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Ebola scare might overcome vaccine fear

One interesting takeaway from the Ebola situation - no, not that the media and the political hacks can make a crisis out of a comparative kerfuffle - is that disease is truly global now, that measles, pertussis, polio, and a host of other truly deadly pathogens can travel here from anywhere.

Yes, the Ebola situation is damn serious in West Africa, where scientific understanding about disease transmission is lower than even Michelle Bachmann's. But it's not the end of the world here that one case has shown up and no one even in the same household with the victim shows any signs of disease.

However, the unseemly hysteria should give the anti-vacciners pause. Even if they ignore actual science that proves vaccines don't cause autism or any of their other bugaboos, they should see the threat posed by the global nature of disease today. They can't rely on the crowd immunity offered by those of us with sense enough to take logical steps by getting vaccinated.

When an Ebola vaccine becomes available, maybe they will be scared enough to urge universal vaccination, instead of relying on nearly impossible efforts to shut off travel from areas of epidemic. A little fear can be a great antidote to unreasoning panic.

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