The big measles outbreak has captured the attention of the country, as even little babies are becoming ill with this disease that should have been extinguished years ago. We were told it was gone, at least from the United States.
In the past decade, there were less than 100 cases of measles in most years. Most of the people who contracted the disease were unvaccinated, and came in contact with people from other parts of the world where vaccinations are either unavailable or unused by the majority of the population. Often the cause is lack of vaccination serum or lack of funds to pay for it.
In some poor countries, mothers walk with their children for miles to join long lines for vaccinations, when offered by a humanitarian group. They understand the severity of the disease.
A vaccination was developed for good reason–children die from the measles and its accompanying fevers. The fevers cause mental disabilities if not controlled. Children have been lost to this “childhood illness”.
Some children can’t handle the vaccination. It makes them sick. But this is just a small percentage of children. Most are protected from the side effects by the vaccination.
In 1998 a British doctor wanted his name in the news, and published a paper suggesting a connection between these vaccinations and autism. Autism causes major problems for parents and children and some parents saw the connection after the report was published. Like wildfire in dry grass, fear of vaccinations spread. Parents stopped ensuring their children were vaccinated, using excuses that it went against their beliefs, most often the belief was a fear of autism.
In earlier years, people who carried measles were not a major problem, for nearly everyone was vaccinated. Now, when someone arrives in the United States carrying the disease, it spreads, and even little babies catch it.
We in the United States have no excuse for not protecting our children. Most of us have insurance that will pay for these essential vaccinations. If not, public health agencies will provide them for little or no cost. I have never heard of a shortage of measles or the more common MMR vaccine. We don’t have to walk miles and stand in long lines.
We live in one of the strongest nations in the world, but we allow fears to keep us from protecting our children. There haven’t been any deaths, yet. With blessings from God, there won’t be, but will there be other challenges because of the high fevers?