CDC: Vaccine “philosophical differences” driving up U.S. measles rates – CBS News

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Measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000, but anti-vaccination beliefs may be playing a role in bringing the disease back, a new government report suggests.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigated more than a decade's worth of data on measles cases (including 2013 cases through the end of August) and found that most patients had not been vaccinated.


Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus, that spreads through breathing, coughing and sneezing. While measles is harder to come by in the United States, the CDC notes it's still a worldwide public health problem that can be brought over to the country and spread to Americans. One CDC expert pointed out that a measles infection can linger for four hours even after the infected person is no longer in the vicinity.

"Clusters of people with like-minded beliefs leading them to forgo vaccines can leave them susceptible to outbreaks when measles is imported from elsewhere," Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters Thursday during a teleconference. "This is an extraordinarily contagious virus."

Such clusters included people with similar religions, those with extended large extended families or even certain school districts where vaccine rates are low.

So far this year, 159 cases of measles were reported in 16 states, with three outbreaks accounting for most of cases: outbreaks in New York City (58 cases), North Carolina (23 cases) and Texas (21 cases). That's on track for the most cases since measles was considered eliminated.

Fortunately, said Schuchat, nobody has died.

Eighty-two percent of cases were in unvaccinated persons, and 9 percent were in people who weren't sure if they'd been vaccinated. Seventy-nine percent of those the unvaccinated cited philosophical differences with the measles mumps and rubella (MMR) shot.

The CDC said recent misinformation about the measles vaccine — including asince-disputed link to developing autism from vaccines – may still be influencing some families. Schuchat called on pediatricians and doctors who have close relationships with these families to convince them otherwise.

In recent years, some pediatricians have even fired patients if parents won't get their kids vaccinated, citing risks of infecting other kidsin their practices.

The new measles report coincides with a CDC release of a national report card of vaccines in infants aged 19 to 35 months. This year marks the 20th anniversary of legislation that created the Vaccines For Children Program, a federally-funded effort to provide no-cost vaccines to kids whose families can't pay.

The program was first launched to combat a national measles crisis in the late 1980s, Schuchat explained, when a vaccination gap was evident in preschoolers who would get turned away from pediatricians because parents could not afford shots, only to be referred to a community health clinic where the families might not show up.

Written By: RYAN JASLOW
continue to source article at cbsnews.com

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  1. Prove they’ve been vaccinated, or they can’t come to school. Oh, and we still get your taxes. To help make up for your tax-free churches, land, salaries and perks for your ‘ministries’, home schooling subsidies, etc, etc…

    • Soviet Union used similar approach to make women visit gynecologist regularly: no entry of gynecologist in the medical history? You were not allowed to visit even dentist or ophtalmologist!
      However there certainly were many women with perfect vision ignoring also their dental health.
      And the same with scools. Here in Latvia 8-year education is mandatpry, however the local authorities acknowledged they had no idea about how many kids did not get education. Probably several hundreds (a lot for state with population slightly over 2 billions).
      And uneducated parents are more likely to leave children unvaccinated.
      In reply to #1 by prettygoodformonkeys:

      Prove they’ve been vaccinated, or they can’t come to school. Oh, and we still get your taxes. To help make up for your tax-free churches, land, salaries and perks for your ‘ministries’, home schooling subsidies, etc, etc…

  2. Pedantic point, but vaccination is not a philosophy!

    Kids without up to date vaccinations, absent a sound medical excuse, should simply not be allowed to endanger other kids. No schools, playgrounds, parks, swimming pools where other kids might be present.

    • In reply to #4 by Stevehill:

      Kids without up to date vaccinations, absent a sound medical excuse, should simply not be allowed to endanger other kids. No schools, playgrounds, parks, swimming pools where other kids might be present.

      Sorry, but how can a non- vaccinated child be a danger to a vaccinated child. I do not believe in compulsory vaccinations and come from a country that doesn’t have complusion. Out breaks of illnesses do occure but if you are vaccinated why worry. And if you are not vaccinated then you run the risk of having the illness which is what life is all about. Everything is a risk !

      • In reply to #8 by ikinmoore:

        Sorry, but how can a non- vaccinated child be a danger to a vaccinated child?

        That’s not what Steve said. I’ll give you a few clues, but you’ll have to do the thinking yourself.

        -Children receive vaccinations at certain ages.
        -Some vaccinations require multiple treatments to become fully effective.
        -Classes and, to a much larger extent, schools and playgrounds contain children of various ages.

        You’d also might want to do some research. Try googling ‘herd immunity’ and think of the personal responsibilities that come with it. Read some pro- and anti-vaccination websites and see what kind of valid arguments, if any, are used.

      • In reply to #8 by ikinmoore:

        Sorry, but how can a non- vaccinated child be a danger to a vaccinated child…Out breaks of illnesses do occure but if you are vaccinated why worry.

        ikinmoore, at the risk of being repetitive, you’ve asked this question elsewhere and seem to be resisting suggestions to consider herd immunity.

        And if you are not vaccinated then you run the risk of having the illness which is what life is all about. Everything is a risk !

        Nobody is saying you can’t take a risk with your own health. The whole point is that being unvaccinated makes you a greater transmission risk to those others who can’t be immunised. Framing your objection as a purely personal risk is a fallacy. Even if the majority would always remain fine, removing the reservoir of potential infected (by vaccinating) is the only way to eradicate a disease from an area. Your objection to government compulsion is not a good ‘philosophical’ reason to object to vaccination per se.

      • In reply to #8 by ikinmoore:

        Sorry, but how can a non- vaccinated child be a danger to a vacc…

        Docjitters point about 14 babies dying from whooping cough in 2012 (in the UK) sums up this one. Some vaccines cannot be adminstered until a baby/child reaches a certain age. Babies die before they have been vaccinated. Their health depends on everybody else (without exception) being vaccinated so they do not become infected.

        There are also issues involving people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (e.g. a compromised immune system, chemotherapy etc) and there are some people whose vaccines have “expired”… medical professionals have a lot more regular top-ups than the rest of us for this reason. This is why some vaccinated people can and do get say measles. They tend to be older children. But they would be safe if all the younger children had the requisite shots when they were supposed to.

        Docjitters: I suppose I should try to find a more compromising position, but this stuff makes me so angry because people almost wilfully go out of their way to ignore the facts! In New South Wales they have legislated “no jab no play”: a A$4,000 fine per unvaccinated child enrolled into a pre-school etc. I think we should take note of this and learn from it. I have kids of 6 and 5. I’d like them not to suffer avoidably because of the actions of some selfish ignoramuses.

        • In reply to #11 by Stevehill:

          In reply to #8 by ikinmoore:
          Well, a compromised immune system (unless very, very compromised) makes vaccination mandatory. After all vaccine, unless live attenuated organisms are used, is better tolerated that a full-blown infection. Of course, hospital must monitor such child for 24 hours. But that is about it. The same with allergies: allergie against chicken proteins is a contraindication for certain vaccines, but it is no reason no to vaccinate at all.
          Sorry, but how can a non- vaccinated child be a danger to a vacc…

          Docjitters point about 14 babies dying from whooping cough in 2012 (in the UK) sums up this one. Some vaccines cannot be adminstered until a baby/child reaches a certain age. Babies die before they…

  3. How can you have “philosophical differences” with a recently invented liquid in a syringe? The difference is some people believe evidence is real while others don’t. Any philosopher would be offended for his or her field to hear anti-vaccine hysteria called philosophy. Where’s the reasoned argument? Where’s the appreciation of how knowledge actually works? Where’s the careful thought about what is really ethical?

  4. Science doesn’t care about your “philosophy”. Diseases and evolution don’t care about your “philosophy”. Ergo, we shouldn’t care about your “philosophy” either. Because your low IQ philosophy will kill millions down the road.

  5. So far this year, 159 cases of measles were reported in 16 states, with three outbreaks accounting for most of cases: outbreaks in New York City (58 cases), North Carolina (23 cases) and Texas (21 cases).

    Pft. 1692 cases and 1 measles-related death in England & Wales in the first 6 months of this year. Ner ner, we beat you! Oh wait…We’re still behind Romania – we have to try harder!

    Seriously though, sorry to hear about the whooping cough deaths in Texas. 14 babies under 3 months old died in E&W in 2012. Thankfully, we seem to be cutting into that figure with the programme to vaccinate pregnant women.

    Stevehill – I can’t say I’m for compulsory immunisation but I do sometimes like the idea of doctors ‘firing’ intransigent parents. But my gut reaction is that abandoning their children to their parents’ crazy healthcare beliefs is going enable harm (at least in the UK context where long-term healthcare is accessed via a General Practitioner). Any ideas on how to strike a balance there?

  6. Since when did “philosphical differences” become a euphemism for “stupidity” and “ignorance” and “short-sighted selfishness” and “criminal indifference” and “sheer, utter dumbassery”? Call it like it is, CDC. Enough with the nicey-nice. Kids are getting sick and could die. Kids in other countries have died. Just this last month, a boy infected with measles came through the Seattle airport. He was contagious, in an international airport crowded with tourists from every part of the world, with hordes of children who could have been unvaccinated due to the ignorance and apathy of their parents and state law. Officials are still tracking down all of the people this child could have infected.
    Measles, along with smallpox, wiped out tens of millions of Native Americans in this country not so very long ago. It’s one of the worst so-called “childhood” diseases. Far from being just a few inconvenient days of fever, cough and spots that some anti-vaxxers portray it as, measles is an insidious virus that can cause deafness, blindness, and mental retardation if it doesn’t kill you. It can lay dormant in the brain for years, reactivating to cause the always-fatal SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis). I personally know of a child who died from SSPE. I have an adult cousin who is deaf, legally blind, and mentally retarded from measles she contracted soon after birth. Yet, instead of celebrating the fact that we no longer have to live in fear, helplessly watching our children suffer and die from these horrible diseases, these dimbulbs quibble about “government conspiracies” and “vaccine reactions” and the thoroughly debunked autism claptrap. Maybe they should take a trip to Africa where they can see the effects of measles on children in all its vicious forms. If they had two functioning neurons unclouded by paranoia, religious garbage, and selfishness, they might see that all these nebulous vaccine fears can’t hold a candle to the horror of the disease.

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