In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread. Examples include measles, COVID, flu, and polio.
A measles outbreak in Zimbabwe has now killed nearly 700 children, in a rapidly accelerating and “deeply concerning” flare-up of the highly contagious disease.
Health officials told the Telegraph they were alarmed by both the speed of the spread and the high fatality rate of the outbreak, which has seen the recent death toll jump by dozens each day.
The flare-up of one of the world’s most infectious diseases has taken hold among church congregations that have rejected vaccinations for religious reasons.
Deaths had reached 698 by September 4, according to the nation’s health ministry, up from less than a quarter of that a fortnight earlier. Officials reported that 37 children died on September 1 alone.
The outbreak is thought to be the worst for some time in the southern African nation of 15 million. The last outbreak 11 years ago was far less severe, health sources told the Telegraph.
Unicef said that in the worst affected eastern province of Manicaland, nearly one-in-10 of those getting the disease were dying. That rate is higher than in other recent African outbreaks.
The country’s Apostolic churches or sects are thought to be followed by around one-in-five of the population. Their teachings regularly include a potent mix of opposition towards Western medicine and belief in faith healing and prayer, meaning the congregations have become a stronghold of anti-vaccination sentiment.