Source: The Daily Beast
Considered eliminated in the United States in 2000, last year saw a record number of outbreaks around the country. Only three months into 2014 major metropolitan areas are warning of new cases. This is not some inconvenience to be laughed off.
Measles is a highly-contagious illness caused by a virus. It usually presents with a combination of rash, fevers, cough and runny nose, as well as characteristic spots in the mouth. Most patients recover after an unpleasant but relatively uneventful period of sickness. Unfortunately, about one patient in every 1,000 develops inflammation of the brain, and one to three cases per 1000 in the United States result in death.
We vaccinate people for a reason. It is because I never want patients in my office to contract vaccine-preventable illnesses like at least two unlucky people in the New York City who got the disease from visiting their own doctors. That patients whose parents refuse to vaccinate them are not welcome in my practice. I never want to know that a child was sickened or killed because I let the recklessness of a vaccine-refusing parent jeopardize their health.
All due to the hysteria about a safe, effective vaccine. All based on nothing.
There is no legitimate scientific controversy about whether or not vaccines are safe. The original study that started us down this insane path by linking the MMR vaccine to autism has been retracted outright. The evidence against administering the MMR vaccine to healthy individuals is utterly without merit. But people continue to make the utterly baffling choice to refuse it anyway.
New information seems to indicate that they are immune to persuasion when confronted with facts inconvenient to their worldview. Indeed, writers at prominent online media outlets chide us for “demeaning” vaccine-deniers.
Vaccine-deniers are responsible to the resurgence of once-eliminated illnesses. They think they’re only making a decision for their own family — in fact, they’re threatening to make the rest of us sick.
Refusing to vaccinate your children means you are contributing to a worsening public health crisis.
I hope the anti-vaccine movement somehow loses steam. Perhaps America will take note of the return of long-gone illnesses and will stop treating vaccine denialism as a viewpoint worth considering. Perhaps vaccine-refusing parents will consider whether it’s worth the anxiety of knowing that a person who coughed in their grocery store two hours earlier could infect their kids as they do the week’s shopping together, and will reconsider their choices.
If you missed measles and are glad it’s back, thank a vaccine-denier.