A debunked study linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to Autism is still affecting parent's choice whether to vaccinate more than ten years later. Now some diseases like whooping cough are surfacing more often. In fact, 21 thousand cases of whooping cough were reported last year and 26 deaths from the illness. One big trigger for the comeback could be parents' fear of vaccinations.
"Fear really kind of carried through with people for a lot of different reasons because Autism is a scary disease and nobody is really sure exactly what causes it. Because of that small bit of doubt there are a lot of people that decided to not vaccinate their children," explained Dr. Anatole Karpovs, a pediatrician at The Southwest Louisiana Children's Clinic.
He added that many studies and scientists have since refuted the findings of the 1991 Wakefield study that suggested the ties between the MMR vaccine and Autism. The doctor who published the research has also lost his medical license. The whooping cough outbreak is not just from a lack of vaccinations.
"We've realized that some of the immunity from the vaccines waivers over time so that especially for whooping cough we should be using regular boosters," said Dr. Karpovs.
Adults over 21 need to head to the doctor's office every ten years to get an additional booster shot for whooping cough. Dr. Karpovs said the illness is not usually life threatening for adults, but for small children with it can have serious side effects.