A measles outbreak in Orange County is the worst in California so far this year, and it isn’t over yet. Officials expect it to get worse because more and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children.
According to the NBC affiliate in Los Angeles, the county outbreak has reached a state high 21 cases so far this year, five of which have involved children. Statewide the numbers are even worse. As of March 28, the California Department of Public Health states that they have received “reports of 49 confirmed measles cases in California residents so far this year. This time last year, only four measles cases had been reported.”
California Healthline is reporting “The number of California kindergarten students who have not been vaccinated because of their parents’ beliefs or concerns has increased by 15 percent over the past year, according to data from the state Department of Public Health.”
But, hey! Guess what? Health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated because it totally prevents measles! Isn’t that amazing? There is, like, a shot you can get that will keep your child from getting this deadly disease.
“There are pockets of activity in Orange County where parents believe that immunizations are not important nor necessary,” Dr. Eric Handler, director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, tells NBC.
Measles is highly infectious and particularly detrimental to people with underlying health conditions and the very young. If I were living in Orange County with my newborn right now I’d be pretty ticked off as kids generally don’t get their MMR vaccines until they’re a year old. Measles can be deadly and it isn’t something to mess around with.
All the children who contracted measles haven’t been immunized. It’s worth noting, again, that The American Academy of Pediatrics, citing studies on thousands of children, maintains that vaccines are safe and necessary. The World Health Organization says no credible evidence links vaccines and autism.
“Do vaccines cause autism? The answer is no,” Dr. Mark Sawyer, a specialist in pediatric diseases at the University of California, San Diego says. “Do they compromise the immune system? The answer is no.”
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