Vaccines are attempting to (and very effective at) preventing our kids from having to deal with what used to be typical childhood diseases. While we remember receiving MMR vaccines back when we were children, we also remember that there wasn’t a chicken pox vaccine at the time.
How do we remember this? We got the chicken pox. It was not fun. It was a week off from school, but we would’ve preferred being at school instead of dealing with the miserable illness while we were trapped in our room.
The downside of vaccines is that they only work if you actually get them. With so many anti-vaxxers spreading misinformation, some parents have chosen not to vaccinate their children. The results? Children are getting sick.
Already in 2019, there have been more reported cases of measles than there were in the entire year of 2018. What??? We’re only a quarter of the way through 2019. What will our final totals looks like at the end of the year? Double? Triple? More?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 372 reported cases of measles in the United States in 2018. Through March of 2019, there have already been 387 reported cases of measles in the United States. That’s more reported cases of measles in just 3 months than in an entire year!
Many of these cases of measles were in California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Washington where there have been recent measles outbreaks.
Measles is a highly contagious disease. If someone who has been infected by the measles virus coughs or sneezes, and if someone nearby hasn’t been vaccinated, that person could get measles.
Most measles outbreaks in the U.S. are caused when someone travels here from another country where measles is more common. In 2018, around 83,000 people suffered from measles. It’s important for Americans to make sure they have received the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine before traveling internationally.
According to the CDC, “Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body.”
Measles is usually not fatal, but for a few people, it can cause pneumonia or swelling of the brain. For pregnant women, it can cause their babies to be born prematurely.
In order to prevent future measles outbreaks and to protect yourself from getting measles, all you have to do is get vaccinated. The measles vaccine is 97% effective.
Does it surprise you how many people have already had measles in the United States in 2019?