Outbreak: Measles

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

In the last few weeks there has been a number of cases of measles reported in New York City.

As of Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases of measles in New York City has risen to 20 incidents, nine of which involve children.

The city’s health department announced the new total amid an investigation into whether the highly contagious disease was spread in several medical facilities after workers failed to properly identify and treat symptoms quickly.

The New York Times reports only three of the 11 infected adults had records proving they were vaccinated. Seven of the nine children were too young to be vaccinated. Following the wishes of their parents, the other two children had not been vaccinated.

In 2000, Measles was thought to have been nearly eradicated in the United States mostly due to federally funded childhood vaccination programs. But due to a debunked paper that fraudulently linked the measles vaccine to a rise in autism, vaccination rates have fallen. In the last year there has been an outbreak in Texas, linked to a church that encourage parents not to vaccinate their children and another in two orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn, NY that was directly linked parents not vaccinating their children.

If you think that just because you or child is healthy and that the body’s natural immune system protect you, you are wrong and may be deadly so:

Even in healthy individuals, it can lead to ear infection, diarrhea, pneumonia, miscarriage, brain inflammation and even death. It’s also extremely contagious, meaning that while a healthy individual might handle a case of measles with ease, she could pass it along unknowingly to infants, elderly people and people with compromised immune systems who may not fare so well. Measles can be spread through airborne respiratory droplets even two hours after an infected person has left the room, and infected persons can be contagious before the rash appears.

In the outbreaks last year, the CDC found that 82% of the cases occurred in unvaccinated persons, and of those, 79% said they deliberately shunned vaccination on “philosophical” grounds. Most of this is thanks to anti-vaccination truthers like celebrities Jenny McCarthy, Katie Couric and Kristen Cavallari and Jay Cutler.

MSNBC’s “All In” host Chris Hayes discussed the outbreaks of measles and whooping cough in the US, its link to refusing to vaccinate and why medicine is the locust for people’s conspiracy theories.

Measles is a completely preventable disease, as is pertussis (whooping cough). If you or children have not been vaccinated, you should see your doctor or local health clinic and do it immediately. While no vaccine is completely safe, the side effects are minimal and extremely rare. There are few medical reasons not to vaccinate. It is a matter of everyone’s health.


    • TMC on March 26, 2014 at 06:36

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