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NYC Measles Outbreak: What You Need to Know

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

(Circlephoto/Shutterstock)

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene deputy commissioner for disease control, Dr. Jay Varma, talks about the outbreak of measles in NYC and what action individuals should take to prevent further infections.

Here's What You Need to Know About the Measles Outbreak 

  • Most at risk: anyone who has not received the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) immunization vaccine, especially young children.
  • The MMR vaccine is a two-parter: the first dose should be given on a child's first birthday, the second dose on a child's fourth birthday.
  • You are immune from measles if you have had it before.
  • You are protected for life if you’ve been vaccinated; however if you received an insufficient dosage you may not be protected (the recommendation wasn't always 2 doses - check your records with your doctor).
  • If you are unsure about whether you've been vaccinated/received 2 doses, a blood test can determine whether you're protected.
  • Dr. Jay Varma, the city's deputy commissioner for disease control, says, "There are a lot of things in life that are risky or dangerous, but vaccination is not one of them." He says there is sufficient data to support the fact that most measles cases occur in people who have never been vaccinated or were insufficiently vaccinated as children.

Guests:

Dr. Jay Varma

Comments [33]

anon from nyc

Leonard Lopate is an anti-vaxer.

Apr. 07 2014 01:52 PM

Trying to silence people with anti-vaccine viewpoints is NOT akin to letting flat earth people talk about their theories. There are REAL reasons to be concerned about vaccination, particularly what is included in the ingredients:

"Unfortunately, vaccines also contain a host of other ingredients. The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Sears [Robert W. Sears MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician], gives an excellent write-up of these other ingredients, which include: human blood proteins, human lung cells, human fetal lung cells, human cell lines, cow serum, cow heart muscle extract, monkey kidney cells, guinea pig embryo cells, chicken embryos, chicken kidney cells, chicken eggs, aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80 and 20, MSG, EDTA, 2-Phenoxyethanol, sodium borate, octoxynol, and sodium deoxycholate. Many of these ingredients are used as preservatives and to increase the potency of immunization. They are present in the vaccines in tiny amounts, but are known to wreak havoc in biological systems. Adjuvants, in particular, increase the effectivity of a vaccine by irritating your immune system and thereby increasing the immune response. Many of these other ingredients are dangerous and are gaining an increasingly bad reputation in real health circles, particularly the use of heavy metals in vaccines.

Mercury, still used as a preservative in some flu and tetanus vaccines, and aluminum, which is present in many vaccines as an adjuvant, are already dangerous, disruptive elements to biological systems. But when coupled with fluoride, found in almost all commercially available nursery water and most municipal water supplies, these metals gain the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and disrupt neurological development, cause neurological disorders and precipitate the onset of autoimmune disorders."

(Source: http://www.alt-market.com/articles/728-a-guide-for-parents-on-the-dangers-of-vaccination)

As to the flu vaccine, this is a quote from Dr. David Brownstein (he is a Board-Certified family physician and the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI):

"If I told you a medication would have a slightly better than 50% chance of helping you avoid the flu would you take it? Furthermore, if I told you this medication was contaminated with the second or third most toxic substance known to mankind–mercury–would that influence your decision?
I think the decision is easy—wash your hands, take vitamin C and eat good food. That is a better anti-flu regimen when compared to a toxic, ineffective vaccine." (Source: http://blog.drbrownstein.com/should-you-get-an-ineffective-toxic-flu-vaccine/)

Mar. 20 2014 11:01 AM

Trying to silence people with anti-vaccine viewpoints is NOT akin to letting flat earth people talk about their theories. There are REAL reasons to be concerned about vaccination, particularly what is included in the ingredients:

"Unfortunately, vaccines also contain a host of other ingredients. The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Sears [Robert W. Sears MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician], gives an excellent write-up of these other ingredients, which include: human blood proteins, human lung cells, human fetal lung cells, human cell lines, cow serum, cow heart muscle extract, monkey kidney cells, guinea pig embryo cells, chicken embryos, chicken kidney cells, chicken eggs, aluminum, mercury, formaldehyde, polysorbate 80 and 20, MSG, EDTA, 2-Phenoxyethanol, sodium borate, octoxynol, and sodium deoxycholate. Many of these ingredients are used as preservatives and to increase the potency of immunization. They are present in the vaccines in tiny amounts, but are known to wreak havoc in biological systems. Adjuvants, in particular, increase the effectivity of a vaccine by irritating your immune system and thereby increasing the immune response. Many of these other ingredients are dangerous and are gaining an increasingly bad reputation in real health circles, particularly the use of heavy metals in vaccines.

Mercury, still used as a preservative in some flu and tetanus vaccines, and aluminum, which is present in many vaccines as an adjuvant, are already dangerous, disruptive elements to biological systems. But when coupled with fluoride, found in almost all commercially available nursery water and most municipal water supplies, these metals gain the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and disrupt neurological development, cause neurological disorders and precipitate the onset of autoimmune disorders."

(Source: http://www.alt-market.com/articles/728-a-guide-for-parents-on-the-dangers-of-vaccination)

As to the flu vaccine, this is a quote from Dr. David Brownstein (he is a Board-Certified family physician and the Medical Director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, MI):

"If I told you a medication would have a slightly better than 50% chance of helping you avoid the flu would you take it? Furthermore, if I told you this medication was contaminated with the second or third most toxic substance known to mankind–mercury–would that influence your decision?
I think the decision is easy—wash your hands, take vitamin C and eat good food. That is a better anti-flu regimen when compared to a toxic, ineffective vaccine." (Source: http://blog.drbrownstein.com/should-you-get-an-ineffective-toxic-flu-vaccine/)

Mar. 20 2014 11:01 AM
Catherine from Westchester

1) it is ridiculous to presume that all vaccines
Are good for everyone. It defies logic and is
Bad science

2) I've had measles twice and have been vaccinated
Twice. So vaccinating everyone clearly doesn't
Mean that everyone will be immune

3)increased longevity in this country has been
Attributed mostly to improved hygiene and sanitation

Mar. 20 2014 09:55 AM
Molly Poole from Brooklyn

To say that a child's behavior has changed after getting a vaccine has the same scientific weight as saying that his behavior changed after he spoke his first word. The fact that you associate the two does not mean that one causes the other.

Mar. 20 2014 08:40 AM

@Josh: Measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, tuberculosis, etc. are all dangerous diseases that one can survive, but now that there are vaccines NO ONE should have to play Russian Roulette with both their and the public's health.

Mar. 19 2014 04:45 PM

If you don't vaccinate your children you put everyone at risk. It's not just stupid, it's reckless and wrong.

Mar. 19 2014 01:51 PM
MaryAnn McCarra-Fitzpatrick from Peekskill, NY

We noticed a marked change in our son after he had his one-year vaccines. He stopped making eye contact and ceased meeting milestones. Previous to this he had been a happy healthy child. Today he is thirteen, non-verbal, and still in diapers. He hasn't had a normal bowel movement since this battery of vaccines. If no one ever had an adverse reaction to a vaccine there would be no need for the existence of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a governmental agency.

https://vaers.hhs.gov/index

If the doctor who spoke on this program would like to see, firsthand, how an adverse reaction to vaccines has affected our family he can feel free to come and change my son's diapers any time and see for himself the pain and suffering my son and our whole family continues to experience on a daily basis.

Mar. 19 2014 12:58 PM
Jf from Dystopia

People don't trust FDA approved things because they approve drugs that kill 60,000 people like with viox, without proper testing. They approve vaccines that instantly kill the patient before they hit the floor. The FDA takes bribes from the pharmaceutical industry, then has a SWAT team raid cherry growers because they used scientific research to tell people about the health benefits of cherries.

Mar. 19 2014 12:55 PM
Amy from Manhattan

david from NJ, the problem w/their learning the hard way is that it exposes other people to the risk of disease.

On the other hand, some people do have allergies to vaccines & don't have the choice to get vaccinated. Or maybe it's not that other hand--they're the ones at highest risk from exposure to people who chose not to get the vaccine (or whose parents chose not to have them vaccinated. They depend the immunity of the people around them.

Mar. 19 2014 12:53 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Is it just that vaccines aren't 100% effective? Could some strains of the measles virus mutate to a more infectious form that the vaccine isn't as effective against? Obviously it's not mutating as fast as the flu virus, but is the CDC or NIH keeping track of this?

Mar. 19 2014 12:32 PM
BK from Hoboken

To S from Manhattan-
I hope that you live a long healthy life into your 80s and 90s thanks to modern medicine and drugs, so that you can continue to decry big pharma for an extra 20 or 30 years compared to your great grandparents.

Mar. 19 2014 12:12 PM
david from NJ

On the vaccine debate some people have to learn the hard way it's always been the same they know better than anyone else, meanwhile more preventable illnesses keep cropping up in larger numbers.

Mar. 19 2014 12:07 PM
Dan from Inwood

Arguing with an Anti-Vaxxer is about as productive as debating race relations with your racist uncle over Thanksgiving. You can't fix crazy.

Mar. 19 2014 11:58 AM
Rudy from NYC

Brian, just as well you didn't get into the vaccination-denial debate. Even if the pro-vaccination argument is 100% correct (and although there may be some rare exceptions, it seems to be a valid position), the argument can't be won: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/02/vaccine-denial-psychology-backfire-effect

Mar. 19 2014 11:57 AM
jm

"Do your own research" = naturalnews dot com and other non-peer-reviewed crazy publications. Basically, these are the digital equivalents of hack "health" newsletters that appeared in your Grandma's mailbox. The authors recommend gems such as tumeric for cancer, and they were usually wanted for child support in three states.

Mar. 19 2014 11:51 AM

Brian, at the end of the segment, you referred to the measles outbreak in New York "and the one in California."

You are seriously underestimating the crisis here (which you are abetting by allowing vaccine truthers to call in and NOT be debunked live on air).

There is a measles outbreak in the Bay Area right now:
http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_25136788/measles-warning-bay-area-bart-berkeley

There is ALSO a measles outbreak in San Diego right now:
http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/03/12/4th-measles-case-reported-in-san-diego/

There are ALSO measles outbreaks in Los Angeles, Riverside, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, Oregon, and Texas right now:
http://pediatrics.about.com/od/measles/a/measles-outbreaks.htm

Please don't understate the problem here. It isn't small and it isn't going away as long as people don't vaccinate their kids.

Mar. 19 2014 11:50 AM
JT from LI

Anti-vaccine folks always claim that there are many instances of vaccines being dangerous or, as the last caller said, they don't work. The "evidence" is almost always anecdotal, like Michele Bachmann's claim that she heard that the HPV vaccine lead to "mental retardation" in one girl. Of course do your own research, just make sure you use multiple reputable sources and that there is actual evidence for the claims.

Mar. 19 2014 11:47 AM
Michele Boudreaux from Brooklyn

While I know that there are MANY folks out there who don't agree with vaccinations, I wish that overall the media would cease giving them the floor to spew their nonsense. To the woman who called in suggesting that the vaccine actually can lead people to get a worse outbreak and/or that somehow it doesn't work: gosh I hope you don't have children. I hope you're not responsible for anyone but yourself. And I do hope that you stay away from other children; you are dangerous.

Gosh, it's hard for me to be levelheaded when dealing with folks who simply REFUSE to see the facts.

Mar. 19 2014 11:43 AM
s. from Manhattan

Until Dee brought some levity to this segment, it has been sounding like nothing more than an infomercial for the pharmaceutical industry and the massive billion dollar vaccination programs they promulgate with lots of PR and skewed science. While some vaccinations are better than others, and some are safer and others are not, Dr. Varma simply says "trust me and big pharma" and as usual, turns many listeners off. Brian -- we are not such a minority as you say.

Mar. 19 2014 11:42 AM
Terri from Brooklyn.

How about shutting down any "vaccination debate" by pointing out that the debate is itself nonsense: all of the evidence points to the effectiveness of vaccines.

To the extent that there is a debate, it is, like those over evolution and climate change, a cultural and political one; it is most definitely not a scientific one.

It would be nice if you would make that clear.

Mar. 19 2014 11:42 AM
Fishmael from NYC

Oh my God. I can't believe that you just let that science-denying person make such a dangerous claim on air, without roundly debunking her assertions. That's really very irresponsible, and just a "we can agree to disagree" is in no way sufficient. Would you say the same, for instance, to someone who called in to assert that, say, heroin is not addictive?

I hope that WNYC and your show will issue a more responsible position to correct this dangerous lapse.

Mar. 19 2014 11:40 AM
Jessica from Chelsea

He did not accurately answer your question about measles inflicting people who were vaccinated based on the caller pointing out it is worse in those who were vaccinated, he elided it. Vaccines in general do more research into what is in it before you accept the establishment forcing it on people.

Mar. 19 2014 11:40 AM
jm

I wish "the other side" would plainly identify themselves with a special medical bracelet in public so I can avoid them for my own safety.

Mar. 19 2014 11:40 AM
Carol

Brian, I think it was extremely irresponsible for you to let that "Dee" person on the air. The views of people like her are completely unsupported by science.

Mar. 19 2014 11:39 AM
Jake S from Harlem

AAAAAAH! Please don't give the anti-vaxxer crazy callers any airtime. This isn't a question of fairness on different sides of an issues. They're flat out wrong. You might as well have a flat earther on there insisting we "do our own research." Get with the program, screeners!

Mar. 19 2014 11:38 AM
BK from Hoboken

Stop taking medical advice from Jenny McCarthy instead of the highly educated scientists at the CDC. And yes, if someone doesn't want to vaccinate than they should not be part of society- herd immunity is very important and is a social pact. Don't want to vaccinate? Then keep your kids out of my kids schools, playgrounds, etc. Go live in a cave with other conspiracy theorists.
There are no "sides" to this. There is zero evidence on "the other side". Caller Dee has zero evidence. Zero!!!!! Stop
Giving these people a platform!!!!!

Mar. 19 2014 11:37 AM
Josh Karan from Washington Heights

Why is measles of such great concern?

All of my generation had measles when we were kids.

For most it is not dangerous & can be treated homeopathically and herbally.

It is poverty, with its attendant malnutrition and lack of access to good health care that needs to be addressed.

Mar. 19 2014 11:36 AM
Bob

If you had measles as a child, are you immune from another infection? That's what we were told back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Could the doctor comment?

Mar. 19 2014 11:36 AM

errr...And those of us who have had the measles are...?

Mar. 19 2014 11:35 AM
Melissa from ditmas park

My husband was allergic to the egg white component in many vaccinations when he was a child. He has long since grown out of his food allergies. Should he get vaccinated now as a 37 yr old adult?

Mar. 19 2014 11:33 AM

What to do about the Measles outbreak?

a) Vaccinate your kids

b) Call the Dept. of Education and ask them to remove the "religious" exemption that lets non-vaccinated kids into schools.

c) Call Disney and tell them if they really want to market to children, then they need to get Jenny McCarthy off of ABC's "The View" immediately. Dangerous people harming our kids should not be given bullhorns that let them hurt more children.

Mar. 19 2014 11:19 AM
marjorie hirsch from new york city

Recently returned from Paris and always felt safe crossing the street. I think we need to look at other cities' traffic circulation and learn from them. There was never a concern that a car or motorcycle would make a turn, as in the experience articulated earlier in the program, and knock someone down. Traffic is so organized that these kinds of turns do not occur. The lights and signals are so organized to accommodate safe crossing by pedestrians. Take note of their traffic organization.

Mar. 19 2014 10:44 AM

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