The scientific and epidemiological concept of herd immunity is actually pretty easy to understand. Here's a video that used a mathematical model to explain it. Shame that some people still say that this is fiction when reality couldn't be more brutally honest.
Measles used to be a "right of passage" for children in the United States, but 1 in 1,000, or so, would come down with a very serious complication, or even die. That all changed with the introduction of the MMR vaccine in the 1960s, so much so that measles was declared eliminated from North America. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end.
Influenza season is in full swing in the United States, with several deaths reported in different places in the country. There was even a death in Canada associated with the dreaded H5N1 strain from Asia. The six years that I spent at the health department were about 70% all about influenza surveillance, keeping everyone in [...]
When we are presented with a public health problem, we epidemiologists are always obligated to ask for the data. "The plural of anecdote is not data," we say with glee. Although the saying is somewhat controversial with some people, I like to think that it is fairly accurate when it comes to public health (and [...]