The Vaccine Controversy–A Measles Update

The Washington State Health Department announced this week that a women there died after contracting measles. According to the CDC, it’s the first confirmed death in the US due to measles since 2003.

As you can imagine, the press release about this death included a call for more comprehensive vaccination. Public figures, on the other hand, took the opportunity to tweet their opposition to the recent California vaccine legislation, which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

In the health department report, the authors say that the woman who died contracted measles while she was in a health care facility. They also say that she already had several other health conditions that compromised her immune system. At no time did she display any symptoms of the disease, such as the characteristic measles rash.

The advice from the Department of Health is confusing, if not contradictory. They say

  1. The patient had a compromised immune system;
  2. People with compromised immune systems often cannot receive vaccinations;
  3. People with compromised immune systems may have poor immune response even when vaccinated; so
  4. You should get vaccinated.

I really don’t understand their logic, if there’s any logic there at all.