The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear

Seth Mnookin


WHO makes a decision WHICH evidence ARE real?

In 1998 Andrew Wakefield, a British gastroenterologist with a background of self-promotion, released a paper with a stunning allegation: the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine may well reason autism. The media seized carry of the tale and, within the method, helped to release probably the most devastating wellbeing and fitness scares ever. within the years yet to come Wakefield will be published as a profiteer in league with class-action legal professionals, and he might finally lose his clinical license. in the meantime one learn after one other didn't locate any hyperlink among formative years vaccines and autism.

Yet the parable that vaccines by some means reason developmental issues lives on. regardless of the shortcoming of corroborating proof, it's been popularized through media personalities corresponding to Oprah Winfrey and Jenny McCarthy and legitimized by means of newshounds who declare that they're simply being reasonable to “both facets” of a subject matter approximately which there's little debate. in the meantime thousands of greenbacks were diverted from power breakthroughs in autism examine, households have spent their discounts on useless “miracle cures,” and declining vaccination premiums have resulted in outbreaks of lethal health problems like Hib, measles, and whooping cough. so much tragic of all is the expanding variety of young ones death from vaccine-preventable ailments.

In The Panic Virus Seth Mnookin attracts on interviews with mom and dad, public-health advocates, scientists, and anti-vaccine activists to take on a primary query: How can we make a decision what in actual fact? The interesting resolution is helping clarify every little thing from the patience of conspiracy theories approximately Sept. 11 to the attraction of talk-show hosts who call for that President Obama “prove” he used to be born in the US.

The Panic Virus is a riveting and infrequently heart-breaking scientific detective tale that explores the bounds of rational concept. it's the final cautionary story for our time.

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