Unwillingness to Vaccinate Leads to Measles Outbreak

by Rachel Heinz

On January 23, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a Health Advisory to inform public health departments of a recent outbreak of the measles possibly originating from Disneyland. According to CDC director Tom Freiden, there are currently 102 reported cases spread out among 14 states. As reported by The Hill, Freiden also expressed that we are “likely to see more cases” of this highly contagious respiratory disease. The first case has been indirectly traced back to Disneyland, in Anaheim, California, earlier this year. Patient zero likely came from a continent where the measles are still common such as Europe, Africa, or Asia.  With over 16.2 million visitors annually, Disneyland is very susceptible to large outbreaks.

As the measles outbreak continues to grow, the debate about the use of vaccines does too. In an interview with NBC on Sunday, President Obama stressed the importance of getting kids vaccinated. He described the science behind vaccines as “pretty undisputable.” The majority of the people affected by the measles had not been vaccinated. Although some may consider the vaccine dangerous to children’s health, the disease itself can be much more dangerous. According to the CDC, “As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.”