Sim­ple so­lu­tion Of things fresh and flavour­ful

The Compass - - Editorial -

This is an ed­i­to­rial that shouldn’t have to be writ­ten.

For years, the world has had an ef­fec­tive vac­cine for measles.

Yet, after a scare from a since-proven-false ar­ti­cle by the now-dis­cred­ited An­drew Wake­field that claimed there was a dan­ger from the vac­cine, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of par­ents de­cided that they knew bet­ter than main­stream doc­tors or sci­ence, and chose not to have their chil­dren vac­ci­nated with the measles­mumps-rubella

(MMR) vac­cine.

Those chick­ens are com­ing home to roost. Be­cause of their choice, peo­ple - of­ten chil­dren - are dy­ing of measles again. And they don’t have to.

In the last year, Europe has seen 3,300 cases of measles, and 35 deaths in Ger­many, Ro­ma­nia, Por­tu­gal and Italy.

The United States de­clared in 2000 that it had elim­i­nated measles na­tion-wide. Not any­more; there were 70 con­firmed measles cases in 2016 (pri­mar­ily among the un­vac­ci­nated). Com­pare that to June 2017, when there were 73 cases in one out­break in Min­nesota alone.

A Min­nesota dis­ease pre­ven­tion of­fi­cial told CNN at the time, “This is a dis­ease that is se­ri­ous, and the op­por­tu­nity to pre­vent it is one that we re­ally need to be tak­ing . ... We’d rather in­vest in pre­vent­ing dis­ease than spend funds fight­ing it. We want to fo­cus on pro­mot­ing health in those in­stances where we can rather than fight­ing dis­ease.”

For all of the U.S, the num­ber of con­firmed cases for 2017 stood at 120 as of Nov. 4.

And many of the cases didn’t have to hap­pen. As the U.S. Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol points out, “Measles vac­cine is highly ef­fec­tive, with one dose be­ing 93 per cent ef­fec­tive and two doses be­ing 97 per cent ef­fec­tive at pre­vent­ing measles.”

Re­cent re­search pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion points out that, of the 1,789 cases in the U.S. be­tween 2001 and 2015, close to 70 per cent were in peo­ple who had not re­ceived the MMR vac­ci­na­tions.

Per­haps the sim­plest way to put it? Read the words of Dr. Eleanor Draeger, speak­ing to the Bri­tish Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion’s an­nual meet­ing in June.

“I qual­i­fied in 2000 and when I was at med­i­cal school I was taught about measles as a his­tor­i­cal dis­ease that I would prob­a­bly never see,” she said. “In 2007, I saw my first case of measles in a 10-month-old baby who was re­ally, re­ally un­well - wasn’t hos­pi­tal­ized but spent 10 days de­hy­drated and see­ing the GP ev­ery day with con­stant fear for their health. That 10-month-old baby was my son.

“He has had ev­ery vac­ci­na­tion but at 10 months he was too young for his first MMR. The rea­son he had measles is be­cause of the fall­out from Wake­field’s pa­per,” she said. “Some­thing which should have been his­tor­i­cal in my ca­reer isn’t his­tor­i­cal any­more.”

Strong words. Easy so­lu­tion. Get your chil­dren vac­ci­nated.

I am a cof­fee drinker and I like it fresh-ground and fresh-brewed. I also like it fresh roasted.

My prob­lem: there is no way to tell when the cof­fee beans we pur­chase were roasted, since the New­found­land and Labrador roast­ers - at least those whose prod­uct I’ve seen - and those who im­port cof­fee, do not stip­u­late the roast­ing

Those chick­ens are com­ing home to roost. Be­cause of their choice, peo­ple - of­ten chil­dren - are dy­ing of measles again.

Since the roast­ing date would tell us a lot about the beans’ fresh­ness, why are we not given a roast­ing date, and are we be­ing roasted at the check­out?

date.

Not only that, but while they do put a best-be­fore date on the pack­ag­ing, we all pay the same price whether the ex­piry date is to­day or six months from now. Since the roast­ing date would tell us a lot about the beans’ fresh­ness, why are we not given a roast­ing date, and are we be­ing roasted at the check­out?

Wayne Nor­man writes from St. John’s

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