Recent News

Rotary's iron lung road trip to eradicate polio coming to Forbes

Mar 14 2019

The machine in this picture might not even be recognised by many young people, but just a couple of generations ago thousands of children contracted polio - and lived in one of these just so they could breathe. Vaccinations mean the polio virus has been eradicated in Australia, and Rotarians hope to see it wiped out right across the world. They're bringing this particular Australian-made and still functioning iron lung on a tour through the district, raising awareness that polio remains a real risk in three countries and raising further funds for its eradication. They will be in Forbes on March 23, so once you've cast your vote in the State election you're encouraged to come and have a look. When Rotary and the World Health Organisation launched the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in 1988, there were an estimated 350,000 cases of polio, Rotary's End Polio Now campaign website explains. Since then more than 2.5 billion children have been immunised, thanks to countless volunteer hours and more than $1.7 billion funding.

Source: Forbes Advocate

Are Colleges Prepared for a Meningococcal Disease Outbreak?

Mar 14 2019

​New research says ‘achieving high MenB vaccination coverage is crucial to help protect at-risk persons during outbreaks of meningococcal disease caused by this serogroup.’ Moreover, 10 to 15 percent of meningitis B patients ultimately die from an infection, says the CDC. This new study was published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in March 2019, it says ‘Although the incidence of meningococcal disease is low, university students are at increased risk of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B outbreaks.’ This study reviewed outbreaks between 2013 and 2018 that included 39 cases and 2 deaths. In some outbreaks, cases occurred over a prolonged period of time, as in a 2008–2010 Ohio outbreak, and the 2013–2014 New Jersey outbreak.

Source: Precision Vaccinations Precision Vaccinations

Amazon, Facebook, Google and Twitter asked by the AMA do more to limit false anti-vaccine claims

Mar 13 2019

The American Medical Association is urging the country's largest internet technology firms to clamp down on misinformation about vaccines in light of the ongoing series of measles outbreaks. The nation's most influential physician organization on Wednesday sent a letter to the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube expressing concern that their respective internet media channels are spreading false information about the safety and efficacy of vaccines, and as a result have been driving parents to not immunize their children. In a similar fashion, last month Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif) sent a letter to chief executives at Facebook and Google requesting they address false claims about vaccines made on their platforms.

Source: Modern Healthcare Modern Healthcare

Amazon removes books promoting autism "cures" and vaccine misinformation

Mar 13 2019

​Amazon is removing books that promote supposed "cures" for autism, the Associated Press reports. It's part of an effort by several big tech companies to cut down on the spread of misinformation about vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, only medications that can help some function better. Decades of medical research has also consistently shown there is no link between vaccines and autism. A spokeswoman for Inc. confirmed the books were no longer available on the site, but did not provide additional information, according to the AP. Last week, fellow tech giant Facebook announced it is cracking down on the spread of vaccine misinformation. Facebook will now reduce the rankings of pages and groups that promote medical myths across the platform, taking action against verifiable vaccine hoaxes, the company said. According to the company, the steps it is taking will make misinformation appear less frequently in News Feeds, public and private pages and groups, search predictions and recommendations.

Source: CBS News CBS News

Whooping cough vaccine less effective because the bacteria is mutating, study suggests

Mar 13 2019

The vaccine for whooping cough doesn’t work as well as it used to, and new research suggests it’s largely because the bacteria behind the disease has mutated. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed lab samples from patients with whooping cough between 2000 and 2013 and found Bordetella pertussis, which causes whooping cough, has gone through genetic changes over time. That means the current vaccine is not a perfect match to the bacteria. Researchers hope the new data published Wednesday in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases” will help change that. “The genomic data we provide will aid open research toward improved vaccine development and disease control strategies,” the CDC authors wrote in their report. Infectious disease experts agree.

Source: NBC News NBC News

Expert Says Colorado Measles Outbreak Is Certain

Mar 13 2019

​Colorado has one of the country's lowest vaccination rates because parents can easily opt out. A doctor says that primes the state for a measles outbreak. Then, we follow up our last recycling feature to answer even more of your questions. Next, David Migoya of the Denver Post talks about sunshine laws. Finally, revisiting our Killdozer feature.

Source: Colorado Public Radio Colorado Public Radio

The Latest Measles Outbreaks Are Leading To Legislative Changes

Mar 13 2019

​All right folks. Let’s be frank: vaccines work. There’s no evidence that getting vaccinated leads to autism. And vaccines can keep us safe from diseases like polio, measles, mumps and rubella. But around the world, cases of measles are on the rise, and the World Health Organization is blaming some of the spike on the refusal by some parents to vaccinate their children. Why have anti-vax myths taken such strong hold? What role has social media played in spreading vaccine misinformation?

Source: NPR 1A Podcast NPR 1A Podcast

The 200-Year History of the Anti-Vaxxer Movement: From 'Cowpox Face' to Autism Claims

Mar 13 2019

​Anti-vaxxers are in the news regularly—the World Health Organization even named vaccine hesitancy one of the ten biggest threats to global health in 2019. But the anti-vax movement is nothing new—in fact, it’s as old as vaccines themselves. 1796: The smallpox vaccine is introduced In the late 1790s, smallpox outbreaks devastated Europe, killing approximately 400,000 people a year and leaving many more blind or disfigured. Chinese medicine had recognized centuries earlier that survivors of smallpox subsequently became immune to the disease—in fact, as far back as the 9th century, healers inoculated patients by scratching smallpox scabs and blowing the powdered material up healthy patients noses. Variolation, rubbing powdered smallpox scabs onto small scratches in the skin, was introduced in the West in the 18th century. It still involved exposing a healthy person to smallpox (and possibly other illnesses, like syphilis) but it had a much lower mortality rate than contracting smallpox naturally. That didn't stop vaccine denialists: When Cotton Mather promoted variolation in the Massachusetts colony, they threw bricks through his window and called him a child-killer.

Source: Newsweek Newsweek

2,200 quarantined over mumps outbreak at immigration centers

Mar 12 2019

​Over 2,200 people exposed to the mumps virus in at least two immigration detention facilities have been quarantined, authorities said Tuesday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the 25-day quarantine began March 7 at facilities in Pine Prairie, Louisiana, and Aurora, Colorado. The outbreak has renewed long-held concerns over access to medical care at immigration facilities, especially at a time when more immigrants who are crossing the border are being held and for longer periods of time. There are nearly 47,000 immigrants currently detained around the country, according to an ICE spokesman. ICE says 236 detainees have had confirmed or probable cases of mumps in 51 facilities in the past year. There were no reported cases between 2016 and 2018 at any ICE facilities.

Source: FOX 31 Denver FOX 31 Denver

Arizona FPs Tackle Threat to Expand Vaccine Exemptions

Mar 12 2019

​At 93.4 percent, Arizona is below the median when it comes to full measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine coverage among kindergarteners, according to an October 2018 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). With 93 percent to 95 percent being the threshold typically considered necessary for herd immunity, that doesn't leave much wiggle room. It's also worth noting that during the 2017-2018 school year, Arizona ranked No. 4 in number of nonmedical vaccination exemptions, trailing only Texas, Florida and Michigan. Yet despite these numbers, state Rep. Nancy Barto, chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, recently sponsored a series of bills that would expand the vaccine exemptions available and make it easier for parents to obtain them for their children. Barto's proposals join a hodgepodge of vaccine-related bills now in play in statehouses across the country -- some that seek to make it easier for individuals to get vaccine exemptions, along with others that aim to limit exemptions.