The anti-vaccination movement and the parents in favor of the movement, known as anti-vaxxers, have been in the news lately, particularly due to the measles outbreak at Disneyland in December and January.
More than 24 cases of measles have been linked to Disney theme parks in Southern California, and these parents are attracting widespread attention and vilification since measles was virtually eliminated from the U.S. nearly a decade ago and is now becoming prevalent again. The reported rising numbers (along with rising anxiety) proved that this highly contagious disease is still circulating around the world.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been at least 170 measles cases reported in 17 states including: California (113), Illinois (15), Michigan (1), Texas (1) Nevada (8), Washington (7) and Arizona (7), Pennsylvania (1), Utah (2) and New Jersey (2). As cases continue to stack up, so does the risk.
Experts say that several (avoidable) diseases are now making a comeback due to anti-vaxxers who are opposed to vaccinating their children. According to the CDC’s findings, the following 10 states have the highest rates of children enrolled in kindergarten with a reported exemption to vaccination which is a direct reflection of the states listed above with the most measles cases reported:
Symptoms of Measles
The highly contagious virus can take four to 12 days for symptoms to appear and before you even notice the symptoms and recognize it as measles, you can be infecting other people. Measles starts as a fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pinkeye) and a red, pinpoint rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. If the virus infects the lungs, it can cause pneumonia. Measles in older children can lead to inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis, which can cause seizures and brain damage. Measles kills about once in every 1,000 cases.
Vaccines Prevent Disease and Save Lives
Going into your local urgent care center and getting vaccinated is one of the easiest ways to fight preventable contagious diseases. Vaccination acts as a firewall in the spread of disease, preventing further transmission of the disease. The more individuals who are resistant to disease, the smaller the probability that a susceptible individual will come into contact with an infectious individual, which is called herd immunity. The principle of herd immunity, also known as community immunity, applies to a variety of contagious diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), rotavirus, influenza and pneumococcal disease.
The MMR vaccine is a two-part vaccination recommended for all children. It protects against three serious illnesses (measles, mumps and rubella). Two doses of this vaccine can provide 97% protection against infection and is proven safe by the CDC. eMedical Urgent Care offers MMR vaccines to both children and adults (adults may first take a simple blood test, an antibody titer, to find out whether they are already immune to these three diseases).
If you have an unvaccinated child (or are unvaccinated yourself), contact the Middletown or Berkeley Heights, NJ eMedical Urgent Care today to learn more about vaccinations like the MMR and how it can help protect you and your family from the resurgence of measles in America.