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OUTBREAK: 53 people in 10 states stricken with measles

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/4/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Decade-long backlash against common vaccines cited as main cause

Childhood vaccines were being blamed for high rates of autism in the United States a few years ago. As a result, many parents refused to have their children vaccinated against common childhood diseases. With that backlash comes a new measles outbreak, with 53 people in 10 states contracting measles over th3e past two months. 

The return of measles and to a lesser degree -- mumps can be traced to the backlash of vaccines. Pockets of under-immunized children have left an unknown number of communities vulnerable to the virus.

The return of measles and to a lesser degree -- mumps can be traced to the backlash of vaccines. Pockets of under-immunized children have left an unknown number of communities vulnerable to the virus.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/4/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Measles, vaccinations, anti-immunization


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Alarmed officials say the highly contagious disease was all but eradicated in the United States 10 years ago. Unvaccinated children and adults have been diagnosed with the sometimes fatal disease in outbreaks in California, New York, Oregon, Hawaii and Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We don't have good national data, or even any data, that shows how large a threat these (unvaccinated) clusters are," Gregory Wallace, the center's point man for measles and other infectious diseases, says.

The return of measles and to a lesser degree -- mumps can be traced to the backlash of vaccines. Pockets of under-immunized children have left an unknown number of communities vulnerable to the virus.

Among those who refuse to have their children vaccinated are conservative parents reject the government's interfering with their child rearing; orthodox religious groups that dislike vaccines for being man-made and not God-given; and well-educated, health-conscious, affluent and Internet-literate parents don't see vaccines as organic or natural.

Immigrants from countries with poor health care systems are also often under-inoculated.

Each U.S. measles outbreak has been sparked by an unvaccinated traveler returning from an infected region to an under-immunized pocket or school district.

Last year was a record-breaking year for measles, with 189 cases, most of them related to communities with religious objections to immunizations, a huge jump from 55 cases in 2012.

No one knows how many unimmunized children there are in the United States, but public health experts say the danger is growing.

"It is a problem that's increasing - we are seeing more families express concerns about immunizations," Salt Lake City pediatrician Carrie Byington, vice chair of the committee on infectious diseases for the American Association of Pediatrics, says. The under-vaccinated "are at great risk and pose a risk to others in the community."

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