In case you haven’t heard, there is currently an outbreak of measles destroying New York City and its residents.
And in case you also haven’t heard, measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.
Confused? Yeah, we kind of are too. How can a disease that is eradicated still be infecting people?
It’s really quite simply, actually. People are refusing to get their children vaccinated for fear of dangerous side effects.
Yes. People are choosing to put themselves at risk for a disease that kills one in every 1000 people it strikes instead of getting a simple shot.
Many laugh off measles, thinking that it is just a little worse than the common cold. True, it starts out with a fever, cough, and runny nose. However, after a few days, an itchy rash appears and white spots form in the mouth. Sometimes, it even causes inflammation of the brain, which can be highly serious and leave children permanently disabled.
Unfortunately, this craze is not some new revelation. Last year, there were a record number of measles outbreaks across the country. And this year, even though it’s still only April, there have been outbreaks in Boston and California as well.
Those people that refuse to be vaccinated stand on thin ice. The only legitimate study that linked the MMR vaccine to autism was retracted by the lead author, meaning that they have no real reasoning to support their claims. As of now, there are no other studies that show any sort of detrimental downside to being vaccinated against a particular virus.
Because these people refuse to see the good that vaccines can bring, they are putting the rest of the world at risk for developing these lethal diseases. While most of us have the measles vaccine, no vaccine is 100 percent effective. People who receive two doses of the MMR vaccine still have a five percent chance of contracting the virus. Of course, when there are wildly contagious sick people all around you because they refused to be vaccinated, the likelihood of a vaccinated person getting sick increases exponentially.
In short, it’s the anti-vaccine movement that is responsible for this new surge of lethal disease outbreaks. As more and more people try to fight the proven effectiveness of science, more and more people will get sick because of it. While it’s ultimately a person’s own choice if they want to be vaccinated, it does become a matter of public concern when eradicated diseases start reviving themselves.
Imagine if the more deadly polio started making a comeback. How would you feel if children across America started falling to this prey to this virus that paralyzes and disables? The polio vaccine is only 99 percent effective after three doses – what if your child was one of the one percent that caught polio from an unvaccinated child?
Ok, maybe that is a bit radical, but the point remains. Vaccines are good for both individual and global health. People shouldn’t have to be afraid of things that scientists have found a cure for. These recent outbreaks would have been completely preventable if people had made the choice to vaccinate. But because they didn’t, they must now suffer and spread their plague across the United States to infect all the other anti-vaccination citizens.
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