I don’t worship modern science, but I do thank the Lord for what it has accomplished in medicine. Antibiotics and vaccinations alone have prevented millions of premature deaths. Before vaccinations, small pox caused two million deaths a year. Polio paralyzed 1,000 children a day in America alone. Just 60 years ago, hospital wards were fitted with frightful “iron lung” machines in an attempt to keep children alive after polio had paralyzed their respiratory systems. Whooping cough vaccination is believed to save a half million deaths per year. More than 60,000 still die of whooping cough annually in places where the vaccine is not used. Called the 100 day cough, a person may cough so hard they break ribs. The disease spreads easily. After their infant son died of whooping cough in Australia in March 2015, Greg and Catherine Hughs urged parents to immunize their children so the disease doesn’t spread. Before vaccinations, diphtheria was another fearful cause of illness and death in young children. More than 15,000 died of it in America in 1921. Zero died in 2004. Vaccination also protects from the terrible disease of tetanus, which causes spasms so severe that bone fractures may occur. About 10% of those who are infected die. Tetanus still causes 59,000 deaths per year, but only in those who aren’t vaccinated. Meningitis caused 171,000 deaths worldwide before vaccination. Dr. Paul Offit observes, “Before vaccines, ... rubella (German measles) would cause as many as twenty thousand babies to be born blind, deaf, or mentally disabled; polio would permanently paralyze fifteen thousand children and kill a thousand; mumps would be a common cause of deafness; and a bacterium called Haemophilus influenzaetype b (Hib) would cause hundreds of children to die of suffocation from epiglottitis--no different than being smothered by a pillow. In the developed world, vaccines have completely or virtually eliminated these diseases” (Offit, Do You Believe in Magic? p. 138).
(Friday Church News Notes, June 19, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)
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