US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

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US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby EMTP » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:32 am UTC

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Not good:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More measles cases have been found in California, health officials said Friday.

Figures released by the California Department of Public Health showed there are now 91 confirmed cases in the state, up from 79 on Wednesday.

Of those, 58 infections have been linked to visits to Disneyland or contact with a sick person who went there.


Reluctance to vaccinate or outright refusal continue to rise. Anti-vaxxers are getting a lot of flak with these measles cases, but I doubt it will move the needle on kids (and parents getting vaccinated.)

It's deeply tragic that conspiracist and anti-science and anti-intellectual beliefs are impeding this incredibly powerful, lifesaving technology.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Zamfir » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:46 am UTC

There was a measles epidemic here about a year ago, mostly among the Christian fundies. Didn't quite get this kind of media attention, though. Ended with a few thousand cases over a year, including many hospitalizations and 1 dead child.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby leady » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:17 am UTC

I thought the US avoided this sort of nonsense by forcing people to be vacinated to get into school. The UK is far far worse, we have 1000s of cases as the vax rate dropped off a cliff because of that one idiot.

Of course I'm a hypocrite to an extent because I'm not vacinated against TB because I don't like needles... is a good job I don't work in an industry surrounded by folks from the Indian subcontinent... oh wait !

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby morriswalters » Mon Feb 02, 2015 10:23 am UTC

leady wrote:I thought the US avoided this sort of nonsense by forcing people to be vacinated to get into school. The UK is far far worse, we have 1000s of cases as the vax rate dropped off a cliff because of that one idiot.

Of course I'm a hypocrite to an extent because I'm not vacinated against TB because I don't like needles... is a good job I don't work in an industry surrounded by folks from the Indian subcontinent... oh wait !
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby BlackSails » Mon Feb 02, 2015 12:48 pm UTC

leady wrote:I thought the US avoided this sort of nonsense by forcing people to be vacinated to get into school. The UK is far far worse, we have 1000s of cases as the vax rate dropped off a cliff because of that one idiot.

Of course I'm a hypocrite to an extent because I'm not vacinated against TB because I don't like needles... is a good job I don't work in an industry surrounded by folks from the Indian subcontinent... oh wait !


The TB vaccine is sort of a different case

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:00 pm UTC

leady wrote:I thought the US avoided this sort of nonsense by forcing people to be vacinated to get into school. The UK is far far worse, we have 1000s of cases as the vax rate dropped off a cliff because of that one idiot.

Of course I'm a hypocrite to an extent because I'm not vacinated against TB because I don't like needles... is a good job I don't work in an industry surrounded by folks from the Indian subcontinent... oh wait !


It depends. Religious exemptions are allowed in some cases(other reasons also exist, some of which, like medical reasons for going unvaccinated, are quite legitimate). It's not THAT bad so long as these exemptions are seldom. And to a certain degree in the general population, they are. However, these folks are not randomly distributed, but appear in clusters. This means that locally, herd immunity can be compromised even if a high percentage of the overall population is vaccinated.

Being ex-mil, I'm vaccinated against everything they can imagine. Military frigging loves needles. However, that doesn't guarantee safety, of course. Vaccination is not quite 100% effective(actual effectiveness varies depending on vaccine). Therefore, even if you ARE vaccinated, large masses of unvaccinated people threaten your safety.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby charliepanayi » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:30 pm UTC

leady wrote:I thought the US avoided this sort of nonsense by forcing people to be vacinated to get into school. The UK is far far worse, we have 1000s of cases as the vax rate dropped off a cliff because of that one idiot.


To be precise, one idiot plus the media all lining up to spout BS without looking at the facts.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Tirian » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:57 am UTC

charliepanayi wrote:To be precise, one idiot plus the media all lining up to spout BS without looking at the facts.


But to be frank, the scientific reporting about the current crisis has also chosen their own facts to promote. I'm having a little trouble using Google to find an unbiased source of the number of people who have died of measles in the United States lately, because only the anti-vaxxers and Wikipedia are reporting that it's zero. I have no patience for people who are concerned about a link with autism that has been debunked and disproven time and and again, but the actual dangers to the vaccinated and unvaccinatable communities seem to be similarly elusive at this point, and the dangers self-imposed by the anti-vaxxers seem to be containable by the modern medical community.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby morriswalters » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:01 am UTC

It may well be zero. So? It was almost wiped out. I hadn't seen a case since I was a child. The same with whooping cough. I guess they won't be satisfied until polio makes a return to the US as well.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Tirian » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:40 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:So?


So I want to be on the side that argues for making decisions based on significantly valid statistical data rather than fear-based hypothetical modeling. If we're going to be chiding Americans for not making voluntary choices that would otherwise benefit the common good, let's put more effort the choices that demonstrably cause harm.

And if you're arguing that measles and polio are similar diseases in any way, get a grip.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby charliepanayi » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:33 am UTC

Well they're both similar in that they're both pretty devastating.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:52 am UTC

Tirian wrote:
morriswalters wrote:So?


So I want to be on the side that argues for making decisions based on significantly valid statistical data rather than fear-based hypothetical modeling. If we're going to be chiding Americans for not making voluntary choices that would otherwise benefit the common good, let's put more effort the choices that demonstrably cause harm.

And if you're arguing that measles and polio are similar diseases in any way, get a grip.
A man died of measles in Wales in 2013 which I remember hearing about.

Actually, measles and polio probably isn't as bad a comparison as you think? Most people who get the polio virus don't get any symptoms, and then there's a range after that going all the way up to needing ventilation, and while measles encephalitis is extremely rare, there's not much to do supportivewise for it to kill you, while polio 'just' requires ventilation until it's cleared (obviously polio these days is generally in places where ventilation is not that easy).

Measles also can also cause long term disability, such as hearing loss and heart damage, and is particularly dangerous to the foetus. However, most people with a measles infection gets some sort of symptom, whereas most people with a polio infection never know that they had it.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Zamfir » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:17 am UTC

Angua wrote:However, most people with a measles infection gets some sort of symptom, whereas most people with a polio infection never know that they had it.

Yeah, that's crucial. People have a benign image of measles, ironically because even the mild cases are highly unpleasant. So the image of the disease is formed by the mild cases, not the dead extreme cases. While polio's image is formed by the visibly paralyzed survivors of extreme cases.

The death rate of measles is on the order of 1-in-thousands, for well-fed healthy people. Not a major worry for individual cases, but it's caught once by almost everyone in non-vaccinated populations.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby leady » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:27 am UTC

I remember back in the day when all the kids at primary just got all this diseases (well bar polio, smallpox) as a matter of course :)

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby morriswalters » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:32 am UTC

Tirian wrote:So I want to be on the side that argues for making decisions based on significantly valid statistical data rather than fear-based hypothetical modeling. If we're going to be chiding Americans for not making voluntary choices that would otherwise benefit the common good, let's put more effort the choices that demonstrably cause harm.

And if you're arguing that measles and polio are similar diseases in any way, get a grip.
Other than that you prevent it with a vaccine, no. And the data already exits for what measles can do, the only doubt lies in how good herd immunity is. Measles isn't something new and neither is mumps or whooping cough or polio. The only difference is, that a generation hasn't had to live with them, to the point that they don't fear them as did previous generations. If no one has died of measles than it is only a matter of time if it becomes widespread again.

From the CDC.
In 1912, measles became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States, requiring U.S. healthcare providers and laboratories to report all diagnosed cases. In the first decade of reporting, an average of 6,000 measles-related deaths were reported each year.

In the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. It is estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year. Also each year an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby elasto » Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:13 pm UTC

A perspective on measles from Roald Dahl from 1986:

Measles: A Dangerous Illness

Olivia, my eldest daughter, caught measles when she was seven years old. As the illness took its usual course I can remember reading to her often in bed and not feeling particularly alarmed about it. Then one morning, when she was well on the road to recovery, I was sitting on her bed showing her how to fashion little animals out of coloured pipe-cleaners, and when it came to her turn to make one herself, I noticed that her fingers and her mind were not working together and she couldn't do anything.

"Are you feeling all right?" I asked her.

"I feel all sleepy," she said.

In an hour, she was unconscious. In twelve hours she was dead.

The measles had turned into a terrible thing called measles encephalitis and there was nothing the doctors could do to save her. That was twenty-four years ago in 1962, but even now, if a child with measles happens to develop the same deadly reaction from measles as Olivia did, there would still be nothing the doctors could do to help her.

On the other hand, there is today something that parents can do to make sure that this sort of tragedy does not happen to a child of theirs. They can insist that their child is immunised against measles. I was unable to do that for Olivia in 1962 because in those days a reliable measles vaccine had not been discovered. Today a good and safe vaccine is available to every family and all you have to do is to ask your doctor to administer it.

It is not yet generally accepted that measles can be a dangerous illness. Believe me, it is. In my opinion parents who now refuse to have their children immunised are putting the lives of those children at risk. In America, where measles immunisation is compulsory, measles like smallpox, has been virtually wiped out.

Here in Britain, because so many parents refuse, either out of obstinacy or ignorance or fear, to allow their children to be immunised, we still have a hundred thousand cases of measles every year. Out of those, more than 10,000 will suffer side effects of one kind or another. At least 10,000 will develop ear or chest infections. About 20 will die.

LET THAT SINK IN.

Every year around 20 children will die in Britain from measles.

So what about the risks that your children will run from being immunised?

They are almost non-existent. Listen to this. In a district of around 300,000 people, there will be only one child every 250 years who will develop serious side effects from measles immunisation! That is about a million to one chance. I should think there would be more chance of your child choking to death on a chocolate bar than of becoming seriously ill from a measles immunisation.

So what on earth are you worrying about? It really is almost a crime to allow your child to go unimmunised.

The ideal time to have it done is at 13 months, but it is never too late. All school-children who have not yet had a measles immunisation should beg their parents to arrange for them to have one as soon as possible.

Incidentally, I dedicated two of my books to Olivia, the first was 'James and the Giant Peach'. That was when she was still alive. The second was 'The BFG', dedicated to her memory after she had died from measles. You will see her name at the beginning of each of these books. And I know how happy she would be if only she could know that her death had helped to save a good deal of illness and death among other children.


And a view from Melinda Gates:

"We take vaccines so for granted in the United States," Gates told the Huffington Post in a prerecorded interview published on Thursday. "Women in the developing world know the power of [vaccines]. They will walk 10 kilometers in the heat with their child and line up to get a vaccine, because they have seen death. [Americans have] forgotten what measles deaths look like."

She added, "I'd say to the people of the United States: we're incredibly lucky to have that technology and we ought to take full advantage of it."

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Mokele » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:So I want to be on the side that argues for making decisions based on significantly valid statistical data rather than fear-based hypothetical modeling. If we're going to be chiding Americans for not making voluntary choices that would otherwise benefit the common good, let's put more effort the choices that demonstrably cause harm.


In the US, the lethality rate of measles (1 in 1000) is roughly comparable to that of venomous snakebite (1 in 500, all species combined). Does that mean we can discount any sort of danger from venomous snakes? Or that children should be encouraged to come to school with their pet diamondback and let other students play with it? After all, there's still only a 1 in 500 chance of death, and many recover with minimal long-term effects if treated rapidly and effectively. And for certain species (sidewinders, copperheads), it's much less dangerous than measles (even untreated), and many individuals calm down quite nicely in captivity.

My point is that a 1 in 1000 fatality rate may not be ebola or the T virus, but it's actually comparable to events that we regard are serious medical emergencies - snakebite, car crashes, etc. - and should be treated similarly. I don't take stupid chances when handling vipers and don't put other handlers in danger, nor do I expose people to that danger without their consent, and I expect people to do the same with communicable diseases.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby sardia » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:56 pm UTC

How about we sic the abortion conservatives tactics on them? 'You must obtain vaccine exemptions from a fancy doctor who has received extra training to shame people, you must watch sad pictures of crippled babies, you must travel pay a safety fee, no government money will be spent on anti vaccinations, you can only apply for exemptions in a time restricted window, etc etc.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:35 pm UTC

I vote that whenever we have an outbreak of preventable diseases in a way significantly attributable to declined vaccinations, we bill everyone who declined that vaccination without a medical reason for an equal share of the costs of fighting it.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:12 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:I vote that whenever we have an outbreak of preventable diseases in a way significantly attributable to declined vaccinations, we bill everyone who declined that vaccination without a medical reason for an equal share of the costs of fighting it.
I'm seeing a hilarious similarity to people who live in tornado ally or hurricane areas.

A few articles are making the rounds now on Rand Paul and Chris Christie basically being anti-vax - it's going to make arguing about the 2016 elections much much more simple.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:42 pm UTC

Spoilered for huge.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby sardia » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:06 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:I vote that whenever we have an outbreak of preventable diseases in a way significantly attributable to declined vaccinations, we bill everyone who declined that vaccination without a medical reason for an equal share of the costs of fighting it.
I'm seeing a hilarious similarity to people who live in tornado ally or hurricane areas.

A few articles are making the rounds now on Rand Paul and Chris Christie basically being anti-vax - it's going to make arguing about the 2016 elections much much more simple.

I hope it doesn't turn out as poorly as the rate hikes in disaster insurance did. The idiots living there threw a huge fit about the ' unjustified' increases. Iirc, we backed down.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:51 pm UTC

It would likely be somewhat hard to get passed, yes. But there IS an externality there. Some sort of payment to try to cope with the damage caused seems quite fair.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby speising » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:54 pm UTC

the only ones suffering from a measles outbreak would be people not vaccinated, won't they?

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby sardia » Tue Feb 03, 2015 6:56 pm UTC

speising wrote:the only ones suffering from a measles outbreak would be people not vaccinated, won't they?

Herd immunity m isn't for the benefit of the crazies. Its for the immuno compromised and babies.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Angua » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:03 pm UTC

Yeah, and also the fact that vaccines are not 100% so some people who get vaccinated are not immune (this is one of the reasons for booster shots).

But it's mainly to protect babies, and the elderly (who are often a bit immunocompromised) (these are the two largest populations, but then you have everyone else who is also immunocompromised/unable to be vaccinated for varying reasons).
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Zamfir » Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:31 pm UTC

I found some relevant graphs from our last epidemic. The disease does hit vaccinated people, although in minority.

Registered cases, by age group. Blue is unvaccinated, yellow vaccinated. Black line is incidence
Image

Hospitalisations
Image

Less relevant for USAsians, though perhaps interesting:
Spoiler:
The 'Here be fundies ' map.

Image

And a time line. Apparently, the disease hits the entire pool, and then it has to wait for a fresh generation to become large enough.
Image

The large peaks are the calvinists. The small peaks in between are followers of Rudolf Steiner, another pool of nutters.

The groups seem to be socially completely separated, leading to independent disease rhythms.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:16 pm UTC

speising wrote:the only ones suffering from a measles outbreak would be people not vaccinated, won't they?


Negative. No vaccine is perfect. Sometimes the immunity becomes merely resistance, or fades altogether. In addition, immunocompromised people may not be able to be vaccinated, and newborn babies are unvaccinated for a time.

So long as the proportion of unvaccinated people is small, the risk is small, because the disease, if caught, tends not to get passed on before getting snuffed out. If you get pockets of people who reject the vaccine, that risk grows. Sometimes, quite significantly, depending on the precise numbers involved.

If they were only putting themselves at risk, I wouldn't care one iota. Free country and all that. When they are putting others at risk, though, we have a genuine concern. I don't know if paying for the additional treatment needed is enough to make up for the additional risk, but...it's a start, anyway.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby qetzal » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:55 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:So I want to be on the side that argues for making decisions based on significantly valid statistical data rather than fear-based hypothetical modeling. If we're going to be chiding Americans for not making voluntary choices that would otherwise benefit the common good, let's put more effort the choices that demonstrably cause harm.

And if you're arguing that measles and polio are similar diseases in any way, get a grip.


Just to drive home the point further, that measles is far from a benign disease, here is a paper from 2004 discussing how measles had been eliminated from the US. (Not any more, sadly.) The end of the first paragraph says:

A resurgence of measles occurred during 1989–1991, again demonstrating the serious medical burden of the disease. More than 55,000 cases, 123 deaths, and 11,000 hospitalizations were reported [7]. Two major causes of this epidemic were vaccine failure among a small percentage of school-aged children who had received 1 dose of measles vaccine and low measles vaccine coverage among preschool-aged children.


That's one death for every 447 cases, and one hospitalization for every 5 cases! And note that this was relatively recently, so you can't plausibly argue that general improvements in medical care would have greatly reduced death & hospitalization rates since then.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:05 pm UTC

Assume half the people would get measles. That would mean 4-5000 Americans would die every year. Tens of thousands more disabled. Izzat whutuwant?

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Derek » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:30 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm seeing a hilarious similarity to people who live in tornado ally or hurricane areas.

(I'm not sure if I'm misreading your post, but I'm going to take it at face value)

You can't really avoid having cities in tornado alley or hurricane prone areas. Those areas are economically important, much more so than the damage from natural disasters. Tornado alley is huge and contains much of the farmland in the US. Those farms also need towns and cities to support them. It also contains most of the Mississippi/Missouri rivers, which are an important to transportation (admittedly less so than they used to be) connecting the midwest to the south east. Hurricane prone areas are the same. That constitutes basically the entire south east coast from Texas to Virginia up to a hundred miles inland. This includes numerous major ports, popular tourist locations, other cities, and the entire state of Florida.

While we're at it, what about California and their earthquakes and wildfires? The northeast and their blizzards? Every part of the country has natural disasters, you can't just remove everyone from them to avoid the damage.

Now I will agree that every area should pay their own natural disaster costs (amortized through insurance). In particular, federal flood insurance is a pretty hefty subsidy to many hurricane prone areas, and I would like to see it removed. But millions of people will still live in these areas, you can't change that.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby morriswalters » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:10 am UTC

The issue isn't really will there be a lot of deaths with the measles. But what levels compliance do we find acceptable for vaccinations. I think Tirian was speaking to the point, "How worried do we need to be?". The obvious answer is not very much as long as we can maintain high rates of vaccinations. I don't think we need to get out pitchforks and torches yet. Having said that antivaxxers aren't welcome around me.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:23 am UTC

The problem is though, levels of vaccination aren't high enough at the moment. If they were, then we wouldn't be having outbreaks.

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:25 am UTC

I just say hold people liable for reckless endangerment or something when someone gets sick.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Angua » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:42 am UTC

Crabtree's bludgeon: “no set of mutually inconsistent observations can exist for which some human intellect cannot conceive a coherent explanation, however complicated”
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Derek » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:45 am UTC

Yeah, vaccination rates are falling dangerously low. And given that anti-vaxxers are not randomly distributed, they form reservoirs where the disease can remain active indefinitely. If the disease become endemic again, that greatly raises the risk to the people who cannot be vaccinated or for whom vaccines are ineffective.

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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:50 am UTC


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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby morriswalters » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:57 am UTC

Angua wrote:The problem is though, levels of vaccination aren't high enough at the moment. If they were, then we wouldn't be having outbreaks.

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html
Not if you want near zero cases. Is that realistic? From the CDC.
Editorial Note

Measles elimination has been maintained in the United States since it was declared in 2000. However, an estimated 20 million cases of measles occur each year worldwide, and cases continue to be imported into the United States. The increase in measles cases in the United States in 2013 serves as a reminder that imported measles cases can result in large outbreaks, particularly if introduced into areas with pockets of unvaccinated persons.

During 2013, nearly two thirds of the cases came from three outbreaks. In these outbreaks, transmission occurred after introduction of measles into communities with pockets of persons unvaccinated because of philosophical or religious beliefs. This allowed for spread to occur, mainly in households and community gatherings, before public health interventions could be implemented. Despite progress in global measles control and elimination, measles importations are likely to continue posing risks of measles outbreaks in unvaccinated communities. Maintaining high MMR vaccination coverage is essential to prevent measles outbreaks and sustain measles elimination in the United States.
Maybe we should just forbid international travel for unvaccinated individuals and their families.

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Diadem
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:38 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:If they were only putting themselves at risk, I wouldn't care one iota.

First of all, stupid people are still people, and still deserve our care.

Secondly, they are never putting themselves at risk, but their children. Are you saying a 9 year old unvaccinated child dying of measles has only herself to blame?
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

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Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
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Re: US measles outbreak as fewer parents vaccinate

Postby Zamfir » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:54 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Secondly, they are never putting themselves at risk, but their children.

Then again, we generally accept that parents make decisions on behalf of their children, including decisions about risk. For most purposes, we give parents a similar authority over their (young) children as over their own lives, almost if the kids are extensions of their parents. As long as they do not abuse that power, and act as careful for their kids as they act for themselves.

Which I think most anti-vaxxers do. They don't vaccinate themselves either, they don't begrudge their parents for not vaccinating them as kid. They honestly try to make the best decision for their kids as they would for themselves, even if I think that decision complete craziness.

I don't have to like it, I might try to change their minds, but I'll accept parental authority. Or more exactly: I believe that parental authority should in such cases be treated on equal footing with adult authority over their own lives. Parents can be forced to vaccinate their kids, to the same extent that we force adults to vaccinate themselves. For their own good or for public health.


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