Number of measles cases in US growing

REDWOOD City, California – There are now more than a hundred cases of measles in 15 states in America since December, some of them traced from an infection in Disneyland in California.

Last year’s total was 600 cases, the highest in over a decade.

The rapid increase in measles cases in just two months has authorities concerned.

A mother in Southern California got her one-year old son vaccinated against measles on his first birthday. She was afraid that her son might get ill because of all the unvaccinated kids in their area.

Their pediatrician said convincing those parents who don’t believe in vaccination is the challenge.

“I actually will show them my son’s vaccination record, showing that he received his first MMR vaccine when he was exactly 1 year old, right when you’re supposed to receive it. I find that this tends to help,” said Dr. Eric Ball of the Southern Orange County Pediatric Associates.

Some parents still believe that vaccinations can cause cancer, nervous system disorders, even autism. This despite medical findings that disputed those fears.

Some parents don’t want to trust research saying these are churned out by medical companies who are only after the profit.

A southern California mother was among those parents who had not had her son vaccinated until today.

“My oldest son had some difficulty with some of the vaccines. We’d had one shot and he hadn’t been able to walk for two days and I was concerned he could possibly develop autism,” said Allison Wiermann.

Now, some doctors are taking a tough stance.

A Marin County, California doctor said he will only see patients who have been vaccinated or parents who will allow their kids to be immunized.

If not, they just have to see another physician.

“We were concerned that there would be a case of measles in our county and we didn’t want our practice to be where that case showed up. We didn’t want to spread measles in waiting room,” said Dr. Nelson Branco.

Now, even President Barack Obama and other politicians have weighed in on the vaccination debate.

As for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the answer is clear.

“I think it’s very very clear that you have one of the most highly effective vaccines against any virus and you have a highly contagious disease, measles, that can have serious complications so to me it’s really a slam dunk what the decision should be,” said NIAID Director, Anthony Fauci.

You can contact Paul Henson at paul_henson@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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