On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of cases of measles have been the highest since 1994. These rising numbers could very well mean a repeal of the elimination of disease status awarded to measles in the USA according to the health agency.
971 cases as of Thursday, have been reported since January 2019 and in his statement, the US Agency Director, Robert Redfield, was quoted saying that all children and adults who can be vaccinated should do so at the earliest if the outbreak is to the curtailed.
His reassurance to the parents of children who are unvaccinated was that contrary to popular belief, side effects of the vaccine do not include autism, and the disease itself is a greater hazard to the life of the child. Redfield also urged parents to vaccinate children as this would be a step towards the health safety of families as well as communities. The CDC continues to work towards bringing this outbreak to a conclusion through help from health responders all over the country.
Not only is measles a great hazard to health and extremely contagious, but treatment can become extremely expensive. For instance, the Washington outbreak in the first quarter of the year accrued costs to the tune of over $1 million, and caused health officials to struggle to collect resources to have some semblance of control. The Public Health Director at Clark County, Mr. Alan Melnick told the Seattle Times that it was hard earned tax payer money that was being pumped into a cause that could easily have been prevented through human intervention and vaccinations.
The CDC reports stated that the current epidemic comes amid decades of work put in by public health officials so as to eliminate the virus completely in the USA in the year 2000. The main cause of concern for the health agency have been the hundreds of cases which have been reported in New York City and Rockland County.
Brooklyn and Queens have confirmed 550 cases since last September, with the Orthodox Jewish community dominating the roster. Rockland County has reported 254 cases. If the outbreak continues at its current rate through the summer and fall seasons as well, the elimination status granted to the USA for the disease stands to be voided.
In the midst of the New York City measles epidemic, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the Health Commissioner has urged unvaccinated persons to go and seek out the vaccination immediately.
According to Barbot, all recent cases are directly linked to long exposure to neighborhoods where a measles outbreak is known to be taking place. He also insisted that all those able persons who went to work or schools in the areas of the outbreak should seek out the vaccination with urgency.