It can be hard, reading the news at the moment, to settle on any one individual or interest group to dislike the most viscerally, and this week was particularly tough. Donald Trump’s “I didn’t commit treason, you committed treason” remarks to the FBI; the ongoing madness in Westminster; and the proposal by the US education secretary, Betsy DeVos, to cut funding for the Special Olympics made it a bad week even by current standards. But then news emerged, on Wednesday, of a measles outbreak in Rockland County, New York. Public health officials said there were 153 confirmed cases.
This is an entirely preventable emergency that, in a crowded field, has thrown anti-vaxxers back to the top of the league table of those to be held in utter opprobrium. As most thinking people know by now, measles was declared wiped out in the US in 2000 but has since come roaring back thanks to parents failing to immunise their children. It’s a pattern repeated across the western world. According to the World Health Organization, in 2018 measles cases tripled across Europe. In the US, they went up six-fold.
In New York, parents who sign up to the groundless panic around the MMR vaccine can, unbelievably, exploit a loophole in the system that grants exemption from vaccinations on religious grounds.
read more at UK Guardian