Cook County and Illinois public health officials have begun investigating a cluster of measles cases linked to a daycare center in Palatine.
In a joint statement, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health said the cluster includes five infants who have ties to KinderCare Learning Center, located at 929 E. Palatine Rd. in Palatine.
All five children are under age one, including four from the suburbs, and one from Chicago. Lab tests have confirmed measles cases in two of the children; the other three have been diagnosed with measles, but doctors were waiting for lab tests to confirm the diagnoses.
“Individuals who are under the age of one or with certain clinical conditions cannot be vaccinated and are therefore at highest risk for measles. Residents are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the most vulnerable members of the community,” officials said.
Students, staff, and faculty at the daycare center have been notified, and anyone who hasn’t received a measles vaccination has been told to stay at home, and away from unvaccinated people for the next 21 days.
Everybody as old as I am had measles. I remember having two different kinds of measles – the 3 day kind and the 2 week kind. I remember being pretty miserable, and also the fact that if your teacher caught measles from you, and was pregnant, it would damage the baby.
But the most interesting thing about this outbreak of measles isn’t about the disease itself; it is about the profiles of parents who refuse vaccination. If you listen to the NPR crowd, it is only conservatives who have concerns about vaccinations, but if you look at the hotspots of the outbreaks, you realize that it is largely affluent people who are opting out. Here is the wiki entry for Palatine, IL. Affluent. I hear you… “Yes Aggie, but affluent could be conservative. True. So in anticipation of your comments, I dug a little deeper.
Last week, Mnookin spoke with ScienceInsider about why.
Q: There’s a perception that vaccine refusal is especially common among affluent, well-educated, politically liberal parents—is there any truth to that?
S.M.: It’s dangerous to make broad generalizations about a group, but anecdotally and from the overall data that’s been collected it seems to be people who are very actively involved in every possible decision regarding their children’s lives. I think it relates to a desire to take uncertainty out of the equation. And autism represents such an unknown. We still don’t know what causes it and we still don’t have good answers for how to treat it. So I think that fear really resonates.
Also I think there’s a fair amount of entitlement. Not vaccinating your child is basically saying I deserve to rely on the herd immunity that exists in a population. At the most basic level it’s saying I believe vaccines are potentially harmful, and I want other people to vaccinate so I don’t have to. And for people to hide under this and say, “Oh, it’s just a personal decision,” it’s being dishonest. It’s a personal decision in the way drunk driving is a personal decision. It has the potential to affect everyone around you.
Q: But why liberals?
S.M.: I think it taps into the organic natural movement in a lot of ways.
I talked to a public health official and asked him what’s the best way to anticipate where there might be higher than normal rates of vaccine noncompliance, and he said take a map and put a pin wherever there’s a Whole Foods. I sort of laughed, and he said, “No, really, I’m not joking.” It’s those communities with the Prius driving, composting, organic food-eating people.
Another article I saw in the Washington Post compared high rates of vaccine refusal to percentage of votes collected by Obama. Guess.
No one has put it more succinctly than James Cherry, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles, who told the New York Times, “There are some pretty dumb people out there.”
The real problem is that these people tend to stick together. A new study this week finds strong evidence that people who rejected vaccines for their young children are clustered together in the same communities. And that only increases the risk that measles — a highly contagious respiratory disease that was believed to have been eradicated 15 years ago — will spread to more children.
Researchers analyzing records for about 55,000 children born in 13 northern California counties between 2010 and 2012 found five geographic clusters of 3-year-olds with significantly higher rates of vaccine refusal.
These included East Bay (10.2 percent refusal rate); Marin and southwest Sonoma counties (6.6 percent refusal); northeastern San Francisco (7.4 percent); northeastern Sacramento County and Roseville (5.5 percent); and south of Sacramento (13.5 percent). By comparison, the vaccine refusal rate outside these clusters is 2.6 percent, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics.
These are some of the most privileged parts of the Bay Area, although South Bay counties around Silicon Valley aren’t on the list. The median household income in Marin is $90,535, compared to $61,094 in the state of California. In Alameda County (home to towns like Berkeley) in the East Bay, it’s $72,112. One exception is Sacramento, where median income is only $55,064.
The communities where anti-vaxxers cluster are also among the most liberal. Marin County, San Francsico County and Alameda County all voted overwhelmingly for Obama in 2008. In Marin, 78 percent of the vote went to Obama. In San Francisco, it was 84 percent. And in Alameda, it was 79 percent. That’s all higher than what Obama got in his own home county of Cook County, Illinois. Here, too, Sacramento is an exception. Only 58 percent of the county went for Obama in 2008.
The study also found five clusters with significant greater rates of under-immunization among children who turned 3 years old between 2010 and 2012. The under-immunization rate ranged between 18 percent and 23 percent in these clusters, compared to 11 percent outside them, and they were generally in the same areas where vaccine refusers were clustered.
Another way that the Left endangers us all. Because there are people among us who cannot be vaccinated – for example young kids fighting leukemia. But I suppose that the people in Marin would explain that if the moms had simply breastfed for long enough, little Chloe wouldn’t have cancer to begin with.