Fears of vaccines could lead to devastating measles rise

With more than 150 cases of measles reported in the United States already this year, doctors warn that the disease is making an alarming comeback because of the unfounded fears linking the measles vaccine and autism.
The Mayo Clinic's Gregory Poland urged doctors to review extensive scientific research that has found no connection between the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine and autism in the September issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Medical News Today reports.
"A rising portion of the population is deciding not to immunize their children because of this controversy, and these children are now susceptible to the measles virus," Poland said, according to Medical News Today. "The results have been devastating. The campaign against the vaccine has caused great harm to public health across multiple nations, even though it has no scientific basis. There have been over 20 studies, spanning two decades, conducted in several countries. Not one has found scientific evidence of a connection between autism spectrum disorders and MMR vaccine."
Fears about the vaccine were sparked in 1998 by researcher Andrew Wakefield even though the study was later found to be fraudulent by the British General Medical Council.
Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases to humans. It kills close to three of every one thousand people infected. Indigenous cases of the disease had been eliminated in the U.S. due to the vaccine's effectiveness and successful immunization programs worldwide.
Poland recommends that doctors, patients and the media become educated about the research behind the vaccine and help rectify the misinformation.
"Just as significantly, we need to direct appropriate and significant funds to determine what's really causing autism in our children," Poland said, according to Medical News Today.