Image obtained from the LATimes.
The measles outbreak in California must be a PR nightmare for Disneyland. Can you imagine asking patrons to please wear a mask and to tell all those children that if they have a fever and sniffles to please please go away? Not a pretty sight I imagine.
But then again, the nightmare faced by parents when they are told that their poor suffering children have measles is even worse. If they are lucky, the children escape with a mild rash and flu-like symptoms. If they aren’t, the poor child ends up in the ICU with measles encephalitis. A perfectly healthy child one day, and the next, hooked up to beeping machines because the brain has been attacked by a nasty virus.
Yet, all of that is completely preventable by vaccines! The vaccine can only be used on children more than 6 months and its normally not administered until their first birthday. To protect that vulunerable population, we are completely reliant on herd immunity. Which basically means that enough children need to be immunized against measles to protect those that aren’t immunized. Unfortunately, because of naysayers like Jenny McCarthy and that unethical researcher who doesn’t know his head from his buttocks, parents have been refusing a life saving vaccine. As a result, the herd immunity is lost and even those who have been vaccinated are vulunerable to getting measles if exposed. A tragedy if I ever heard one. And in case you are wondering, there is no cure. Why? Because it is a virus. There is no antibiotic for a virus. The only thing we have is Vitamin A. Which is reported to reduce the duration of symptoms. But that’s about it. And we don’t even know if Vitamin A works.
Long story short: Vaccinate your children
For an FAQ on how to protect your children from measles, please visit the AAP managed site.