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/ Source: TODAY
Per Eun Kyung Kim
Marcia, Marcia, Marcia is absolutely crazy about the measles outbreak. Specifically, anti-vaxxers are using their image to further their cause.
A 1969 episode of the classic sitcom, "The Brady Bunch," entitled "Is There a Doctor in the House?" was at the center of the controversy over the measles vaccine. The show features all six of Brady's children with the disease, and Marcia, the eldest daughter, happily declares, "If you have to get sick, you certainly can not beat measles."
Maureen McCormick, the actress who played Marcia, said she was furious after learning that people who criticize the vaccines repeatedly used the episode to illustrate that measles is harmless.
"It's really wrong when people use people's images today to promote what they want to promote and the image of the person they're using, or they have no idea where they're at," McCormick told NPR.
McCormick, who said her son was vaccinated against the disease, said she had measles as a child and looked nothing like the "Brady Bunch" episode, but became very ill.
"Having measles was not a fun thing," she said. "I remember it spread to my family."
The United States is experiencing the worst outbreak of measles since the disease was declared out in the country in 2000. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 695 cases have been registered in 22 states.
Last week in California, nearly 1,000 students and faculty members from two universities in Los Angeles were quarantined after having been exposed to measles on campus. Hundreds were finally cleared after proving they had been vaccinated.
Medical experts have tried to emphasize the importance of getting immunized – and the need to separate the facts from fiction.
"It's common for many people to think of vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses as being mild and just as part of growing up, and for many people that's really true," said Natalie Azar, NBC's medical collaborator. "But untreated measles can lead to fatal complications."
Another person dissatisfied with the way The Brady Bunch is being used by the anti-vaccine movement is Lloyd Schwartz, the son of program creator Sherwood Schwartz. He says his father would oppose what is happening, especially since he had all his children vaccinated.