Why recent measles outbreaks may represent a ‘new normal’

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Back near the start of this century, before the full damage of Andrew Wakefield’s debunked study linking measles vaccine and autism became clear and social networking sites turbo-charged the disruptive power of vaccine opponents, some experts believed the world was ready to rid itself of measles once and for all.

These days, with massive outbreaks in the Philippines and Ukraine, more than 80,000 cases in the past year in Europe, and ongoing epidemics in New York, Washington, Texas, Illinois, and California, measles does not feel like an endangered virus.

There’s less talk about measles eradication in 2019. In fact, projections about the future of measles are much more somber now than they were in the early aughts. More measles, not less, appear to be on the horizon, at least in the near term, experts glumly admit.

Related article:  23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki: No need for experts to interpret direct-to-consumer breast and ovarian cancer tests

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s center for immunization and respiratory diseases, said she believes recent increases in measles cases — after years of very low numbers in the United States — mark a “new normal.”

“In general, nationally, most Americans are vaccinated and it is the pockets of individuals that are unvaccinated,” she said.

Read full, original post: The measles virus was down and out. Now it’s primed for a comeback

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