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Measles: Two US Outbreaks Are Blamed on Low Vaccination Rates

A response from Meryl Nass, MD via BMJ

“There have been only 3 deaths from measles in the US since 2000: one in a 75 year old male who was exposed in Israel; one in a 13 year old immunosuppressed male who had received a bone marrow transplant 3 months premortem, who lacked any identified exposure to a measles case; and one in an immunosuppressed woman with multiple comorbidities. Whether any of these deaths was caused by a vaccine strain is unknown, but since vaccine strain measles can be virulent in an immunocompromised host, it is possible. (2)

“Thus, there is no evidence that in recent years unvaccinated US children have caused a single death from measles, mumps and rubella. Yet how many column inches, how many hours of TV news have been devoted to scaring the American public about the dire threat of measles? Fear of measles has been the major driver of the campaigns to eliminate vaccine exemptions. Parents of immunocompromised children have been incited to frenzy about the risks posed to their children by unvaccinated classmates. Yet, when you look closely, the risk is marginal to none.”

Meryl Nass, MD, Internist

(Read the full Rapid Response here)



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