Researchers: Unvaccinated Infants Fueling Epidemics


vaccineMeasles: A highly contagious respiratory virus thought to be eradicated in America.

Epidemics of the measles virus still pose a threat to children worldwide – but due to the recent anti-vaccine movement, the virus is making a comeback in the United States as well.

As a result, a husband-and-wife research team from the University of Michigan is strategizing ways to improve vaccination campaign strategies – and they believe one interesting set of data could help: seasonal birth rates.

Micaela Martinez-Bakker and Kevin Bakker, both of the University of Michigan’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology, set out to analyze seasonal birth rates throughout the Northern hemisphere in an attempt to identify ‘birth pulses’ – times when more infants are born in certain populations.

“In developing countries, to get children vaccinated, many have to rely on national vaccination campaigns, and those happen once a year, and they have to vaccinate as many infants as they can,” Martinez-Bakker said. “…If you know the time of the birth pulse, vaccination campaigns can use that information to determine when there are large numbers of infants in the population, and when they should vaccinate. It’s getting the most bang for your buck in terms of vaccinating if you can only go out once year.”

Utilizing 78 years of monthly birth records in the U.S., as well as 200 data sets from countries throughout the Northern hemisphere, the researchers were able to pinpoint seasonal birth pulses in various regions across the globe.

“Further away from equator, in Europe, that birth pulse is earlier in the year, between May and August,” Bakker said. “Closer to the equator, in the Caribbean, for example, the birth pulse is much later between September and December. And there are clear patterns across the U.S.: If you live in New York, July or August, or if you live in the South, you’re more likely to have a birth in October and November.”

For their study, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers also analyzed how seasonal birth patterns affected rates of disease outbreaks, focusing specifically on the measles epidemic.

“Measles is a virus primarily affecting children, and we were able to show that birth seasonality influences the size and frequency of measles outbreaks as well,” Martinez-Bakker said.

As a result, the researchers theorized that timing vaccination campaigns according to seasonal birth pulses could potentially decrease measles epidemics – as well as outbreaks of other contagious diseases like polio.

Read more at FOX NEWS.

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  1. I dont mind if you publish these articles but if you are unbiased site than you have to publish the other side as well. I know you don’t want to get flack but you will be getting it from the other side. Who actually did research believe it or not!

  2. the headline is misleading. the main point of the article is about the number of infants in the population. Not who is “fueling” the epidemic.

  3. I don’t understand why my comment was edited. It was stated in a very clean manner, those who know understood and those who don’t didn’t. There was no reference what so ever to anything unclean; my gosh boys learn gemorah and learn in much more specific language. Unless someone knows , there is totally no connection between the 2 events. And it wasn’t even said clearly, it was said in a way that a person draws their own conclusions. There are many conclusions a child can make about cold. When its cold you put on a coat. When its cold you dont go outside. When its cold you turn the temperature up. When its cold everyone is inside and talks. When its cold, dress in layers. When its cold your fingers turn blue. When its cold, you put on mittens. When its cold, water becomes ice. When its cold people walk outside more covered and therefore more modest.