Making the Measles Go Away . . .

The people of Rockland County, New York were faced with an interesting ban this week. Given the major outbreak of measles in that county, there is now a 30-day ban on allowing unvaccinated children in public places which includes ANY public place. In addition to schools, the ban includes the mall, play parks, restaurants, even churches.

According to the news, this particular county reports over 150 people being infected since Fall 2018. All indications seem to point to seven unvaccinated people who came into the county with measles. Statistics from CNN said the number of confirmed cases of measles in the US just in 2019, was 314 which about half being in this one county. In 2000, health officials said the disease had been eliminated in the United States. We now face growing epidemics.

One of the complaints from the anti-vaccine side is that the ones with the measles should be quarantined, not the healthy ones. However, measles can incubate and be contagious before a parent is even aware the illness is present. That leaves a lot of wiggle room to pass on the contagion just be being in schools, etc., sneezing, touching, and sharing the chance of making other people sick.

Is the ban fair? In this particular county, statistics show that 73 percent of the under 18 population is unvaccinated. Should majority rule here and the ban be lifted as more people have the capability of contracting and sharing the measles?

Measles can be a deadly or life-impairing disease. Sure, deaths of permanent damage might not be the norm BUT the norm might be there for some infant who hasn’t had their baby shots yet or a child with a compromised immune system.

Someone told me once that he did not believe in vaccines as we should live by the ‘survival of the fittest’ . . . I don’t think that is a great premise as healthy children can die and the sickly can survive.

Sure, we should petition and write to the various companies that produce vaccines and request they develop the purest forms of vaccines that don’t make use of aborted babies. I wonder about the people who have come and gone in my life that ridiculed me for choosing to vaccinate, if they have ever written to their pediatricians or the pharmacy companies with their concerns and encouragement to upgrade their vaccines to a more acceptable format.

Every decision in life has consequences and we need to think about and ponder our choices. If someone decides to ignore this ban and take their child to school or other public places, who is responsible for another child getting sick.

Must Be The Season . . .

Another Outbreak . . .

According to the news, this morning, the Portland area in Oregon is experiencing a declared public health emergency. As of the last news from that area, 23 people are confirmed to have the measles with one of them in the hospital. It is expected that more confirmation of measles will be forthcoming as the incubation period after exposure can be from ten to fourteen days. I imagine that further contraction of the disease can come from people unknowingly in the incubation period making it a dangerous situation for any very young children or pregnant women coming into contact with them.

Being from the ‘dark ages’, I had measles when I was in grade school and it was an itchy and feverish time but, fortunately, without complications. When I had my own children, we got them all their vaccinations including the one for measles. In the back of my mind, however, I wondered if the measles one was necessary as I never had a problem. However, the older aka more mature I got, I realized that measles is a community problem especially knowing they could infect, unknowingly, other children before they actually broke out in a full-blown case. Again, one might think, ‘okay, measles is measles and many get through it without problems’.

Dr. Peter J. Hotez, pediatrics professor at the national School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College cites that, “It’s really awful and really tragic and totally preventable.” He also notes that measles is ‘one of the most serious infectious diseases known to humankind’. Good health doesn’t necessarily prevent contracting the disease and you never know how someone genetic makeup might respond to a case of the measles.

Complications from measles include pneumonia, croup, and encephalitis. According to the CDC, 1 out of 10 children with measles develop an ear infection; 1 in 20 get pneumonia and 1 in 1,000 may develop encephalitis and 1 or 2 in 1,000 may die. It also can cause diarrhea in less than 10 percent of cases. Measles also can cause a miscarriage in a pregnant woman, or cause her to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.Other complications include appendicitis, hepatitis, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle), thrombocytopenia (blood disorder), and death.

I suppose the fact that actual death from the measles is ‘only’ one or two  out of 1,000 cases figures the odds in one’s favor for taking chances in life . . . but not if you go against the odds and your child is one of the one or two.