Our View: Measles thrive on ignorance

The measles have escaped the ultra-conservative – and ultra-ignorant – religious community in Chilliwack where the most recent outbreak of the dangerous disease started.

And as the disease creeps westward through the Fraser Valley, cases are cropping up closer and closer to Langley.

This is not a small thing. Measles is not a minor ailment like the common cold.

It’s serious.

One in three children who catch the disease will be hospitalized. About one in 3,000 will die. Somewhere in between lies the number of children who will suffer severe brain trauma, and many of those will live with the effects for the rest of their lives. Permanent hearing loss is a relatively common legacy.

The real tragedy lies in how easy it is to avoid infection. A simple vaccination confers immunity from the disease and all of its risks.

Yes, some prominent people have suggested that vaccinations are dangerous. Much of that speculation originated with the “research” of Andrew Wakefield, which has been thoroughly debunked and discredited. His infmaous article in Lancet was retracted.

But the actors and celebrities promulgating that nonsense haven’t bothered to keep up with developments – the way they would if they were real scientists, instead of pretending to be scientists during a movie shoot.

Don’t listen to celebrities. They have no expertise, and worse still, they have little motive to be concerned about their own ignorance. They have the resources to safeguard their kids – to keep them away from other kids whose parents haven’t vaccinated them – so they have the luxury of giving in to their own ignorance without putting their children at tremendous risk.

Do your research from reputable sources: ask questions of medical experts and avoid talk show nonsense.

And if you still choose not to vaccinate, then keep your kids at home… for their safety as well as others’.

– B.G.

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