Update: California Crunchy, 84% Of Kindergartners Not Up-To-Date On Vaccines At A Marin School
The number of measles cases from the outbreak that started in Disneyland last month nearly doubled this week. At least 85 cases are now confirmed in seven states, the latest in Nebraska. And the outbreak could spread even further.
Update: Diphtheria Excited About Possibility Of New Outbreak (The Onion)
Following a flare-up of measles in California and reports of new cases across several western states this week, the disease diphtheria told reporters Thursday that it was excited about the possibility of a new outbreak in America. “I really didn’t think I stood a chance of re-emerging in a developed country again, but this measles thing is giving me some hope—I mean, why not me?” said the deadly contagious infection that has been virtually nonexistent in the United States since a vaccine was introduced in the 1920s. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, obviously, but these days I just feel like anything’s possible. Man, another epidemic! If I get a second opportunity, I’ll definitely make the most of it.” Diphtheria went on to say that, if everything really fell into place, it’d be able to reunite in the human population with typhus and polio.
California is not the only state with high-exemption hotspots. On Vashon Island, Washington, 17 percent of kindergartners failed to receive their shots in 2013 due to a “personal/philosophical” exemption. That’s nine times the current national average. The year before, Vashon Islanders accounted for 16 percent of all whooping cough cases in Washington’s King County, despite housing just one percent of its population. And a 2008 study of exemption rates in Michigan found 23 clusters within the state, and, you guessed it, a correlation with higher rates of whooping cough. Even individual schools and churches can serve as ground zero: After a measles outbreak broke out in north Texas in 2012, the state epidemiologist linked it to a local megachurch whose pastor had spread anti-vaccine myths in the past.