The National Measles Epidemic and How to Avoid It

The National Measles Epidemic and How to Avoid It

Katie Wertheimer

The Epidemic

Within this year, the count of measle case in the U.S has jumped to record highs. Once considered an almost extinct illness, due to the high vaccination rates, measles has broken out into an epidemic with people contracting it all over the globe. Many counties extreme cases have even forced people with the illness to stay home for at least twenty one days to avoid spreading because of its highly contagious nature. However, t doesn’t look like the outbreak is going to slow down anytime soon. Whether one is in Michigan, New York, or even in Asia, many are unprotected when it comes to the measles outbreak. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid it.


What is Measles?

Measles, also called Rubella, is a viral infection that has taken the world by storm within the last couple years. Being highly contagious, it has taken down communities and closed schools. Some symptoms of Measles include coughing, a runny nose, sore throat, fever, and a blotchy rash all over the body. Normally the rash, the most tell-tale sign of measles, doesn’t appear until 10-14 days after the virus is acquired, with the entirety of the illness lasting a few weeks. With Rubella being so easily spread, one can come down with it through almost any form of contact including  saliva, touching contaminated objects like doorknobs, skin contact, or through the respiratory contamination. Unfortunately, there is no form of treatment that can eliminate measles once it has been spread, but it is very easily preventable through a vaccine that almost eliminated the disease as a whole. Although it is not always fatal, they high fever can be deadly for those with compromised immune system, young children, and the elderly.


What is the Cause?

Although Measles is very easily preventable, many people do not take the proper precautions to avoid it in the first place. After a rumor about the vaccine possibly causing autism, many parents chose not to vaccinate and take the risk. Even though that rumor was proven completely false and has been proven to be 97% effective when it comes to protecting against Measles , many people are still skeptical. Unfortunately, choosing not to vaccinate not only puts one’s own children at risk, but other children as well. The process of the vaccine involves inserting the virus itself into the person in order to introduce it to the immune system and help them fight off any virus. But, there are many children, like ones with terminal illnesses, who do not have a strong enough immune system for the vaccine. By not taking the proper precautions to prevent the spread of Rubella, humans are not only increasing their own risk of getting it, but sharing it to the rest of the unvaccinated, aiding to the epidemic across the globe.