Tapati (tapati) wrote,

Measles Cases at 15 Year High in U.S.

There have been 220 cases of measles so far this year in the United States, more than triple the usual 60 to 70 cases per year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Europe had more than 26,000 cases reported from January through July of this year, with nine deaths, according to the World Health Organization. So far, no deaths have been reported in the United States this year.

The CDC found of the 220 reported U.S. cases 87% of the people infected didn't get the vaccine, while the other 13% were too young to get it. Most of these cases were people who traveled overseas to Western Europe, Africa or Asia. Even though 91.5% of the U.S. population is immunized, those who are not, are putting themselves and others at risk, says Patsy Stinchfield Director of the Infection Disease Department at Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota.

Two-doses of the measles vaccine is estimated to be 98-99% effective at preventing the disease and provide lifelong immunity. For those who are unvaccinated and exposed to measles, they can be expected to get measles at a rate on the order of 90% or higher, according to the CDC.

So frustrating and so preventable (other than the children too young to be vaccinated yet).

ETA: My reply to a dingbat who thinks that when children get measles it's not as bad as when adults get measles. (Is she thinking of chicken pox?)


Have you ever walked through a cemetery? One with plenty of older headstones, from the pre-vaccine era? Have you seen the little graves next to the parents, the ones with dates very close together? Compare the sheer numbers of those to modern graves. Lots more children were dying, and many of them died from illnesses we vaccinate against. Measles is deadly to children. It was one of the feared diseases. It's not like chicken pox. Measles, polio, whooping cough, smallpox, they killed and disabled children and that's why doctors worked hard to eradicate them. In areas of the world where fewer people receive vaccines, they still kill a lot of people. And they are making a comeback because an increasingly large number of citizens read junk science accounts and worry about things like micrograms of substances that are in our environment already or reactions that are statistically less likely than the disease, or the discredited theory about vaccines and autism.

I guess we have to learn the lesson of how deadly these diseases are all over again. Maybe when, once again, everyone knows a family who lost one or more children to these diseases we'll fear them enough to vaccinate every child.
Tags: health, health care

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