This is the Keynote for the presentation Ben, Kevin, Nathan and I gave on vaccinations and tuberculosis:
Also, this is the transcript of what we said – there is more information than in the actual Keynote:
What is tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a widespread and potentially fatal infectious disease that is caused by mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It typically affects the lungs, but can affect any part of the body.
Symptoms of tuberculosis include coughing, chest pain, fatigue, fevers and sweats, weight loss and loss of appetite.
Tuberculosis is primarily an airborne disease, and is caught from people who have it already. People who smoke are more at risk. Another strain of tuberculosis, caused by M. bovus, can be contracted by drinking unpasteurised milk from infected cows. This typically causes tuberculosis of the intestinal tract.
The only place that Mycobacterium tuberculosis lives is in the human body.
Give some information about the tuberculosis vaccine.
The currently used tuberculosis vaccine (BCG) was invented in 1921. It is prepared from a strain of M. bovus with reduced ability to cause disease, and is injected into the skin. Its effectiveness is quite variable, ranging from 0 – 80% effectiveness in preventing tuberculosis for a duration of 15 years. In many countries, it is administered at birth to all citizens, but in New Zealand it is only normally administered to children under five with an increased risk of tuberculosis exposure.
1/3 of the world’s population has been infected by tuberculosis, but fewer than 10% of people who are infected by the tuberculosis bacteria actually go on to become sick.
Justify why some people have positive opinions of vaccines and some people have negative ones.
Some people believe that vaccines are good thing for people because they protect against disease and will keep you healthy and free of deadly diseases such as hepatitis A and B, influenza and tuberculosis that can be life threatening.
Also, some people believe that vaccines are loaded with chemicals and poisons, such as antifreeze, acetone and lead (according to thehealthyhomeeconomist.com). As well as this, vaccines can have side effects such as redness, mild fever, shivering, fatigue, headaches and muscle and joint pain. They feel that these possible consequences of vaccination outweigh the positives. As well as this, some people believe that we could be creating more ferocious strands of diseases such as the flu by vaccinating people with aggressive vaccines.