What others say: Measles outbreak a reminder to vaccinate

  • Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:48pm
  • Opinion

A disease once on its way to oblivion apparently is on the rise — and headed this way, say health officials locally and nationwide. So forget rumors you might have heard about vaccinations and make sure you and your children have had one.

That’s the message coming this week from health officials about a resurgence in cases of measles nationwide.

The Centers for Disease Control reported this month that measles has reached a 20-year high, and a big reason for the increase is a decrease in the number of people being vaccinated, especially children.

Pitt County Health Director John Morrow told The Daily Reflector that with measles’ virtual disappearance in years past, parents today are not aware of its potentially terrible effects.

That’s one reason they might not worry much about making sure their children receive the vaccine that would protect them.

Morrow also cited a report that originated in England years ago as another reason for the decline in vaccinations. The report suggested that some of the ingredients in the vaccine could cause other childhood illnesses, including autism.

The researcher behind this report had falsified data, Morrow said, but by the time that became broadly known the rumor that the vaccine was harmful had “gone viral.”

As a result, the threat of a measles comeback today is real. In the last five months, measles has caused more U.S. illnesses than in any entire year since 1996, said the CDC. The disease spreads easily through the air and in a closed room infected droplets can linger for up to two hours after a sick person leaves.

There have been 16 outbreaks producing 397 cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease in 20 states, including nearby Virginia and Tennessee …

So vigilance and awareness are in order to head it off, and it’s certainly not too soon to vaccinate any who need protection from this unwanted visitor from the past.

Let’s just hope it’s not too late.

— The Daily Reflector, Greenville, North Carolina,

June 16

More in Opinion

Sticky notes filled out in response to the question “Why does Democracy and voting matter?” are photographed on Saturday, June 25, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Alex Koplin)
6 words to define democracy

What words would you use?

File
Opinion: The latest gun regulation bill is nothing to cheer about

The legislation resembles the timid movements of a couple of 6-month old children…

The U.S. Capitol is seen in Washington, D.C. in this file photo. (File)
Opinion: The Alaskans with the power to defend America’s democracy

It’s well past time to publicly refute Trump’s lie

File
Opinion: Here’s what I expect of lawmakers in a post-Roe America

I urge lawmakers to codify abortion rights at the state and federal levels.

File
Opinion: Confusion over ranked choice voting persists

Voter confusion over ballot procedures will continue

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Voices of the Peninsula: A vote for Walker/Drygas is a vote for Alaskans

It’s easy to forget some of the many lost lawsuits, devastating budget cuts and general incompetence that defines Mike Dunleavy’s term as governor

This photo shows a return envelop for 2022 special primary. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Voices of the Peninsula: Learn how to access your ballot

The recent special primary election was the first time the state conducted an all mail-in ballot election

The Storyknife Writers Retreat in the summer of 2021 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Storyknife: Invest in women writers, read the rewards

Storyknife is committed to providing opportunities to a diversity of writers

Most Read