Did you know that measles is ranked among the most contagious viruses? The virus is spread not just through contact, but also through the air. Scientists estimate that one sick person can easily infect 20 other people. In fact, the measles virus can hang suspended in the air for several hours. This means you could get infected by walking into an empty room where someone with measles had spent time hours earlier, never having laid eyes on the person who infected you.
Take all that into account and add in the fact that 90% of the people infected will become sick and it equals one dangerous virus. Measles can cause pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), both of which can be fatal. For those who avoid the fatal complications, measles can cause deafness, high fevers, rash, and ear infections.
This disease was eliminated from the United States in 2000 due to high vaccination rates, which means outbreaks no longer originate from here. The recent outbreak in December 2014 at Disneyland was an imported case of measles brought by a traveller. Worldwide, there are still about 20 million cases of measles. In 2013, approximately 145,000 people died of the disease. We may think we are insulated from this health issue here in the U.S., but the Disneyland outbreak shows us how vulnerable we are in this age of worldwide travel.
In recent years, some people have refused to vaccinate their children due to fears of autism. These fears were based on a 1998 study linking autism to vaccination, but this study was proved fraudulent and was retracted. The Chief Science Officer for Autism Speaks says on the website: “Vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated.”
Viruses like measles are an unfortunate part of our broken world. But God gave us the ability to fight back against these broken bits of DNA using vaccines. The bottom line is vaccines save lives. We can’t afford to lose the battle against diseases like this one.
Please remember to get vaccinated and to vaccinate your children. The consequences are far worse, not just for you and your kids, but also for those around you that they could infect.
What do you think? Are vaccines worth the risk?