Measles makes a comeback
Just when you thought all you had to really worry about was your child washing her hands to stay healthy, now comes this report that the worst measles outbreak in 12 years has hit the United States.
Now, 131 cases in the first seven months of 2008 don’t seem like a lot. But just consider that’s more than three times the number of cases in the states in all of 2007. And a few of these recent cases have sent tots and adults to the hospital. So far, though, no deaths.
Health officials say parents who don’t want to get the shots for their children because they fear the vaccine causes autism aren't helping the situation. Studies have not shown a connection between the vaccine and autism.
And while vaccination rates are still relatively high, this New York Times story says that surveys are generally “years behind vaccination trends, and government officials say the growing number of measles outbreaks suggests that overall vaccination rates may be on the decline.”
The bad news doesn’t stop there: “Because it is virulently contagious, measles is often the first vaccine-preventable disease to reappear when vaccination rates decline.”
Now, don’t get over-alarmed. So far it appears that in nearly all of the cases, a person was traveling abroad or visiting from another country. Many of those people had not been vaccinated at all when they contracted the disease. And Florida IS NOT among the 15 states and the District of Columbia where the cases have turned up.
Still, it is good to consider all of your options as you decide whether or not to vaccinate your child. This group firmly believes that some vaccines can lead to autism.
Here are some tips on what to ask your doctor about vaccinations.
Whatever you do, think about the health of not just your child, but the children around them. It sometimes does take a village for all of us to stay healthy. Now, go wash your hands.
-- Sherry Robinson