Eleven states across the U.S.are suffering measles outbreaks for the first time in years because some refuse to vaccinate their children or themselves.
Though no one saw measles coming back with any significant force anytime soon, its onset in the U.S.if fierce right now.In Minnesota in particular, in fact, a measles outbreak is following the pattern of a national outbreak currently spanning several states.It’s been traced to its origin in a Somali-American community that, by no sheer coincidence, was heavily targeted by opponents of vaccinations over the course of recent years.This came on the heels of parents who lived in the community enrolling their children in autism care programs.
So-called “anti-vaxxers,” opponents to vaccination as a concept, typically found their arguments against MMR vaccinations upon a study published by Andrew Wakefield.The study discusses a link between autism in children and vaccinations, though Newsweek reported that Wakefield lost his medical license as a result of ethical violations; moreover, the study he published that anti-vaxxers use as the basis for their contentions was retracted specifically because content therein was proven to have involved falsified data.
Despite the fact that researchers constantly disprove Wakefield’s theory, misinformed people continually incite more fear regarding vaccinations based on the same article.This unfortunately means that some Minnesota parents had to take their misinformation seriously enough that they deprived their children of vaccinations, including of course the measles vaccine.This creates a susceptibility to not only measles but also rubella and mumps.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported 78 people in the state that have been heretofore affected by the current outbreak.Out of those 78 people suffering the measles, 71 were completely unvaccinated, three more had only a single MMR vaccination despite the recommendation that people get two, and another three people had two doses.One outlier’s vaccination status remains unknown.
The disease is not localized to the state of Minnesota either unfortunately.As previously mentioned, several states all over the country are experiencing the same thing.There are 11 states in total so far suffering measles outbreaks this year, and these states span the width of the entire country.The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that 100 people reportedly contracted the measles from January 1 to May 20 this year in Washington state, Utah, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Nebraska Minnesota, Michigan Florida, Maryland and California.
The measles was documented as an eradicated disease at the turn of the century, but that no longer applies now with the sudden reemergence of the measles as well as the spike in popularity for the anti-vaxxer movement with its misinformation.The worst outbreak since its alleged eradication was in 2014 when a family brought measles to Disneyland and exposed thousands to the disease.The toll that year reached as high as 667 cases of measles in the U.S.
It is an incredibly contagious disease, so it takes very little to spread.It actually spreads through the air when people who are infected sneeze or cough, and when it is airborne, it covers a lot of ground.It can linger in the air for hours, and it has the same kind of staying power on various surfaces, too.This makes it very easy for people to catch measles and not see it coming simply because they enter a room within hours of someone else who was infected having been there.The first person in the room could leave the measles behind for hours and still infect the next person to enter.
Measles, as unpleasant as it is, comes with a runny nose and red, watery eyes, but it also is accompanied by a cough and usually a very high fever.The symptoms herald the emergence of tiny white spots all over the inside of one’s mouth, though they start to manifest a couple days after the symptoms are first observed.The next three to five days bring the breakout of a rash, and the onset of the rash can often take the fever upwards of 104ºF.
The fever typically goes away after a few days, and then the rash fades.It was a pretty common childhood affliction once upon a time, but it remains a disease best protected against via vaccination given how much more miserable it makes people than the average flu would.
Ear infections happen to approximately one in every 10 children who contract measles, according to the CDC, and this can be severe enough to cause a permanent loss of hearing.Nearly one child out of every 1,000 who contract the disease will also develop encephalitis on top of everything else, which is a swelling of the brain.Encephalitis can easily yield convulsions and leave a child with intellectual disability or deafness.
The CDC also reports that every 1,000 children who contract measles consist of at least one or two who will die from it as well.Pregnant women are also at risk of giving birth prematurely as a result of measles, or they may bear a low-birth-weight baby.
Many have not considered whether or not it is a valid tradeoff to seemingly avoid autism by staying away from vaccinations only to contract measles and risk ear infections, deafness, high fever, rashes and a feint possibility of encephalitis, which could lead to intellectual disabilities comparable to autism.