How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases
For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again. But that's not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.
As an interactive map from the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety. Since 2008 folks at the think tank CFR have been plotting all the cases of measles, mumps, rubella, polio and whooping cough around the world. Each circle on the map represents a local outbreak of a particular disease, while the size of the circle indicates the number of people infected in the outbreak. As you flip through the various maps over the years, two trends clearly emerge: Measles has surged back in Europe, while whooping cough is has become a problem here in the U.S. Childhood immunization rates plummeted in parts of Europe and the U.K. after a 1998 study falsely claimed that the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella was linked to autism. That study has since been found to be fraudulent. But fears about vaccine safety have stuck around in Europe and here in the U.S. Viruses and bacteria have taken full advantage of the immunization gaps. In 2011, France reported a massive measles outbreak with nearly 15,000 cases. Only the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Somalia suffered larger measles outbreaks that year. In 2012, the U.K. reported more than 2,000 measles cases, the largest number since 1994. Here in the U.S., the prevalence of whooping cough shot up in 2012 to nearly 50,000 cases. Last year cases declined to about 24,000 — which is still more than tenfold the number reported back in the early '80s when the bacteria infected less than 2,000 people.
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From December 9, 1983, to January 13, 1984, 21 cases of measles occurred in Sangamon County, Illinois.* Nine of the cases were confirmed serologically. The outbreak involved 16 high school students, all of whom had histories of measles vaccination after 15 months of age documented in their school health records. Of the five remaining cases, four occurred in unvaccinated preschool children, two of whom were under 15 months of age, and one case occurred in a previously vaccinated college student (Figure 5).
The affected high school had 276 students and was in the same building as a junior high school with 135 students. A review of health records in the high school showed that all 411 students had documentation of measles vaccination on or after the first birthday, in accordance with Illinois law.
An outbreak of measles occurred among adolescents in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the spring of 1985, even though vaccination requirements for school attendance had been thoroughly enforced. Serum samples from 1806 students at two secondary schools were obtained eight days after the onset of the first case. Only 4.1 percent of these students (74 of 1806) lacked detectable antibody to measles according to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and more than 99 percent had records of vaccination with live measles vaccine. Stratified analysis showed that the number of doses of vaccine received was the most important predictor of antibody response. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals of seronegative rates were 0 to 3.3 percent for students who had received two prior doses of vaccine, as compared with 3.6 to 6.8 percent for students who had received only a single dose. After the survey, none of the 1732 seropositive students contracted measles. Fourteen of 74 seronegative students, all of whom had been vaccinated, contracted measles. In addition, three seronegative students seroconverted without experiencing any symptoms. We conclude that outbreaks of measles can occur in secondary schools, even when more than 99 percent of the students have been vaccinated and more than 95 percent are immune.
reply to post by Grimpachi
Don't you think that the increase in these diseases are coming from immigrants from other countries that don't readily supply vaccinations?
To blame it on the anti-vaccers, as you put it, isn't quite fair.edit on 26-1-2014 by kimish because: (no reason given)