No link to autism from vaccines, says expert

FOX 2's Deena Centofanti spoke to a vaccine expert about the safety of the measles vaccine and why it's so important. 
Since the measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland in California, a national debate has been started about that vaccine and it's importance.

A local vaccine expert from Wayne State University stopped by FOX 2 and weighed in. 

It wasn't that long ago that the measles were gone. In 2000 the United States declared the virus was eliminated in this country. 

Now there are more than 100 cases. It might not sound that threatening, but Dr. Paul Kilgore says this virus is highly contagious and can be deadly.

FOX 2: "Why are we so concerned about this virus?"

"Measles is the most contagious virus known to man," Kilgore said. "And it's easily passed from one person to another. Those that are exposed and susceptible to the virus, 90 percent of those become infected with measles and get the disease."

FOX 2: "So why does it seem to be  making a comeback?"

"The reason for that is over the years, as people have declined vaccination,  the number of children and adults who are susceptible to the virus has increased," Kilgore said.

Michigan is one of the states that allows parents to opt out of vaccinations based on religious, medical or philosophical reasons. fear of autism is fueling a lot of anti-vaccine sentiment. 

Kilgore says it's unfounded. 

"There is no association with autism or autism spectrum disorder," Kilgore said. "And the contents of the vaccine now are composed so they don't contain Mercury or any Mercury-containing compound."

Babies younger than 6 months and anyone with a fragile immune system can't get vaccinated, but the doctor says everyone else should be. 

FOX 2: "In order to get the herd immunity, should parents be forced to vaccinate their children?" 

"The best way that parents can prevent spread of measles in their family, in their school and in their neighborhood, is to take the measles vaccine," Kilgore said. "Two doses is optimal for prevention of disease." 

To understand more about measles, CLICK HERE.

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