Archive for the ‘measles outbreak’ Category

Measles is killing more people in the DRC than Ebola—and faster

July 15th, 2019
A man receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse outside the Afia Himbi Health Center on July 15, 2019 in Goma.

Enlarge / A man receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse outside the Afia Himbi Health Center on July 15, 2019 in Goma. (credit: Getty | PAMELA TULIZO )

As the world anxiously monitors the outbreak of Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo, health officials note that a measles outbreak declared last month in the country has killed more people—mostly children—and faster.

Since January 2019, officials have recorded over 100,000 measles cases in the DRC, mostly in children, and nearly 2,000 have died. The figures surpass those of the latest Ebola outbreak in the country, which has tallied not quite 2,500 cases and 1,665 deaths since August 2018. The totals were noted by World Health Organization Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a speech today, July 15, at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Frankly, I am embarrassed to talk only about Ebola," Dr. Tedros said (he goes by his first name). He gave the speech in response to two new developments in the Ebola outbreak. That is that two Ebola responders were murdered in their home in the DRC city of Beni, and that officials on Sunday had identified the first case of Ebola in Goma, a DRC city of over one million at the border with Rwanda.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in democratic republic of Congo, ebola, Ebola Outbreak, global health, Infectious disease, measles, measles outbreak, outbreak, public health, science, virus, WHO | Comments (0)

Antivaxxers turn to homeschooling to avoid protecting their kids’ health

July 8th, 2019
Stylized photograph of a boy writing at a desk.

Enlarge / A boy at school. (credit: Getty | Florian Gaertner )

Anti-vaccine advocates in New York are encouraging parents to homeschool their children rather than protect them from serious diseases, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.

The move by New York anti-vaccine groups comes just weeks after state lawmakers eliminated exemptions that allowed parents to opt their children out of standard school vaccination requirements on the basis of religious beliefs. Very few religions actually have objections to vaccinations, and the ones that do tend to have relatively few followers. But many parents who reject vaccines based on falsehoods and misinformation about their safety have claimed religious objections as a way to dodge immunization requirements.

As cases of measles in the United States have exploded in recent years—largely due to a small but loud band of anti-vaccine advocates misinforming parents—states are now cracking down on non-medical exemptions. New York, which has faced a massive and prolonged outbreak since last September, is the fifth state to eliminate religious exemptions. It joins California, Maine, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Overall, lawmakers in 26 states have recently introduced bills aimed at tightening rules on who can receive exemptions, according to The Hill.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in anti-vaccine, CDC, exemptions, Infectious disease, measles, measles outbreak, new york, outbreak, public health, science, vaccination | Comments (0)

Anti-vax parents sue to keep unvaccinated kids in school during outbreak

March 13th, 2019
A baby with measles.

Enlarge / A baby with measles. (credit: CDC)

As New York’s Rockland County grapples with a large and lengthy outbreak of measles, a group of anti-vaccine parents sued officials for temporarily barring their unvaccinated children from school—and the county is not having it.

In a fiery response, Rockland County Attorney Thomas Humbach forcefully defended the legality of the county’s move, which was intended to thwart the spread of disease. He also went so far as to cast doubt on the validity of the religious exemptions the parents had used to opt their children out of required vaccinations.

“The [Rockland County Health] Commissioner, Dr. Patricia Ruppert, has every legal right, under New York State's Public Health Law and the County's Sanitary Code, to take every necessary step to stop the outbreak of measles in this County,” Humbach said in a statement released to the press.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in anti-vaccine, CDC, Infectious disease, measles, measles outbreak, public health, science, vaccination | Comments (0)