The Growing Measles Outbreak

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Kyle Roethlin, Staff Writer

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Over the past few weeks, a measles outbreak had been tearing through parts of New York City and the surrounding areas. The CDC has declared that, in 2019 alone, there have been 465 cases of measles, a jump from 387 the week before. This is particularly troubling, considering that a measles vaccine exists. Multiple health-related agencies are using this vaccine to fight the outbreak by actively vaccinating the unvaccinated.

 

I find this outbreak quite troubling, as many of these cases could be easily prevented. However, many parents have unsubstantiated fears over vaccination, leading them not vaccinate their children for diseases like measles. Not only are these fears false, but they are also spread by certain groups seeking to prevent vaccination. Vaccines are safe and do not cause autism as many parents fear. Personally, I find the failure of many parents to not vaccinate their children to not only be negligent of their child’s health but a serious public health issue. In immunology, there is a term called herd immunity. If enough of the population is vaccinated, individuals with compromised immune systems and cannot receive vaccination are protected from infection. When parents fail to vaccinate their children, they break down this vital concept of herd immunity, throwing the weakest of our society in danger.

 

Something has to be down about this issue. Outbreaks like this one are preventable with vaccines and the spread of the right information, not lies. At the end of the day, these lies about the “dangers of vaccination” can make many people sick and risk lives. If something is not done about this issue, I fear that we are only a few years away from a terrible outbreak of a preventable disease.

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