BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - “Put simply, we’re behind the eight ball on protecting ourselves,” said Dr. Alexander Billioux, assistant secretary of the Louisiana Office of Public Health, who was the speaker at Monday’s Press Club.
“The current outbreak of measles seems to have been introduced from countries where they’re having their own challenges with outbreaks, specifically Israel, Ukraine, and the Philippines,” said Dr. Billioux.
He’s referring to the national measles outbreak now affecting at least 700 people and across 22 states. Louisiana has no reported cases. Dr. Billioux says some of that may be due to Louisiana schools requiring children to be vaccinated. He stresses how important it is to get vaccinated, saying the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says 9 out of 10 people will get measles if they’re not vaccinated, but the decades’ old argument of whether the measles vaccine is linked to autism is now gaining more support and keeping even more people from getting vaccinated.
Katherin Diaz says her son started having issues with asthma after a vaccine. She added she’s not anti-vaccine; she simply wants some answers about possible links.
“Why are we not saying, ‘Wait a minute. Let’s look at the safety and the ethicacy of the vaccine,’” said Diaz.
“There is not now, nor has there ever been, a legitimate link between MMR, the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine or any vaccination and autism,” said Dr. Billioux.
Then, there are people like Remi Delouche, who at 67-years-old, just got his measles vaccination last week.
“I was born before the vaccine actually became available,” said Delouche.
He says his wife had measles and he’s got another grandchild on the way and would prefer to play it safe. The last national measles outbreak was in 1994. In the year 2000, the U.S. completely eliminated measles.