Japan health officials say they are experiencing a measles outbreak. Health officials blame pockets of vaccine resistors.
Officials say 167 cases in 20 Japanese prefectures by Febuary10th. The National Institute of Infectious Diseases says the worst outbreaks are in Osaka and Mia. The last time Japan saw this many measles cases was 2008.
Health officials are placing blame on a religious group called Miroku Community Kyusei Shinkyo. The group believes strongly in alternative health solutions and refuses vaccines. The group promotes eating naturally farmed foods, rather than using pharmaceutical solutions.
But the group is folding under pressure from health officials and released a statement claiming its members will comply with vaccine standards.
“Given the unexpected situation, we will follow the health care center’s advice to get vaccine shots for measles or other highly infectious diseases so that we don’t cause concern to others,” the group said in the statement. Whether or not the group complied based on overwhelming pressure by government officials or otherwise is unknown.
But Masaya Yamato, a doctor Rinku General Medical Center in Osaka, says that some of the measles recipients were in fact, vaccinated, but not enough.
“Many of the patients were young and they did not receive enough shots, maybe due to their parents’ philosophy, and the outbreak spread at their meeting,” Dr. Yamato said via the NYTimes.
The media’s hyperfocused coverage on measles is leading to global vaccine law reconsiderations. Unfortunately, parental rights are on the line and too many people are allowing fear to cloud their judgment.