The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

Measles outbreaks occurring around the country

    By Leslie Lim

    Staff Writer

       On Jan. 29, health officials in Washington declared a state-wide emergency due to the recurring measles outbreak. Today, the measles outbreaks are occurring all over the country and only continue to increase in number.

         Measles is an infectious viral disease categorized by red rashes or bumps on the skin and high fever and is typically found in young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of four cases are hospitalized, and two out of 1,000 cases result in death.

      Measles is among the most dangerous viruses that a vaccine can prevent, and the MMR vaccine is proven to be about 97 percent effective in protecting humans against it.

      However, people around the country have been refusing to vaccinate themselves and their children due to fear of negative medical complications.

      “Vaccines are absolutely one of the causes for autism,” stated Dr. Steven Lantier, despite the fact that there is no proven link between vaccines and autism.

      According to the CDC, approximately 206 measles cases have been confirmed in 11 states in 2019. This year’s number is projected to be much higher than the 372 cases of outbreaks reported in 2018, and the 120 cases in 2017.

      Fortune predicts that the number of outbreaks may even exceed 2,200, the number of cases reported in 1992.

      Washington and New York are among the states hit heavily by these flare-ups.

      “New York state is in the middle of its worst measles epidemic in decades,” stated Fortune. “Since September, the Empire State has recorded 167 cases of measles.”

      These cases are found mainly in Orthodox Jews, some of who, according to Vox, an American news website, “reject vaccines due to unfounded medical concerns.”

      Furthermore, according to CNN, 20 states in the U.S. have proposed bills that increase the reasons accepted for vaccination exemptions, further expanding to include non-medical reasons. These bills would also require doctors to state the risks of vaccines, most of which include minor swelling, shivering, and headaches.

      If the bills are passed, the increased exemptions may result in a further decrease of the people covered by the measles vaccine, ultimately causing more outbreaks.

      Other countries have also been hit with several outbreaks. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in the Philippines, approximately 4,300 cases have been reported, 70 of which resulted in death as the percentage of the population that received vaccinations decreased from 80 percent to 70 percent from 2008 to now.

      In New Zealand, 22 cases have been confirmed, with the number expected to rise in the following weeks.

    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Activate Search
    Measles outbreaks occurring around the country