Measles was officially eliminated from the United States in 2000 when the country did not experience any transmissions of the disease for more than the previous 12 months. In spite of that, measles has made a comeback.
The state of Washington alone already has 65 confirmed cases in 2019, and in a time when we need our legislative leaders to step up and protect the public, they are doing just the opposite.
The House Health and Human Services Committee passed three bills in this legislative session that will diminish the protection of our schoolchildren in regards to their immunizations.
Public health officials have expressed concerns that the Phoenix area is ripe for the next infectious breakout of measles, and the road our state Legislature is driving down makes it very likely and probably even worse than it has to be.
There is a vaccination for measles because it is serious business. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that children younger than 5 years of age and adults over 20 are more likely to suffer from measles complications.
Those complications can be ear infections to the point permanent hearing loss is suffered. Severe complications suffered can be pneumonia and swelling of the brain that could lead to permanent brain damage. One to two children out of every 1,000 will die from it.
The easiest and safest way of preventing measles is for everyone to be vaccinated. However, the anti-vaccine movement has become loud for many reasons. Some saw that measles wasn’t around anymore, so why bother with a vaccination. Others bought into the myth that vaccinations are the cause of autism, despite there not being any evidence that it is true. The CDC is also reporting evidence that autism is developed in utero, long before a baby is born or receives vaccinations.
It is important for all of us to understand the myths surrounding vaccines so we can better protect our society. Publichealth.org offers eight myths that need to be understood as not being true. The first myth is that vaccines cause autism. 2. Infant immune systems can’t handle so many vaccines. 3. Natural immunity is better than vaccine-acquired immunity. 4. Vaccines contain unsafe toxins. 5. Better hygiene and sanitation are actually responsible for decreased infections, not vaccines. 6. Vaccines aren’t worth the risk. 7. Vaccines can infect my child with the disease it’s trying to prevent. 8. We don’t need to vaccinate because infection rates are already so low in the U.S. These are myths, not truths.
Though we need to reach out to our state representatives; Regina Cobb, Leo Biasiucci, and Sonny Borrelli to ask them to fight against the deterioration of our public health defenses, whether children get vaccinated is up to their guardians.
If a measles outbreak occurs in Phoenix and with the many travelers there from Kingman, we can rest assured a measles outbreak will come here.
The Daily Miner Editorial Board highly recommends getting our children vaccinated.
For everybody’s sake.