Managing Editor's Note: Age of Autism's Tim Welsh was featured on ABC 20 i Springfield, Illinois regarding a Mumps outbreak. Note the headline and the ubiqutious "Anti-vaccine" label...
Special Report: Mumps Outbreak and the Anti-Vaccination Movement
You've been hearing about it time and again--the mumps and the measles. Those in the medical community say vaccines have the ability to stamp them out. But recently, these viruses and others are increasing.
In a county of 36,000 people, there is an outbreak of a rare virus.
"Illinois generally has 30 to 40 cases a year. We have 40 cases in Morgan County currently," Morgan County Health Department Administrator Dale Bainter said.
Cases of the mumps, which doctors say is spread by coughing or sneezing.
It's difficult to pinpoint how the outbreak actually started in Morgan County.
"You never know if it was someone traveling in from another state, traveling in from another country," Bainter said.
Or perhaps the outbreak started somewhere much closer to home.
"We do not require vaccination documentation for our employees," Jacksonville School District 117 Superintendent Steve Ptacek said.
Just last March, one employee at Jacksonville High School contracted the disease. So did two students.
"If you have a medical necessity that you're not able to take vaccinations, you can put it for a medical waiver," Ptacek said. "Or if you have a religious conflict."
That's frustrating for Bainter, who says there's no link between the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination and autism--or any other disorder.
"I have seen no science to back that up," Baniter said.
Most doctors across the country agree. But there are others who believe vaccinations are harmful.
Timothy Welsh is a contributing editor to Age of Autism. He says he has a very personal reason to advocate against vaccine mandates, and for more research.
"My son disappeared right before my eyes," Welsh said. "He lost the ability to chew. He lost the ability to--any awareness of safety, any use of the restroom, any communication, any interaction at all."
Welsh says that was after his son received five vaccinations all at once. He was 4 years old.
We asked Welsh, "Do you believe that at least one of those vaccinations led to your child's autism?"
"The number one reason I question vaccine safety is what I saw with my son," Welsh said. Read the full story at ABC 20.