Measles Outbreak: Doctors weigh in on vaccination debate - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Measles Outbreak: Doctors weigh in on vaccination debate

Doctors are split on the idea of vaccinations for measles. (Source: Raycom Media) Doctors are split on the idea of vaccinations for measles. (Source: Raycom Media)
A once eradicated disease is now running rampant in the U.S. Measles are highly contagious and could even be fatal. Doctors over at UH's Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland are concerned about kids not getting a vaccinated.

"The individuals we're seeing with this outbreak, as well as outbreaks in 2014, are those individuals who are not vaccinated," said Dr. Frank Esper with UH.
 
Out of 84 measles cases across the nation, 90 percent are due to the unvaccinated.
 
Last year in Ohio, there were 382 cases of measles; nine went to the hospital.     
 
"There is a rising issue with vaccination hesitancy. This isn't necessarily something that is unique to one particular area in the United States," said Esper.
 
Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, from Middleburg Heights, questions the safety of vaccines, leaving some people unhappy with her. She just cancelled speaking engagements in Australia because of death threats. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, Dr. Tenpenny says:

"I am disheartened that a small group of outspoken pro-vaccine activists in Australia would prevent parents from gaining information about vaccinations. It is difficult to grasp why pro-vaccine forces were so adamantly against informed choice. They have gone beyond blocking freedom of speech; they are forbidding freedom of hearing. The seven speaking venues in Australia were cancelled after the level of hostility had risen to the point where my safety, and the safety of others, could no longer be assured. As an American trained Osteopathic Physician, it is my responsibility to my patients and to others to give them the information they need to make fully informed decisions. It is clear that is not welcome in Australia." 

Tenpenny says vaccines have not been proven to be safe and tens of thousands have been injured or have died due to vaccinations.

"Pro-vaccine forces push forward the assertion that vaccination is the only way to protect against an infection and that vaccines are safe and cause little, if any harm. This is certainly not the case. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid more than $2.8 billion to persons injured by vaccines. We need to reintroduce civility into the discussion of vaccination and respect those who have a constitutionally assured right to refuse," Tenpenny said in a statement.

"Measles is ready to pounce, but it's our high vaccination rate that prevents that from happening," said Dr. Esper.
 
What you need to know about measles:
 
-It's highly contagious before you know you have it
 
-Rashes appear three to five days after first symptoms
 
-The measles virus resides in mucus in the nose and throat of infected people 

-The virus spreads when infected people sneeze or cough
 
-The virus remains active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours
 
-You are usually contagious from about four days before your rash starts, to four days after it ends

Learn more about measles from the CDC.

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