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Letter of the Day: Community at risk

  • 9/13/2010: B6:

    PC: Nurse practitioner Pat Kavanaugh administers a shot to Jesse Fernandez to vaccinate him against whooping cough at the Sonoma County Public Health booth at the Santa Rosa Downtown Market on Wednesday, June 30, 2010.

Community at risk

EDITOR: The report of measles being confirmed ("County health officials sound alarm on measles," Feb. 22) is shocking. Even more shocking is parents refusing to vaccinate their children. This decision not only affects their own children, but others in the community, including adults.

In fourth grade, I had measles, and the doctor made a house call every day to treat a dangerously high fever. Fortunately, no further complications developed. In the first grade, my entire class had whooping cough. In the fifth grade, I had chicken pox. In college, I had German measles, and as an adult, mumps. Every summer we lived in fear of polio.

One of the great advances of modern medicine is that children can be immunized against these very contagious and dangerous diseases.

In a country supposedly educated and free of superstition, it is difficult to understand people who believe in junk science (the connection between immunization and autism has been thoroughly debunked) and are willing to put their own children and the community at risk for something they have never experienced themselves.

Are these parents truly aware of the seriousness of what they are doing, or do they just not care?



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