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Medicine Science

Measles Outbreak In NYC 747

Posted by Soulskill
from the please-vaccinate-your-brood dept.
sandbagger writes "New York City may have to deal with a measles problem. New Yorkers are being urged to make sure all household members, including young children, are vaccinated. To date, there have been 16 confirmed cases and four hospitalizations. This follows news from the CDC in December that 2013 saw triple the average number of yearly measles cases. 2014 is off to an even worse start; there have been cases recently in the Boston metropolitan area and more than a dozen in the Bay Area as well. Vaccinations seem to be a victim of their own success — people look around and see no polio or measles and wonder why they should bother. Others repeat bogus claim about vaccines causing autism. How do you think we can get through to the anti-vaxxers?"
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Measles Outbreak In NYC

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  • Thanks Jenny (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:21AM (#46482381)

    Thanks a lot you dumb bitch.

    • Re:Thanks Jenny (Score:4, Insightful)

      by RockClimbingFool (692426) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:50AM (#46482729)
      Its a bit crass, but seriously? How is this post off topic? It is exactly on topic.
    • Re:Thanks Jenny (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:03AM (#46482867)
      I see her as a mass murderer. People have died as a direct result of her bullshit. She ought to be put through the justice system in the same way that someone impersonating a doctor would be tried for a death resulting from his or her false medical advice. Except in her case, it's not just one death, it's a whole lot of deaths. Sure, it's not solely her fault, but it doesn't have to be (nor should it need to be) in our justice system.
      • by operagost (62405) on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:47PM (#46485585) Homepage Journal
        In other news, scientists have found that everyone you disagree with is, in fact, just as bad as Hitler.
    • Re:Thanks Jenny (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hrvatska (790627) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:32AM (#46483967)
      Jenny McCarthy couldn't have done it without news and talk shows presenting her views as being just as valid as real medical experts. It isn't so much 'Thanks Jenny' as 'Thanks Oprah for being more interested in ratings than public health'.
      • I'd say ONLY blame the media for promoting it. It will happen again if the media continues to equate "how famous is this person" with "does this person know what they are talking about?" So there's real importance to blaming the media. There is none for blaming a former playboy model for unscientific views.

        Well, I suppose you get to feel smarter than one individual person. Maybe validate some opinions about attractive blonde famous celebrities if that's your thing. I guess one could consider those w
  • Obvious Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:22AM (#46482387)

    We should present to them the facts! That will sway their minds. /sarcasm...

    • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gr8Apes (679165) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:32AM (#46482497)
      Expose them to measles, mumps, diptheria, etc seems to work. [go.com] Maybe not compassionate, but neither is preaching ignorance and endangering society.
      • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TWX (665546) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:47AM (#46482691)
        How about denying medical insurance coverage to those that fail to get vaccinated, unless they can demonstrate that they are a member of a recognized religious congregation that specifically is against vaccination as a part of church dogma?

        Think of it along the lines of a warranty on an expensive machine being void if the owner fails to follow the maintenance schedule.

        And for those that want to argue religious freedom, please bear in mind that even Christian Science, as against intrusive medical care as they are, still has room for its adherents to follow vaccination laws where applicable.
        • by rickb928 (945187)

          You can't deny coverage in a single-payer system. You just crank up the deductible/copay, for punishment. Accept the consequences of that action or get out of the business of governing.

          And those who do not vaccinate are costing us all money in a single-payer system, which is reason to compel vaccination.

          Which is reason to decide on a single-payer healthcare system based not on supposed cost savings, nor even charity/indigent care, but on the inevitable loss of individual choice. Remember, those who do no

          • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ibwolf (126465) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:14AM (#46482995)

            Remember, those who do not vaccinate their children put their children at risk, but these are THEIR children, not 'ours'.

            This is simply not correct. There are a number reasons some children can not be vaccinated, including allergies and other health problems. Generally, if vaccinations are widespread, those that can not be vaccinated will benefit from the herd immunity afforded by general vaccination. When the number of non-vaccinated kids goes up, the effect of the herd immunity goes down putting the children that can not be vaccinated at risk.

          • by necro81 (917438)

            You can't deny coverage in a single-payer system

            Oh, well, thank God I live in the United States, where we don't hold with that socialist crap. Everyone knows our health care is the best in the world. [/sarcasm]

        • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:5, Insightful)

          by dentin (2175) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:21AM (#46483105) Homepage

          Religion is no excuse to not be vaccinated. There should be no religious exception.

        • by sjames (1099)

          So what of people whose devout religious beliefs are non-congregational?

        • by knarf (34928)

          How about denying medical insurance coverage to those that fail to get vaccinated, unless they can demonstrate that they are a member of a recognized religious congregation that specifically is against vaccination as a part of church dogma?

          Why make an exception for 'church dogma'? If you willingly subject yourself to unnecessary risks because of 'church dogma' you should be willing and able to bear the consequences of your actions. Surely the ${deity} which instilled this 'church dogma' into its believers

      • A bit like burning a house down to fireproof it. Allowing them to get sick IS the health hazard we want to avoid. Having people who should be immune carry the diseases just to teach them a lesson is still going to affect immunocompromised people or kids who are too young to be vaccinated.
    • Segregate them into separate schools. Let them fester in disease.

    • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MightyMartian (840721) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:10AM (#46482943) Journal

      Fuck it. Just ban their kids from attending public schools, daycares and the like. If they want to endanger their kids, they should not be permitted to endanger anyone else's.

  • testimonials (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.followingvaccinations.com

    As long as trends like this happen, you won't get through to them.

  • MMR Outcry? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:22AM (#46482397)
    Hmm was there a major outcry by people who knew **** all about vaccines regarding MMR and the unfounded notion that it might cause Autism? We had a large outbreak of Measles in the UK recently because people had stopped getting their kids vaccinated. Perhaps the same thing happened on your side of the pond.
    • by Viol8 (599362) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:52AM (#46482767)

      Its sad, but if the kids of parents who only think on a base emotional level die then its clearing out the human gene pool. We should thank them.

    • Re:MMR Outcry? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rickb928 (945187) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:06AM (#46482899) Homepage Journal

      Casually watching the autism debate, I see that autism is:

      - Now a spectrum, not a syndrome or disease. This has enlarged the affected population, enhancing the power of their advocates and increasing the urgency of finding a solution;

      - Being blamed (root cause) on vaccines, diet, environmental effects, technology, with a de-emphasis on genetics and prenatal care.

      - Used to describe many more behaviors, hence becoming a 'spectrum', not a syndrome or disease or even a process.

      - Described as a growing treat, capable of potentially impacting a majority of the population, being caused by a multitude of toxins, exposures, and behaviors, hence the urgency to find 'a cure'.

      This pattern is familiar to me. Have you other /.rs seen this before?

      • Re:MMR Outcry? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jason Levine (196982) on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:37PM (#46484733)

        As a parent of a child with autism (as well as someone who is likely on the spectrum as well, albeit not diagnosed), I feel qualified to clarify some of this:

        Now a spectrum, not a syndrome or disease. This has enlarged the affected population, enhancing the power of their advocates and increasing the urgency of finding a solution;

        Autism is a developmental disorder. (It was never a "disease" as that implies being contagious. You'll never "catch" autism from me or my son.) The term "spectrum" is used because autism can describe individuals with vastly different levels of developmental delays. My son is very high functioning, you might not know from a casual observance that he even has autism, until he can't cope any more and melts down because his schedule changed slightly. Other kids with autism around my son's age might be non-verbal or have other, more severe, issues that their parents deal with.

        Being blamed (root cause) on vaccines, diet, environmental effects, technology, with a de-emphasis on genetics and prenatal care.

        This is only true for the anti-vaxxers and other such groups. Scientists actually investigating the cause of autism are focused on genetics as the primary cause. There might be environmental factors as well, but it looks like those only trigger existing genetic markers. I often liken it to diabetes. You can get diabetes from environmental factors (eating too much high sugar food), but your risk for it is determined by your genes.

        Used to describe many more behaviors, hence becoming a 'spectrum', not a syndrome or disease or even a process.

        See my first answer as to why it is a spectrum.

        Described as a growing treat, capable of potentially impacting a majority of the population, being caused by a multitude of toxins, exposures, and behaviors, hence the urgency to find 'a cure'.

        Again, this is just those anti-vaxxer/etc groups. Personally, I don't want to be cured. My brain is just fine as it is. In fact, I credit my autism with helping me program computers. (One of the traits of people with Asperger's Syndrome/High Functioning Autism is thinking in If-Then terms. Horrible for social situations, but fantastic for working with computers which operate - at a basic level - on an if-then system.)

        The "growing threat" is just due to better detection. Were I my son's age now, I'd likely get diagnosed, but back when I was a kid that didn't happen. I was just termed as "shy" and perhaps "weird." I took things too literally ("take off your coat" => I take it off and put it on the floor) and didn't understand why people seemed to "get" this socialization thing where I didn't. It was almost like everyone got some How To Socialize instruction book and they forgot to give one to me. (I could get a diagnosis now, but that would spend money we don't have and wouldn't really help me or my son.)

        The best thing for kids with autism is early intervention. Detect it early and give them therapy and other resources to help them deal with the neurotypical world. (That'd be the rest of you who aren't autistic. Never use the term "normal" to someone dealing with autism unless you want an angry diatribe directed at you.)

  • Tell them a story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:24AM (#46482415)

    Tell these people a story about a kid that got sick and nearly died because of not being vaccinated. It was recently shown to be effective, which makes sense, since these people seem to think emotionally rather than rationally. Evidence does nothing to convince them.

    • by ebbe11 (121118)
      If I had mod points, this post would get them!
  • Dumb logic (Score:5, Funny)

    by Vermonter (2683811) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:25AM (#46482433)
    "Well my kid died of measles, but at least he didn't get Autism"
    • by slashmydots (2189826) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:30AM (#46482481)
      OMG measles is like a 1700's pirate disease. Nobody catches it anymore. That's ridiculous. The government is just injecting nano-bots into your bloodstream to spy on you and make you eat fatty foods so you die before they can pay you social security and...*cough*...*dies from measles*
    • Re:Dumb logic (Score:4, Interesting)

      by splodus (655932) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:36AM (#46482555)

      Actually I think you might be onto something;

      "Remember people, measles kills, autism doesn't! Get the jab now!"

  • by dosius (230542) <bridget@buric.co> on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:25AM (#46482437) Journal

    People need to realize that Andrew Wakefield, the father of the anti-vax movement as we know it today, was discredited and disgraced for the shoddiness of his so-called "research".

    Oh yeah, and he had a vested interest in kids not getting MMR vax - I think he had ownership of a patent on a different rubella-only vaccine. Herp derp.

  • As a start they need to get all vaccine research out from behind paywalls in the public interest.
  • - free vaccinations
    - no insurance coverage for treatment if you are not vaccinated
    - fines for not vaccinating your children

    That leaves stupidity as the only reason not to get vaccinated. Hopefully the money collected from those fines is then used to do something about the stupidity.

    If the fines then become an incentive for parents to not treat their children, there should be child abuse laws for not giving your child required medical care that kick in. You could also reverse it, i.e. a tax deduction fo

    • - fines for not vaccinating your children

      All fines are a tax on the poor. Just like parking/speeding tickets, rich people can ignore the law and pay it off with loose change.

      1 - better education in general
      2 - campaigns to discredit the anti-vax conmen

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by CanHasDIY (1672858)

      - free vaccinations

      That could work

      - no insurance coverage for treatment if you are not vaccinated

      Insurance companies would love that, but I'm pretty sure it would violate the ACA

      - fines for not vaccinating your children

      Unconstitutional.

      That leaves stupidity as the only reason not to get vaccinated./p>

      Stupidity, ignorance, religious preference (which I know a lot of people 'round these parts will lump in with stupidity), lack of access, distrust of the government, distrust of doctors, etc.

      Just because you can only think of one reason doesn't mean it's the only reason.

      there should be child abuse laws for not giving your child required medical care that kick in.

      Look, bud, if you don't like living in a country that promotes and supports individual liberty, you're free to either try and am

  • by Cenan (1892902)

    I don't see how we could get through to them, they've already jumped the bandwagon on at least one dubious claim, facts and research clearly aren't swaying these people. Letting them contract the disease and then tell them why they can't be cured of it, and may die, might have a much larger impact. Sucks that it has to put the rest of us at risk first though.

  • DNA Testing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_scoots (1595597) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:28AM (#46482463)
    Maybe we'll have the capability to cheaply trace each confirmed case back to the source through the DNA of diseases. Turn a few ambulance chasing lawyers loose on folks causing outbreaks for whatever reason and a few people might change their tune.
    • Maybe we'll have the capability to cheaply trace each confirmed case back to the source through the DNA of diseases. Turn a few ambulance chasing lawyers loose on folks causing outbreaks for whatever reason and a few people might change their tune.

      Punishing the victims. The people who need to be punished are the conmen who promote the anti-vaccine agenda. They are all making bank off of books, interviews, paid lectures, etc.

  • Hope you're proud of yourselves.

  • It's easy. There's usually hospital or school records of people being vaccinated. If they're not, pin them down and vaccinate them. What would you be charged with? Protecting their life?

  • by egranlund (1827406) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:32AM (#46482499)

    How do you think we can get through to the anti-vaxxers?

    Unfortunately, I don't think anything will get through to them until their kids and loved ones start dying from very old and highly preventable diseases.

    Their mindset is one much like the followers of creationism, etc where they believe that:
    1) All scientists have been bought out by "big pharma" or
    2) That the consensus among the scientific community is some kind of organized ploy to sell more and more drugs.

    Because of this, no matter what scientists or public health officials say, they just plug their ears and go "LALALALALA".

  • How do you think we can get through to the anti-vaxxers

    Let their kids start dying of these things again, it'll get through. You can't convince stupid people, especially when they have a vacuous celebrity spokesperson.

    • by splodus (655932)

      Unfortunately we all rely on the effect of herd immunity. A bunch of people going without the vaccine puts everyone else at risk too.

  • "How do you think we can get through to the anti-vaxxers?"

    Easy... ever heard of the phrase "I say we take the safety labels off of all products and let the problem sort itself out"?

    I know several people that refuse to vaccinate their children. They don't care what evidence you provide. They will argue until the day they die that vaccines cause autism. You can't argue with that level of conviction(or stupidity).

    Yes, there's a good chance we're going to lose people that were vaccinated and still caught th

  • by StandardCell (589682) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:36AM (#46482557)
    The best way to handle this is for the original author of the paper that started this anti-vaccination mess, Andrew Wakefield, come out and give a public statement indicating that:

    1. Apologize for the fact that his study was flawed, and explain why.

    2. That no other study has established any material basis in any respect for a link between autism and vaccines or their components.

    3. The original funding for this supposed research was made by lawyers who were attempting to find reason to litigate against vaccine manufacturers.

    4. That many people will now die of diseases that were nearly eradicated a mere 15 years ago similar to smallpox a few years before it was eradicated.

    Put that as a public service announcement on every major TV and radio channel, and online as well, as widely as possible. Show pictures of what happens when people don't vaccinate, particularly to children, the elderly and immune-compromised individuals (e.g. transplant saved his/her life, now they die). Have him make this appeal over and over again until people get this.

    Even if we don't get to 100%, we owe it to everyone around us. The public health costs are staggering, and the stupidity is mind boggling.
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      I don't know if you've been following, but Andrew Wakefield fled the UK and doubled down on the crazy so I don't think you'll get any of those things out of him.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      1. Andrew Wakefield is unapologetic and still claims that his study was valid. He vocally blames a conspiracy theory for his problems.

      2. After so long of playing the "conspiracy" card, if he were to suddenly recant now his followers would most likely decide that he's been "gotten to" by the Illuminati (etc.). It is very unlikely they'd all go "Oh it was a mistake? Good to know, we'll just get off to the GP's for a full round of vaccinations then".

  • by Anrego (830717) *

    It's a shitty solution and totally unfair to the kids, but I think it's the only solution.

    Trying to reason with an "anti-vaxxer" is like trying to reason with the contrail folks. Just not going to be productive.

    The only way this movement is going to die is when a sufficient number of parents watch their non-vaccinated children die or become horribly disfigured from long-since dealt with diseases.

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      Unfortunately vaccination is one of those issues where their mistake (loss of group immunity) hurts someone else (endemic measles finds a ward of immunocompromised patients). That's why it's a social issue, not an individual one.

  • by TomRC (231027) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:38AM (#46482587)

    Just tell them that the vaccine is fully organic, low sodium, fat free and gluten free.

    Also, it's got Electrolytes.

    • But is it made of chemicals?

    • It's got what plants crave!

      Just tell them that the vaccine is... gluten free.

      Is it really, or is that snark? I mean, I know you're making fun of treehuggers, but "gluten free" is a legitimate health concern for a lot of people.

      • but "gluten free" is a legitimate health concern for a lot of people.

        For certain definitions of "a lot". If you're one of the one in several hundred people who has celiac disease, then, yeah, you should avoid eating it. Otherwise it's not a problem.

        It's also only a concern even for sufferers of celiac disease when it's in the small intestine. Intravenous injections should not be a problem.

    • But Electrolytes are what plants crave, not humans!
  • Point fingers at "anti-vaxxers" all you want, that's not the root of the issue (not to say that it's not an issue). So long as we keep cramming more and more humans into smaller and smaller areas, we're just begging for a pandemic to come through and wipe out a fair amount of the population.

    Think about new "super-diseases" like MRSA, or H041 Gonorrhea, which some experts are saying is a worse STD than AIDS. [rt.com]

    No vaccination is going to save you from disease-related death if you're all crammed together like cat

    • by Viol8 (599362)

      Oh rubbish. People lived in far closer proximity in medieval times than they do now. Apart from the black death which only happened once in a big way with a few smaller outbreaks over the centuries and spanish flu (which isn't bothered by proximity anyway), there haven't been any major pandemics that have come close to wiping us out.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      So you're expecting an outbreak of smallpox any day now then, as soon as the population density hits a certain point?

      Measles is highly contagious disease which is preventable with a simple vaccine, and it was getting tantalisingly close to the point of being eradicated. Now less people are getting vaccinated, and the number of cases are on the up. That is not a coincidence.

      If we could come up with effective and lasting vaccines for MRSA of H041 Gonorrhea, we could wipe them out with a sufficiently widesprea

  • by jmv (93421)

    As far as I'm concerned, the message should be:

    "Here's the only link between vaccines and autism: if you don't vaccinate your children, they might die before they can even be diagnosed with autism."

  • I've heard it said before that preventable disease outbreaks like this happen because children who are typically not yet old enough to be vaccinated come into contact with a more mature individual who was never vaccinated.

    If so, it seems to me that the only reason this kind of thing keeps happening is because of THEIR choice... and their choice is directly affecting the lives of other children that they could communicate the disease to.

    As for how to really get them to support vaccinations? I can only

  • Simply make them criminally liable for any other people who catch measles from them or their children.

    Also revoke their health care coverage. And eliminate excused exemptions from vaccinations except when approved by a panel of doctors.


  • ... meanwhile on anti-vax FB pages that I have gotten into, they are having measles-parties, mumps-parties, and the like. Intentionally exposing their kids to disease.
  • by fatboy (6851) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:52AM (#46482759)

    Ok, so *you think* your kid might become autistic, if vaccinated.... Better to have a live autistic child than one that is dead from whooping cough.

    When it came time to discuss this with our DR, she said to us, "You don't want to see what it's like to watch a child die from whooping cough." It took about 2 seconds for my wife and I to process that, and decide what the larger risk is.

  • Cut them off (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Swampash (1131503) on Friday March 14, 2014 @09:53AM (#46482773)

    If you don't vaccinate your child, fine. But if you reject society like that then expect society to reject you.

    No vaccination? Forbidden from attending school. Forbidden from visiting a doctor. Forbidden from visiting any public facilities like libraries, train stations, or airports. Forbidden from riding a bus or train or taxi.

  • by mdsolar (1045926) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:04AM (#46482873) Homepage Journal
    Shunning might work. Unvaccinated kids don't pose a medical danger to vaccinated kids, but they are a potential emotional liability since they may die for a tragically preventable reason. If we say we don't want our vaccinated kids to get close to unvaccinated kids to avoid a possible emotional wound, then that places a lot of social pressure on the issue. Shunning is one of the cruelest things to do, so we ought to be sure the problem is really worth taking such steps. It's been working for smoking though.
  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:19AM (#46483077)

    I've always known some people that were stupid enough to fall for this garbage. And I always told them how dumb they were being. But now I have my own kid. Now, I ask... "Is your kid vaccinated?" and if not they are not allowed in my house, and not allowed around my kid unless mandated by law (school) One couple got mad at me, and I finally just told them to go screw themselves. The life of my child is not worth maintaining your pseudoscience addled minds fantasy. I'm sick of it, and everyone else should be to. Ostracize these people and their kids. Do not allow them near you. The only thing that will fix this insane fad is peer pressure.

  • by Space (13455) on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:32PM (#46484653)

    My wife and I home school our two daughters. There is a home school support group in our area that is frequented by several anti-vaccine families. My daughters are up to date on their vaccines and we don't associate with the anti-vax nut jobs. Please don't assume that all home schoolers are anti-vax.

    • I'm not a homeschooler (all my kids are in public), but I've known a few. One of my best friends is a family practice doc. His family homeschools because they believe they can give a better education than the local schools in his small town, but he's adamantly in favor of vaccination.

      Homeschooling absolutely doesn't imply anti-vax (although the Venn diagram does overlap a fair bit).

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