U.S. Measles Cases Hit 15 Year High
Things you should probably know about measles:
- Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children even though a safe and cost-effective vaccine is available.
- In 2008, there were 164 000 measles deaths globally – nearly 450 deaths every day or 18 deaths every hour.
- More than 95% of measles deaths occur in low-income countries with weak health infrastructures.
- Measles vaccination resulted in a 78% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2008 worldwide.
- In 2008, about 83% of the world’s children received one dose of measles vaccine by their first birthday through routine health services – up from 72% in 2000.
- The average number of U.S. measles cases each year for the past decade has been 56.
- So far this year there have been 118 cases of measles reported in the United States.
Wait…what was that last one? That’s makes this this the worst measles season since 1996. If the average number of U.S. measles cases each year was only 56, which means cases have more than doubled.
What could be causing this you ask? A new-super measles strain? Alien invaders? Global Climate Change? Jenny McCarthy?
Figure 1: Those are the guns she murders your children with.
Yeah, it’s sad when “alien invaders” would make more sense than the reality isn’t it?
Prior to this, most of the case of measles in the U.S. were imported, because we’ve spent over half a century using vaccination to eliminate measles as an everyday infection, but some people seem to want to change that.
So, let’s break that down a bit. Of these 118 cases:
- 40% were hospitalized
- 9 had pneumonia, though luckily none died.
- 105 of them had not been vaccinated.
- 45 of them were between 1-19 years old.
- 39 of the 45 age 1-19 were unvaccinated.
- 24 of those cases were because parents claimed a religious or personal exemption.
So that gives us ~100 preventable cases of a potentially fatal disease, assuming at least a few of these cases were individuals who can’t be vaccinated due to allergies or other biological concerns. Of those, 24 were children and teenagers who could easily have died. Remember folks, measles is the most infectious disease known and in 2009 alone, an estimated 164,000 people died from measles.
Man, that’s a lot of dead people from an easily preventable disease, isn’t it? Of course most of those deaths take place in poor countries where vaccination has proven difficult and expensive, though we are working on that.
So what is the argument for not vaccinating your children?
Figure 2: Admittedly, that’s a pretty good argument from where I’m standing.
This all started out because a guy named Wakefield published a study linking the vaccine and Autism (better dead than autistic, I suppose?). Of course, further research has shown no link between these beyond the fact that autism symptoms often become obvious around the same age vaccines are given in the United States. However, as discussed above: lack of vaccination has serious consequences. For those who don’t like children all that much, this could represent a significant financial burden on the country as well.
So now that everyone knows that vaccines don’t cause autism everything should be okay right? We should throw a party!
Figure 3: Not what I meant.
Well, I guess these guys aren’t that bad. I mean people have been throwing chicken pox parties to immunize kids while their young, that’s worked out okay right? I mean sure, there is a chickenpox vaccine too, but why should we use that?
Chickenpox believed to be responsible for 1/3 of all childhood strokes.
Inflammation of the brain can occur in immune-compromised individuals.
Necrotizing fasciitis is also a rare complication.
And if you happen to be pregnant….
You know what? I think I’m really sold with the Necrotizing fasciitis.
Doctor: “You can take this vaccine, or you can let nature take its course.”
Me: “Well, I’m an all-natural kind of guy, what’s the worst that can happen? ”
Doctor: “Flesh eating bacteria will eat your flesh.”
Me: “So about that vaccine….”
Of course, I know I’m preaching to the choir here. Anyone who is reading my science blog probably already knows that vaccines don’t cause autism, or they’re in my basement tied to a chair with their eyes wired open and being re-educated
What can I say? Don’t allow ignorance and misinformation to run rampant, every article mentioned above is another arrow in your quiver: fire straight and true.