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Measles Outbreak in New York City Caused by Non-Vaccination?Outbreak proves virus has not yet been totally eradicated
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has once again cautioned parents about the repercussions of not having their children vaccinated against diseases such as mumps, whooping cough, chicken pox, and measles after 20 people were affected by the latter recently. “If you are unvaccinated and you come in contact with (the) measles (virus), there’s a 90 percent chance you will get it,” says Jason McDonald from CDC, in an interview with time.com.
Majority of these cases have been found to be concentrated in northern Manhattan. 11 among the 20 affected are adults, and only three of these were found to have been vaccinated. Among the nine affected children, seven were vaccinated.
Related story: Measles Alert: What You Need to Know about the Virus
In 2000, the CDC reported that they had already successfully eradicated measles in the U.S., a result of a federally-financed childhood vaccination program, but a rising number of measles has proven otherwise.
On the other hand, while being unvaccinated is likely to have caused the spreading of the contagious disease, McDonald still points out that not all vaccines are effective in the long-term, such as the whooping cough vaccine.
An epidemiologist in New York City believes that the outbreak may have been the result of health officials who were not able to diagnose the diseases soon enough, and also not being to quarantine the infected individuals to prevent the further spreading of the disease.
“We know a number of people were exposed and possibly got their infection either at a doctor’s office or at an emergency room where they went and it took more time than it should have for them to be put in an isolation area where they couldn’t possibly infect anyone else,” said Dr. Jay Varma, New York City’s deputy commissioner of disease control, in an interview with nytimes.com.
New York’s health department has started investigating as well if the outbreak was caused by exposure to the diseases in certain medical facilities.
• March 17, 2014. Alexandra Sifferlin. “4 Diseases Making a Comeback Thanks to Anti-Vaxxers” time.com
• March 18, 2014. Anemona Hartocolis. “Measles Outbreak May Have Spread in Medical Facilities, a New York City Official Says” nytimes.com
• March 19, 2014. “Measles Outbreak Now Up To 20 Cases In New York City” huffingtonpost.com
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