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As Measle Cases Spread in U.S., So Does Anxiety (Julie Turkewitz and Damien Cave, The New York Times) There are only a small number of cases (90 in the U.S. and Mexico combined) but the wide geographic distribution has health officials concerned. Only one hot spot has been identified with 52 of the cases linked to Disneyland in California. The number of cases has been trending higher since the disease was declared "eradicated" in the U.S. in 2000, with more than 600 cases reported in 2014. This is partly due to some choosing not to vaccinate their children combined with an effectiveness rate less than 100% leaving million still susceptible to the disease. Officials say that this is a critical point for identification of those with the disease and effective quarantine to prevent a much larger outbreak. See also next article.
Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles (Jack Healy and Michael Paulson, The New York Times) There is an active anti-vaccine movement in the U.S. as advocates aay they fear adverse side effects, most common among them autism. From the NYT:
The anti-vaccine movement can largely be traced to a 1998 report in a medical journal that suggested a link between vaccines and autism but was later proved fraudulent and retracted. Today, the waves of parents who shun vaccines include some who still believe in the link and some, like the Amish, who have religious objections to vaccines. Then there is a particular subculture of largely wealthy and well-educated families, many living in palmy enclaves around Los Angeles and San Francisco, who are trying to carve out “all-natural” lives for their children.
The article cites high percentages of unvaccinated children in some communities, such as "50 to 60 percent of their kindergartners" in some schools in Orange County, California. For the entire county 90% are vaccinated, only slighly below the statewide average of 90.4%. Other communities near San Fransisco report report 25% to 58% incomplete vaccination records.
With the newly reported cases doctors and agencies across the county report a ground swell of requests for vaccination.
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