In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. Antivax sentiment has been strong in the Pacific Northwest.
As of Saturday, there are 32 confirmed cases of measles in Washington -- an outbreak that has already prompted Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency.
"Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children," Inslee said in his proclamation Friday, adding that these cases create "an extreme public health risk that may quickly spread to other counties."
As of Saturday, there were 31 cases of the measles in Clark County, which sits on the state's southern border, just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Of the 31 cases, 21 are children between the ages of 1 and 10 years old.
There is also one case in King County, which includes Seattle. While the King County website says the man in his 50s is a "suspected case," the governor said in a news release it is a confirmed case of measles.
It's no surprise but #Clark County WA #measles outbreak has now "jumped across the Columbia" to #Multnomah County OR, where in @PLOS we found really high #vaccine exemption rates due to #antivax movement. The outbreak may have entered a new expanding phase https://t.co/3cU9gug646— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) January 26, 2019
Who caused 2019 WA-OR #measles epidemic (in order):— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) January 26, 2019
1. Organized #antivax lobby - 400 phony websites, FB, books, PACS
2. Cowardice/ignorance from WA-OR legislatures/leaders throwing kids under the bus for political expediencies
3. Near zero advocacy
That's why I wrote the book pic.twitter.com/MUuE07dk0B