History of Vaccines Blog
While Madagascar Records a Historic Measles Epidemic, Anti-Vaccine Bills Are Introduced in the United States
According to the Associated Press, over 1,200 people have died in Madagascar as a result of a measles epidemic dating to last year. The AP reports:
New York City Declares a Public Health Emergency
The New York City area has been in the middle of a measles outbreak for several months now. Many in the Orthodox Jewish community there do not believe in immunizations, even though most Jewish religious leaders and scholars agree that there is no prohibition against immunizations in the religious mandates. As a result, the outbreak has continued unabated.
Rockland County in New York Imposes a Quarantine
A few days ago, Rockland County, New York, declared a state of emergency over the outbreak of measles that has been going on there since late last year.
Quarantines and Their Mixed Results
Before the development of vaccines against deadly diseases like smallpox, typhoid fever and measles, public health authorities relied heavily on quarantines in order to stop epidemics from spreading. The concept was simple: keep sick people away from the healthy people. Unfortunately, there were plenty of times where quarantines were broken and the epidemics allowed to continue. Then there were the times when the people suspected of being sick or being carriers of the disease found ways around the quarantines or other orders by public health authorities.
Vitamin A and Measles
Back in the 1970s, Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS, began working on community interventions in Indonesia where children who were deficient in vitamin A were given a supplement to help stave off vision problems. At the time, the evidence was clear that vitamin A played an important role in vision, especially night vision.
A Brief History of Measles
According to the best evidence we have, measles makes its appearance somewhere between the 11th and 12th Centuries when the measles virus diverged (separated) from the rinderpest virus (a sort of measles of cattle
Vaccine Epidemiology, Part Four: Yes, Vaccines Work!
In this video, we talk about the evidence for vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. We know these values from experimental and observational epidemiological studies. It takes many years for a vaccine to go from idea to a product, and it takes a few more to understand its impact at the population level.
Vaccine News Roundup - February 8, 2019
Measles Epidemic Continues and Grows in Washington State, New Cases in Houston Texas
The situation in Washington State is getting worse with respect to the measles outbreak that started there last December.
Vaccine News Roundup - February 1, 2019
“How Facebook and YouTube help spread anti-vaxxer propaganda” (The Guardian) [https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/feb/01/facebook-youtube-anti-vaccination-misinformation-social-media]