FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Three Fairfield County urgent care doctors are speaking out on the debate over whether parents should vaccinate their children, as well as the benefits of the MMR vaccine, after recent outbreaks of measles in California and other states.
Over 100 cases of measles have been reported across 14 states so far this year, believed to have stemmed from this one incident.
Measles is believed to be spreading due to a growing trend of parents choosing not to vaccinate their children, which has sparked a debate: to vaccinate or not to vaccinate.
Dr. Thomas Brown, medical director at Doctors Express Urgent Care in Danbury and West Hartford, Dr. David Lauren, medical director at Doctors Express Stamford, as well as Dr. Michael Tugetman, medical director at Doctors Express Hartsdale and the Bronx, say measles is a virus that can be easily prevented with the MMR – measles, mumps, rubella – vaccine.
The recent outbreak has urged area urgent care doctors to address the dangers of not vaccinating their children.
While these general practitioners say they respect that parents may have differing views on vaccines, they stand firm and united on the power of medicine and science when it comes to vaccinating.
“The data is extremely robust that vaccines are especially effective at preventing various communicable diseases. Not much in the way of opinions here," Brown said in a statement. "This is fact. Vaccines are one of our greatest medical achievements to date. We need only to look back several decades in this country to see the horrors created by polio."
The fear for many anti vaccine proponents is that use of the vaccine has led to an increase in autism throughout the years.
Tugetman said that a statement released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated there is no definitive connection between the MMR vaccine and autism. However, because celebrities have gotten on board the anti-vaccine movement and not vaccinating children has become a trend, more children are being exposed to the virus.
Measles comes with symptoms such as high fever, cough, red watery eyes, and a characteristic rash that starts at the head and goes down to the feet. Unfortunately, it can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, brain damage, and even death.
Tugetman says By 2000, measles was considered an eradicated disease in the U.S.
“When you have an outbreak like this, if you don’t have immunity, you’re susceptible, and it spreads very quickly," he said in a statement.
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