If you thought that measles episode of The Brady Bunch was hilarious and that measles is just such a cute old-timey virus, then you’ll be happy to hear: Measles is back! Thanks to the efforts of down-home anti-vaxxer folk, we’re now officially living in a world that has more cases of measles since 1992. Nostalgia for the ’90s is out of control! We should have resurrected Nirvana, not measles. RIght?
According to the latest report from the CDC: “The number of reported measles cases in 2019 is the highest since 1992, countering a long-term downward trend since the measles vaccination program started in 1963. While the current measles vaccine is about 97 percent effective at preventing the disease, the majority of new measles cases are among groups of people who were not vaccinated.”
So, this means exactly what you think it means. Uninformed anti-vaxxers, who embrace anti-science thinking, and believe in conspiracy theories, have effectively been successful in reversing the progress that began in 1963. And, yes, this puts children at risk. Although the measles vaccine is super-effective, if the virus is on the rise again, it makes possible for things to get worse. Or, in the words of the CDC: “More than 73 percent of the cases were linked to recent outbreaks in New York. Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated.” This is kind of like in Ghostbusters when all the ghosts and demons get let out of the containment unit at the same time. Anti-vaxxers aren’t just bringing back one deadly demon, they’re opening up the door to an onslaught.
And while you’re at it, here’s why it’s never too late to get your flu shot.