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Vaccination refusals increased outbreaks.

Vaccine refusals have fueled recent outbreaks of measles and pertussis in the U.S., researchers report.

In a study published in March in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers concluded that a substantial proportion of U.S. measles cases reported since 2000--the year that measles was declared officially eliminated in the U.S.--were among patients who were purposefully unvaccinated.

Vaccine refusals were also associated with an increased risk for pertussis among some populations, the study found, though waning immunity has contributed to a resurgence of the disease as well.

In an analysis of studies and reports related to measles and pertussis outbreaks, researchers found that of the 970 measles cases with detailed vaccination data, 574 involved people who were unimmunized despite being eligible for the vaccine and 71 percent of unvaccinated cases included nonmedical vaccine exemptions.

Among the 32 pertussis outbreaks studied, five of the largest statewide epidemics included an unvaccinated population of between 24 percent and 45 percent. Among eight of the pertussis outbreaks studied, between 59 percent and 93 percent of unvaccinated people were unimmunized on purpose. However, the study found that pertussis outbreaks occurred in highly vaccinated populations as well, which points to waning immunity.

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS: The latest public health studies and research
Author:Krisberg, Kim
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Jun 29, 2016
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