Measles Outbreak: This Should Not Be Happening

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An epidemic of children with measles is spreading across the country. That’s what numerous headlines are reporting this week. More than 100 children are affected in more than six states thus far this year. I find the scarier statistics to be the comparison of cases this year to those reported between 2001 and 2013. Per the CDC, there were less than 100 reported cases per year between 2001 to 2013. In 2014, there were 644 cases.

The latest outbreak of measles is being traced to California, and more specifically Disneyland. This should not be happening. For parents choosing not to vaccinate, I wonder to myself, what if you had the measles? Hard to know because likely their parents had them vaccinated and they have not had to endure the virus. I’m not a germaphobe. I actually think it’s important we get sick to build our immunities, but the measles … nope don’t think we need to let that one come back into the rotation of virus bugs. Measles is highly contagious and carries a risk of brain damage or death for some, especially for babies who are unable to get the vaccine until they are older. A choice to not vaccinate your toddler can put babies at risk.

Many anti-vaxxers say they choose not to vaccinate because they want to live a natural life. Nice in theory, but not in practice if children start dying from a virus that’s completely controllable. Some choose not to because they say there’s a risk of it causing autism, but that theory has be bunk for awhile. The ingredient thermisol was what was considered a possible cause of autism, but that is no longer in the vaccine. And honestly there are many more environmental things may cause autism.

I respect a parent’s right to choose for their children. I respect different opinions on vaccinations. I lose that respect, however, when that personal choice becomes one that can harm many others.