Despite the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention verifying the elimination of measles within the U.S. borders in 2000, six new cases of measles have been reported in Texas this month, making a total of 11 this year. BioNews Texas recently posted an article on how the Texas Department of State Health Services Has Issued a Measles Alert as a result of this outbreak.
An increase in cases of this highly contagious respiratory disease is also being observed worldwide, and it is thought to be a result of concerns of the safety of the MMR vaccine causing a reduction in the number of vaccinations being administered, according to a theory put forward in Justin Caba’s article today on Medical Daily.
The measles vaccine is given as part of a triple vaccine: MMR to children between the ages of 12-15 months, with a second booster jab between 4-5 years to protect against three highly infectious and dangerous conditions, measles, mumps and rubella. However, as a result of a paper published in The Lancet in 1998, linking the MMR jab to the development of autism, the rate of vaccination rates have decreased substantially. Despite this study being discredited, concerns over its safety still exist and doctors and health officials are left with the task of convincing parents of its safety.
Recent research from two major studies looking at three groups of children, one with autistic spectrum disorders, one with special educational needs but no autism and another who were developing normally showed that there was no significant difference in levels of antibodies to the measles virus between the groups. This study adds to the growing pool of evidence that suggests that there is no causal link between the MMR vaccine and autism.