On this day in 1783, representatives of Great Britain and the United States of America sign the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
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When Wisconsin children return to school this week, close to 50,000 of them will have waivers that exempt them from vaccines, leaving them vulnerable to measles at a time when the nation has experienced its largest outbreak in 27 years.
Health officials across the U.S. have reported 1,215 cases of measles this year as of Aug. 22, the highest number since 1992, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles had been declared eliminated in 2000.
“I really do think it’s purely just dumb luck that this hasn’t spread to Wisconsin,” said James Conway, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Since November 2018, state health officials have investigated 382 suspected cases of measles; not one case has been confirmed.
Immunization rates of 92% to 95% are considered necessary to provide what health officials call “herd immunity.” The term is used to describe a level of immunization high enough to prevent the infection from spreading to those who are susceptible, possibly triggering a widespread outbreak. The vulnerable group includes children under a year who are too young to receive vaccines and children with weakened immune systems.
Not a single county in 2018 came close to the 92% threshold. In fact, 40 of the 72 counties had immunization rates below 80%.
Laura Santhanam reports How detention causes long-term harm to children:
The relationship between detention and increased mental health problems among children and families has been well-documented, according to Jaime Diaz-Granado, deputy chief executive for the American Psychological Association. His group has called the Trump administration’s rule change “a misguided attempt by this administration to stem the flow across the southern border.”
“The large majority of these children have already experienced trauma before arriving at immigration facilities, and the longer they are held in detention, the more likely their mental health will continue to suffer,” Diaz-Granado said.
Ample research has shown neglect harms children. In 2003, researchers published a series of foundational studies of the children raised in Romania’s orphanages that showed horrible consequences to those children and their society as a result of their institutionalization. Nelson was among the lead authors. When he hears reports of the U.S. separating immigrant children from their caregivers in federal custody, Nelson reflects on Romania where children were dropped off in institutions that had one untrained caregiver for more than a dozen children. “Yes, there are parallels,” he said.