Columbus, Ohio (WCMH) – Local doctors fear vaccine misinformation may be partly responsible for the current flu and measles outbreaks.
Data show that most measles cases in central Ohio are unvaccinated children, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says influenza vaccination rates are among the lowest in years.
As of December 8, CDC has reported 88 cases of measles nationwide, 74 of which are in central Ohio.
Dr. Joseph Gastaldo, an infectious disease expert at OhioHealth, said it was disappointing to see people suffering from vaccine-preventable diseases. Measles, polio, HPV, etc.
However, out of fear, some parents choose not to vaccinate their children, and those diseases are now prevalent.
Gastaldo said a lot of this had to do with being “out of sight, out of mind.” For generations, measles and polio epidemics were so rare and not serious that some people skipped vaccinations.
This, mixed with misinformation on the internet, could be a major reason for the current outbreak.
“The way we consume information today is very different than it was a few years ago,” says Gastaldo. “We are all connected through the internet and social media, and it is very easy to go on the internet and social media and come across information that seems pretty legitimate. And it’s all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole of misinformation.
Gastaldo said low flu virus vaccination rates are a big reason why Ohio’s infection rate is “very high.” He said the outbreak is hitting health care workers hard.
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https://www.nbc4i.com/news/local-news/columbus/doctor-vaccine-misinformation-leading-to-flu-measles-outbreaks/ Doctors: Misinformation about vaccines leading to flu and measles epidemics