Measles Outbreak in Oakland County: Will This Change Attitudes Toward Vaccines?

As of April 2, there have been 34 confirmed cases of measles in Michigan this year. 33 of them are in Oakland County. One is in Wayne County.

How is it that this disease — declared “eliminated” in the United States in the year 2000 — is now back and spreading in Southeast Michigan?

How much do attitudes toward vaccines play into these outbreaks of preventable disease? And will those attitudes change with these recent outbreaks in Michigan and elsewhere?

Dr. Teena Chopra is an associate professor of internal medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. She’s the corporate medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship for the Detroit Medical Center and WSU.

Dr. Dan Salmon is director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where he works on optimizing the prevention of childhood infectious diseases via vaccines. He is trained in vaccinology and epidemiology and also health policy. His work has looked at determining individual and community risks of vaccine refusal.

Dr. Howard Markel is the George E. Wantz distinguished professor of the history of medicine and director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.

Chopra, Salmon, and Markel join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about measles outbreaks in Michigan and elsewhere, why previously “eliminated” diseases are making comebacks, and about how attitudes toward vaccines play into these issues. Henderson and guests also speak with listeners about how they’re reacting to the outbreak and the anti-vaccine movement.

Click on the audio player above to hear those conversations.

Image credit: Oakland County Health Division

Filed Under: #Health
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