Measles, meningitis – there’s a vaccine for that - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Measles, meningitis – there’s a vaccine for that

(Toledo News Now) -

Although a lot of people avoid them, vaccines are recommended for a reason. They are designed to prevent people from contracting viruses that could make them very sick or even cause death.

This year, cases of bacterial meningitis and measles are making news, even though there are vaccines for both.

Each year, on average, about 60 people in the United States are reported to have measles, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). But this year, experts are seeing twice as many cases.

That could be in part because some people are refusing to vaccinate their children, believing that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism.

Measles can be fatal, especially in children, and before the MMR vaccine was introduced in 1971, an average of 450-500 people died each year in the United States from measles. There are no legitimate studies that show the MMR vaccine is linked to autism, but still many children go unvaccinated.

It is well-known that living in close-quarter dorm settings tends to cause deadly bacterial meningitis to spread. That's why many colleges and universities require students to be vaccinated before they enter school. Yet this year, places like Princeton and the University of California – Santa Barbara have seen outbreaks.

The CDC stresses that all children, beginning at age 11 or 12, get vaccinated against meningitis and then follow it up with a booster several years later.

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