Ohio Measles Outbreak Traced to Amish Mission Trip

Health officials in eastern Ohio are grappling with a measles outbreak, the largest in the US since 1996, linked to an Amish mission trip to the Phillippines. From The Coshocton Tribune:

Sixteen confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease have showed up near the Knox County village of Danville, less than 35 miles west of Coshocton County. Four members of an Amish community there recently traveled to the Philippines and are believed to have infected family members with measles upon their return.

The travelers were not vaccinated against measles, a disease characterized by a bright rash, and the Philippines is grappling with a measles epidemic that has afflicted about 20,000 people there, killing at least 50.

Knox County, bordering Holmes County on the southwest, is home to all or parts of six Amish settlements.

As you probably know, Amish are less likely to be vaccinated than the average American. According to reports, Knox County Amish families have “flocked to clinics this week” for inoculation against the disease.

A number of area counties, including Ashland, Holmes, and Knox, have been holding clinics and encouraging residents to be immunized.

We don’t hear much about measles because of the effectiveness of vaccines (see CDC recommendations on measles vaccination), though there are still over 100 reported cases each year. Interestingly, if you were born before 1957, you are likely (though not necessarily) considered immune.

Measles Dangers

Only about 0.1% of those infected with measles will die from it, though fatality rates can be much higher in less-developed countries. The disease is highly contagious and can cause complications such as ear infection and pneumonia.

Babies and young children are at particular risk. Measles in pregnant women can cause miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight.

In the case of the Amish, the measles were apparently first misdiagnosed as Dengue fever. The Columbus Dispatch shares the account of Tobias Yoder, one of the Amish travelers:

Yoder, who is 33 and whose wife, Fannie, is now experiencing measles symptoms, said the Amish community that he grew up in is not religiously opposed to vaccines. Some do, however, opt out of shots.

He said he asked about any special vaccines that his group might need before traveling to the Philippines, but the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine wasn’t suggested. He had no idea there was an ongoing and deadly outbreak of measles in the Philippines. Had he known, Yoder said, he would have been vaccinated.

Despite the willingness of some to be immunized, Holmes County Health Commissioner Dr. D.J.  McFadden describes his county’s vaccination rates as “dismal”.

Will this outbreak spur many of those unvaccinated to get their shots? It might be prudent, especially considering this statement by McFadden:

“The only thing about my job that keeps me up at night is the fact that I have a large unvaccinated population, and I have a large number of members of my community percentage-wise who leave the country to do mission trips overseas.”

While not commonplace, some Amish do travel internationally on mission journeys.

One reason fewer Amish vaccinate is not realizing the benefits. Hopefully this incident will encourage more vaccinations, at least among those not religiously opposed to doing so.

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    1. New York State of Mind

      When I was a kid, we didn’t have shots for measles. Of course, I got the measles. I am so glad they have shots now and hope the get them.


    2. Juanita Cook

      We didn’t have shot for the measles as a kid. Did get the measles and have also had shingles as well. Prayers the they all get the shots.

    3. Alice Mary

      It’s unfortunate that it can take an outbreak (and problems it can cause, including death) to wake people up. I am certain I’d be dead by now if I didn’t receive the minimal vaccinations available in the 1950’s-’60’s—not the least of which was the “new” polio vaccine.

      In my opinion, God/your higher power gave people talents which we were told to use. Some of these talents involve scientists developing vaccines against diseases that have affected people world-wide. How many millions (billions by now?) of lives have been saved by receiving vaccines against these diseases? Of course, there may be a small percentage of deaths, caused by something in the vaccine itself, but the vast majority of people receiving these vaccines have not been adversely affected indeed, they’ve helped contain these kinds of outbreaks now affecting this community in Ohio (and where else, by now?).

      Alice Mary

    4. Going out on a tangent...

      So sorry to hear of the medical issues here, both for the original ones that unknowingly brought it to their community, and for those subsequently affected by it. Prayers sent up for them all.

      But a tangent question comes to mind: What kind of missionary work were these four (and the other rare mission trips mentioned) doing? Since trying to ‘convert’ neighboring non-Amish doesn’t seem to be the Amish way, then mission work for ‘evangelizing’ seems out of character. Is it possible that these trips could be for non-spiritual humanitarian efforts (e.g., food distribution, construction efforts, etc.)? This would seem more in keeping with the (admittedly limited) Amish mindset that I’ve seen.

      1. Amish overseas mission work

        Don good questions, with Amish involved these tend to focus foremost on material needs like construction work rather than the aggressive conversion-focused work that might come to mind.

        If you haven’t seen it yet there is a bit more on this type of outreach at a post I linked above: https://amishamerica.com/amish-mission-work/

        1. Thanks for the reply, Erik. No, I hadn’t seen the other article, but did find it insightful. (Speaking of such humanitarian work, I may be traveling down to help with some of last night’s tornado damage in central AR. One (or more) of the tornadoes hit along the I-40 corridor within some 10 miles of where my children live.)

      2. These were New Order Amish helping with the hurricane rebuilding, managed through Christian Aid Ministries. As such, they would not likely have done much verbal preaching, although many that go to help with disaster relief do so hoping for opportunities to speak about the faith.
        I do not know the four that went, but talked to one of their uncles. Since his daughter and son had been over to visit at the house of the sick ones before they realized it was measles, they were doing a voluntary quarantine (We had planned to go visit them and heard about it so we stayed away. 🙂 )
        New Order Amish do engage in mission work. Some have been to Central America, one older man I know went to Hong Kong and helped smuggle Bibles into China, etc. Some Old Order will also participate in similar activities. I know of Old Order who help with prison ministry. Quite a number of Amish help financially with Christian Aid Ministries, which also does billboard evangelism, publishing, etc.
        So while you wont see a Swartzentruber Amish fellow out preaching on the streets of Kidron, Ohio, the Amish do partake in some forms mission work.

        1. Christian Aid Ministries SALT program

          Thanks Mike, great info. Just to add one more there has also been some interest and action in CAM’s SALT program which does microfinance and small business development in countries including Ghana and Haiti.


    5. Measles contagion threat among Amish; Pregancy dangers update

      It sounds like measles is really highly contagious. According to CDC “90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected with the measles virus.”


      Infected people are apparently contagious 4 days before and 4 days after the rash appears. That 4-day window of time before the rash appears seems like it would be particularly favorable to spreading the disease. No rash doesn’t mean you’re not infected or contagious. Hopefully that point gets communicated to people.

      With households of 10 people or more not uncommon, and considering how much Amish interact on a face-to-face basis, seems like it has serious potential to spread in this community.

      Also just added a line and link about pregnancy-related threats (miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight) to the post above. That is obviously a concern for the Amish as well, as of course are the threats to the young.

      The Amish are unusual in that they are a high-fertility group living in a developed country (unlike most large-family size populations living in poorer less developed places), so theirs are generally well-nourished and healthy children. Measles apparently hits developing countries hard in part because they have a lot of children in their populations with the disease aggravated by factors like malnourishment. From CDC:

      “In developing countries, where malnutrition and vitamin A deficiency are common, measles has been known to kill as many as one out of four people. It is the leading cause of blindness among African children. It is estimated that in 2008 there were 164,000 measles deaths worldwide.”


      1. In this case, they were feeling a little sick on the way home on the plane, but had no idea it was measles. They then went to church, and unknowingly spread it all around (think, greeting with the Holy Kiss, and how measles spreads through water droplets in exhaling and coughing!). Finally one of them ended up in the hospital when he got to feeling worse, but it was still a couple of days (as I understand it) before they confirmed it as measles. So it got a head start. Had they known it right away, they could have at least stayed home from church and did a voluntary quarantine. But it was too late …

        1. Mike any idea locally if they feel like they’ve gotten in front of this, or too early to tell?

          1. I am of the feeling that it is under control. Some got vaccinated, but those who didn’t seem to be taking the option of voluntary quarantine if they were exposed. Incidentally, the family that was infected (from what I know of the relatives) are pretty much into “natural” remedies (ok, ok, I didn’t say quackery!), so I suspect, but do not know for sure, that is why so many were not vaccinated in the community.
            The person I talked with said it was very hard on the older people who got it (another person, beside the one I mentioned above, also ended up in the hospital), so I think people realized this wasnt a chicken pox thing of getting a little rash and itchy. So people were choosing vaccination or quarantine, realizing that just ignoring it would not make it go away.

    6. Laura

      Well, I was born before 1957 and I certainly had the measles as a child. As did my sister. And every other child I knew. I’m very grateful that there are so many excellent vaccines today. I hope the health officials in Holmes County and the locations of other Amish communities are able to explain the concept of “herd protection” (I know it’s an awful term, but that’s the one they use, even for people!), whereby if a certain percentage of the population is vaccinated, the chances of anybody else getting the disease are drastically reduced.

      Interestingly, although my kids were vaccinated for everything as kids, when they were a bit older there was an outbreak of one of the formerly common childhood diseases, and we learned that their original vaccinations did *not* protect them for life, as we’d been told, and they had to get revaccinated. So it’s always good to talk to your doctor about current vaccinations available, since we’ve learned a lot more about them over the years.

    7. J T

      From a recent mud sale

      The last two Saturdays I went to mud sales. At the first one at Beaver Run school the Pa Dept of Health was giving (free or low cost) tetanus and pertussis vaccines. The second sale this last Saturday they added the measles shots as well. Hopefully some people took advantage of these clinics.

    8. Don Curtis

      Measles connected to Belle Center, too

      My son, Mark, informed me that three of the Amish boys from Belle Center were also on this CAM sponsored trip to the Phillipines to help rebuild houses after the Typhoon there.
      The news quickly spread among the health agencies and the Knox County Health Department was in contact with the Logan County Health Department and all of the Belle Center boys were contacted. Two of the three could prove their immunizations. The other one could not and was asked to quarantine himself. Luckily, there is an Amish family that is building a new house on another property from the one they now reside on and this boy was able to stay in the new house all alone. I imagine he gets care packages of food now and then from friends and family.

      1. Measles continues to spread

        Interesting Don, must be lonely for that fellow but at least there is a place handy for him. Hope that action will keep it from hitting Belle Center.

        WKSU reported earlier today that measles continues to spread, with 26 total reported cases including incidents in counties neighboring Knox: http://www.wksu.org/news/story/39050

        This Columbus Dispatch article of yesterday suggests numbers are likely to go up following a recent wedding and Easter gatherings, and notes it can take up to three weeks after exposure for the illness to appear: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/04/28/measles.html

    9. 33 Measles Cases as of Saturday May 3

      According to yesterday’s Columbus Dispatch two measles cases have been reported among non-Amish individuals, with the disease spreading to neighboring Delaware County (Southwest of Knox County). Total as of this report was 33 confirmed cases, up from 26 reported cases on April 30th.

      There is also a mumps outbreak going on right now in central Ohio.

      “As of Thursday, the Ohio Department of Health had sent 4,170 doses of MMR vaccine to nine counties involved in or near the measles outbreak. The agency sent 640 doses to health departments in Franklin and Delaware counties in response to the ongoing mumps outbreak, said department spokeswoman Shannon Libby. The mumps outbreak grew yesterday to 310 cases in 13 counties. ”


    10. 47 confirmed cases as of Tuesday May 6

      From today’s Coshocton Tribune:

      “As of Tuesday, the state had confirmed 47 measles cases among Coshocton, Holmes, Ashland, Knox, Richland and Wayne counties. The cases are almost evenly split between male and female and include individuals from ages 1 to 50.”


      “Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by the onset of a rash, which typically starts on the neck or face.

      Symptoms can appear within seven to 18 days after exposure. Officials are encouraging the public to get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine if they have not already completed the series.”


    11. 68 cases as of May 14

      The number being reported as of today is 68 cases. That is about 20 more cases in a little over a week since the last tally. This is the most reported cases in any state since 1996.


      There is also a measles outbreak happening in California, which is just behind this one at 59 for the year. However. that number hasn’t changed much over the past month-there were 56 a little over a month ago: http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/04/11/43451/state-sees-56-cases-of-measles-this-year-highest-n/

      California’s measles cases also appear to cover a much wider geographic area (and in the largest state, by far, population-wise–over triple Ohio’s population).

      Foreign travel and a trend against vaccination are both playing a role. According to one article, “Every time there’s a measles outbreak, California tends to outpace other states. Experts say a lot of it has to do with travel and exposure, but there’s another reason cases are on the rise…Experts say it has to do with the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children. Last year in California, there was a 15-percent increase in the number of parents opting out of immunizations. In Orange County, health officials report a 30-percent increase.”

      A pediatric doctor says there is fear over the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

      “Kao says the fears stem back to a recently discredited study linking MMR to autism. She often educates parents about the vaccine’s safety.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says many of the California cases are also a result of people visiting countries with measles outbreaks.”


      As far as “tend[ing] to outpace other states” it’s unclear to me whether California sees fewer vaccinations, more travel to countries with measles outbreaks, or simply has a much larger population to draw from.

    12. 155 cases as of May 23

      This CNN article reports that the number of infected has more than doubled in the past week and a half, though according to the Ohio Dept. of Health, that is not a surprise.


      From the article:

      “At least 155 people have caught the highly contagious respiratory disease, according to the Ohio Department of Health. That’s up from 68 infected as of May 13.
      This is not unexpected, said Melanie Amado, public information officer for the Ohio Department of Health.
      “We believe people are still getting exposed,” she said. “It happens in spurts.” The incubation period for measles — meaning how long the virus can stay in the body without producing symptoms — is up to 21 days.
      Amado said the number of cases had slowed down, but then picked up to about 20 cases per day this week. So far all the cases are within the Amish community and have been contained to six Ohio counties.
      Ohio health officials said some patients have been hospitalized, but most have recovered on their own.”

      1. Well, I was thinking this was about whipped. Someone from Knox County told me a couple of days ago that no new cases had been appearing for over a week, so they were thinking it was about done over there.
        Here in north Coshocton and south Holmes, I have not heard of any new cases, but I obviously dont know everything.
        One aspect about vaccination that isnt getting covered: The Vender (local Amish advertising paper) reports that some of the vaccines are made using parts from aborted fetuses. Now I haven’t fact-checked that, but that report is going around and is part of the reason some folks refuse to vaccinate. And of course the autism connection that some people feel has a connection to the MMR shot. And, the third aspect of not vaccinating is that of just trusting God. I think these were the three points The Vender mentioned. The Vender was not promoting these points, just mentioning the reasons some Amish don’t vaccinate.

    13. Lisa

      Please be informed

      I find this story disturbing. Not because there is an epidemic of measles, but because so many mainstream newspapers are using this mild epidemic as an excuse sell vaccines. Is anyone here aware that you cannot directly sue a vaccine maker if your child is injured by a vaccination? You can if you were harmed by Vioxx. So why not vaccines? PLEASE inform yourself so you know what your options are if your child happens to be one of the ‘rare few’ who experiences a life changing side effect.


      Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Patient for First Time
      By Nsikan Akpan Friday, April 11, 2014

      Get the measles vaccine, and you won’t get the measles—or give it to anyone else. Right? Well, not always. A person fully vaccinated against measles has contracted the disease and passed it on to others. The startling case study contradicts received wisdom about the vaccine and suggests that a recent swell of measles outbreaks in developed nations could mean MORE illnesses even among the vaccinated.

      When it comes to the measles vaccine, two shots are better than one. Most people in the United States are initially vaccinated against the virus shortly after their first birthday and return for a booster shot as a toddler. Less than 1% of people who get both shots will contract the potentially lethal skin and respiratory infection. And even if a fully vaccinated person does become infected—a rare situation known as “vaccine failure”—they weren’t thought to be contagious.

      That’s why a fully vaccinated 22-year-old theater employee in New York City who developed the measles in 2011 was released without hospitalization or quarantine. But like Typhoid Mary, this patient turned out to be unwittingly contagious. Ultimately, she transmitted the measles to four other people , according to a recent report in Clinical Infectious Diseases that tracked symptoms in the 88 people with whom “Measles Mary” interacted while she was sick. Surprisingly, two of the secondary patients had been fully vaccinated. And although the other two had no record of receiving the vaccine, they both showed signs of previous measles exposure that should have conferred immunity.”


      1. I find it disturbing, too!.....

        ….not specifically because of the outbreak in OH (although I am concerned); and being that I’ve not see any of the “mainstream newspapers” attempt to capitalize on selling vaccines (although I’m reasonably sure that neither the newspapers nor their publishers actually peddle medications), that isn’t my complaint either. But I am disturbed (actually, mildly perturbed) that someone will use a case like this to mount their soapbox for just another anti-whatever of our day and age. Furthermore, I am disturbed (read, slightly-more-perturbed) at what appears to me to be a total disregard for the probably thousands of people who have been saved due to vaccines and which are totally eclipsed by the dreaded fact that a handful of people were exposed to the people who were exposed to the virus. Gads! — how’s a body to sleep at night?

        Oh, BTW, you may want to also note that while it may be true that you can not sue a vaccine maker if your child is injured by their vaccine (I’ll take your word for that), it’s equally true that you can’t sue them if you fail to give your child the vaccine and that child then dies of the disease. Just say’n.

        1. Lisa

          @Don Burke “But I am disturbed (actually, mildly perturbed) that someone will use a case like this to mount their soapbox for just another anti-whatever of our day and age. Furthermore, I am disturbed (read, slightly-more-perturbed) at what appears to me to be a total disregard for the probably thousands of people who have been saved due to vaccines and which are totally eclipsed by the dreaded fact that a handful of people were exposed to the people who were exposed to the virus. Gads! — how’s a body to sleep at night?”

          Don, this comment section is here so that anyone may speak from their respective ‘soapboxes’. Right? (Moderator please correct me if I’m wrong).

          Is it ok if I do not believe we were saved from vaccines? Is it ok for me to not have my children vaccinated because I don’t think the risks are worth it?

          Do you think the gov should try to force people to take a product that a drug company has paid them to push? Should people be shamed for not giving their kids a prophylactic medicine that has the potential to cause permanent, long term problems?

          Why do you think the measles outbreak is growing in those who were vaccinated?

          Why aren’t the booster shots working? Because we aren’t giving our children enough of them?

          Does it matter to you that vaccines are a billion dollar business rife with conflicts of interest?

          We stopped using the OPV vaccine in the U.S. because it CAUSED paralysis. Do you have any moral compunctions about our country continuing to use this unsafe vaccine on illiterate people in third world countries? I do.

          “In 2012, the CDC wrote a press release titled Update on Vaccine-Derived Polioviruses — Worldwide, April 2011–June 2012. They wrote:

          “In 1988, the World Health Assembly resolved to eradicate poliomyelitis worldwide. One of the main tools used in polio eradication efforts has been the live, attenuated oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV). This inexpensive vaccine is administered easily by mouth, makes recent recipients resistant to infection by wild polioviruses (WPVs), and provides long-term protection against paralytic disease through durable humoral immunity. Nonetheless, rare cases of vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis can occur both among immunologically normal OPV recipients and their contacts and among persons who are immunodeficient. In addition, vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs) can emerge to cause polio outbreaks in areas with low OPV coverage and can replicate for years in persons who are immunodeficient.” (emphasis added)”

          I would be more interested in learning the answers to those questions before I accuse others of being irresponsible for not wanting to give their children a product they can’t sue for….

          1. Oh, the irony....

            If, as you say, you believe this thread and/or site is a platform for one to air out their peeves on their soapbox, then you wouldn’t gripe about my own soapboxing about my peeve, which is posts such as yours. But since you complain about in inappropriateness of my shared comments, you prove you agree with me that this isn’t the place for such things.

            And since we both agree that this isn’t the place for such soapboxing, my job is done and I step down and away from mine.

            Thank you for a most ironic — even if not very unconvincing — brief chat.

            1. Lisa

              “Oh, the irony….Thank you for a most ironic — even if not very unconvincing — brief chat.”

              I consider it ironic that you do not want to answer any of my questions.

              Is this because you believe all the evidence is in and that there is nothing left to discuss?

              Many parents are not philosophically opposed to the concept of vaccination and do not object to every vaccine. However, they are philosophically opposed to government health officials having the power to intimidate, threaten, and coerce them into violating their deeply held conscientious beliefs in the event they conclude that either vaccination in general or, more commonly, a particular vaccine is not appropriate for their children.

              Vaccination is a medical intervention performed on a healthy person that has the inherent ability to result in the injury or death of that healthy person. In consideration of the fact that there can be no guarantee that the deliberate introduction of killed or live microorganisms into the body of a healthy person will not compromise the health or cause the death of that person either immediately or in the future; and with very few predictors having been identified by medical science to give advance warning that injury or death may occur; and with no guarantee that the vaccine will indeed protect the person from contracting a disease; and in the absence of adequate scientific knowledge of the way vaccines singly or in combination act in the human body at the cellular and molecular level, vaccination is a medical procedure that could reasonably be termed as experimental each time it is performed on a healthy individual.


              1. “I consider it ironic that you do not want to answer any of my questions. Is this because you believe all the evidence is in and that there is nothing left to discuss?”

                No, it’s because I do not wish to hijack this thread for a tangent that has nothing to do with the topic and is just unwanted. That is inappropriate — and IMO, rude.

                My point has been made, even if unheeded. Consider this my last post on the subject, for I do not wish to be a part of the unwanted distraction to such a great site.

                1. Lisa

                  More thoughts (Pros and Cons) on why Measles is spreading.

                  Measles cases are spreading, despite high vaccination rates. What’s going on?
                  BY Tara Haelle-Washington Post
                  June 23, 2014


                  Herd Immunity: Three Reasons Why I Don’t Vaccinate My Children… And Why Vaccine Supporters Shouldn’t Care That I Use Vaccine Exemption Forms
                  By: Shane Ellison, MS

                  “Parents who choose not to vaccinate their children and protect them with vaccine exemption forms are often chastised and stereotyped for putting their own kids at risk. But what is even stranger than this assault on individual freedom and informed choice, is that these concerned parents are attacked for putting vaccinated children at risk.

                  My background as a medicinal chemist taught me to rely on proven research. I learned to be less sensitive to emotional arguments and more sensitive to facts supported by reproducibility. This is one of the main principles of the scientific method. It refers to the ability of a test or experiment to be accurately reproduced. As a parent, I have a responsibility to use my training to make decisions for my family.”


    14. 233 Cases as of June 5

      You can check the counts yourself on the Ohio Dept of Health site:


      According to their data only 8 have been hospitalized. Knox County remains by far the worst hit with 138 cases. Holmes County (the county proper) has had 32 cases, Coshocton 19 cases, and Wayne just 1.

      1. 341 Cases as of June 23

        Crawford and Highland Counties have now also each reported a case, and Stark County has 6 cases, for a total of 9 counties with reported cases.

        The total measles count has grown to 341, though there is also this, from a recent report:

        “During yesterday’s meeting officials from all nine Ohio counties that have seen at least one case of the measles said the outbreak’s spread appeared to be showing signs of stabilization, including Richland County, although Ashland County expressed concern that an infected Amish community had not kept itself separate from uninfected populations.”


        The number of hospitalizations has also remained at eight.

        1. 377 Cases as of August 7

          It’s been 6 weeks since I last updated this. Today the Ohio Dept of Health site reports 377 cases in 9 counties. Looks like the rate of increase has slowed down. There have been 10 hospitalizations in total.

    15. Lisa

      Vaccines are supposed to be safe. So why are we seeing stories like these?

      Vaccine combo doubles seizure risk in babies
      ‘However, threat remains relatively small: study says


      The article goes on to say:

      “Febrile seizures rarely have long-term effects, MacDonald said, but they do cause distress “and may undermine confidence in immunization programs.”

      And that is a big worry.

      At a time when measles, which had been eradicated in North America, is seeing a record resurgence, anything with the potential to reduce vaccination rates further is studied carefully by public health officials. A growing anti-vaccine movement has led to pockets of lower vaccination rates across North America.”

      I find it interesting that the article seems more concerned about a lack of confidence in their immunization programs, than the pesky problem of Febrile seizures.

      National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
      On Febrile seizures

      “Only one in 100 develops epilepsy after a febrile seizure.”

      I personally find this to be an unacceptable risk to take in order to prevent my child from catching an illness they are likely to recover from naturally.

    16. Lisa

      Measles Outbreak Complicates 2 Big Amish Events

      More news about the Measles Outbreak.

      Measles Outbreak Complicates 2 Big Amish Events
      SHILOH, Ohio — Jul 1, 2014, 12:56 PM ET
      By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS Associated Press


      1. Measles concerns among Amish and Mennonites

        Thanks for sharing this Lisa, will add something to our latest auction post since we have a number of Ohio events.

        Seriousness of the issue aside, I was tickled to read this, since Daniel and I have actually traveled to Shiloh together once before, to the Old Order Mennonite community:


        Amish dairy farmer Daniel Weaver got a vaccination during a clinic at a pole barn near Shiloh in northern Ohio on July 25, concerned because he travels often.

        “The Amish in general are not reacting that much differently than the rest of the population,” said Weaver, 48, of nearby Shreve. “It’s just because of our tight proximity, it creates a different effect.”

        Several Mennonite families visited the same clinic, arriving one after the other in horse-drawn buggies with fluorescent orange triangles affixed to the rear. These “horse-and-buggy” Mennonites live a lifestyle similar to some Amish, though many have phones and other modern conveniences.

        Mennonite dairy farmer Samuel Zimmerman, who got his vaccine after hearing about the outbreak, said he’d never really had an opinion about vaccines before.

        “I guess when I was growing up we were hale and hardy, and we didn’t think about vaccinations,” said Zimmerman, 36, of Blooming Grove.

    17. Most Amish vaccinated already?

      Interestingly, that article contains information from Dr. McFadden, Holmes County’s health commissioner, suggesting most of the county’s Amish were already vaccinated before the measles outbreak.

      Perhaps that has been misreported, since the McFadden quote in my post above shows his concern over a “large unvaccinated population” in the county.

      The article also says around 10,500 vaccinations have been distributed in the state, about half in Holmes County.

      The current case count as of July 2 is 369, with 10 hospitalizations.

      1. Erik, does the “large unvaccinated population” in the county necessarily ref. to the Amish? And I know that 5,000-ish vaccinations is a lot, but over a whole county couldn’t much of that easily be accounted for by non-Amish? Yes, at first blush it does look like the two bits of information are conflicting to a great degree, but it seems that there are ways that they could both be true. Just my $.02.

        1. Good question, but yes in all likelihood he was primarily referring to the Amish in that original quote, who make up over 40% of the population.

          He may have also been considering some other residents of related religious backgrounds, but I believe higher Mennonite/Beachy churches are generally more likely to vaccinate. Here’s the original story link:


    18. James

      Mandatory Vaccines

      I believe that all vaccines should be mandatory. I was never told what I was vaccinated against during the Gulf War and I am just fine if you don’t consider that the cartilaginous tissue in my body is calcifying and has to be removed so that it doesn’t puncture an artery or an organ and that I have developed allergies to foods and medications that I have eaten all my life. No surprise that neither the service docs or the VA docs know what the cause is. I am not alone. We were given the choice to get into two different lines; one was to get shots and then deploy the other was called the Article 15 line where you was prosecuted for disobeying an order and sent to Correctional Custody to await administrative / dishonorable / other than honorable separation from the military.

      If done correctly, it will only take 3-5 generations for all the people like me and my children with incompatible genes and fatal reactions to vacate the gene pool. After that you can engineer all future vaccines to be less reactive to the population because you will have eliminated all those fringe DNA memo groups that have fatal reactions to recombinant (Recontaminate)/synthesized genetic materials that you inject them with.

      I think we need to start with Congress and the Senate and all living members of their families, then mandate that all Justices and Judges and all living members of their families be vaccinated with the same series that is given in all branches of the military. If the madness continues past that then I think we need to approach the UN and tell them that we will honor the Gun Ban Treaty when every nation in the union requires the same vaccinations for their populations. If not, you might get some fanatic parents taking hostages and blowing up clinics; making demands that their children be vaccinated and allowed to live instead of terminated at/or before birth. At some point in the future, nuclear weapons can be dismantled because we will be able to threaten countries with familial disease mutations that we know they are not immune (or vaccinated) against. We could have wars without soldiers; think of the budget implications!

      Now that a national database of Doctors/Providers/Hospitals is established, thanks to Obama-care, we know that anyone who refuses to administer these vaccines can have their license sanctioned or revoked for non-performance. Additionally, now that parents don’t have rights to raise their own children however they want, we don’t have to worry about rebellion, we just call CPS and have the children declared dependent on the state and moved to more compatible parents that will have them vaccinated. You can forget about all the religious nut jobs and the LGBT, they will be assimilated by attrition or removed from the gene pool just like everyone else. This is foolproof, it is not bounded by race, socioeconomics, religion, gender, or anything else that could be used to declare an injustice or create a privileged class of people within the general population.

      The known fatality rate for some of these vaccines is only 3% – 5%. In the US that’s only roughly 9,660,000 to 16,100,000 people who would have negative reactions and possibly die. Compared to the 322,000,000 people that it doesn’t affect; this is no great loss. However , it would open up some management positions in certain industries as well as open up a few college admissions and depending on where you live; it could reduce the unemployment rate. A win-win proposition not only for the current administration but also for regional population centers and local leaders. Who could seriously complain when they take they time to cogitate all the positive outcomes. Reducing several population ills and the burden of PREVENTABLE communicable diseases in one fell swoop. Everything we need is already in place, all we need is the President to declare Marshall law and to activate the National guard to assist FEMA in the distribution and administration of said vaccines. Be a patriot, contact your local Congressman and/or Senator and tell him to vote for all future legislation that includes mandatory vaccinations for all US Citizens.

      Now, please quietly form a line against the wall and roll up your sleeves…

    19. Richard

      Why Vaccinate

      Had the Measles as a kid, no big deal. I got over it quickly and now have lifetime immunity. Had the chicken pox too, not a big deal either…