Health Highlights: April 29, 2019
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
'Brady Bunch' Actors Angry Over Measles Episode's Use by Anti-Vaxxers
Some former Brady Bunch cast members are unhappy that an episode of the 60s-70s TV show is being used by anti-vaxxers as evidence that concern about the dangers of measles is overblown.
In the 1969 episode, all six Brady children come down with the measles. They play games and fool around, and are thankful they don't have to take any medicine or get shots, NPR reported.
"If you have to get sick, sure can't beat the measles," character Marcia Brady says.
The episode is now being widely used by people who oppose vaccines, including Dr. Toni Bark, who testifies against vaccines in courts and at public hearings across the United States, NPR reported.
"You stayed home like the Brady Bunch show. You stayed home. You didn't go to the doctor," Bark says. "We never said, 'Oh my God, your kid could die. Oh my God, this is a deadly disease.' It's become that."
But measles -- and the use of the episode -- is no laughing matter for Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia on the Brady Bunch. She says she was furious when she found out a few months ago that an anti-vaccination Facebook group was circulating memes of her with measles from that episode, NPR reported.
"I was really concerned with that and wanted to get to the bottom of that, because I was never contacted," she says.
"I think it's really wrong when people use people's images today to promote whatever they want to promote and the person's image they're using they haven't asked or they have no idea where they stand on the issue," McCormick says.
"As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated," she adds.
The year that episode first aired, the U.S. had more than 25,000 measles cases and 41 deaths, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. The number of measles cases in the U.S. so far this year are at levels not seen since before the virus was declared eliminated in 2000, NPR reported.
Nearly 700 at LA Universities Remain Under Measles Quarantine
Quarantine orders remain in effect for nearly 700 students and staff at two Los Angeles universities who may have been exposed to the measles.
The orders apply to 550 students and 106 staff members at California State University, Los Angeles, and for 30 students and employees at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Associated Press reported.
A larger number of people were initially quarantined after possible exposure to a person with measles on each campus earlier this month, but many were cleared after proving their immunity with medical records or tests.
The quarantine period ends on April 30 for UCLA and on May 2 for California State-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has said.
The quarantines are among the most extensive measures taken by health officials to contain measles outbreaks in the United States, where cases have reached a 25-year high, the AP reported.