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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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  • MMR Outcry? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:22AM (#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.
  • DNA Testing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_scoots ( 1595597 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:28AM (#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.
  • Re:Dumb logic (Score:4, Interesting)

    by splodus ( 655932 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:36AM (#46482555)

    Actually I think you might be onto something;

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

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:46AM (#46482675) Homepage Journal

    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. []

    No vaccination is going to save you from disease-related death if you're all crammed together like cattle in a slaughter shoot.

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

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:47AM (#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.
  • Re:MMR Outcry? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buchner.johannes ( 1139593 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @10:51AM (#46482743) Homepage Journal []

    Hmm ...
    1964 + 25 = 1990, first bump
    1964 + 25 + 25 = 2014 new bump?

    Maybe this is just the half-time of the shots, and it's time to refresh? I.e. "2014, third dose recommended"

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:03AM (#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 Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:19AM (#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.

  • Re:Obvious Answer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cenan ( 1892902 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:31AM (#46483225)

    That only works as long as these people are a minority. Once they out breed you, you'll have herds of disease ridden, home schooled imbeciles running the world.

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

    by mrbester ( 200927 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:53AM (#46483505) Homepage

    So, just as it is now?

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

    by bmeiers ( 191662 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:53AM (#46483515)

    I agree. I can't take my dog to a kennel without proof of vaccination. Are our dogs in kennels more important to protect than our children in schools?

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

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @11:55AM (#46483525) Homepage
    Kind of a slippery slope though. Sure it makes sense for most vaccines, but the bigger idea of "if you don't follow our medical advice, you don't get coverage" could lead to all other sorts of unintended outcomes.

    I don't ever get the flu shot because it makes me have the same symptoms as the flu the few times I did get it. I know you can't get the flu from the flu shot, but if you get all the same symptoms, you "effectively" have the flu. Should I be denied care in the case where I do get the flu?

    Should people who smoke be denied care because they were told many times that it's bad for them? What about people who refuse to eat well, even though they can afford to? What about those people who don't exercise, even though you can do so for free in your own spare time?
  • Re:** moron (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bengie ( 1121981 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:03PM (#46483629)

    that would mean demanding vaccination records for all kids in public schools

    We got that around here. Want to go to public school? You must show your vaccination records. Don't want to send your kids to public school? You'd better be using an approved home school system or sending them to private, because you'll get fined or have your children taken from you if you don't educate them. We won't tell you how to educate your children, you just need to have proof that you've been using some form of acceptable education.

  • Re:Tell them a story (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:10PM (#46483679) Homepage Journal

    Neither of those are at all true. Plenty of pediatricians (like ours) refuse to treat willfully unvaccinated kids because of the high risk they present to other patients. If you're taking a two week old baby into the doctor's office for a well baby checkup, the last thing you want to see is some moron's measles vector sitting in the same waiting room. "First, do no harm" nicely dovetails with "by condoning and tolerating anti-science Luddites spreading disease through your office."

    This isn't uncommon and most doctors who feel this way make no attempt to hide it []. If nothing else, if a patient doesn't trust their doctor when recommending safe, prudent vaccinations, will they trust that same doctor to recommend emergency surgery or other invasive treatments? If there's not a trust relationship, why even bother with it?

    Anti-vaxxers should come to expect that their rejection of science leaves them to see only homeopaths and other witch doctors because science-based ones won't touch them with a 10 foot pole. If they want to practice voodoo, why should they want or expect to receive all the other benefits of legitimate medicine?

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

    by wagnerrp ( 1305589 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @12:22PM (#46483827)
    It goes even further than that. When the virus is allowed to propagate among even a small percentage of the population, there is a chance for that virus to mutate in a manner that renders the vaccine less effective, putting everyone at risk.
  • Re:MMR Outcry? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Friday March 14, 2014 @01:37PM (#46484733) Homepage

    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.)

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.