False balance is the bane of a science communicator's existence. KATU's Genevieve Reaume provided false balance in abundance in a story about the measles outbreak and the antivaccine movement.
Measles has arrived in the form of an outbreak on Oakland County, MI. That's too close for comfort to Orac. Way, way too close for comfort.
It's indisputable that vaccines protect against specific infectious diseases. What's less well known is how a vaccine like the measles vaccine protects against more than just measles.
In Houston, a toddler was admitted to the pediatric ICU at Texas Children's Hospital with a serious case of the measles. Unfortunately, one of the nurses there is antivaccine and blabbed about him on social media. The hospital quite appropriately fired her, but I would go further and say that antivaccine nurses should not be caring for children. Ditto antivaccine doctors.
It seems as though I have to write a post like this every year or two, as measles outbreaks keep raging and children keep getting sick and even dying. I feel obligated to "thank" the primary author of this misery, the man whose scientific fraud and other efforts have fueled antivaxers' fear of the MMR vaccine. So thanks Andrew Wakefield. Thanks for the measles. Again. In 2018.
Infectious disease outbreaks are costly in human and financial terms. An analysis of the 2013 Brooklyn measles outbreak shows just how costly one outbreak can be and how much it can strain already strained public health resources. This is the cost of antivaccine madness.
American antivaccine activists have contributed to a massive measles outbreak among the Minnesota Somali immigrant community by spreading Andrew Wakefield's misinformation. In the wake of the harm they've caused, they're not apologetic. They're doubling down.
Right now, Europe is in the middle of a massive measles outbreak that has resulted in 35 deaths. Is Europe a harbinger of things to come in the US?
Antivaxers targeted a. vulnerable community of Somali immigrants in Minnesota. The result: A large (and growing) measles outbreak. Thanks, Andy.
Beginning a little over a year ago, Romania has been enduring a massive measles outbreak. The cause is familiar: Low MMR uptake below what is needed for herd immunity. Is this a warning to the US?