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Medicine Science

Measles Outbreak In NYC 747

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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  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:36AM (#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 song-of-the-pogo ( 631676 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:00AM (#46482845) Homepage

    Herd immunity []

    The trouble is they're putting others at risk who, for varying reasons, are unable to be vaccinated. That is irresponsible, to say the least.

  • Re:Dumb logic (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:46AM (#46483431)

    It was *not* a fake polio vaccination campaign. Every one of the subjects got a *real* polio vaccine. The catch was that the vaccination wasn't the only thing they did.

    People have died, but not because they got fake polio vaccines, but because Pakistanis are now refusing to get vaccines at all because they're afraid they're all CIA fronts.

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

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:09PM (#46483671) Homepage

    Herd immunity isn't rubbish. The reason we're worried is because of three things:

    1) People who can't be vaccinated due to medical conditions. If you have an immune system disorder or are allergic to the vaccine, you won't be able to be vaccinated. In this case, you need to rely on herd immunity.

    2) People who are too young to be vaccinated. Suppose you have an 8 month old baby and plan on vaccinating her. However, the MMR is given at 12 months. So your baby is still susceptible until then.

    3) Vaccines aren't 100% effective. Nothing is. However, they are around 99.9% effective. Of course, with millions being vaccinated, this still means that thousands will still be susceptible.

    If everyone was vaccinated who could be, herd immunity would protect these other people. When anti-vaxxers first started out, they relied on herd immunity also. Skip the measles vaccine and nothing happens! Because of herd immunity. As the numbers of anti-vaxxers grow, though, herd immunity breaks down and the diseases spread.

    If anti-vaxxers were only affecting themselves/their children, I'd take a "it's a personal choice, albeit one I disagree with" stance. Since their choice affects (and kills) other people, though, I don't see this as a right of theirs. You don't have the right to kill someone else's baby because you want to listen to Andrew Wakefield and Jenny McCarthy.

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

    by wagnerrp ( 1305589 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:36PM (#46484013)
    4) Viruses mutate, and mutations can bring rise to resistance against the existing vaccine. The more people who get the virus, the higher the chance it has to mutate into a new strain.
  • by Space ( 13455 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:32PM (#46484653) Homepage

    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.

  • Re:Thanks Jenny (Score:5, Informative)

    by dwillden ( 521345 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @05:50PM (#46487593) Homepage
    But she's never retracted her position, even though the Dr has been stripped of his license, the study has been retracted and she still continues to preach her message and to gain new followers. For example from Fox News today

    Do we blame her by being misled by the study? No. But once the study was refuted and the findings retracted she refused to change her tune. And so we blame her for using her celebrity status to push a dangerously misguided position that is leading to increased deaths and illnesses that would never have happened had she not pushed her cause and refused to change her position when the study was proven false.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner