In December, there was a very big outbreak of measles at Disneyland in California, and this has been linked back to the number of children not getting vaccines increasing.
Researchers had been looking into the outbreak to see how so many children could have come down with the measles, and they noted that only about half of the people that were exposed were given the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine, which is the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, is one of the many vaccines that the anti-vaccination group strongly is against, but it seems this decision is now impacting many other people.
Since January 2015, there have been over 127 cases of the measles in the United States, which is a direct relation to the outbreak that began in Disneyland. Measles is one of the most contagious viruses out there, with up to a 99 percent chance of getting the virus if you have not been vaccinated. You might notice that you feel like you have a cough and runny nose, along with a slight fever, and then you get a red rash on your face, which spreads through your body.
Although there is no 100 percent confirmation of the link, the researchers used data from the Disneyland outbreak and compared that to cases since then within the United states, and then using a mathematical model to determine the likelihood of transmission. Since all of the measles cases have to be written down through the CDC and the local health department, there is an easy way to track the transmission from one state to the next. Over 7 states in the US have had an outbreak of the measles and Canada and Mexico also had outbreaks. What the researchers found was that one person was in contact with the contagious person at Disneyland, then that person went home and transmitted the virus to someone else, and it grew from there.
When it comes to parents getting the MMR vaccine, over 92 percent of all parents in the US decide to get their child vaccinated for this virus, but this number is quickly decreasing. What is happening is that while most people are protected from the virus, those children that are not vaccinated are the group that is contracting this virus from outside sources. Researchers are blaming the growing anti-vaccination movement on the Disneyland outbreak, and then the spread of the virus throughout the US.
In fact, the reality is the that the US and other countries have nearly completely eliminated the measles from the populous through the use of the vaccination. Since the anti-vaccination movement is growing, it’s likely that the many years of hard work from doctors and the public health officials will be undone, because more children will become susceptible to getting the disease while out in the public. The measles can also lead to many complications such as pneumonia and even coma or death, so this is not something that parents should be willing to let happen to their children. The anti-vaccination groups often don’t realize that they are putting others at risk who are too young to get the vaccination, such as babies, and the younger the child the less chance of survival. The doctors and public health officials warn that if this trend continues, we will again see severe plagues and outbreaks, which puts the entire country at risk and is a very dangerous situation.