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Anti-vaccine campaigns are threatening the return of measles

The coming dark age: The ignorant and mindless campaigns against vaccination is making it more likely that the U.S. will see a return of major measles epidemics.

Researchers Nathan Lo and Dr. Peter Hotez were motivated to conduct the study after seeing data showing growing vaccine hesitancy and use of non-medical exemptions—largely due to lies and misinformation about the safety of vaccines and the threat of devastating diseases, such as measles. Currently, about two percent of kids aged two to 11 have a non-medical vaccine exemption.

Measles, in particular, requires vigilant vaccination. The highly infectious virus can linger in the air for hours after a cough or sneeze. Those sickened develop high fevers, rashes, inflamed eyes, and cold-like stuffy nose and cough. But people can spread the infection days before those symptoms appear. About 30 percent develop complications, such as pneumonia, brain swelling, and blindness.

To thwart infections, a population must have between 90- and 95-percent vaccine coverage to maintain herd immunity. Many communities and counties in the US are already on the brink of dipping below that range and thereby losing their protection from a case of measles going, well, viral. And there’s room for those vaccination rates to continue to slip. Presently, 18 states allow for personal belief exemptions, and all but two states allow for religious or philosophical exemptions.

They of course propose forcing people to get their kids vaccinated. I say, if you have kids, you have the responsibility to get informed and get them vaccinated, instead of taking advice from uneducated television stars who know nothing about science and doctors who have had their licenses revoked.

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