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U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013 462

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Centers for Disease Control have announced that measles cases in the U.S. spiked this year, rising to three times their recent average rate. It's partly due to a greater number of people traveling to the U.S. when they're infectious, but also because a frustrating number of people are either failing to have their children vaccinated, or are failing to do so in a timely manner. Dr. Thomas Friedman said, 'Around 90 percent of the people who have had measles in this country were not vaccinated either because they refused, or were not vaccinated on time.' Phil Plait adds, 'In all three of these outbreaks, someone who had not been vaccinated traveled overseas and brought the disease back with them, which then spread due to low vaccination rates in their communities. It's unclear how much religious beliefs themselves were behind the outbreaks in Brooklyn and North Carolina; it may have been due to widespread secular anti-vax beliefs in those tight-knit groups. But either way, a large proportion of the people in those areas were unvaccinated.'"
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U.S. Measles Cases Triple In 2013

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  • Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:50PM (#45622213) Journal

    It goes without saying that the moronic get what they deserve, though sadly, when herd immunity is compromised, sometimes the innocent (those who cannot be inoculated) pay the price too.

    • Re:Duh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:56PM (#45622281)

      It goes without saying that the moronic get what they deserve

      The moronic parents aren't getting what they deserve, it's their children that are paying the price.

      • Don't you know? In the U.S. crimes like "stupidity" or "poverty" are entirely genetic. It's official.

    • by icebike ( 68054 )

      It goes without saying that the moronic get what they deserve, though sadly, when herd immunity is compromised, sometimes the innocent (those who cannot be inoculated) pay the price too.

      Lets be clear here, the current hysteria is about some 175 cases, vs 60 last year.
      Hardly a herd immunity issue.

      Also, only 90% of those 175 cases were NON vaccinated, which means that there is a significant vaccine failure rate of around 17.5 percent.

      There are increasing reports of vaccine failures [] including here [] and here [] and here []

      So yeah, there are too many doubters out there who endanger their children. But the numbers we are talking about are already extremely low. More people are killed by bee stings ea

  • by therealkevinkretz ( 1585825 ) * on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:51PM (#45622229)

    ... and other idiots

    • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:03PM (#45622337)
      "Vaccines am bad. Electronic cigarettes am perfectly safe." - Jenny McCarthy.

    • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:08PM (#45622385)
      The thing is that her kid did not even have autism and is now responding well to the condition he really does have.
    • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:09PM (#45622397)

      A pox upon her house!

    • Not just her and her ilk, but the unintended consequences of govt programs... []

      I think we will see a much larger spike in developing countries.

      The histories of vaccination programs are both wonderful and sad. I'm amazed that they were able to eradicate small pox, but the stories of how close they have come to eradicating polio only to have it fail is a testament to the challenge

  • Anti-vaxxers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:52PM (#45622241)

    I actually have a co-worker who refused to get the MMR vaccine for his two children, both of whom came down with the measles last year. They didn't shun the vaccine because of religious reasons; rather, Jenny McCarthy convinced them that it would give their children autism. And while it's entertaining to watch this, and it's fun to sit back and mock these people, their belief system, and the consequences of their actions, the fact remains that these idiots are a real threat to our herd immunity.

    The real answer to this is education, although that's almost as dirty a word as "vaccination" in 2013 United States.

  • by WillAffleckUW ( 858324 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:53PM (#45622257) Homepage Journal

    We even now have a permanent Tetanus combo booster shot (TDAP) instead of the old every ten year one (that probably expired, don't step on a rusty nail!).

    Correlation is not causation, but not getting an MMR measles mumps rubella shot is just criminal. Without herd immunity we're starting to see hospitals requiring people to wear masks or stay in isolation wards, measures we never had to do before the "fad" of not getting shots started.

    And, no, I don't care what your objections are - there are nasal spray versions of all the shots, so stop endangering everyone else with your stupidity.

    • We even now have a permanent Tetanus combo booster shot (TDAP) instead of the old every ten year one (that probably expired, don't step on a rusty nail!).

      Where are you finding that its permanent?

    • not getting an MMR measles mumps rubella shot is just criminal.

      Thanks. The first shot almost killed me, and I was told that any boosters or retries later in life might finish the job. Glad to know I'm a criminal for that.

  • Bottom line, normally 60 cases a year, but spike was 175 cases. so what, that is nothing. measles therefore is not a concern in this country.

    • by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:58PM (#45622297) Homepage

      tell that to the 175 cases. the attitude that "measles is not a concern in this country" will only ensure that rates triple again next year and the year after.

      • * ensure rates triple again next year and the year after. *

        that is called even "more sensationalist crap."

        more people will choke to death eating perfectly healthy food than ever die from measles. measles is nothing to worry about in the USA. no one you know will get measles.

        • by samkass ( 174571 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:19PM (#45622511) Homepage Journal

          Measles is tracked in part because it's really easily preventable with a safe vaccine which had eliminated it on the North American content a decade ago, and because it's one of the single most virulent diseases known to man. In a susceptible population, breathing the same air of someone who has it will make you 90% likely to get it. Many of the "pandemic" worst case scenarios is the measles virus combining with a more deadly virus to create a super virus, but even without that measles complications are common and can lead to permanently reduced vision, encephalitis leading to brain injuries, or other long-term problems. In the developed world the death rate is something like 0.3%, but in the undeveloped world it's sometimes over 25%. Nasty, easily preventable stuff worth tracking.

      • tell that to the 175 cases.

        What a meaningless thing to say. Everything seems bigger and more frightening when you're affected by it.

    • It used to be a concern. Vaccination stopped that. Vaccination will continue to keep it stopped only so long as people use it.

      Only one disease has ever been completly eradicated from the wild. Polio has been tantalisingly close for years too, but a different strain of anti-vax has been hindering eradication. Measles, however, is still there... simmering. Just waiting for the chance to make a resurgence.

      • Only one disease has ever been completly eradicated from the wild.

        Actually, two now. Rinderpest (a virus in the same genus as measles that infected cattle, buffalo, and such) was declared eradicated in 2011 and the last known case was in 2001.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:56PM (#45622279) Homepage Journal
    Make these people buy mandatory insurance with a special rider in case they get sick. The public should not have to cover a penny of their medical bills.

    Hopefully these people are not allowed in public or private schools or daycare. We care enough about our dogs and cats to not let them in kennels and grooming situations unless they have vaccinations. Why should we care about kids any less. I mean if someone want to start a vac-free school where everyone is not vaccinated, that is their right, but we shouldn't put innocent kids at risk.

    • Uhm, no. That's stupid. First off, that doesn't protect the children themselves (who aren't to blame for their parents' stupidity). Secondly, that doesn't 100% protect the other people in society who are at risk (babies too young to be vaccinated yet; the percentage of people for whom the vaccine simply doesn't work for that exists for ANY vaccine; etc.) The only way something like this might work would be if we put every one of these fmilies under guarded 24/7/365 house arrest for the rest of their liv

    • Public schools here do not allow students to attend unless they are vaccinated {I know this cause the school sends out reminders so you are never late}. They would have to go to a private school but I think the only private school here requires them also. I live in the US-midwest.

    • And while you're at it, smokers, drug users, fast drivers, skydivers, safari goers, daredevils, worriers, hipsters, teamsters, mobsters, masturbaters, adulterers, tax evaders, loud talkers, smooth talkers, buffalo hunters, fast eaters, people who drive more than 5 km per day, GMO eaters, doughnut eaters, coffee drinkers, people who don't brush their teeth three times per day, people who don't eat enough vegetables, and people who eat too many vegetables.

  • So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @05:59PM (#45622301)

    So... this is what happens when you don't use your brain -- and you take medical advice from a stripper.

  • that measles cases in the U.S. spiked this year, rising to three times their recent average rate. It's partly due to a greater number of people traveling to the U.S. when they're infectious...

    I find it interesting that in times when there's been greater scrutiny of who comes to the US, and in some cases tourist dollars having significantly reduced because of the tougher US visa regime and other factors [], there are articles like those quoted that "blame" the incidence of disease on outsiders. Incredible!!

    The USA should man up and state categorically that some of its citizens are behaving like uneducated villagers by refusing to vaccinate. Do not blame those you call aliens because measles has be

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who said anything about blame? In order for an outbreak to occur, you need a source for the infection as well as a vulnerable population. The article is simply stating that increased travel provides more sources of infection, while anti-science idiots in the United States provide the vulnerable population.

      Yes, if the U.S. got the vaccination situation under control, no one would be particularly concerned about measles exposed visitors. That doesn't mean they aren't a factor in this present situation.

  • Just last month, a friends kids class had 8 become infected with measles, but they were all vaccinated.

    • No vaccine is EVER 100% effective for all people. That is, simply, the nature of vaccines and why many of these articles talk about "herd immunity". The reason we still see diseases effectively disappear when vaccines are implemented correctly is that a truly successful vaccine (like this one) will work for a large enough percentage of the population to ensure that it's statistically unlikely that a person who doesn't have the protection will encounter someone who is carrying the disease. The problem is t

    • 8 people, eh? Well that's a representative sample. Of fuck all.

  • Tat''s OK (Score:4, Funny)

    by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:06PM (#45622361)
    At least they didn't develop autism
  • by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:11PM (#45622425) Homepage Journal
    I have insurance. My insurance covers vaccinations. However, my primary care provider will not administer vaccinations because they agreed to a contracted amount with the insurance company but they don't feel that that amount is enough. I called several other primary care physicians who similarly refused to administer vaccinations. I finally got one that agreed to do it but only if I also did a well child checkup, which would cost hundreds of dollars. All of these doctors suggested I go to the Health Department. So I did, and stood in line for a long time, to be told that you had to be on state aid in order to get vaccinations from the state.
    Walgreen's and other facilities would do vaccinations, but my insurance would not pay because they are not a Primary Care facility. I would have to pay full price.
    So basically, I have to pay for insurance which covers vaccinations AND I still have to pay full price for vaccinations, while if I were poor, I would neither have to pay for insurance nor pay for vaccinations.
    To me, the fact that a Doctor can refuse to perform a service because they don't like their profit margin on it even though the AGREED to accept that amount in their contract, is BS. This is akin to a retailer advertising a model of TV for a cheap price, but not having ever even purchased any of said model to be sold.
  • Not to worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:27PM (#45622583)
    After reports of half a dozen or so children dying because they were not vaccinated parents will start getting their children vaccinated again. Pitty some kids will have to die first though.
    • Re:Not to worry (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Friday December 06, 2013 @06:57PM (#45622833)

      No, the parents involved will blame the medical establishment for not saving their child.

      Measles is a serious disease that we have an established and functional protection from that they refused to use but they will blame the doctors for not being able to save their snowflake from the disease. There have already been people in this thread claim Measles is not a big deal when before the vaccine it used to kill anywhere from 1 in 10 to 1 in 4. In fact every 10 killer in 1950 is no longer on the list because of vaccines and IIRC in 1950 Measles was number 2 on the fatality list, right behind small pox and in front of polio. Only one of those diseases is gone, with the anti-vax campaign we're going to see a resurgence in the other two unless they can get rid of polio before some jackass brings is back from Pakistan.

  • The article states that 90% of the people in the outbreak weren't vaccinated. I'm all for vaccines but didn't realize it had a 10 % failure rate. I know herd immunity but still. Is that typical of most vaccines?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 06, 2013 @07:25PM (#45623077)

      No, 10% of the people who were infected were also vaccinated. That doesn't mean there is a 10% failure rate in the vaccine. There are many many more people vaccinated than not vaccinated. To get the actual failure rate you would need to compute number_of_people_vaccinated_and_infected/number_of_people_vaccinated_and_exposed. With the later being very difficult to calculate.

  • As a conservative, religious man, I find the religious anti-vaccination crowd a bunch of blind ninnies. I have a few at my church like that, and I want to smack them as they put my children who are too young to receive these vaccination at risk of catching a deadly disease.
  • For every 1 person that dies, 2 people suffer brain damage or deafness, per the CDC.

    http://www.medpagetoday.cominfectiousdiseasegeneralinfectiousdisease/43268 [www.medpag...ousdisease]

    For measles, it says that for every
    500 deaths, you have:
    48,000 hospitalizations,
    7,000 seizures, and
    1,000 cases of permanent brain damage or deafness each year, according to the CDC.

    So brain damage/deafness is about 2x as common as outright death from measles.


  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Saturday December 07, 2013 @09:48AM (#45626073)

    This is a social problem. These people continue to be idiots because all of the rest of us are "too nice" to say anything when they start spewing their bullshit. Every time I run into one of these asshats at work, or at a party, I tell them they're committing child abuse, they should be ashamed of themselves, and more importantly they're child is not allowed to play with my child. Then I inform every other parent that might know them that they should let their kids play with them either and that they should shun the adult. This wont change until it's no longer socially "cool" to do this.

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