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With the number of measles cases nationwide rising to levels not seen since the virus was eradicated in 2000, some people who have spoken out against vaccines have a strange cultural link, as concerns over the Measles overkill: an episode from 1969 Brady Bunch.
Some former Brady Bunch performers are not happy about it.
The episode "Is there a doctor in the house?" marks the whole family, who is ill with measles. First, Peter is sent home from school. Mother Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson, describes his symptoms as "a slight temperature, many points and a big smile" because he stays home from school for a few days.
Once the rest of the kids arrive With the measles down, the younger two Bradys joke around and Bobby Brady tries to color the measles spots of Cindy Brady green.
"When you get sick, you can not beat the measles," says Marcia, while the older Brady's sit around a monopoly board on one of the cots. All children are grateful that they do not need to take any medications, or worse still get beatings, which makes Jan moan.
Vaccination critics often bring the episode up. It's used in videos and memes and used by activists like Dr. Toni Bark, who testifies in the country against vaccines in court and in public hearings. It shows them aptly what they consider the safety of the disease.
"They stayed home like the Brady Bunch show, they stayed home, they did not go to the doctor," she says. "We never said," Oh my god, your child could die, oh my god, this is a deadly disease. "It's Got It."
Del Bigtree, a TV producer who moderates and films a vaccine-critical YouTube show, also reveals that the current madness about the increase in measles cases is out of place is.
"We all laughed and laughed because the whole family got measles in the Brady bundle," he says. "Where is the sitcom that joked about dying of AIDS or dying of cancer?"
Some former cast members are upset that the show will be used in 2019 to support arguments against vaccines. Maureen McCormick played Marcia as a teenager. She found out a few months ago that an anti-vaccine Facebook group circulated memes from her with the measles from this episode, and she was angry, she says.
"I was very worried about it and wanted to get to the bottom because I was never contacted," she said.
"I think it's really wrong when people today use people's images to promote what they want to promote and the image they use of the person they did not ask I have no idea where they are on the subject, "she says, adding," As a mother, my daughter was vaccinated. "
McCormick said she had measles as a child, and that it is not comparable to the Brady Bunch episode; She really got sick.
"Having the measles was not a funny thing," she said. "I remember that it spread in my family."
The year the Brady Bunch episode appeared, there were more than 25,000 measles cases and 41 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was six years after the vaccine was developed, and the vast majority of people who had measles recovered completely, as they do today.
Elena Conis, a professor at the University of California – Berkeley specializing in medical history, said the circumstances in 2019 differed significantly from those in 1969.
"In 1969 we had less control over infectious diseases," she says. "Smallpox was still a reality, there were many more cases of polio, so it made sense to consider measles a less of a threat."
Public health officials attempted to change the public consensus on measles once vaccine was developed, she says.
"They said," Well, stop. There is this complication rate, there are this number of hospitalizations, this number of deaths. We need to change our thinking about the measles threat "
The effort to shift the public consensus on measles is reflected in the 1964 public announcement sponsored by the vaccine manufacturer Merck," Measles Mission: The History of a Vaccine "
" Many parents think of measles is just a common nuisance that makes their children miserable and keeps them away from school for a while. But doctors today know that measles is more than a nuisance, "says the spokesman, who warns of potential complications such as bacterial diseases, fungal infections, fatal pneumonia and brain inflammation.
Messaging worked, along with state sponsorship initiatives for childhood vaccination In the next two decades, measles infections and fatalities decreased with increasing immunization, and in 1984 there was only one measles-related death, historically low at that time, out of the roughly 500 deaths that measles experienced before the vaccine was introduced It was a long way to go.
Everyone who got measles in the Brady Bunch episode was fine in the next episode, and most people who catch the measles in 2019 will be fine too But it is not always the case The virus can cause pneumonia, in severe cases swelling of the brain and Deafness.
In the ongoing measles outbreak in New York City, about 29 people were hospitalized, six of whom needed intensive care, according to the Department of Health. Two pregnant women in New York City have been infected with the virus in recent weeks, which can lead to serious complications for their babies. and a flight attendant who had caught the virus during a flight from New York City to Tel Aviv Israel, was, according to NBC, facing measles complications in coma.
Lloyd J. Schwartz, son of Sherwood Schwartz, creator of Brady Bunch, who passed away in 2011, also worried that he wanted to use the show to ward off vaccinations.
"Dad would regret it because he believes in vaccinations had vaccinated all his children," he says.