The number of measles outbreaks has risen to 149 in Mexico, Canada, and in at least eight of the U.S states, according to the Latin Post.
Measles, the infectious disease that causes painful, red rashes and a severe case of fever, erupted in December 2014, at Disneyland. The Latin Post further reported that at least 123 cases were confirmed in Anaheim, California, where 39 visitors have sought Disneyland during the holiday seasons. Seven other states like Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Oregon, Washington and Utah have reported cases of measles as well. Simultaneously, Mexico has reported two cases and Canada ten cases.
This sudden outbreak has provoked worry from many parts of Latin America. Latin America’s conservative political authorities such as Rush Limbaugh “…blamed the measles outbreak on thousands of Latin American children who crossed the Mexico border to the United States during the immigration crisis” (Latin Post).
But this claim was soon contradicted by health experts (U.S Center for Disease Control and Prevention), who stated that “…many of the measles cases each year involve U.S-born Americans who traveled abroad and back.” Furthermore, according to the World Health Organization, while the U.S. had a 91 percent vaccination rate, Mexico and Honduras had a 89 percent rate, Guatemala had a 85 percent rate, and El Salvador had an overwhelming 95 percent rate. At least one case of measles in Mexico was detected in an unvaccinated child who visited Disneyland in late December.
Meanwhile, debate over vaccinations for measles has sparked disputes between fretful parents, as some parents choose not to vaccinate their children. A common fear these parents have is that their children may get certain medical disorders like autism from the vaccines. Other parents who choose not to vaccinate their children simply disregard measles as a recoverable disease, and point out that majority of recovered children were not vaccinated at all.
This has only generated more denunciation. Sandy Roffman, a mother from Brooklyn, tells Voice of America, “It’s unfathomable to me that, A) anyone would deliberately put their child in harm and, B) would put the rest of the world in harm.”
The conflict within parents has now also become a school problem, especially for schools composed of middle and upper class families, like Julian School.
The Wall Street Journal states,
“Neighboring schools have sent unvaccinated students home after suspected measles cases, prompting debate at Julian. Ms. Cauzza, the principle, is hearing from parents who will not vaccinate their children, and then angry parents who adamantly argue that those unvaccinated children threaten their immunized children.”
“Choice is embedded in everything we do,” continues Ms. Cauzza, “Forty-four of the unvaccinated kindergartners are home-study children who aren’t on school premises daily. Julian is remaining neutral on vaccination as long as exemptions are allowed.”
Either way, the undeniable truth is that measles remain a threat to the public and the children until a proper, sustainable solution is proposed.
– Sammie Kim (’18)