Search This Blog

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Measles Wildfire

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism.   This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing disease to spread.

During his campaign for the White House, Trump met with British physician Andrew Wakefield—whose 1998 article claiming a link between vaccines and autism has been thoroughly debunked—and also with prominent anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who reported that Trump was planning to appoint him chair of a new “vaccine safety commission.”

Fortunately, that never happened. And Trump has gone quiet about vaccinations, which is better than repeating falsehoods about them... But it’s hard to work together when the guy in charge is checked out. A single tweet from Donald J. Trump—VACCINATE YOUR KIDS!—would do more than anything else to protect American children right now. Let’s hope he can summon the courage and decency to send it.

In just the first three months of 2019, there have been more than 110,000 measles cases reported worldwide, a figure that is up nearly 300% from the same period last year. And these numbers will represent just a fraction of all the cases that occur. By the time you finish reading this, we estimate that at least 40 people -- most of them children -- will be infected by this fast-moving, life-threatening disease.
We're worried not only because measles can be so severe -- it still causes over 100,000 deaths every year -- but also because it is extremely contagious.
n those who are not immune, measles will infect approximately 9 in 10 people exposed to it. And since it is so infectious, it may be the first disease to appear where children are not getting the vaccines they need to keep them safe. And the presence of measles can point to a pocket of unvaccinated children and a possible dysfunction in the health system.
In short, measles is the canary in the coalmine of vaccine preventable illnesses.
From January 1 to April 11, 2019, 555** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.
The states that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Trends in Measles Cases: 2010-2019