Measles in the U.S. Is Increasing at an Alarming Rate

 

Measles

In the United States, the amount of people affected by the infectious measles sickness in 2019 is significantly larger than almost any year since 2000. This is, in part, as a result of U.S. residents leaving the country unvaccinated, returning ill, and spreading measles in their own state. However, the fact that they are not vaccinated to begin with seems to be the bigger issue. Adults around the country are refusing to vaccinate their children, and as a result, are causing more children to catch the illness.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report on Monday, April 1, stating that there were 387 measles cases between January 1 and March 28 of 2019. This was in comparison to the 372 cases reported in the entirety of 2018. These outbreaks have been the most prominent in the states of Illinois, New York, Texas, California, and Washington. The astronomical number of breakouts in these states is not only a result of parents not vaccinating their children, but also misinformation. This issue results from anti-vaccine activists who are misinforming others about the medicine, in order to prevent them from getting the protection that would help in the eradication of the disease.

Children are unable to get the measles vaccine on their own, therefore, they rely on a parent or guardian to accompany them in going to receive it. However, parents are repudiating the idea of allowing their children to get this shot for numerous reasons. These reasons include religious purposes, personal or philosophical reasons, safety concerns, or the desire for more education about the medicine itself. Washington state has been the most affected so far, with 74 reported cases. As a result, the state legislature is currently making a decision on whether or not to take away a parent’s option to get their child vaccinated.

Though the activists are not causing others to contract measles, they are aiding in the continuation of the spread of the disease. So far, however, no action has been taken to prevent the activists from spreading false information.

Written by Trinity Oglesby. Edited by Kimberley Spinney

Sources:

ABC News: More measles cases in the US in first 3 months of months of 2019 than all of 2018: CDC

The Washington Post: U.S. measles cases surge to second-highest level in nearly two decades

NBC News: Measles count in U.S. this year already more than all of 2018

NCBI: Exploring the Reasons Behind Parental Refusal of Vaccines

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of tschoppi via Flickr – Creative Commons License

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