Perspectives: What If Educating Parents About Vaccines Were To Become A New Tool In Disease Prevention?
Editorial pages focus on the measles outbreak.
Measles, Emergency Powers, And The Allure Of The 'Old' Public Health
As measles cases continue to proliferate, so too does litigation over public health officials’ efforts to stem the contagion. Although the outcome of this litigation is uncertain, one point is already apparent: Although public health officials wield extraordinary legal powers, they need new tools to fight 21st-century outbreaks. (Wendy E. Parmet, 4/25)
Vaccines Ended 1989 Measles Outbreak, Now We Must Fight Disinformation
The United States is experiencing an alarming measles outbreak, with 626 cases in 22 states as of mid-April. The majority have been among residents of New York state, where the situation is so grave that it has prompted two separate public health emergency declarations this month in an attempt to curtail the spread of this highly infectious disease.Thirty years ago, our country battled an outbreak of measles that sickened more than 55,000 people and caused over 11,000 hospitalizations. The 1989–91 epidemic ultimately killed up to 166 people, many of whom were young children. While that crisis and the latest one were both hastened by a lack of timely immunization of young children, the reasons for nonvaccination were quite different. (Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, 4/24)
The Washington Post:
My Parents Didn’t Tell Me They Skipped My Vaccines. Then I Got Sick.
In May 2016, I’d been feeling sick for a few days. My doctor diagnosed strep and sent me home with antibiotics. But this wasn’t like any strep I’d ever had before. My sore throat and fever kept getting worse, and I developed a rash on one of my arms. Then, one morning, I collapsed onto the floor of my apartment. The emergency room doctors took blood and ruled out strep. Maybe it was scarlet fever? Then someone thought to ask: Were you vaccinated against measles? In my haze, I realized that I wasn’t sure. I texted my mother the question. She responded with a thumbs-down emoji. Why?, she asked. I was in the hospital. (Josh Nerius, 4/25)