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Unvaccinated Children Cause Measles Outbreak

I found this article…a little inflammatory, don’t you think? Here’s what it says:

Some parents’ refusal to vaccinate children seems to be behind the highest rate of measles cases reported since 1996, federal officials said Thursday.

Between Jan. 1 and July 31 of this year, 131 measles cases have been reported in the United States, many of them among children whose parents have philosophical or religious objections to the vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 15 patients, including four children 15 months or younger, were hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

By comparison, 55 cases of measles were reported in 2006, 66 in 2005, 37 in 2004, 56 in 2003 and 44 in 2002, for an average of about 64 per year.

Since we have many readers of this blog that don’t vaccinate and some that do, this seems to be a good topic of discussion. For the record, I did vaccinate my son, finally but not completely and waffled a lot about it.

What do you think? Is this hyperbole? Is it a real concern?

Photo Credit: tomeppy at Flickr Under Creative Commons License

Related Posts About Vaccinations:

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Spacing and Splitting Up Vaccinations – Not As Easy As It Seems

Mother’s Milk: A “Human Vaccine” Against Infection

Environmental Mercury and Autism – Are Vaccines Still a Culprit?


  1. Los Angeles occasionally has outbreaks of measles and mumps. We have tremendous migration here and many caregivers are refugees from 3rd world countries.

    I don’t think it’s inflammatory, I think it’s a reality.

  2. I’m sorry, but I just do not see Measles, Mumps or Rubella as anything that needs to be vaccinated for. Although they are highly contagious, you are also unlikely to get sick from them after the first time. Just like chicken pox, it makes more sense to me to give my children a lifetime immunity than to inject their pure little bodies with foreign substances and pretend everything will be okay.

    I know exactly how to treat any and every disease my children may contract that immunizations supposedly protect from. None of them scare me more than the injections themselves. Knowledge is key. Learn how to nurse your children when they’re sick and you’ll be just fine.

    • I’m sorry, you have been very misled.
      You do get sick from diseases from the get go – some are quite fatal actually (like measles for one kid in every 2000).

      But glad to know that you can “treat” every disease – can you save your child from the effects of fulminant meningococcal sepsis if it strikes (it can kill within one to two hours)? Perhaps you can get a new job in pediatric intensive care, or in an ER.

      Knowledge is the key, but incorrect knowledge (your sort) is not.

  3. Classic inflammatory fear-mongering.

    131 cases out of how many people? And if you vaccinate, then you’ve got no worries, right? So what exactly is the point of the article?

    Yes, some places are more susceptible to “outbreaks”, but putting the blame onto parents that choose to not participate in automatic mass vaccinations is silly.

    In my neck of the woods, it’s West Nile disease that freaks people out. And some do get sick, but not many…

    Some people want the government to kill all the snakes for them. Life is risky.

  4. I agree with Jessica, it’s more reality. It doesn’t make me angry just sad that we’re having outbreaks.

  5. Well, statistically 131 cases in the entire country is really, really tiny. I would be very interested to see hard data with population numbers, vaccinated numbers, and cases. I find it very hard to believe that a lesser total percentage are vaccinated today than were in 1996.

    Back to the #131. In the WHOLE US? Wow, that’s impressive – almost bordering on nil.

  6. cchiovitti I tend to agree with you that 131 is statistically insignificant. If I lived in a more remote setting I might care less. I suspect that here in Los Angeles the number might be 131 and it’s completely under-reported because of migration fears.

    FYI I’ve been known to let my kids ride their bikes without a helmet in the park. I know, I suck.

    I don’t have kids who are medically fragile so a lot of this doesn’t panic me, the thought of an entire community skipping immunizations does alarm me though.

    And I say this with no judgment whatsoever. Truly, I’ll let you know when I’m judging! :)

  7. Karen Black says:

    Katie, you wrote my thoughts word for word, the only thing I have to add is this: So, out of 131 cases, about 15 were hospitalized (meaning they must have had a more serious reaction than the majority of the population)…. how many of those kids who were vaccinated for MMR have had significant and serious side effects from the vaccine??? When I went to research this subject, it seems there are hundreds and hundreds out there who know or suspect that a vaccine harmed or killed their child. I’ll take my chances with the actual illness.

  8. littlecindy says:

    Of the 95 patients eligible for vaccination, 63 were unvaccinated because of their or their parents’ philosophical or religious beliefs,” the CDC said.

    what about the other 32? they were vaccinated and still got the measles. doesn’t sound too effective…

  9. Oh my, what a wonderful discussion.

    I think I’ll shelve the post I’d intended for tomorrow and instead talk about the time I spent in the NICU with my youngest.

    Not to be inflammatory.
    And I’m not kidding.

  10. Great comments –

    I really thought this post might let us discuss a little how we all feel about vaccinations in the larger social context…a discussion which I feel is somewhat under the radar when vaccines are brought up.

    To answer Karen’s question:

    (how many of those kids who were vaccinated for MMR have had significant and serious side effects from the vaccine.

    I did a little research (references below) and it looks like serious side effects are really, really rare so I guess 131 cases is pretty alarming to those who keep track of these things.

    The better question is probably – what if we all didn’t vaccinate? What would the numbers look like then? Pulling out old mortality numbers probably isn’t applicable because of advances in treatment options.




  11. I had a blood test a while ago showing immunity to measles, but have never been vaccinated for it and never had it (at least no symptoms). Debating now what to do for my newborn… There does seem to be a correlation between the increasing number of required vaccinations and the rise in chronic diseases. I prefer acute over chronic as long as the acute doesn’t cause death. Death from measles is rare in this country.

    “I know exactly how to treat any and every disease my children may contract that immunizations supposedly protect from. None of them scare me more than the injections themselves. Knowledge is key. Learn how to nurse your children when they’re sick and you’ll be just fine.”
    Could you suggest good reference books?

  12. It’s actually teens and young adults usually who start the outbreaks. They get it because the effect of the vaccine has worn off at that point. Rather than preventing measles, the vaccines are just shifting the effected population. Why don’t you see this in the news???

  13. Jeanne Place says:

    As you make the decision not to vaccinate a child, do you think of the ramafications later in that child’s life? What if they want to join the military? They can’t without vaccinations. What if they want to travel to Europe or elsewhere? They can’t without vaccinations. Your parents made the decision to vaccinate you and you didn’t turn out bad 😉

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