Opting out of vaccines leaves these US 'hot spots' most vulnerable for outbreaks

As increasing number of parents have left their kids unvaccinated, the situation has led to development of hotspots in the United States for measles as well as other diseases, says a study.

The study discovered that since the year 2009, there has been an increase in the number of kindergarten-aged children joining schools with non medical exemptions in 12 out of 18 US states which allow the exemptions.

For the study, the researchers went through the data collected from 18 states and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mainly focusing on the school years ranging from 2009-2010 to the year 2016-2017.

The findings of the study showed that due to the increasing number of non-medical exemptions, there has been a rise of hotspots with the children posed towards a risk of contracting diseases such as measles among others.

As the population of people opting out of vaccinations keeps on growing, mainly in the mobile cities, the possible risk of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks also grows.

The rise in the cases of children not getting vaccinated mainly comes from the discredited belief where vaccines are related to autism. In the past few years, there have been many cases of measles outbreak, the disease which was once considered to be completely eradicated by the CDC in the year 2000.

The 12 states which have shown an increase in the number of non medical exemptions are Arkansas, Idaho, Arizona, Minnesota, Maine, Ohio, Utah, North Dakota, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Moreover, Michigan, Louisiana, Colorado, Washington, Missouri and Wisconsin are other six states which also allow the non-medical exemptions.

However, the researchers said that another study is under way to know how they can target the health campaigns in the affected states in a better way with the basic aim of encouraging more number of families to administer vaccinations.

The study was published in the journal PLOS Medicine on Tuesday. as


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