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.
Lena Sun at WP:
A rapidly growing measles outbreak in Columbus, Ohio — largely involving unvaccinated children — is fueling concerns among health officials that more parent resistance to routine childhood immunizations will intensify a resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Most of the 81 children infected so far are old enough to get the shots, but their parents chose not to do so, officials said, resulting in the country’s largest outbreak of the highly infectious pathogen this year.
“That is what is causing this outbreak to spread like wildfire,” said Mysheika Roberts, director of the Columbus health department.
The Ohio outbreak, which began in November, comes at a time of heightened worry about the public health consequences of anti-vaccine sentiment, a long-standing problem that has led to drops in child immunization rates in pockets across the United States. The pandemic has magnified those concerns because of controversies and politicization around coronavirus vaccines and school vaccine mandates.
Some of the cases occurred in Columbus’s large Somali community, the second-largest Somali population in the United States after the Minneapolis area, Roberts said. Parents have said they “intentionally delayed” giving their children the measles vaccine because of their fear of autism, she said, despite considerable research disproving any relationship between vaccines and autism. Those fears echoed similar concerns of parents in Minnesota’s Somali community during a 2017 measles outbreak that infected 75 children, mostly unvaccinated preschool kids.