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One State Has Massive Measles Outbreak - Anti-Vaxxers Are Likely To Blame

According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 1912, the measles were nationally notified as an infectious disease in the U.S., requiring all health care providers and labs to report diagnosed cases. On average, 6,000 people died every year of the disease. By the 1960s, 3 to 4 million were infected every year, including almost every child. Nearly 50,000 were hospitalized. Approximately 4,000 of them would suffer from a dangerous measles side effect, encephalitis (brain swelling), and nearly 500 children died every year from the common childhood disease.

When vaccines were developed, health care providers breathed a sigh of relief. In 1978, the Centers for Disease Control set a goal to eradicate the disease by 1982. They didn't meet the goal, but cases of measles, as well as complications and deaths from it, dropped dramatically.

Now, measles are on the rise again, and they're back with a vengeance.

Minnesota is being hit particularly hard by the disease. In 2017, there have already been 75 cases of the measles. Of those who have contracted the disease, only three are adults.

Seventy-five may not seem like a lot compared to the 1960s, but for a disease that was supposed to have been eliminated more than 30 years ago, it is a lot. Minnesota has more cases than the rest of the U.S. combined.

According to the CDC, the anti-vaccination movement is the cause of the comeback. Some 92 percent of those who contracted the measles this year were unvaccinated. “Many of the cases could have been prevented if people had gotten vaccinated," said Kristen Ehresmann, director of the Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division at the state's Department of Health, reports CNN.

“There is no antiviral medicine against measles. All we can do is provide IV fluids, oxygen and support and hope they survive," Ehresmann added, noting that the disease can cause permanent damage to the lungs and brain.

So-called 'anti-vax' groups try to frighten parents by touting false or outdated information about the seriousness of measles, and the dangers of vaccinations. Parents mistrustful of corporations believe pharmacies and the government are putting children's lives at risk to earn money through vaccinations. What the parents sucked in by the propaganda fail to realize, however, is that anti-vaxxing is a lucrative business as well, hoping to make money from parents at the risk of their children.

The outbreak in Minnesota is believed to have begun in a small Somali refugee community about a decade ago. According to Fox News, anti-vax advocates went into the community touting studies about autism being linked to vaccines. The problem is that the work of Andrew Wakefield, the researcher who made the claim, has been completely debunked.

Unfortunately, vaccination rates in the community plummeted, and now cases of the measles are rising.

Source: Independent Journal Review
Photo: YouTube

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