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Friday, July 8, 2016

Autism, Measles, and Arizona

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.  

Astrid Galvan reports at AP:
Health officials in Arizona say the largest current measles outbreak in the United States is in part because some workers at a federal immigration detention center refuse to get vaccinated.
Authorities have confirmed 22 measles cases in Arizona since late May. They all stem from the Eloy Detention Center, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility managed by the private Corrections Corporation of America.
Pinal County health director Thomas Schryer said the outbreak likely began with a migrant but that detainees have since been vaccinated. Convincing employees to get vaccinated or show proof of immunity has proven much tougher, he said.
"And so they're actually the ones that are passing along the measles among each other and then going out into the community," Schryer said.
Measles is highly contagious and preventable through vaccines. It was eradicated in the US in 2000. But the past couple of years have seen new cases in large part because of unfounded fears that the vaccination causes autism in children, Schryer said. The symptoms are usually mild but can be deadly in babies, who cannot be immunized until they're a year old.
Last month, Caitlin McGlade reported at The Arizona Republic:
About three in every 10 kindergartners who enrolled during the most recent school year without measles vaccines were missing the required exemption forms, according to Arizona Department of Health Services data analyzed by
Nationwide skepticism over vaccines has swelled over the past decade, gaining traction as celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy promoted a largely debunked link between immunizations and autism.