Thursday, January 29, 2015

Anti-vaccination movement taken to task over measles outbreak

From January 1 to January 23, 2015, 68 people from 11 states were reported to have measles. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of these cases are part of a large, ongoing outbreak linked to an amusement park in California. The U.S. has already seen a record number of measles cases in the past year, with 644 cases from 27 states reported to CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases in 2014. This is the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

Those infected with measles aren't the only ones suffering amid the ongoing Disneyland outbreak, as our partners at the National Public Health Information Coalition have recently shared, the anti-vaccination movement is enduring its fair share of criticism from the media. Here are just a few media excerpts:

Time magazine: “Less than two weeks into 2015 come the year’s first stories about the latest victims of the nation’s declining vaccine rate,” referring to the Disneyland outbreak. “And this time, ground zero is the self-proclaimed Happiest Place on Earth, which is in danger of becoming the decidedly less consumer-friendly Most Expensive Disease Vector on Earth.”

Los Angeles Times: “the anti-vaccination movement is a corner of the United States that is backsliding into medieval ignorance. Alarmingly, it finds a welcoming embrace in some of our most affluent and ostensibly educated communities, such as Marin County. Entertainment figures such as the starlet Jenny McCarthy and the talk show host Katie Couric have played their role in spreading the darkness.”

Bloomberg News: published an article about how measles may now be in the U.S. to stay, 15 years after it left.

Vox Media noted that this article, quoting Melinda Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, topped its list of most-read articles. "Women in the developing world know the power of (vaccines). They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine, because they have seen death," said Gates. "We (Americans) have forgotten what measles deaths look like."

Jefferson County Public Health’s Immunization Program urges everyone to stay up-to-date on immunizations, including the Mumps, Measles, Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Please call 303-239-7078 to schedule an immunization appointment.

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