Measles Outbreak

What was believed to be a disease we no longer had to hear about, has come back and cases continue to spike. In 2019, 465 individual cases of measles have been reported in 19 different states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From December 28, 2018 up to January 1, 372 cases were reported.

The CDC cites two reasons for measles outbreaks: travelers from abroad who bring measles back into the United States and the continued spread of measles in unvaccinated groups in the United States.

Specifically for 2018, 82 people brought back measles from abroad and contributed to the outbreak of measles in the United States. The disease spread mainly among unvaccinated communities in New York and New Jersey.

Measles was believed to be eradicated from the U.S. in 2000. The eradication of preventable disease relies on herd immunity. Herd immunity is when the majority of a population is immune and vaccinated, keeping those who are unable to be vaccinated protected (newborn babies, the elderly, and the ill). However, people continue to make the selfish and uneducated choice to not vaccinate. Vaccinations have been proven safe and have eradicated several diseases (polio, smallpox).

Loopholes around laws that require children to be vaccinated before going to school need to be tightened. Several states in the U.S. permit personal belief exemptions to go around the vaccination regulation laws. This puts the entire population at high risk as hoax anti-vax beliefs spread.