A 1998 study published in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet linked the common measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to autism in children. What followed was a loud and angry campaign against childhood vaccinations, a social movement of parents, co-opted by the media and the likes of Oprah. But the study was false – fraudulent, in fact – and it led to a generation of children left vulnerable to children diseases. Author Seth Mnookin on what went wrong.
In The Panic Virus, Seth Mnookin draws on interviews with parents, public-health advocates, scientists, and anti-vaccine activists to tackle a fundamental question: How do we decide what the truth is? The Panic Virus is a riveting and sometimes heart-breaking medical detective story that explores the limits of rational thought. It is the ultimate cautionary tale for our time.