April 16th, 2019

Measles & The Anti-Vaxx Movement

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The number of measles cases throughout the world is rapidly rising and shows no sign of slowing down. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there have been over 112,000 cases of measles reported between January and April of this year, between January and April 2018 there were only 28,000 cases. Experts point to the rise in parents who are part of the anti-vaccination movement as a cause for this sudden epidemics. Many areas where measles was practically eradicated have seen an unprecedented resurgence of cases.

“Spikes in case numbers have occurred in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States of America as well as Israel, Thailand, and Tunisia, as the diseases have spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people,” said The World Health Organization (WHO). The anti-vaccination movement is traced back to a study conducted in 1998 by Andrew Wakefield which claimed that vaccinations increased the chance of a child being autistic. Mr. Wakefield later had his medical license revoked due to falsifying documentation during the study.

With the increasing use of social media, false information referencing Mr. Wakefield’s study went viral, primarily on Facebook where many groups were created that are dedicated to the Anti-vaccination Movement. As the number of children being vaccinated decrease, The WHO warns that the number of cases of preventable diseases will continue to increase. There is no credible evidence that vaccinations increase the chance of autism in children, yet as more parents turn to the internet for medical advice, false information continues to spread.

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