The situation could be worse even than the new figures indicate. In New Jersey, one child in every 100 is diagnosed with autism - which is similar to the rate recorded in the UK - while the average is reduced by figures from other states, such as Alabama, where just one in 300 children is reported to have autism.
Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) accept that the Alabama figures are a serious under-estimate, and reflect the fact that researchers didn't have access to school records there.
Researchers are unable to explain the reasons for the increase, other than improved reporting, which accounts for part of it.
And don't even whisper the word 'vaccination'.
(Source: New York Times, 9 February 2007).
E-news broadcast 22 February 2007 No.336 [Subscribe]