Measles Outbreak: Four Reasons Why Vaccinations Are So Important
By Space Coast Daily // October 23, 2019
They can save a life
The measles virus is one of the most infectious diseases known to humans, and just one person can go on to infect 12 to 18 others in an unvaccinated population.
Brazil has been most affected by a return of measles since it was certified ‘measles free’ by the WHO in 2016, and the South American country has since launched the Border Vaccination Campaign delivering 37,000 extra doses of the measles vaccine to the campaign’s focus regions in an attempt to combat the threat.
Yet the risk of measles remains a lot closer to home for those living on the Space Coast, with the US also seeing a record number of measles cases.
Widespread vaccination meant the virus was declared eliminated in the US in 2000, but according to the Florida Health Department there was an increase between 2017-2018 from three to 15 reported cases and every case had no documented vaccination.
Dr Barbara McAneny, president of the American Medical Association, has said that getting vaccinated “not only keeps individuals from becoming ill with the measles but also helps prevent further spread to loved ones, neighbors, co-workers and others in close contact.”
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, M.D also released a statement stating that “Measles is preventable and the way to end this outbreak is to ensure that all children and adults who can get vaccinated, do get vaccinated.” Our health experts at REVIEWBOX confirm this.
With measles cases in the US the highest since measles was wiped out in 2000, here are the four reasons why getting vaccinated is so important.
They can save a life
According to AP News, a 7-month-old baby died in Brazil only last year from complications caused by measles and the Brazilian website REVIEWBOX confirmed that Brazilians were shocked by the surge in cases.
In 2015, a 28-year-old woman became the last recorded death from measles in the United States. You can now be protected against diseases that once killed thousands of children, primarily due to vaccines.
It’s safe and effective
The vaccine contains a live but weakened version of measles, which means your immune system creates antibodies against the virus.
If you then come into contact with measles, these antibodies can then offer protection. Before being declared safe to administer, vaccines are carefully reviewed by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals.
Although vaccines can involve some discomfort and pain, serious side effects following vaccination are very rare and the benefits of the vaccine vastly outweigh any potential negatives.
It’s easy to catch measles
Measles is an airborne virus and incredibly easy to pass on. If someone who has measles coughed in a room, it still has the ability to infect unvaccinated people from the droplets in the air hours later.
Measles can also be contagious before any signs of a rash appear, so people can spread it before they even know they have the infection.
There’s no treatment for measles
Doctors may be able to help prevent the more severe complications in some cases, but there’s no specific treatment for measles. Plenty of fluids and rest can help, as can vitamin A supplements and taking ibuprofen to reduce the fever.