La peur de la science et ses effets mortels aux États-Unis

NEW YORK – Une maladie rare, mortelle et très contagieuse se propage à travers les États-Unis, après avoir infecté plus de 100 personnes depuis le début de l'année. Plusieurs milliers de personnes sont exposées au risque. Ce n'est pas le scénario apocalyptique d'Ebola envisagé par tant de personnes, quand le premier cas a été diagnostiqué aux États-Unis il y a cinq mois. Cette résurgence est celle de la rougeole, une maladie que les Centres américains pour le contrôle et la prévention des maladies avaient déclarée éradiquée en 2000, grâce à un vaccin très efficace et très sûr. Que s'est-il donc passé ?

Depuis 2000, des cas de rougeole aux États-Unis sont attribués en grande partie aux voyageurs, qui apportent la maladie dans le pays. Cependant ces dernières années, la rougeole est devenue de plus en plus courante, avec un nombre de cas supérieur à 150 en 2013 puis un bond l'an dernier à 644 : le plus grand nombre de cas enregistrés en une seule année depuis la fin des années 1990. Cette année va probablement battre ce record.

La recrudescence des cas peut s'expliquer en grande partie par l'augmentation du nombre d'enfants non vaccinés. Les Américains apprennent à la dure que le scepticisme scientifiquement infondé au sujet de l'innocuité des vaccins est extrêmement dangereux.

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