New York’s Rockland and Orange counties are experiencing some cases of measles. Or, depending on what publication you ask, a “worst outbreak in recent history.”
As it stands, health officials claim they’ve diagnosed 167 cases (confirmed and potential) in the region.
“If you go back many decades ago when we weren’t vaccinating, of course, there were probably more outbreaks, but in my memory, I don’t know of a measles outbreak that was this significant,” New York State Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker told CNN.
Gothamist is calling it the “worst outbreak in recent history.”
But the article was forced to issue a correction. Oddly, but unsurprisingly, the correction can be found at the very bottom of the article. Here it is:
Update: An earlier version of this story was headlined “NYC Faces Worst Measles Outbreak In Generations.” In fact, 58 cases were diagnosed citywide in 2013, and in 1991, more than 2,000 cases of measles were reported to the city health department.
As of January 11th, the headline remained the same.
The update doesn’t blatantly state that the headline is in error. It does, however, point out that there have been other years whereas measles cases have spread. In 1991, the measles vaccine existed. The spread was blamed on black and Hispanic toddlers and “religious zealots.” The CDC associated 9 deaths with the outbreak. But a deeper look showed that almost every death was a result of untreated pneumonia. The highly religious sects did not believe in medical care for ailments such as pneumonia.
Today’s measles outbreak is once again fanning the flames of those who are against vaccines, those who are for vaccines, and those who believe in parental rights.
The media is leading the charge with inflammatory headline baiting. But that’s nothing unusual in today’s world of divisive media coverage.