Sudden outbreak of measles linked to vaccine fears in the 1990s


Fears that vaccines cause autism led to an explosion of measles cases this year in southwest Wales, according The Wall Street Journal. Between November and July, 1,219 people in southwest Wales contracted the measles, compared with 105 cases in all of Wales in 2011, according to the report.

The Journal links the outbreak to a since-discredited 1998 study by the British doctor Andrew Wakefield, who speculated about a link between the vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella and the growing number of autism cases. The study was heavily covered by the South Wales Evening Post, a local newspaper. By the end of 1998, the number of 2-year-olds who received the vaccine fell by 14 percent, compared with 2.4 percent in the rest of the country.


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