The Centers for Disease Control entered the controversy about the vaccine that prevents the sexually-transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer. NBC and ABC both assigned correspondents to cover the CDC survey that estimated the incidence of HPV infection among teenage girls and pre-menopausal women. "I speak for many of us who are parents," NBC's Nancy Snyderman presumed, "we found the numbers somewhat unsettling."
Considering that cervical cancer kills fewer than 4,000 women nationwide each year, an enormous number of females aged 14-59--fully 25 million nationwide--carry the virus. ABC's John McKenzie did the math and reckoned that 7.5m of those infected are under 25 years old. However the strain of HPV that can trigger cancer accounts for only 2% of all infections and "usually the body's immune system kills the virus without a woman ever knowing that she has had it."
The newsworthiness of HPV looks less like a widespread public health issue and more like the sexual panic of parents of teenage girls.
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