For a city currently in the midst of a measles outbreak, hearing that the vaccine doesn't work may not be the message you want to relay.
In the Wednesday edition of Metro Calgary, an article is dedicated to homeopath Donna Powers, quoting a blog post on her site entitled "Mercy Me! Measles…Again!"
This comes one day after the province of Alberta declared a measles outbreak, after 22 cases of the disease were confirmed.
In the post, Powers talks about the "dreaded letter" sent to parents whose students are unvaccinated and asked to stay home from school in Calgary. After reassuring parents who haven't vaccinated their children to be "confident in their decision," she goes on to say,
For me personally, I weep more for the families struggling with autism. THIS is an epidemic/pandemic and a travesty that needs to be addressed. If 1 in 68 children in North America has autism, then what does that mean in a city of one million like Calgary? WAY too many. This measles outbreak that the media is hammering away at? Eight. Count them. Eight individual cases.
Though she doesn't make an explicit reference to the supposed cases of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine causing autism, she does appear to imply this is the case. Powers also suggests parents can use homeopathy if their children get an infectious illness.
Several studies have disproved any potential links between autism and the MMR vaccine, reports HealthyChildren.org, a site run by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Metro Calgary came under fire for the piece, with many people on social media calling the newpaper's article dedicated to the blog "irresponsible" and "junk science."
@metrocalgary irresponsible and slanted clickbait. Homeopathy is not science-based. Don’t normalise the anti-vaccine woo. Please.— Frances Vettergreen (@vettergreenart) April 30, 2014
A quack writes garbage and passes it off as advice. @metrocalgary broadcasts it as news. Shameful.— Greg Mills (@Gritty_Greg) April 30, 2014
Every message from provincial health care units across the country has stated the same thing since the disease began appearing at the start of the year: vaccinations can help prevent the illness from spreading, particularly to at-risk populations, like children.
Treatment for measles includes an injection of proteins called immune serum globulin for those with weakened immune systems, according to the Mayo Clinic, as well as pain medication to reduce fevers. While homeopathic remedies might help with symptoms of the disease, they cannot protect against or prevent getting the measles, noted the Guardian last year.
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