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Medicine United States Science

US Is Slipping Toward Measles Being Endemic Once Again, Says Study (arstechnica.com) 335

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: With firm vaccination campaigns, the US eliminated measles in 2000. The highly infectious virus was no longer constantly present in the country -- no longer endemic. Since then, measles has only popped up when travelers carried it in, spurring mostly small outbreaks -- ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred cases each year -- that then fizzle out. But all that may be about to change. With the rise of non-medical vaccine exemptions and delays, the country is backsliding toward endemic measles, Stanford and Baylor College of Medicine researchers warn this week. With extensive disease modeling, the researchers make clear just how close we are to seeing explosive, perhaps unshakeable, outbreaks. According to results the researchers published in JAMA Pediatrics, a mere five-percent slip in measles-mumps-and-rubella (MMR) vaccination rates among kids aged two to 11 would triple measles cases in this age group and cost $2.1 million in public healthcare costs. And that's just a small slice of the disease transmission outlook. Kids two to 11 years old only make up about 30 percent of the measles cases in current outbreaks. The number of cases would be much larger if the researchers had sufficient data to model the social mixing and immunization status of adults, teens, and infants under two.
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US Is Slipping Toward Measles Being Endemic Once Again, Says Study

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:10AM (#54881147)

    Medically - politically - I have to look at the calendar everyday because it feels like I'm in a time warp and it's really 1917.

    We, the USA, are getting dumber.

    • Medically - politically - I have to look at the calendar everyday because it feels like I'm in a time warp and it's really 1917.

      We, the USA, are getting dumber.

      And just think, we haven't even hit peak stupidity yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Peak stupidity is a myth, there is more than enough stupidity to last forever.

        • Peak stupidity is a myth, there is more than enough stupidity to last forever.

          Peak stupidity doesn't imply that there will be no more stupidity after we hit the peak. That is an incorrect understanding. The theory of peak stupidity implies stupidity will be harder to find and more expensive to maintain after that point.

          There will always be some stupidity expressed by society, it will just necessarily be less once we pass peak stupidity.

          • Don't worry about Peak Stupidity, the government is busily working on renewable sources of Stupid.

    • We're overdue for a pandemic that wipes out 50M to 100M people.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Like obesity ;)

    • Medically - politically - I have to look at the calendar everyday because it feels like I'm in a time warp and it's really 1917.

      We, the USA, are getting dumber.

      One thing you have to realize is that political issues are never black-and-white, but there are shades of grey. Issues have both positive *and* negative aspects, and it is up to us to assign an inherent value to the plusses and minuses in each case.

      Vaccination in the US is all tangled up with immigration and foreign culture.

      Measles is brought in by travellers from foreign countries and spurred mostly by immigration - going to visit relatives back in the home country, or having relatives come to visit. Neith

      • PresidentMadagascar.jpg

    • This is fallout from overly aggressive vaccination efforts. When we mandate vaccination for things that don't have a high death rate and aren't contagious through air and touch, we lose the moral authority to resist the bajillion claims for exemption.

      Measles is deadly and highly contagious. The measles vaccine should be mandatory barring medical exemption. But because we also screw around with trying to make STD vaccines (like HPV) mandatory we open the door to refusal of all vaccines on the flimsiest of ex

  • by Luthair ( 847766 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:11AM (#54881159)
    I think the issue is that most people alive today of childbearing age have no experience with how awful the diseases that plagued our ancestors were which leaves them with wiggle room to accept doubt from dumbass celebrities.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Just make sure *your* children have their vaccinations. The kids of all the dumbasses will be weeded out due to genetic stupidity. It is as it always was... thank you Mr. Darwin.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This is unfortunately, possibly not enough to stop them getting measles, or even dying from it :(

        Herd immunity also protects a small proportion of the vaccinated who for various reasons can still catch the disease; it's not abnormal for some vaccinated people to be part of an outbreak.

        • Not to mention the people who can't be vaccinated due to valid medical conditions (allergies, immune system disorders, etc).

          • Everybody dies. Some people get dealt a shitty hand. If you can't run with the pack, too bad.
            We can't drag the rest of society down for a handful of unfit (or stupid) people. Cold and heartless? Sure.

            Can we force people who don't want to get vaccinated in order to indirectly protect the people who can't get vaccinated?
            I say hell fucking no. If people has baseless fears about vaccines, a general distrust of the government and corporations pushing them, or just plain don't want to, that's their fucking r

            • Disease and death are the natural state of things, and we will never win that war.

              We already beat smallpox. We will probably never really beat death, but there are quite a few diseases - at least contagious ones - that we could beat like we beat smallpox. Nothing has stepped in to replace it. New infections arise, and we get better and better about dealing with them.

              I think it's reasonable to say you can't do some things if you haven't been vaccinated. You shouldn't be strapped down to a table and given the shot, but maybe you pay higher health insurance premiums and can't work in jobs

      • by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:30AM (#54881285)
        This isn't good enough for children with rare diseases and childhood cancers that don't allow them to get vaccination. Vaccination isn't just about my kid, it's a social policy designed to protect others as well.
        • by Kokuyo ( 549451 )

          Not that I like mentioning this but perhaps it's a good think if the kids with these diseases don't get a chance to reproduce, at least from a species-wide point of view.

          Then again, we'd certainly win more if the stupidity were curbed...

          • So being an infant is now a genetic defect?

          • I mean it's not like there are any people born with physical handicaps that go on to do important things for society /s
            • I mean it's not like there are any people born with physical handicaps that go on to do important things for society /s

              Pretty sure Robert Anton Wilson would disagree with you. He had polio.

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          It involves you even if you got your kids vaccinated.

          No medication is 100% effective. About 2% of recipients fail to develop resistance -- more for patients using "alternative" vaccination schedules. Also for a significant number (about 5%) of patients immunity wanes after about ten years.

          What this means is that everybody depends on herd immunity. Unless you've had wild measles, that includes you as an adult who received the vaccination decades ago.

      • by MightyYar ( 622222 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:31AM (#54881293)

        It would be great if libertarian principles applied to vaccines (my base ideology is libertarian), but:
        1. Vaccines are not anywhere near 100% effective, so even a fully vaccinated person may be relying on herd immunity.
        2. You can't vaccinate a newborn, so everyone relies on herd immunity for the first 6 months or so of their life.
        3. Some people can't be vaccinated at all.

        So we're left with a social solution, which is vaccinating everyone who can be vaccinated, whether they like it or not.

        • by judoguy ( 534886 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:56AM (#54881465) Homepage

          It would be great if libertarian principles applied to vaccines (my base ideology is libertarian), but: 1. Vaccines are not anywhere near 100% effective, so even a fully vaccinated person may be relying on herd immunity. 2. You can't vaccinate a newborn, so everyone relies on herd immunity for the first 6 months or so of their life. 3. Some people can't be vaccinated at all.

          So we're left with a social solution, which is vaccinating everyone who can be vaccinated, whether they like it or not.

          Not in MN where I live. Here are the vaccinations a child must have at 2 months, more at 4 months and yet more at 6 months:

          Rotavirus (oral), Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (HIB), Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV13), Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV) and Hepatitis B (HBV).

          They might all be needed for the survival of the race, but that's a lot of vaccinations.

          • I think your numbers square with mine - until 6 months a baby is not fully vaccinated.

            There's a lot of vaccinations because there's a lot of diseases.

          • When is the MMR vaccine administered? There have been several recent Measles outbreaks in Minnesota's Somali communities due to anti-vaxers targeting them with misinformation campaigns.

            • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

              When is the MMR vaccine administered?

              I think MMR is from 6 months through several years, but all vaccines can be taken at any time, so lapses are easy to cure.

              Vaccinations are also damn cheap to administer and from a purely monetary POV, have some of the largest ROI around - the cost is very low (we mass produce vaccines nowadays, so the vaccine itself only costs a few pennies per shot), and yet, keeping such virulent diseases at bay means less lost productivity - parents don't have to care after sick kids,

      • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:35AM (#54881319)

        I'm sorry, but you're probably mistaken. Thanks mainly to hospitals, where heroic measures can be taken to save the offspring of anti-vaxxer morons, the little ones won't die. They'll spread disease amongst people who cannot be vaccinated due to age or other factors, then be dragged by their idiot parents to the nearest emergency ward when they get really sick. Once there, it might cost many thousands of dollars to save each of the little darlings. For the most part, though, they'll avoid paying the price for their parents' bad decisions.

        We will do that, with our tax dollars.

        • by SomeoneFromBelgium ( 3420851 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:44AM (#54881383)

          You are mostly right. Except the hospital thing. As far as I know these deseases are so contageous because they have an incubation period. The simptoms only appear after a certain time but it is contagous before. So the most victims have already been made by the time the first patients arrive in hospital.
          Then they have to track down who was in contact with these childeren (family, school, hobby's...) in the last X hours...

          Cheers!

      • Not so simple (Score:5, Informative)

        by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @09:03AM (#54881509)

        Just make sure *your* children have their vaccinations. The kids of all the dumbasses will be weeded out due to genetic stupidity. It is as it always was... thank you Mr. Darwin.

        If only it were that simple. Problem is that the asshats who don't vaccinate by choice cause illness in those who cannot get vaccinated for valid medical reasons. If it was simply people competing for darwin awards along with their spawn I could almost not give a damn. But unfortunately I do actually care about the kids of these dumbass parents. You don't get to pick your parents and just because they are idiots doesn't mean the kid necessarily is.

        Personally I think anyone who doesn't vaccinate without a valid medical excuse should have to live in quarantine.

      • The problem is that kids need to reach a certain age before they get vaccinations. An infant will be susceptible to viruses that non-vaccinated kids spread and can die before they are old enough to get the vaccine [abc.net.au].

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:45AM (#54881387)
      Essentially, that's it. Add to that a population dumb enough to take medical advice from Jenny McCarthy.
    • Exactly this. Vaccines have been TOO successful. I'm the parent of two boys (13 and 10). Both are vaccinated. However, I've educated myself about what life was like before vaccines. I'll never know first hand the horrors of not knowing if today was the day your child would get sick with Polio, Measles, Mumps, etc. For that I'm grateful. However, it means that it can be easy to wrongfully minimize the risks of the diseases ("Who gets measles today? It's just like chicken pox - you get lumps for a few days an

  • Evolution (Score:2, Flamebait)

    Evolution. All the idiots who won't get their kids vaccinated will see their genetic line die off. Those with vaccinations will be OK.

    Eventually we'll only have sensible people left, the kind that vaccinate their kids.

    • >All the idiots who won't get their kids vaccinated will see their genetic line die off. Those with vaccinations will be OK.

      You need to read up on herd immunity. Vaccines aren't 100% effective (and some people simply can't have them for medical reasons), so just having your shot isn't enough, you need to have everyone else have their shots so it's unlikely an infected person will even come into contact with a vulnerable person.

      • >All the idiots who won't get their kids vaccinated will see their genetic line die off. Those with vaccinations will be OK.

        You need to read up on herd immunity. Vaccines aren't 100% effective (and some people simply can't have them for medical reasons), so just having your shot isn't enough, you need to have everyone else have their shots so it's unlikely an infected person will even come into contact with a vulnerable person.

        Yeah, I know. I also know that the kids aren't responsible for the decisions that their parents foolishly make- nor should they suffer for the mistakes of their parents. My post was perhaps too flippant. It was more a raised middle finger at the numpties who won't vaccinate their kids than my real point of view.

    • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @10:01AM (#54882193)

      Evolution. All the idiots who won't get their kids vaccinated will see their genetic line die off. Those with vaccinations will be OK.

      Might work if these diseases were always fatal. Problem is that they aren't. They are only sometimes fatal. Sometimes carriers aren't even symptomatic. And they also can infect people who cannot get vaccinated for valid medical reasons.

      I wouldn't have a philosophical problem with parents of children who choose not to vaccinate without a valid medical reason to have to live in quarantine. Separate them from the rest of the herd. Basically they are deciding to join a voluntary leper colony. This would keep them and their DNA from infecting the rest of us.

    • Not sure why the OP is modded as Flamebait. They speak the truth. If I had mod points today, I would +1 Insightful this post.
  • and under the GOP plan it will get on to the PRE EX pool plan. If there is an opening / you have the funds for it and it's does not run out of fed / sate funds. But there is plan B ER (they will not fully cover you and will sue to get paid) plan C is jail / prison fully covered and in TX max cost $100/year.

  • The MMR vaccine has not been updated to keep up with the evolution of the measles virus.

    The claims for non-vaccinated is often merely, no proof of vaccination. However, most public schools require it. A few states allow for a religious exemption, which must be filed and recorded with the school.

    The fact parents do not have records of vaccinations does not mean these children were not vaccinated. Most of the time they have been if they're of school age.

    • How about you stop being as stupid as an anti-vaxxer, and be a bit more scientific and open-minded. I am not saying vaccines are bad. Just that, well maybe we need to look at new formulations of our vaccines for greater efficacy.

      http://www.thv11.com/news/loca... [thv11.com]

      http://www.sciencedirect.com/s... [sciencedirect.com]

      https://www.scientificamerican... [scientificamerican.com]

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/r... [sciencedaily.com]

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/up... [pbs.org]
      "Among the 51 measles cases linked directly to Disneyland, six of the people had received their measles, mumps and ru

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Stop coddling these people who are willing to put their children and the rest of society at risk for the sake of their pseudoscientific BS. It's been very well studied, and the time has ended for putting up with this stuff. I'm not saying force needles into their or their children's arms against their permission, because it's still their own body and their choice to make, but make the consequences of their (stupid and selfish) choices real. There are people who can not be safely vaccinated for medical re

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @08:41AM (#54881361)
    Mandate which vaccinations children are required to have to avail of private / public daycare and schools. And make the parents criminally liable if the child or someone he/she comes into contact with contracts a preventable disease because of their negligence.
    • by eth1 ( 94901 )

      Mandate which vaccinations children are required to have to avail of private / public daycare and schools. And make the parents criminally liable if the child or someone he/she comes into contact with contracts a preventable disease because of their negligence.

      Might not even need that. We just need to get anyone properly vaccinated (or medically unable to be vaccinated) that gets sick to start suing the hell out of the parents of voluntarily unvaccinated children if there's even a shred of evidence to suggest their child might be the source. If there gets to be a significant enough financial risk of not vaccinating, stupidity might take a back seat to the pocketbook. Since civil juries don't don't have to be unanimous, the small percentage of anti-vaxxers would b

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      But the school is not enough. Some might even use it as an excuse to not have their kids go to school.
      The question is if they still will go to Disneyland and Disney World. And I am sure people are not that munch interested in some lawsuit as they are interested that three month old does not die.

    • by notea42 ( 926633 )
      An alternate strategy - if you choose to opt out, you are then financially liable for all measles cases in your state. Take the costs from all those cases, divide by the # of children on your "Idiot Parents" list, and send each parent a bill. Do this every year until they wise up. This prevents people from externalizing the costs of their poor decisions on everyone else.
  • Miss. is the ONLY state that requires vaccination for ALL kids attending school, EXCEPT for true medical exceptions.
    So, one of the most backwards states, is actually the most forward thinking when it comes to that.
    Sad that ANY of the states allows otherwise,
  • When IT is doing a proper job, the users rarely experience any problems. And consequently them assume IT is not needed.
    • Very good analogy. "Why do I need a firewall and anti-virus software? It just slows my system down and annoys me. I'll just turn it off and I'll be fine." Perhaps this user will be fine. Or, maybe, they'll open an e-mail from "TheIRS@GonnaScamU.com" and be infected without ever really knowing. (Comparable to passing on measles to everyone while not knowing you're coming down with it.)

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