South African Cricket Team winning the first test in the tour of England, and Hashim Amla becoming the first South African cricketer in history to reach 300 in a test match but maybe I’ll blog about that later too. Instead, I’m blogging about a baby who died of pertussis in Alberta, Canada. Harper Whitehead was just one month old when she died from complications of pertussis. Southern Alberta is currently in the grip of a pertussis epidemic with over 40 cases reported so far this year. Normally, southern Alberta has just 2 to 3 cases. Dani Whitehead, Harper’s aunt and the family’s spokesperson, has urged people to get immunized against pertussis. Dr David Strong, the acting medical officer for the area, has advised parents and childrens’ caregivers to get booster shots.
Antivaccinationists like to claim that vaccines never saved us. That it was other advances in healthcare that ended fatalities from diseases like pertussis, diphtheria and measles. This story gives the lie to that. Even in Canada, a first-world country with top-notch healtcare, these diseases can kill. Prevention is still the best way to reduce deaths from infectious diseases.