Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mapping the Latest Measles Outbreak and Vaccination Rates

Frederick Goodall receiving polio treatment, 
The Other Side of Middletown Photograph Collection
Ball State University Libraries' Digital Media Repository

Mapping Measles:  The Geography of Vaccinations

ESRI, leading GIS software publisher, has created a Story MapThe State of Vaccinationsdepicting the latest measles outbreak and statistics for each state’s vaccination and exemption rates. 

The site includes a chart showing the number of measles cases by year since 2001, with the number of cases in 2014 being the highest in recent history.  A map published on February 11 using data from the Center for Disease Control and health departments shows the number of measles cases in 2015, with California being the highest.

The next map features vaccination rates for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) based on school vaccination data among kindergartners.  This map shows Colorado and Pennsylvania as states with vaccination rates “well below average.”  Click on a state for more details:  The national median for vaccinations for MMR was 94.7% in 2013-2014; Indiana’s rate was 92.9%.

The next map in the series explains varying state laws related to exemptions from vaccines.  Almost all states grant religious exemptions, but 20 states also allow philosophical exemptions from immunizations.  Users can click on the state for more details:  For example, Indiana only allows religious exemptions to vaccinations for students.

A map showing non-medical exemption rates shows Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, and Vermont with a “well above average” number of children with non-medical exemptions to vaccines.  The national median is 1.7%; Oregon has 7% of children with non-medical exemptions.  Another map shows the percentage of exemptions that are non-medical for each state.  West Virginia and Mississippi do not allow non-medical exemptions.  The Story Map also includes an article about states considering new legislation to limit vaccine exemptions.

The Ball State University Libraries’ GIS Research and Map Collection (GRMC) includes a computer lab with the latest ESRI GIS software.  Ball State University is part of the ESRI Site License Program, allowing students, faculty, and staff free access to the full suite of ESRI software products.  For more information, please contact the GRMC at 765-285-1097.

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