By Selina Iglesias
As of February 23, 2015, over a hundred cases of measles have been confirmed in the state of California, and 39 of the 123 people infected with measles are believed to have been exposed by the measles at Disneyland.
The state also confirmed 46 other cases of measles came from an unknown source, but they are presumed to have come from Disneyland as well, making happiness not the only thing contagious at the famous theme park.
Disneyland has asked the public, specifically children under twelve months and those who have never had measles, to stay away from the park while the outbreak continues.
Walt Disney’s pride and joy isn’t the only place shadowed by measles. In late February, an 18-month-old in Berlin died of measles. Just recently, more than 150 people have recently caught the measles across the United States in a total of six states. Last year, there were 644 cases of measles reported in the U.S.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to be alarmed about, though. The number of measles cases in 2014 was at its highest since the 2000s.
Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus and typically consists of symptoms such as a fever cough, runny nose, inflamed eyes, sore throat and blotchy rash, according to the Mayo Clinic.
These might seem like mild symptoms, but measles can cause brain damage and even death in some cases.
While it is a fairly treatable disease that goes away thanks to vaccines, the measles outbreak has caused quite a scare across the world. So the question is, why have vaccinated individuals been contracting measles?
The answer is simple: some people just don’t respond to the antibodies within the vaccination. These vaccines mock the measles virus, prompting the body to produce antibodies that fight off the disease.
However, sometimes it just doesn’t work.
The CDC recommends two doses of the vaccine be given in order to have a stable threshold to control the disease. Of the 13 people vaccinated in the Disneyland Measles Outbreak, only five had received the recommended dosage.
Measles cannot be contained without vaccines. It is a highly contagious disease, which made the theme park a breeding ground for this disease.
The recent cases have sparked an enormous debate about vaccinations.
Which brings me to my next point: everyone should be pro-vaccine.
The most important thing to realize is that the number of measles cases will continue to rise if more people do not get vaccinated.
The arguments have all been heard. Forget sympathy and logic. Look at the facts.
There is no link to autism and vaccinations. Allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. And by vaccinating your children, there is a better chance for everyone.
Future generations will be saved from the risk of contracting contagious, life-threatening diseases such as measles. Many diseases have been reduced and eradicated because of vaccines. Smallpox shots aren’t given anymore thanks to vaccines. Another disease, Polio, a serious disease that causes death and paralysis, was once one of the most-feared diseases in America, and is now a thing of the past due to vaccines.
Vaccinating your children also keeps family members and loved ones safe, not to mention it saves a lot of money and time. Schools can deny attendance to children who are unvaccinated, and oftentimes, the laws of the state require vaccinations in children. Vaccine-preventable diseases can take a long-term financial toll on families as well.
Getting vaccinated is usually insured and a good decision in the long run. There are many programs for low-income families, such as The Vaccines for Children program, that provide vaccines for no cost at all to children.
“When I had my first child, I knew where I stood with vaccinations,” said local mother Amy Nelson. “My children got both of their doses for measles and many other diseases. I think it is important to keep your children safe, and getting a vaccine can make a huge difference between life and death.”
“I disagree,” said student Paul Johnson*. “Vaccinations are full of harmful ingredients that the CDC claims is safe. I wouldn’t dare put my future child through even the slightest risk.”
Regardless of your stance on vaccinations, think of it this way: what if it was your kid roaming the park, unaware of the disease that is quickly forming inside of his/her body?
Would you be able to say that you were against vaccines, then?
*names have been changed per request