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“US misinformation causes epidemic”

The US reported more measles cases in the first two months of this year than in all of 2017, with public health officials blaming “misinformation” for the growing epidemic.

Six outbreaks of the disease have been reported across the country since the start of the year, totalling 159 cases, in the states of Washington, Colorado and New York.

Since 2000, between 50 and several hundred cases have been reported a year, even though the highly contagious disease was declared eradicated at the start of the century.

Public health officials who were summoned to the US Congress to discuss the rapid increase in conspiracy theories surrounding the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said: “Misinformation is an important problem. The spread of misinformation that leads people to make poor choices, despite their well-meaning, is a major contributor to the problem we’re discussing.”

 

Image credit | Shutterstock

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