March 21, 2014 |
To vaccinate or not to vaccinate. That ... really shouldn't be the question. But for some reason it is in America. Deadly diseases such as measles and polio are no longer a threat to the majority of vaccinated Americans. (As The Times' editorial board recently wrote : “Vaccination doesn't immunize every person who gets the shots; some of the recent California cases were among people who had been vaccinated.”) Despite widespread fears, scientific consensus has shown no correlation between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
March 17, 2014 |
And now, New York City. Measles is spreading in upper Manhattan and the Bronx, according to public health authorities in New York. About 16 cases have turned up, including two that involved contagion in doctors' offices. Outbreaks have also been reported in the Boston area , Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles . Much of the current outbreak is traceable to the Philippines, where the disease is raging and easily spread to unvaccinated travelers. They come home to the U.S., where the virus is finding a surprising welcome. Health experts add these to the tally of the anti-vaccination movement, which is based almost entirely on a long since debunked and withdrawn paper published in Britain in 1998.
February 27, 2014 |
The state of California issued an advisory on measles last week. Though only about a dozen cases have been reported so far, many more people have been exposed to the virus. In the Bay Area, thousands were warned to watch for signs of the disease after a man who'd been infected on a trip to Asia rode a BART train. In Los Angeles, far more people than necessary were exposed to measles because doctors failed to report two patients' cases immediately. One had traveled to Asia; the other had been exposed to a recently infected traveler.
February 25, 2014
Re "As flu passes, new threat rises," Feb. 22 The Times reports on a new outbreak of measles in California, with nearly half of those affected having opted against childhood vaccination by using the state's personal beliefs exemption. Like the flu, measles can be a deadly disease; if it doesn't kill, it may result in lifelong disability. Equally significant, those vaccine objectors who "go bare" and then fall victim to infection may expose many others to cross-infection. Available vaccines, while proved safe and effective for many of those who are at risk, are admittedly not perfect.
February 19, 2014 |
UPDATE: This post has been updated as explained below. In yet another sign of the perils and irresponsibility of the anti-vaccination movement, thousands of riders of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system are being warned that they may have been exposed to measles -- a disease that was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000 but has since returned. The latest threat comes from an unnamed and unvaccinated UC Berkeley student who apparently contracted...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 14, 2014 |
Bay Area officials say scores of commuters and other residents may have recently been exposed to measles after a UC Berkeley student who has the virus attended classes and took public transit. The student, who was not identified, took a Bay Area Rapid Transit train from his home in Contra Costa County to the college campus to attend class, officials said. "Measles is a serious, highly contagious disease," said Berkeley's health officer, Dr. Janet Berreman. "It spreads through the air, when an infected person coughs or sneezes.