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in-the-news

In the news: No link between MMR vaccine and autism, even for children at risk for autism

In a new study published in JAMA, researchers yet again found no link between the MMR vaccine and autism, even for kids who are at risk for developing autism.

According to Forbes, “the likelihood of developing autism was actually lower for those at-risk children if they received the vaccine, though that finding was not statistically significant and no one would suggest that vaccination reduces autism risk. What vaccination reduces is disease, the kinds that can disable and kill children and the kind that is even more likely to cause serious complications in children with neurological conditions.”

The study’s findings were not surprising to infectious disease experts, including Mark Schleiss, M.D., a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of Minnesota.

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in-the-news

California measles outbreak reiterates importance of vaccines

As of this morning, there are 59 confirmed cases of measles tied to the Disneyland outbreak according to NPR.

The issue does not reside in the park itself, or any other public place for that matter. Measles is one of the deadliest of all childhood rash/fever illnesses, and the disease spreads very easily. However, measles is extremely preventable with vaccination. The CDC even declared that measles was eradicated in the United States back in 2000, attributed to a “highly effective vaccination program and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.”

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expert-perspectives

U of M expert: Vaccination rates are good but we can do better

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the latest vaccination numbers for more than 4.2 million kindergarteners across 49 states and the District of Columbia. The vaccination rate remains relatively high, but there are still pockets across the U.S. where vaccination rates are lower than they should be, leaving young unvaccinated children vulnerable to preventable, dangerous and potentially deadly diseases.

In a statement, the CDC said vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks can still occur where unvaccinated persons cluster in schools and communities.

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beyond-minnesota

Health Talk Recommends: Watch polio disappear across the world

You can literally watch polio disappear from countries across the world in this Vine video posted by the Gates Foundation.

The quick but powerful video shows there are still three countries to go to fully eradicate the disease, but we’ve come so far as a global society in battling this once crippling disease.

The Health Talk team thought this was pretty cool. Take a look!

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expert-perspectives

Health Talk Recommends: Measles, the most infectious of all infectious diseases

Measles is a rare but potentially deadly disease in children. According to a recent article by Tom Frieden, M.D., director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 60 cases of measles in the U.S. each year. In 2013, however, there have been 175 reported cases in the first 11 months.

And while that number doesn’t seem outrageous, measles is a very serious disease. According to Frieden, “Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 of 10 people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.”

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beyond-minnesota

Health Talk Recommends: Why Pakistan’s polio problem is of global concern

For most Americans, polio is a concern relegated to the past. The crippling disease once plagued so many, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but in the decades since vaccines were developed in the 1950’s, the condition has been eradicated in the United States. The disease is still active in a handful of places, however, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of Nigeria.

Now, according to reports by Reuters, polio cases are on the rise in Pakistan and appear to be linked to a strong anti-vaccination policy by the Taliban, which maintains a presence along the country’s northern border.

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