Measles – a disease that was declared eliminated in the USA in 2000 – is again breaking out across the country. Who do you think is the primary culprit? You might be surprised!
USA Today reports this is “the largest outbreak in 15 years” and is being “spread largely by unvaccinated travelers who bring home the disease” and spread it to unvaccinated kids.
In other words, parents choosing to avoid or delay vaccines for their kids, are causing the spread of disease to their kids and other kids in their community.
Physicians “have reported 118 measles cases in the USA since January – nearly twice as many as the total for all of last year, according to a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
The AP reports that the CDC “released the count for January 1 through May 20. Cases were seen in 23 states. None of the patients died, but about 40 percent were hospitalized.”
During a normal year, the US experiences approximately 50 cases of measles, because most people are vaccinated.
However, approximately 90% of measles cases in 2011 have occurred in people who had not had vaccinations.
The NPR “Shots” blog reported that “the vast majority of US cases are imported.”
This “‘unusually large number of importations,’ as the CDC put it, is tied to an increase in measles cases in countries frequented by US travelers,” such as India and France.
The blog entry advised those who wish to vacation abroad this summer to “make sure you’ve been vaccinated.”
And, be sure your kids have been vaccinated.
Here are some of my blogs on vaccinations over the last year: