The UK is no longer measles free.
That was the news earlier this week. After we were declared measles free in 2016 by the World Health Organisation—no measles cases originated in the UK—measles has been on the rise since last year. It seems that children have been missing their second MMR jab (Measels, mumps and rubella). Parents are reading on the internet that this injection is linked to autism, something that has been thoroughly debunked, there is no truth in the rumour at all, and are scared that their children may grow up to be like me. What kind of person takes advice from Facebook when doctors say otherwise. OK, I admit that complacency is also a factor here, as measles becomes less common.
I have autism. It is something I was born with and will die with. There is no cure, it is not a disease but a neurolological condition, not a disorder although it is labelled as such by diagnostic criteria in the USA. Autistic is who I am, what I am. And I have a pretty good life.
There is just too much negativity said about autistic people, focussing on what we cannot do rather than what we can.
The MMR vaccine does not cause autism
To be clear, the report by Andrew Wakefield in the 1990s wrongly linking MMR with autism was flawed from the beginning. A small sample size meant the report should never have been trusted. Further investigations with large, credible sample sizes show there was never a link.
Autism cannot be caught, not from other autistic people, not from a vaccine, it is a neurological condition and not a mental illness.
Social media, where people get much of their misinformation from is changing:
Twitter has already changed its algorithms so that searches for MMR, vaccine etc. Will go to a ‘credible public health resource’, which in the UK is the NHS.
Facebook said in April this year that they were looking to reduce the ranking of websites that spread misinformation about vaccination. When I searched Facebook this morning (Tuesday) among the British news sites reporting the measles-free status being lost was Over Vaccination Nation, Facebook have a long way to go before the misinformation sites are reduced in ranking. All I can say is that Facebook cannot be trusted on health issues.
Come on Facebook, you can do better an that.