Evidence is continuing to mount that shows parents who refuse to vaccinate their children are contributing to recent disease resurgences.
According to a new study published in late September, parents who did not vaccinate their children for whooping cough were linked to outbreaks of the disease in California back in 2010.
“We live in a free society, but infectious diseases are different from other phenomenon,” study author Saad Omer said. “Someone else’s behavior can affect my child or loved one, or me.”
In the study, researchers compared all the “non-medical exemptions” for kids entering kindergarten from 2005 to 2010 in California. Non-medical exemptions include religious or philosophical beliefs. The researchers matched these exemptions to the number of whooping cough cases diagnosed in 2010.
What they found were 39 areas that had high rates of non-medical exemptions. In those areas, people were about 2.5 times more likely to contract whooping cough. Since whooping cough is highly-contagious, the researchers pointed out that this could spell trouble in an area where a high number of people refuse to vaccinate.
As a result of the growing misinformation being disseminated about the risks of vaccines, other preventable diseases such as measles have seen a climb in rates recently.
Watch a report on the story from CBS News in the video below.