In the Pacific Northwest 54 are confirmed infected with the once eradicated measles, as an outbreak also emerges in Texas.
A large measles outbreak in Washington state shows no sign of abating.
According to the State Department of Health, there are now at least 54 cases of the illness, all but one of which were located in Clark County, Washington, just across the river from Portland, Oregon. Directly to the south, the Oregon Health Authority has reported at least four cases. Within Clark County, the vast majority of diagnoses are of children 10 years old or younger.
Measles — an airborne virus that can lead to lung infections, brain damage, and death in the worst cases — was responsible for thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year prior to the discovery of a vaccine in 1963. Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but in the last year, there has been a worldwide resurgence of the virus, with cases increasing 30 percent, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). One of the main drivers of this trend is a growing reluctance to vaccinate children, so much so that the WHO listed the anti-vaccination movement as one of its top ten threats to global health in 2019.
“The reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines…threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases,” the WHO report reads. “The reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are complex; a vaccines advisory group to WHO identified complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence are the key reasons for the underlying hesitancy.”
A French neonatal specialist named Dr Arnaud Gagneur has created a "vaccine counselling" program within Quebec's health-care system that uses a non-judgmental technique called "motivational interviewing" with parents of newborns to allay their fears about vaccines.
A Pentagon cybersecurity contractor threatened to murder Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) if she advanced a bill to vaccinate children in public schools, The Daily Beast reports today. Yes, we are in a dystopian hellscape.
Peter Beinart has written a piece for The Atlantic that uses the measles epidemic as a pretty good example of what is happening to our society as a whole. Our amnesia about vaccines is part of a broader forgetting. Prior generations of Americans understood the danger of zero-sum economic nationalism, for instance, because its results […]
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