Are Measles Making a Comeback?

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Is America in danger of losing its “measles-free” status? Measles is a potentially fatal, infectious disease that has been an epidemic in the United States. According to a Vox article entitled “America Is in Danger of Losing its ‘Measles-free’ Status,” many individuals and families focused on eliminating the disease in 1978 and made sure they were immunized to combat the disease. The United States was officially announced to be measles free in 2000.

The article also states that there have recently been over 1,200 cases of measles, the highest number of cases since 1992. Considering these factors, the United States is at a major risk of losing the privilege of being a “measles-free country.” Beginning on Oct. 2, the United States will immediately lose its measles-free status if any case emerges that is connected to the current outbreak. Along with the United States, many other countries have been facing the same issue. Greece, Brazil, and the United Kingdom have all lost their measles-free status over the past years.

The underlying cause of why measles is arising once again is because of unvaccinated communities. Most recent cases in the United States have all emerged from communities with low vaccination rates. According to Vox’s article, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, believes “that parents’ concerns about vaccines leads to under vaccination and most of the cases that we’re seeing are in unvaccinated communities.” Many individuals have been overlooking the seriousness of measles and have been opting out of vaccines. Messonnier added, “There are also pockets of people who are vaccine-hesitant.”

Junior Leanna Sullivan stated, “I believe everyone should be vaccinated because it will only teach your body how to fight it. I believe not getting it wouldn’t be beneficial to your health because there is a very large chance of getting diseases such as measles, as stated.” Many individuals think twice about getting vaccinated because there is a chance of a reaction holding side effects or injuries. Junior Samantha Shea states, “… Although I believe it is a smarter choice to be vaccinated, it is up to the person and it may differ based on their personal beliefs or religious beliefs.”

According to Vox’s article, a major reason this illness gets spread is infected travelers bringing the disease back to their country. Junior Julia Comunale says, “It is a very big issue, especially for the fact that travelers are bringing these diseases. It is not fair to everyone else.” Over 75% of cases that have been reported this year were traced back to New York and were tracked down to individuals who contracted measles from countries like Ukraine, the Philippines, and Israel, and brought the illness back. While traveling, it is reccomended to be aware of the possible health consequences. According to NCBI’s article entitled “Public Health Responses During Measles Outbreaks in Elimination Settings: Strategies and Challenges,” “assembly of a rapid response team or outbreak control committee” will be needed for when there are cases and outbreaks of measles.