Monthly Archives: June 2014
Anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists allow measles to come roaring back
In recent years, there has been a great deal of talk about vaccines causing all sorts of dangerous side effects in children — especially autism. A 1998 study that appeared The Lancet, a prominent peer-reviewed medical journal, raised concerns about this around the world about the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
But the study was ultimately retracted by The Lancet in 2011 when the publication discovered that the author, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, committed “an elaborate fraud” with this study — deliberately falsifying his research to prove his point. But the damage was still done.
But what about the ACTUAL dangerous side effects of catching the diseases that the vaccines prevent? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles cases have now reached a 20-year high after being declared eradicated from the United States in 2000. How did it happen?
The current increase in measles cases is being driven by unvaccinated people, primarily U.S. residents, who got measles in other countries, brought the virus back to the United States and spread to others in communities where many people are not vaccinated. — Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases
The reality is that measles is highly contagious and potentially deadly. Even though it was nearly eradicated in the United States, the same cannot be said for many developing countries like the Philippines. But with the uptick in infection rates here in the United States, it’s important to make sure you and your children have been vaccinated even if you don’t plan any trips overseas.
And don’t believe the hype. Vaccines were one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century — saving millions and millions of lives.