Measles…here it comes again

vaccine

Just when we thought it was out, they pulled it back in. Yes, it looks like the childhood disease measles is on the rise again in the United States. According to recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008;57:893-896) 131 cases of measles occurred from January-July 2008, the highest year-to-date number of measles cases in the United States since 1996.

Of these 131 cases, 91% were persons who were unvaccinated or who had an unknown vaccination status. 123 were US residents, including 80% under age 20; 112 were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status; 95 of these 112 (85%) were eligible for vaccination, and 63 of these 95 (66%) were unvaccinated because of philosophical or religious beliefs.

The only way people are protected from diseases such as measles is when the population achieves herd immunity. The more individuals vaccinated in a population, the lower the chances of coming in contact with an infected person. For measles, herd immunity requires about 85-90% of individuals be successfully vaccinated in order to protect those with weakened immune systems, kids too young to be vaccinated or the fringe groups who refuse to see the obvious benefits of being vaccinated.

Thinking getting measles isn’t so bad? Harmless spots, no?  In the United States prior to the availability of the vaccine in the mid-1960’s, an average of 450 people died from measles and about 4000 developed measles encephalitis annually.  No, that’s not just a coupla polka dots.

Yeah, but you’re figuring you don’t have to vaccinate your kids as long as most of the rest of us do, right? They’ll be protected by the herd, right? Are your kids ever going to leave the country to travel? Will they come in contact with other people who have traveled abroad? Of course. Protection cannot be expected in this manner.

Bottome line: please ensure your kids have received the recommended childhood vaccinations according to current guidelines and make sure anyone who is travelling is up-to-date on their measles vaccination. Oh, and if you’re thinking of not vaccinating your child, please discuss this thoroughly with at least two pediatricians — chances are your logic for doing so is faulty and a second opinion for making such a potentially dangerous decision to your child’s welfare is surely warranted.

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Get CE Credit for Reading This Blog?

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You’re one of the hundreds of fine and intelligent people who have been reading my blog.  Thanks!!  I truly appreciate you reading my ramblings and especially relish your comments and private emails.  But, if you are a chiropractor, PT, OT or certified hand therapist I know what you’re thinking.

It’s probably one of two thoughts.

The first is, wow, that RochesterChiro writes some funny and poignant stuff but I can’t waste so much time reading his blog without getting continuing education credits for it.  What’s in it for me?

The second thing you’re thinking is, I wonder if the doctor who writes this blog has a voice that sounds just like the I use one in my head when I read his funny, poignant stuff.

Well, dear reader, I have solved both of your problems at the same time!!

You may know that I write online continuing education courses for the best Online CE provider in the world!  OnlineCE.com also known as Chirocredit.com offers online continuing education courses for Chiropractors, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Certified Hand Therapists, Massage Therapists, Athletic Trainers and Aromatherapists.

I have a bunch of very good courses in the Pediatrics, Emergency Procedures and Physical Diagnosis sections (you can search instructor name Kinsler if you want) which you can take for credit.  But I have just posted a new course in a new format that I am really excited about.  In it, the chirogoddess Dr. Elliott and I discuss the newest research concerning Autism and Vaccinations (See course Peds 113) in a one hour course complete with slides and an audio presentation.  It is the first one we have done in this format and we would appreciate any feedback you have.  It sort of felt like doing a podcast — an idea I have been toying with as well.  You should check it out.

Besides, where else are you going to get an hour of university sponsored, state approved CE credits for like twenty bucks?  You can even wear those torn sweatpants and bunny slippers and not leave your house! And, you know the instructor so it’s not exactly a crap shoot.  One hour, five easy quiz questions and you can print your certificate!  How cool is that?

You’re already reading my stuff, you might as well get credit for it.  With the latest landmark decisions in vaccine court, you should have the information to make informed recommendations to your patients.  This course will definitely help with that.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!

 

Dr. Brett L. Kinsler writes the RochesterChiro blog and post graduate continuing education for OnlineCE.com

Jewish Autistic Astronauts Fake Moon Landing

Not really…but I thought you might like to see the Anti-Vaccination quote of the day:

“Many doctors now argue that reporters should treat the antivaccine lobby with the same indifference they do Holocaust deniers, AIDS deniers and those claiming to have proof that NASA faked the Moon landings. ”

Read this article on the lack of a link between autism and vaccination in the New York Times, see the link below:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/health/13auti.html?partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

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