US Reports Biggest Measles Outbreak Since 2001

2 May

The biggest U.S. outbreak of measles since 2001 is unfolding in 10 states, with at least 72 people ranging from infants to the elderly becoming ill — most of them unvaccinated, U.S. health officials said on Thursday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said none of those who caught the highly contagious viral illness has died, but at least 14 people have been hospitalized, most with pneumonia triggered by measles.

Lets hope that none of these 14 actually get any worse or (god forbid) die. Lets hope that no one else gets sick. The last time people dies of measles in the US was 1991, the year before that pesky vaccine schedule was strengthened – not that that has any bearing on the matter I’m sure.

1989 to 1991, when 55,000 people got measles and 123 died.

On this recent outbreak, the CDC said:

Of the 64 people infected by the measles virus, only 1 had documentation of prior vaccination. Among the other 63 case-patients were 14 infants who were too young to be vaccinated. Many of the cases among US children occurred in children whose parents claimed exemption from vaccination due to religious or personal beliefs, or in children too young to be vaccinated.

Anti-vaccinationists inflict the coolest things on their kids. Illness, hospitalisation, death….

I wonder if any of these things will make it onto the no doubt completely rational signs the parents attending the ‘Green our vaccines’ rally will be waving around. After all, when the organiser of the event says:

I am surely not going to tell anyone to vaccinate. But if I had another child, there’s no way in hell…….for my next kid—which I’m never going to have—there’s no way.

Then you can rest assured that this will in no way be an anti-vaccine event.


8 Responses to “US Reports Biggest Measles Outbreak Since 2001”

  1. Bullet May 2, 2008 at 14:48 #

    I hope no one dies either. I think that it can be a shock to remember that measles can kill. To most people the disease is something that puts them out for a couple of weeks and that they recover from. So it’s hard, I think, for people to remember that this isn’t true in all cases. That it can lead to serious complications, even death.

  2. Sullivan May 2, 2008 at 20:37 #

    Below is a section from the transcript where the ex-celebrity you quote was interviewed on TV:

    KING: Probably due to you, jenny, and programs like this, the percentage of children getting vaccinations is dropping.

    Do you think that’s good?

    MCCARTHY: I think it’s only good because it’s the only thing that’s going to shake up the CDC to do something about it….

    So, she admits that if there is a drop it will be in part due to her efforts.

    I wonder what it will take to “shake up” her and the organizations she fronts?

    Why won’t they separte themselves from the clearly anti-vaccine portion of their groups?

  3. isles May 3, 2008 at 06:07 #

    If the people who decide to disregard medical advice and skip the MMR were taking on risk only for themselves, I’d say FANTASTIC! go for it!

    But they’re not. They’re foisting dunderheaded ideas onto kids who have no choice – their own, and kids in the community who are unprotected by no fault of their own. Hello, do you people think maaaaybe the entire scientific establishment of the world knows a little bit more than genius YOU?

  4. Ms. Clark May 6, 2008 at 08:44 #


    The Grant County Health District has posted signs at the schools that are part of the measles outbreak outlining an executive health order that demands anyone who is not yet vaccinated to stay home. Moses Lake Christian Academy reports that 17 students won’t be allowed back to school until the end of the month.
    “If you’ve been exposed and you are not immune you could get it and like many viral illnesses you could be transmitting it before you know that you have it,” Peggy Grigg said.

    While working to curb the outbreak health officials are also working to determine where it all started. One possible link is attendance at the Generation Church Conference in Kirkland last month. Members of the family which had eight children contract measles all attended the conference during the incubation period.

    Also, there’s a strong possibility that an international traveler at the conference may have triggered the outbreak now affecting Grant County.

    KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON – Local public health officials have learned that a Grant County young girl who visited King County as part of a school trip on April 29 has tested positive for measles. Measles, also known as rubeola, is a potentially severe disease.
    Persons who were at the following King County sites on April 29 were possibly exposed to measles:
    11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 6210 E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE, Issaquah
    Noon to 4:45 p.m., Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum (EMP|SFM) (Seattle Center), 325 5th Avenue North, Seattle
    3:45 to 6:30 p.m., McDonald’s Restaurant, 1305 NW Gilman Blvd, Issaquah

    So Jenny McCarthy and her boyfriend are going to gather maybe hundreds of unvaccinated kids together in one place for the “Green your Vaccines that we won’t use anyway” rally, and many of those kids will be traveling across country, from place to place to place. Doesn’t sound like a terribly good idea. If one of them has measles when he or she leaves home he or she could pass it on to all the children at the rally (surely they are mainly unvaccinated) and those children then will travel back to their homes, stopping in airports and restaurants, motels, etc. Great fun.

    All the moms there will be happy, of course, if their kids get measles, because they want their kids to get measles and get their immunity to it “naturally”, they surely would be happy to share the measles around, with others. Others with immune disorders and people with babies too young to have been vaccinated might not be so happy that the measles are getting shared, though.

    All in all, I see this as a potential disaster for public health, and I don’t suppose it would do too much good for the cause of the antivaxers, either. Maybe the DC health dept ought to ask Jenny to hold her rally somewhere out in a rural area so all these unvaxed kids won’t be in such close contact with public transportation and public venues in DC.

  5. karey williams May 20, 2008 at 02:26 #

    Most of the children infected with the measles were under 12 months old. If their mothers had had measles they would have had transfered their immunity to their infants. Artifical immunity is not passed from mother to child. Healthy individuals do not die from the measles.

  6. isles May 20, 2008 at 04:29 #

    “Healthy individuals do not die from the measles”


  7. HCN May 20, 2008 at 05:55 #

    Karey Williams said “Most of the children infected with the measles were under 12 months old.”

    Not here. A family of eight kids all came down measles, three were hospitalized. It would be a pretty big stretch to claim that the family traveled from Moses Lake to the other side of the mountains with a set of eight babies. Plus, eight other have come down with measles, none of them babies, and all of them unvaccinated:

    Karey Williams said ” Healthy individuals do not die from the measles.”

    So, your opinion is that if the child is not born healthy, that they do not deserve to live?

    Please explain why these boys deserved what happened to them when they got measles:

    By the way, I do have a health impaired child who depended on herd immunity when he was very young. He spent enough time in the hospital that I was getting to know it too well (I was stopped in the hallway by a couple who said “You look like you know where things are!”, and I did, sigh).

    Please, please explain why my child is less valuable than yours.


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