What caused the recent measles outbreak in Manila? Does the measles vaccine cause autism? Is the outbreak really over? These sound like very simple questions, but the answers are not as simple as I would like them to be.
And if you think the measles vaccine causes autism, please give me your undivided attention.
“It is not the government’s fault if parents don’t find the time to have their children vaccinated against measles,” said Dr. May Montellano, President of the Philippine Foundation of Vaccination, during a media discussion on the recent measles outbreak in Manila. The discussion was organized by Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD).
Measles Outbreak in Manila: What You Didn’t Know
During the round-table discussion which I attended last January 27, 2014, Dr. Montellano emphasized the integral role of a family in preventing outbreaks. “Immunization is the most cost-effective preventive health measure in this century,” she added, quoting the joint position statement of the Philippine Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines.
Members of the press attend the round-table discussion on measles vaccination.
Well, that’s not really news, you might think. But there are a few things I learned that day which didn’t exactly make it to the news – and those are the things I wanted to share with you.
- The outbreak is worse than you think. The outbreak you once saw in the news was focused only on specific areas in Manila, but the outbreak has now spread to different provinces in the Philippines. (You probably haven’t heard that news bit yet because the Vhong Navarro story is taking up too much airtime.)