This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Today is World Pneumonia Day

Few people think about pneumonia any more--unless of course you or someone you know gets it and then it scares you to death. And that's the point, of course. Pneumonia is still out there killing a lot of people, which is why the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and many other groups try to publicize it with its own day.
Pneumonia remains the number one killer of children under 5 worldwide, claiming more than 1.5 million young lives each year – more than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. Yet this illness is preventable; by increasing access to simple, inexpensive tools such as antibiotics and vaccines, we can help save the lives of more than 1 million children a year.
Most of these deaths occur in developing countries, but the increasing volume of undocumented (and thus unscreened) immigrants all over the world increases the chance that diseases that otherwise seem under control may re-emerge. Even more importantly, the belief that these diseases are under control leads parents to believe, usually incorrectly, that immunization may be more dangerous than the risk of the disease. The latter issue may have contributed to the unexpected rise in cases (and infant deaths) this year from whooping cough in California.

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