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Measles spreads to another state, with half of the U.S. now reporting new cases

Published May 22nd, 2019 10:07PM EDT
measles outbreak
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With new reports of measles popping up on a daily basis it was all but inevitable that this day would come, and here we are: Half of all U.S. states have now reported new cases of measles since the outbreak began several months back. The state that pushed us to the 50 percent threshold is Maine, which just became the 25th state to report a confirmed measles diagnosis.

The individual was a child, as is so often the case, and while the youngster has reportedly recovered from his illness since originally being diagnosed a while ago, the confirmation of the illness was just revealed by state medical officials. It highlights a troubling trend that shows no signs of slowing.

Late last month we heard from the CDC that the number of new measles cases in the United States had hit a 25-year high. That’s a terrible milestone, but we know exactly why it’s happening — all you have to do is look at the people who are coming down with it.

The vast majority of new measles cases are children. Over one-third of them are kids under five years of age, and as a whole over 70 percent of the confirmed measles cases have struck individuals who were never vaccinated against it.

Anti-vaccination movements have been festering in the United States for some time now. Misguided parents who are led astray by bogus medical claims shared via Facebook and elsewhere have scared some well-meaning parents away from vaccines which are not only safe but incredibly effective.

Oftentimes, groups promoting an anti-vaccination stance cite since-debunked medical studies which were denounced by the medical community at large, but that only feeds into the conspiratorial mindset that anti-vaxxers seem to share.

The fact of the matter is that the measles was eradicated in the United States as recently as the year 2000, and it would likely have remained that way without huge numbers of parents ignoring common sense and forgoing their responsibility to ensure their child doesn’t come down with an illness that should have been gone long ago. Measles outbreaks shouldn’t be happening in 2019, but again, here we are.

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