I’ve been watching the statistics on the measles outbreak that started at Disneyland. In this day and age, when we have vaccines against these sorts of diseases, this kind of thing should be all but extinct. It’s not, because of the anti-vaxxers, who fervently believe in research that claims vaccines cause autism, despite the fact that has been thoroughly debunked.

From the CDC, BabyCenter – Separating Fact from Fiction.

You REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need to read this: “How My Daughter Taught Me Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism” by Juniper Russo. This is what her pediatrician told her about vaccines: “You’ll be twenty-one, and that means you grew up with the Internet, and you’re a smart girl, and you’ve had access to a lot of information, and you don’t know how to tell the good from the bad. That’s not what makes you lucky. What makes you lucky is that you didn’t grow up seeing kids get paralyzed by polio. I did. You’ve never watched an unvaccinated baby slowly choke to death on its own snot from whooping cough. I have. You’ve never seen the grief of parents who could have prevented their kids from getting sick but chose to trust Jenny McCarthy instead of me. I have… So, tell me, in your words, why it is that you think you shouldn’t vaccinate your baby.”

Wanna see what measles actually look like? This Is What Measles Actually Looks Like, by Virginia Hughes.

Six Terrifying Facts About Measles. Why, when it is within our power to put a stop to this disease, is this happening? I had measles as a kid. Yes, I’d been vaccinated – back before, what was it, 1989, when the MMR dose went from 1 to 2. Thankfully, I don’t remember much of being ill with the measles. I do remember this – IT WAS NOT FUN. Knowing that this disease can KILL, and it’s preventable via vaccinations for most of the population, why would you put your kid at risk? And why would you put yourself through the fear? I have an autistic son – high functioning but still autistic. He was autistic before he was vaccinated. He’d be autistic even if he hadn’t been vaccinated. I’d rather he be vaccinated, happy and healthy, rather than not vaccinated and at risk for a disease that could KILL HIM.

There are children who cannot be immunized — too young, allergic to the vaccine, immune-compromised due to other diseases. I must say it, I’m on this father’s side: To Protect His Son… “He told me about going to a parent meeting at his daughter’s school just before the start of the school year, where a staff member reminded parents not to send peanut products to school, since a child or children had an allergy. “It’s really important your kids don’t bring peanuts, because kids can die,” Krawitt recalls the group being told.” Okay. So we protect kids who have peanut allergies, but we don’t protect immune-compromised children from diseases that could kill them by requiring 100% immunization? Yeah, I get we live in a free country, where we get to make decisions for ourselves. But sometimes, the decisions we make for ourselves (and our kids) don’t have consequences for just ourselves. Sometimes, our decisions can affect other people adversely.

“And there’s also reason to be angry: This outbreak began with Americans who chose to skip getting vaccinated. But now, they’re not the only ones getting sick.” Measles is spreading, article title. Two healthcare professionals who took care of an Ebola patient transferred here to the US came down with Ebola. How many people exposed at Disneyland are now ill with the measles? Fifty-nine in California, and forty-two around the country and Mexico. Two more people were just diagnosed in Arizona, and one of them may have exposed as many as 195 kids. How? “”You spread it (the measles) before you feel bad,” he said, adding that symptoms usually appear about a week after exposure.” Two more Arizona measles cases tied to Disneyland, article title.

All the hype and fear around Ebola turned out to be pretty unfounded, as the disease only affected two here. Measles? Well. Every account I read say the disease is only going to spread. The virus is passed through the air, and can live for up to two hours once out there. It’s highly contagious, more so than Ebola.

My question to anti-vaxxers is this: If you’re so concerned about your child’s welfare and well-being, why wouldn’t you vaccinate? Why would you gamble with your child’s health, and the health of other children, and the immune-compromised, the very young, the old?

Why?

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