A Texas lawmaker promoting anti-vaccination legislation is (surprise!) lying in the process, most recently claiming that measles can be treated with antibiotics.
State Rep. Bill Zedler (above), a Republican, is pushing a bill that would make it easier for parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children. He’s doing this while there’s a measles outbreak in the state.
“They want to say people are dying of measles. Yeah, in third-world countries they’re dying of measles,” Zedler said, shaking his head. “Today, with antibiotics and that kind of stuff, they’re not dying in America.” Zedler says he’s adamantly in favor of “freedom of conscience” and against mandatory vaccination. “This is not the Soviet Union, you know.”
Texas has had eight confirmed cases of measles so far this year, and in 2017, mumps cases reached a 20-year high. Yet now Zedler and other anti-vaccine lawmakers want to make it even easier to opt out of childhood vaccinations, and they’re trying to keep the public from accessing information about exemption rates.
“This is the modus operandi for anti-vaxxers in Texas: to promote exemptions, obfuscate and minimize transparency,” said Peter Hotez, a leading vaccine scientist and dean for the National School for Tropical Medicine at Baylor Medical School. “To do this in the middle of a measles outbreak in Texas is especially unconscionable.”
The reason more people don’t die of measles in America is because we have vaccinations, not antibiotics. It’s only because people are avoiding shots for their kids that we’ve seen more outbreaks in recent years.
We’re even more dependent on the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine because there is no other treatment for the disease.
There is no known treatment for measles, a highly contagious virus that once sickened millions of patients each year in the United States. Instead, health-care professionals try to prevent the disease by administering the MMR vaccine to children, and certain people who have been exposed, such as pregnant women, may be given a protein injection called immune serum globulin to try to thwart it or to lessen the symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Antibiotics, which are used to treat bacterial infections, cannot kill viruses.
Public health experts have warned against spreading bogus information about vaccines, thereby contributing to an anti-vaccine movement that has been sustained, in part, by fraudulent research from 1998 that purported to show a link between a preservative used in vaccines and autism.
In summary, antibiotics can’t treat measles. Nothing can except vaccines. The reason people aren’t dying from measles in mass numbers anymore is because of the exact thing the Republican is campaigning against. It’s dangerous. It’s anti-scientific. And it’s still not all that shocking given the source.
Zedler is spreading the very misinformation that contributes to this problem. And like other anti-vaxxers, he needs to be held responsible for their lies.
(Screenshot via YouTube)