This is what happens when bad ideas enter the population and prove difficult to dislodge:
After years of so-far baseless claims that autism and other conditions are linked to childhood vaccinations, vaccination rates in England have dropped below the rates necessary to prevent epidemics. The result? England is now seeing its worst measles outbreak in 20 years, and the disease has now claimed its first new victim. Sick of dealing this latest outbreak, an English doctor named Michael Fitzpatrick wrote an impassioned plea about the importance of sound, scientifically supported medicine a few days ago.
If you’re new to this issue, check out Orac’s classic omnibus smackdown of Robert F Kennedy’s vaccination-scare-mongering over at Respectful Insolence.
Related issue: Over at Morgellons Watch there’s a great post about how irresponsible claims about a poorly understood condition have led countless sufferers to start taking antibiotics meant for fish, potentially risking their health as well as helping create and spread drug-resistant bacteria.