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article imageVaccine refusal tied to increased risk of pertussis and measles

By Owen Weldon     Mar 16, 2016 in Health
In recent years, measles and whooping cough (pertussis) has made a comeback in the United States. A study suggests it is tied to people refusing vaccinations.
A paper published in JAMA seems to confirm the belief that the recent outbreaks of measles and whopping cough is the result of people refusing vaccines.
Researchers at the Emory University in Atlanta reviewed 18 studies that traced immunization histories of 1,416 people who ranged from two weeks old to 84 years. The people were diagnosed with measles in the U.S. since 2000. Out of that number, 970 people had detailed vaccine histories.
Researchers discovered that 574 people were not vaccinated even though they were eligible, and 405 cases involved people refusing vaccines due to religious or philosophical reasons. This means around 28 percent of the total cases didn't have any medical reasons to not get their shots.
The study did note that initially the increase in measles outbreaks were seen only in states where non-medical exemptions were readily offered, but states that had difficult exemption procedures experienced an increase in measles rates in the last 20 years, as non-medical exemptions have steadily increased.
Researchers added that a higher rate of vaccine exemption or refusal in a community is linked with increase incidences of measles within that community, and this is among both people with and without exemptions.
Researchers looked at 32 reports involved pertussis outbreaks. They found that those who were not vaccinated or under-vaccinated ranged from 25 to 45 percent of those who contracted it, and this was in states where the largest outbreaks occurred.
An increased risk of contracting whooping cough and vaccine refusal are linked, but numerous outbreaks did occur in populations that were vaccinated, which may suggest waning immunity to whooping cough.
More about Vaccine, vaccine refusal, Linked, Measles, Pertussis
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