New Jersey may have its first case of the measles this year, now that a 1-year-old baby in Jersey City is suspected of having contracted the disease.
The infant was not vaccinated against the highly contagious virus, as health officials typically recommend the first dose of the vaccine for children ages 12 to 15 months. Jersey City officials caution that though the infant has since recovered, individuals who have come into contact with the baby are at risk for becoming ill from the disease until February 7th. Residents in the building where the baby lived have been informed of the exposure.
It’s unclear how the infant contracted measles, but the country is in the midst of a serious measles outbreak, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 102 cases in 14 states as of Monday. The outbreak is believed to have originated at Disneyland, though it is unclear whether this case is related to the theme park.
News of New Jersey’s potential outbreak comes on the heels of NJ Governor Chris Christie’s assertion that “parents need to have some measure of choice in things” when it comes to vaccinating their children…
The governor stopped short of staking a clear position on the issue…(H)is office sought to clarify Christie’s position…
“To be clear,” Christie spokesman Kevin Roberts wrote in an email, “the governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated.” Roberts went on to say Christie was calling for “a balance” because “different states require different degrees of vaccination.”
…Non-vaccinated children over 15 months pose a danger to infants who are too young to receive the vaccine like the aforementioned infected baby—just yesterday, five infants at a daycare in a Chicago suburb were diagnosed with measles.
Measles, believed just over a decade ago to have been eradicated, has returned with a vengeance thanks to an army of misinformed parents who believe they should not and do not need to vaccinate their children. Before the measles vaccine was introduced in the 1950s and 1960s, 400 to 500 people died of the disease in the U.S. every year, with approximately 4 million contracting it annually. Thousands of people were hospitalized for complications, with about 1,000 sustaining serious, chronic damage thanks to measles encephalitis. So VACCINATE YOUR CHILDREN!