Nearly 20 years ago, measles was considered eradicated for good in the United States.
Now there appear to be outbreaks in multiple locales around the country. We’re not even halfway through 2019 and already the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting that we’re in the midst of the largest national measles outbreak since 2000. The number of states reporting active cases continues to grow – and the list includes Florida.
Why is a highly contagious disease that had all but been wiped out currently working its way around the nation? It’s simple. Measles is experiencing a resurgence because not all children are being vaccinated against it.
When parents refuse to vaccinate their children, they are placing the lives of their children and others at risk. This includes people unable to receive the vaccine themselves – such as pregnant women, children under a year old, and anyone with a compromised immune system – leaving them to rely on herd immunity.
Herd immunity is a phenomenon in which nonimmunized members of a group are protected from a disease because a sufficient proportion of the group have been inoculated. Usually, this means the vast majority – say, 90% of the group – must be immune to the disease in question to provide protection to those not immunized.
Why the Vaccine Fear?
Some parents may resist vaccinating their children due to now-debunked scientific research associating vaccines and autism. This falsehood can be tracked back to a 1998 study by a doctor in Britain who not only fudged some research but also the study’s findings.
The only correlation that could possibly exist between vaccines and autism is that autism tends to occur in children at about the same age that children tend to get their vaccinations – which possibly led many people to jump to erroneous conclusions.
Measles: A Very Serious Threat
Measles can live in the air for two hours after an infected person sneezes or coughs. Once infected, a person can carry the disease around with them for days before symptoms appear like a fever, runny nose, or rash. Measles can be especially dangerous for young children. If not caught early, it can lead to pneumonia, brain swelling, and death.
For an illness that is 100% preventable, it makes sense to get your child the shots needed to protect against measles.
If you live in Miami area, you can protect your family from measles by contacting the Children’s Skin Center by calling (305) 669-6555 or request an appointment now. Vaccinations can protect the lives of your loved ones as well as others who are unable to get the vaccine.