About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Measles Return to Haunt US, Vaccine Fears Adding to the Problem

by Gopalan on August 25, 2008 at 12:23 PM
Font : A-A+

 Measles Return to Haunt US, Vaccine Fears Adding to the Problem

Measles have returned to haunt US. Unsubstantiated vaccine fears are adding to the problem.

About a decade ago, health officials declared an "end" to measles in the country. Now, that has changed: 131 cases of measles have been reported so far this year, more than three times the number in 2007.

Advertisement

In all 15 patients have been hospitalized as a result of measles since January last. They suffered symptoms such as high fever, dehydration and pneumonia. Four of those who were hospitalized for measles were infants.

Viral disease expert Dr. Jane Seward says the developments are indeed a reminder that Americans are still at risk for measles, an easily transmissible airborne virus.
Advertisement

"Measles, although it's not transmitting in this country, it's just a plane ride away," says Seward, deputy director for the division of viral diseases at the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"There are 20 million cases in the world, and any time people travel who are not protected through vaccination, they can bring it back if they go to a country where measles is occurring," Seward said in an interview to NPR, a prominent radio station.

Or, someone who's already infected can come to this country and spread the disease.

Either way, Seward says, the virus is increasingly finding its way to vulnerable unvaccinated populations — "mainly children whose parents have chosen not to vaccinate."

"A high proportion of those children are home-schooled. In Illinois, pretty much all of the new cases of measles were among home-schooled children — and none of them were vaccinated," she says.

Parents cite reasons like philosophical objections — which typically boil down to fears of side effects, including the development of autism.

But Dr. William Schaffner, who chairs the department of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, says there's absolutely no scientific evidence to back that up.

"The measles, German measles and mumps vaccine — or MMR, as we call it — has been given in literally billions of doses worldwide with extraordinary safety," Schaffner says.

At the same time, Schaffner says many of those parents who opt not to vaccinate should remember that measles is a devastating disease.

"Before the measles vaccine in this country, there were 400 deaths of U.S. children each year caused by measles," he says. "Measles carries serious complications, including pneumonia and encephalitis, which is a life-threatening inflammation of the brain tissue that can be caused by viral infections such as measles. Measles is a serious illness. To be cavalier and not vaccinate shocks someone like me, who has seen the devastating effects of this disease."

If children are not vaccinated and they contract measles, they are not the only ones at risk, Schaffner says. They can put other vulnerable children at risk, too.

That group includes children with cancer who are immunocompromised and cannot tolerate the vaccine while on chemotherapy. It also includes children under the age of 1, whose immune systems are not developed enough to benefit from the vaccine.

Source: Medindia
GPL/L
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Measles Xenophobia Rashes Symptom Evaluation Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked Paranoia Resistance to Change 

Recommended Reading
Measles
Measles is a viral infection with symptoms of fever,and rashes. Measles is prevented by vaccination ...
Study: Extra Early Vaccination may Help Reduce Measles Outbreaks
A new study has found that measles outbreaks in developing countries could be reduced by ......
Paranoia
Paranoia is a false belief where the individual feels unfairly targeted or persecuted by everyone el...
Rashes Symptom Evaluation
The lesions in rashes vary from small skin discolorations to large fluid-filled bullae....
Resistance to Change
Change is hard so, resistance to the same is inevitable. Overcoming the resistance to change is the ...
Top 10 Vaccine Myths Debunked
Childhood vaccination has saved many lives, yet lots more has to be done to increase awareness and e...
Xenophobia
Xenophobia can be studied from two different perspectives. First as a medical condition ‘phobia’ sec...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use