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Thanks, Andrew Wakefield

Thanks, Andrew Wakefield.

Thanks for bringing the measles back to the U.K. with your shoddy, litigation- and profit-driven pseudoscience:

Fourteen years after the local transmission of measles was halted in the United Kingdom (UK), the disease has once again become endemic, according to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the public health body of England and Wales. In an update on measles cases in its weekly bulletin last week, the agency stated that, as a result of almost a decade of low mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccination coverage across the UK, ‘the number of children susceptible to measles is now sufficient to support the continuous spread of measles’ [1].

In an earlier update, the HPA reported that all recent indigenously-acquired cases with a genotype in England and Wales had been found to have the same D4 sequence (MVs/Enfield.GBR/14.07), a genotype first identified in April 2007 and which is now endemic in the UK [2]. In May, a 17-year-old with underlying congenital immunodeficiency died of acute measles infection, the first such fatality in the UK since 2006. The strain was also MVs/Enfield.GBR/14.07, genotype D4. The total number of confirmed measles cases in England and Wales so far this year is 461. In Scotland, there have been 68 cases of measles reported in 2008, of which 51 have been laboratory-confirmed [3]. All of the cases in Scotland were either not immunised or of unknown immunisation status. Only two of the cases were imported from abroad, both from Pakistan.

Unfortunately, with useful celebrity idiots Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey being used by Generation Rescue and other antivaccination groups to fire up antivaccinationists in the United States, our fair shores could soon be in similar straits. We’ve already seen signs of resurgences of measles in the form of localized outbreaks in areas with low levels of vaccination. I fear that a decade from now (or even less) we in the U.S. will likely be “thanking” Jenny McCarthy for the measles too.

Of course, by then she’ll probably be back into “Indigo Child” woo.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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