U.S. Surgeon General applauds Indiana’s high measles vaccination rate

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 10, 2015)– As the measles outbreak inches closer to home, America’s doctor applauded Indiana’s high measles vaccination rate during a stop in Indianapolis.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy toured Eskenazi Hospital Tuesday morning as part of a multi-state listening tour.

He delivered one of his sternest warnings about Measles and criticized states that allow people to file for non-medical exemptions.

“Hundreds of people died every year because of measles in the United States prior to the vaccine. Children developed encephalitis which is swelling of their brain, because of measles. They often developed pneumonia and ear infections with hearing loss, because of measles. We know from experience that measles has real consequences,” he explained. “One of my concerns is that we have let in cases our requirements around vaccines be too permissive.”

The number of measles cases has now jumped to 121 with the nearest cases in Chicago.

Murthy added that he understood parents had concerns that were coming from a good place, but he encouraged them to trust science.

“Every parent wants the best for their children. But this is an area where we have to be careful about letting anecdotes or rumors guide us in our decision making,” he said. “This is an issue – measles – where we need to let science guide us in our decision making. And the science is very clear.”

Murthy also discussed the Affordable Care Act and public health issues facing Indianapolis.

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