I was going to write something light-hearted tonight, until I saw an Associated Press story reported by WCCO news here in the Twin Cities. The article is linked here. Autism Fears, Measles Spike Among Minn. Somalis
My blood boiled when I read that the original Andrew Wakefield, whose 1998 “study” that purported a connection between autism and the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine, was determined to be not only bad science, but outright fraudulent, has been peddling his fear-mongering garbage to immigrant populations.
According to the AP article, reported cases of measles (a disease that was at one time essentially eradicated in the U.S.) in Minnesota have been at zero to one per year for the past decade. This year, fourteen cases have been reported since February.
Today is World Autism Awareness Day. Instead of perpetuating unsubstantiated claims based on junk science, wouldn’t it be more prudent to focus on sorting out the true causes of autism and therapies that can improve the lives of these children and their families? Every Andrew Wakefield, every Jenny McCarthy, every Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. sets the cause back at least ten years.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2011