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Weekly Reads: Measles? Really?

Howdy Readers, running late so we’ll get right to business… Measles? WTF?

From the Washington Post…

A teenager with measles was infectious when she visited Disneyland, Universal Studios and other heavily visited sites in Southern California earlier this month, public health officials said.

The teen was on a trip from New Zealand and flew into Los Angeles International Airport. She visited Disneyland and California Adventure, among other attractions from Aug. 11 to Aug. 15. She also reportedly traveled to Universal Studios, Madame Tussauds and the Santa Monica Pier during the trip, the officials said.

Public health officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties said Friday they are attempting to find anyone who might have been exposed to the virus and has started showing symptoms.

The news sparked a worried search for Californians who may have been exposed to the virus. Measles is one of the most infectious diseases known, over 90% of unvaccinated persons exposed will contract measles. The Center for Disease Control has a helpful FAQ on the subject that you should check out if you think you may be at risk.

Of course measles had almost been eradicated by widespread vaccination by the end of the 20th century, with prospects of sending Rubeola into the same dustbin science had swept smallpox into earlier that century. Then quack and fraud Andrew Wakeman birthed the modern Anti-Vaccination movement by spreading the debunked claim that the MMR vaccine was linked to an increased risk of autism in children. The study was ruled “fraudulent” and Wakefield’s scam is considered by many “the most damaging medical fraud of the last 100 years.” Despite the thorough debunking a rabid and fanatical anti-vaccination movement grew in Wakefields wake. 

 Wakefields scam found fertile soil to grow in certain less than skeptical corners of the world. Southern California in particular has become a petri dish for testing the credulous. Egged on by gullible celebrities, famous politicians and shady autism “advocacy” groups, a startling number of parents have forgone routine vaccinations, enough to drop California below the recommended 95% rate required to assure herd immunity. Which is why this month’s measles tourist is front page news rather than dog bites man.

And it’s an international problem as well, as Vox reported in May…

Over the past two years, measles cases have been edging up in several countries around the world, with a 300 percent rise in measles cases globally over the same period in 2018, according to the World Health Organization. Ukraine, Madagascar, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Yemen, and Brazil are among the countries most affected, according to WHO.

As of April 2019, Madagascar’s health officials recorded more than 69,000 measles cases and 1,200 related deaths in the largest-ever measles outbreak on the island nation. Ukraine has experienced 72,000 cases, and the Philippines 19,000 cases.

The reasons for outbreaks differ in each country — from vaccine refusal to problems with health care access or access to vaccines, to civil unrest and low awareness about the need to vaccinate. But what all these causes have in common: These factors are driving down the rate of vaccine coverage.

If we’re starting to sound like a familiar tune on the classic rock station, well that’s because the anti-vax movement is one of the oldest foes that we in the online skeptical/atheist/secular communities took on. We here at Grounded Parents have written about it dozens of timesTo tell the truth we’re tired of it. Vaccinate your fucking kids.

Now some links…

Cynthia Greenlee over at Vox does a deep dive into how our textbooks have failed to teach the truth about slavery.

Speaking of slavery, the New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, marking the 400th anniversary of African bondage in what became the United States is brilliant work.

Parental guilt is a cultural epidemic, writes Mary Widdicks, “it’s time to let go of who we should be.”

Psychology Today agrees, good parenting is not complicated. 

The first Women of Color Beyond Belief conference is coming this fall, October 4-6 at the Marriott Midway in Chicago Illinois. Looks like a great lineup. You should go!

Here’s our fearless leader laying down the facts on vaccines… again. 

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Lou Doench

Lou Doench is a 48 year old father of three. Twelve years ago he married the coolest woman in the world and gave up the lucrative career of being a photography student to become a stay at home husband and Dad, or SAHD. An atheist geek, or a geeky atheist if you prefer, Lou likes reading, photography, video gaming, disc golf, baseball and Dr. Who. He has been playing Dungeons and Dragons since 1976. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is also an excellent home cook, not that his children would know because they only eat Mac & Cheese. Follow Lou on Twitter @blotzphoto or check out his photography at www.flickr.com/photos/blotz/

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