Measles Outbreak in US Reaches Records

Curtis Liu, Writer

An anti-vaccination trend has led to more cases of measles this year, some in Southern California

This year in the U.S. alone, there have been more than 450 cases of measles reported, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Measles was declared to be eliminated back in 2000, however many parents choose to not vaccinate their children.

A concentrated area in Brooklyn, New York has reported over 300 cases as an individual case can hastily spread to those who are not vaccinated, infants who have not received immunization and to elderly with suppressed immune systems. According to Newsweek, other cases have been reported from 22 other states, including California. 

Earlier this year in January and February, the Philippines faced its own measles outbreak. The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines recorded 8,443 cases of measles, leading to a total of 135 deaths. 

In 2017, surveys conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine received significantly different outcomes before and after a drug based vaccine-producing company, Sanofi Pasteur, made the statement that their product actually increased the risks of dengue infection. In 2015, 93 percent of the surveyed people trusted vaccines. By 2018, the same survey had a relatively miniscule result, as only 32 percent of the people had trust in vaccinations.

Around two weeks ago, reports of outbreaks have hit Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. These ongoing outbreaks bring on controversial debates on whether children should be vaccinated or not. 

Since the eradication of measles in 2000, the record of reported measles patients was 667 cases in 2014.  Four months into 2019, the current tally of cases is approximately 626 cases with calculations of surpassing the 2014 record within a matter of weeks.

Sophomore Chance Lee said, “I think it is important to vaccinate your children because it is the most efficient way in avoiding serious illnesses. Choosing to not vaccinate children may lead to potentially dangerous outbreaks.”

 Similar views are reflected within our campus, as people generally want to contain the outbreaks as quickly as possible. 

On the contrary, sophomore Eric Sheng had a personal experience with vaccinations and has a different opinion. 

Sheng said he supports anti-vaccination because, “People have the possibility of getting sick even though the germs are supposedly dead. It has happened to me countless times and after I get a vaccination, I go home and get the sickness from the vaccine that it was supposed to protect me from.”

These outbreaks have had a significant contribution to the topic of vaccination; however, the controversies will remain in the foreseeable future.