Measles is a serious contagious virus and can also be fatal if not treated in time. The symptoms are similar to a cold: fever, cough, pink eye and a runny nose but it’s distinguishable by a rash that can appear on the face and the rest of the body. There are some severe cases where the virus can develop encephalitis or pneumonia.
But here’s where the vaccination comes and helps to achieve immunity so that it can prevent outbreaks in the communities.
The problem is that, according to studies made by the School of Medicine at the Stanford University, if parents choose not to vaccinate their children, there’s a higher risk of measles infection and it could triple the cases in the U.S.
Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children not only risk their children’s health but also endanger other people around.
Children from 9 to 12 years old can get the vaccine but if the rate will drop to 88%, there could be 150 more cases of measles per year, putting children’s life in danger. This decline will also cost the government health program more money and will have to pay hospital bills too, going over 2.1 million dollars a year.
These studies have been made due the increasing number of parents that chose not to vaccinate their children. Because of their choice, there could be more outbreaks of measles as the virus is very contagious and can spread on surfaces where an infected person coughs or sneezes.
In the U.S. there is a majority of 90% population that has been vaccinated but there are states where the rate is 70%. Since babies cannot be vaccinated, they are vulnerable to the infection if another member of the family contacts the virus.
There are cases in which skipping vaccination against measles is recommended: pregnant women or people with a low immune system like AIDS or cancer and people who are allergic to the vaccine.
The study conducted by the School of Medicine shows that in order to prevent a measles outbreak, a community should have 95% people vaccinated so that the virus wouldn’t spread too much, but unfortunately the numbers have started to go down.