State public health officials are contacting airline passengers after a woman with measles traveled through three airports earlier this week, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday.
Evidence disputing any link between autism and vaccines has been gathering for a decade. The anti-vaccine movement's lynchpin, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, has been shown to be nothing more than a grifter in a lab coat, with the prestigious British Medical Journal calling his work "an elaborate fraud."
The medical journal that published a now-retracted paper linking childhood vaccines to autism conducted only a cursory investigation into complaints about the research when they emerged, another British journal reported Tuesday.
The controversy over the existence of a link between autism and vaccines is not likely to end, even after the only study to imply such a link has been discredited, retracted and called an "elaborate fraud."
On playgrounds and at playdates, it's hard to have a conversation about childhood immunizations without the word autism popping up. In fact, a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics showed that one in four parents is concerned that vaccines can cause autism.
A special court's Thursday ruling that no proven link exists between autism and certain early childhood vaccines seems to have done little to change the sometimes-passionate opinion fueling the debate.
What I am about to say, I know, is controversial. And I know that a lot of people are going to disagree with me. But as a mother, with a second child on the way, I believe this is vital to the safety of our children and must be said.
At 13, Michelle Cedillo can't speak, wears a diaper and requires round-the-clock monitoring in case she has a seizure. While her peers go to school or the mall or spend time with friends, the Yuma, Arizona, teenager remains at home, where she entertains herself with picture books and "Sesame Street" and "Blue's Clues" DVDs.
When Katie Shutters's 13-month-old daughter, Averie, was born, she followed the recommended vaccine schedule for two months. Then she did some research and decided to hold off on additional shots until Averie turned 9 months old. "I liked the idea of my breast milk giving her the immunities she needs and allowing her body to work for her instead of some medicine," says the stay-at-home mom from Indianapolis, Indiana. "She isn't in daycare, and we don't travel overseas. I had concerns about injecting her for no reason."
President Bush, in a speech Tuesday at the National Institutes of Health, said the United States must be prepared to detect bird flu outbreaks anywhere in the world, stockpile vaccines and anti-viral drugs and be ready to respond at the federal, state and local levels in the event a pandemic reaches the United States.