How the anti-vaccine movement targets cities and creates disease hotspots

Densely populated areas are vulnerable to dangerous outbreaks of infection such as measles and to the spread of misinformation Just a 30-minute drive from Portland, Oregon, is Washingtons Clark County, home to one of the largest outbreaks of measles in the US. Of the previously eliminated measles, patient zero to come into contact with children who hadnt been inoculated. Then, as these children visited healthcare facilities, schools, churches and a furniture shop, the disease began to spread. A sign prohibiting all children under 12 and unvaccinated adults at the entrance to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, Washington. Photograph: Gilliam Flaccus/AP But why did the outbreak take place here rather than elsewhere in the country? Some US states, including Oregon …

MMR vaccine does not cause autism, another study confirms

(CNN)The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine does not increase the risk of autism and does not trigger autism in children who are at risk, according to a new study of over 650,000 children. With anti-vaccine groups becoming more vocal and even celebrities and politicians spreading fear of vaccines, Hviid and his team wanted to provide solid scientific answers. The biggest contribution of the study was the inclusion of children at risk of autism, said Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, who was not involved in the new research. He hopes the latest piece of evidence will reassure families with young children at risk of developing autism spectrum disorder that the vaccine will …

Science being ‘debunked:’ Why are some countries making a vaccine U-turn?

(CNN)More than a century before Facebook, anti-vaccination campaigners had another method for spreading their message — an eye-catching march through town with tiny children’s coffins emblazoned with the words: “Another victim of vaccination.” British parents in the 19th century didn’t take kindly to government-mandated smallpox vaccinations although the gruesome process — a series of deep cuts in the arms of the child — was a world away from today’s sterile practices. But the anti-vaxxers of the time were also joined by libertarians, who believed the compulsory vaccinations violated their personal freedoms. Today, that anti-government control sentiment “continues to be a thread in the anti-vaccine movement — particularly in this era of mistrust in government,” Professor Heidi Larson, director of the …

Parents were protesting compulsory vaccinations 150 years ago. Some are still angry

(CNN)More than a century before Facebook, anti-vaccination campaigners had another method for spreading their message — an eye-catching march through town with tiny children’s coffins emblazoned with the words: “Another victim of vaccination.” British parents in the 19th century didn’t take kindly to government-mandated smallpox vaccinations although the gruesome process — a series of deep cuts in the arms of the child — was a world away from today’s sterile practices. But the anti-vaxxers of the time were also joined by libertarians, who believed the compulsory vaccinations violated their personal freedoms. Today, that anti-government control sentiment “continues to be a thread in the anti-vaccine movement — particularly in this era of mistrust in government,” Professor Heidi Larson, director of the …