Measles is not re-surging and the public health threat doesn’t exist; media hyperbole has led to unwarranted fear and exaggeration

According to Oregon’s Department of Health, there have been no measles outbreaks in Oregon in more than 20 years. In the recent Disneyland measles media hysteria, Oregon had exactly one confirmed case of measles. Children in Oregon are immunized for measles at or above national levels.


Oregon’s children are covered for the measles vaccine at 92.4% exceeding the US average of 91.7%.

Oregon’s exemption rate is over-stated because choosing to skip even a single shot causes a child to be classified as “exempt or unvaccinated” in Oregon even though they may have received almost all of their vaccines. (Note that Hepatitis A is the most exempted shot in Oregon. It is only required in 15 states, and the adult uptake rate for the Hepatitis A vaccine is under 10%. A parent choosing to be selective and getting every shot except Hepatitis A will have their child classified as “exempt”, implying they are “unvaccinated” which they aren’t.)

Exhibit1Image From Oregon Immunization Program Presentation

According to Lorraine Duncan, Oregon Immunization Program Coordinator, Oregon children exceed the 2020 healthy people goal of 90% immunization rates for every vaccine required to attend school in Oregon (DTaP, Polio, MMR, Hep B, Varicella, Hep A, Hib).

Exhibit2Image From Oregon Immunization Program Presentation

Measles long ago became a “self-limiting infection of short duration, moderate severity, and low fatality.Exhibit3

According to CDC spokesperson Helen (Amy) Rowland, since 2006 there have been 1,500 cases of wild-type measles in the U.S. and no deaths.

Since 2006, 83 deaths from the MMR have been reported, according to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

The outbreak of measles cases in California is neither unusual nor extreme in terms of outbreaks, which have happened within a relatively tight range in the US for the last 10 years (year/cases): 2009/71, 2010/63, 2011/220, 2012/55, 2013/159, 2014/645, 2015/154

Exhibit4Source: CDC

According to the National Institutes of Health, vaccine coverage rates for the MMR vaccine in children have remained steady for the last 10 years, much as they have in Oregon (year/vaccination rate): 2005/91.5, 2006/92.3, 2007/92.3, 2008/92.1, 2009/90, 2010/91.5, 2011/91.6, 2012/90.8, and 2013/91.9

Exhibit5Source: National Institutes of Health

Measles vaccine uptake rates in the U.S. remain high, and have not changed significantly in the last decade, as this graph using CDC data clearly shows:
Exhibit6 Source: CDC