“I predict measles outbreaks in Texas could happen as early as the winter or spring of 2018”: Peter Hotez, MD, PhD- PLoS Medicine October 25, 2016
The Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Dr Peter Hotez wrote this prediction in an article in the journal PLoS Medicine a few months ago and he joined me on the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show to talk more about how he came to make this prediction.
What’s going on in Texas?
“Something awful is happening in Texas,” Dr Hotez said. “Texas is becoming the epicenter of what looks like, some neo-antivaxxer movement”. There have been some 50,000 nonmedical or “reasons of conscience” exemptions to school immunization laws, almost double the number of exemptions in 2010.
“We’ve got some school districts and some schools where more than 10-20 percent of kids are not getting vaccinated”, he stated. “Once you get non-compliance in terms of vaccines at that level, we know historically that’s when we start seeing measles outbreaks.”
Hotez also discusses the growing anti-vaccine political movement going on in the state.
Concerning legislative action in Texas concerning non-medical exemption like occurred in California in 2015, Dr Hotez would like to see it, but acknowledges there is no political will right now. “This anti-vaccine movement has gotten so strong and so powerful, things will get worse before they get better.
“It’s very unfortunate, but it’s going to take measles outbreaks to wake people up.”
I also asked Hotez to comment on the Op-Ed from Cleveland Clinic physician, Dr Daniel Neides , for which he said, “I don’t know what planet it dropped down from….it’s the most outrageous piece, I don’t know what was behind that. I mean there’s no scientific basis for it”.
Listen to the whole interview below:
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Other interviews with Dr Hotez:
- Old World cutaneous leishmaniasis outbreak in conflict zones: An interview with Dr Peter Hotez
- Dr. Peter Hotez discusses his new book, ‘Blue Marble Health’
- Outbreak News Radio: Chagas disease in North America
- Vaccine exemptions and other legal matters with Prof. Dorit Rubinstein Reiss
- Meningitis Angels and the ‘Cost of measles’
- Vaccines: An interview with Dr. Paul Offit
- Smallpox: ‘You can argue that Henderson may of saved more lives than any other single human being in human history’, Hotez states
- Tennessee: Cool Springs Family Medicine says ‘No more vaccines’
- Anti-Vaxx Op-Ed, Trump/RFK Jr meeting: An ID Doc’s perspective