It’s 2011, Do you know where Mumps and Measles are? Canada
Posted by Ethan Clow on June 23, 2011
The worst outbreak of mumps since 2008 has hit the BC lower mainland recently, with confirmed cases numbering 77 between January 2nd and June 8th. About 50 of those cases occurred in Whistler and Squamish with an age range between one and fifty-four.
The outbreak in 2008, which resulted in 200 infections, stemmed from a religious sect in the Fraser Valley that opposes vaccinations.
This is precisely why skeptics continually oppose the anti-vaccination movement. It only takes a small population for a virus to find shelter in and spread. As the group immunity levels drop, the virus has more potential targets to infect. The more it spreads the greater the chance it can outbreak into a larger population.
The more the virus spreads the greater chance it might mutate and become either more infectious or deadly or even resistant to available treatments.
To add insult to injury, protection from mumps is freely available in the MMR vaccine. Children should receive two doses in the vaccine to provide maximum protection.
Aside from the foolishly misguided religious sects that turn down vaccinations, blame can be laid squarely in front of British Columbia’s own anti-vaccination lobby. People like Sonya McLeod, who operates a local homeopathy shop and routinely encourages parents to not vaccinate their children suggesting instead homeopathic alternatives. For a long while, McLeod spouted this from the pulpit given to her by the Georgia Straight, which also shares much of the blame as the editors there have frequently given space to anti-vaxers like Chris Shaw. (See my previous posts on McLeod and Shaw for information)
What’s additionally frustrating about the whole thing is that we, the public, pay the price for the bad decisions of a small group of people. As the vaccination rates drop, the lives and health of the people around us is put at risk and the health care system, which has bigger fish to fry, has to deal with people getting sick from an easily preventable illness that is very contagious and potentially dangerous.
Sadly, British Columbia isn’t alone in suffering outbreaks of easily controllable illnesses. A measles outbreak in Quebec has health officials worried. Consider that there have been 208 cases of measles reported in Quebec since May 1. 208 cases in almost two months!! There have been a total of 254 since the beginning of the year.
In the 1990′s, Canada virtually eradicated measles.