The anti-vaccination crowd, let by such worthies as professional bimbo Jenny McCarthy (above), endangers the public health and undermines child safety by relying on various conspiracy theories and quacks to avoid a proven program of eradicating infectious diseases. Now measles, once considered extinct, has returned with a vengeance, with more reported cases in 2014 than any time since 2000.The reason is that not enough children are being vaccinated against it. Jenny and her pals are why.
Before measles vaccines became routine in 1963, between three and four million Americans a year got the disease, with 400 to 500 dying from it annually. So this isn’t a matter of kids getting the sniffles.
Dr. James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the outbreak was “100 percent connected” to the anti-immunization campaign. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise — it wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” he said. “There are some pretty dumb people out there.”…“The majority of the cases that we are seeing here are underimmunized,” said Dr. Eric G. Handler, the public health officer for Orange County, referring to children who had not been vaccinated or had received only one of the two necessary shots. “This is a serious contagious disease that is preventable. The message is absolutely critical that if you are not vaccinated, you need to get vaccinated.”
Yet in a case of stupid meeting stupid—a perfect stupid storm—the anti-vaxxers in Californians can avoid the legal requirement to have their kids vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella because Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing parents can get a “personal belief waiver” if they think there’s a link between vaccines and autism and other harmful effects.
Since when is there a right to be stupid, if being stupid might kill your child, or make another child sick? This isn’t a religious freedom issue; it’s an “I can do whatever I damn please” issue, which you wouldn’t think would get too far in a nanny state like California. If a parent can’t claim that his or her religion mandates stupidity, the form California makes available just requires a doctor certifying that the parent has been informed of all of the risks that the parent refuses to believe. Then it’s Welcome Measles!
A new study this week finds strong evidence that people who rejected vaccines for their young children are clustered together in the same communities. And that only increases the risk that measles — a highly contagious respiratory disease that was believed to have been eradicated 15 years ago — will spread to more children.Researchers analyzing records for about 55,000 children born in 13 northern California counties between 2010 and 2012 found five geographic clusters of 3-year-olds with significantly higher rates of vaccine refusal. These included East Bay (10.2 percent refusal rate); Marin and southwest Sonoma counties (6.6 percent refusal); northeastern San Francisco (7.4 percent); northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville (5.5 percent); and south of Sacramento (13.5 percent). By comparison, the vaccine refusal rate outside these clusters is 2.6 percent, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics. These are some of the most privileged parts of the Bay Area, although South Bay counties around Silicon Valley aren’t on the list. The median household income in Marin is $90,535, compared to $61,094 in the state of California.
Thus Orange County, so called anti-vaxxer “Ground Zero,’ also leads the nation in measles outbreaks. The following chart shows dramatically what stupidity has wrought:
California and the other twenty of so states that allow parents to threaten the health of the population because of “beliefs” need to start thinking. They don’t let people abuse gays because they believe they are sinners; they don’t let white supremacists who himself believe blacks are inferior refuse to serve them food; they don’t let employers who believe women should be kept barefoot and pregnant run their staffs accordingly. This misbegotten “belief” is as ignorant and harmful as any of those. If you want to be stupid, fine: just know that your children will have to wear Hazmat suits to school and when they visit Disneyland.
I suspect they won’t like that.
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