There is no reason to return the measles Editorial


The non-participation of children who were vaccinated against serious diseases, which were once a major threat, are increasing. Recently, in South Carolina, after a 20-year absence, very infectious viral measles returned.

Baby boomers are well aware of the disease that has been affected by so many people in the younger years. But the vaccines were wiping out the measles – as long as people followed the vaccination protocol. In 2000, fertilization was disclosed from the United States.

Some people, for various reasons, including religious beliefs and unsubstantiated claims that vaccines are responsible for autism, refuse to vaccinate children. This is a potentially fatal decision.

Department of Health and Environmental Monitoring S.C. confirmed six cases of measles in the Spartanburg district. From the initial case investigation in October DHEC released two additional messages, and then three more.

In the first three cases, the DHEC stated that children were inactive, not school age, and did not attend childcare. The agency did not announce whether the last three cases are in non-vacant individuals.

"The measles virus is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes," said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist DHEC. "The best way to prevent measles is vaccination. I strongly urge everyone to review their immunization documents and make sure they are updated for all vaccinations."

In the 1960s, almost every child in the United States suffered measles before the age of 5 years. Approximately 500 people died from measles every year before the introduction of the vaccine.

The initial symptoms of measles are fever, cough, and runny nose. These symptoms are followed by a rash in about two to four days. The rash usually lasts five to six days. Severe complications with measles, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death may occur. Symptoms caused by the virus can occur in three out of 10 cases. Complications most commonly occur in children under 5 years of age in adults over the age of 20 years, in pregnant women and in individuals with impaired immune system.

Most people totally recover. For uncomplicated cases, resting in bed, drinking lots of fluids and non-prescription drugs to reduce fever and headache can help infected individuals more comfortable. For those who need hospitalization, supportive care is the only treatment.

The disease is highly contagious and spreads to nine out of ten close contacts that did not previously have a disease or were not vaccinated. When the infected person leaves the site, the measles virus virus remains alive for up to 2 hours on surfaces and in the air.

According to DHEC, the measles vaccine included in the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) is the best way to protect yourself and others against measles. Approximately 93 percent of people who are vaccinated with a single dose have permanent protection and about 97 percent receive protection after two doses of measles vaccine. The vaccine is recommended for all infants at the age of 12 months. The second dose is recommended between 4 and 6 years of age.

The measles vaccine is compulsory to attend childcare or school in South Carolina, and for the school year 2016-17, 96 percent of the pupils in the preschool institution had two doses of MMR. But some children do not attend childcare or school, even in cases like home schooling. These children also need a vaccine.

We must not allow diseases such as measles to again become a threat. Vaccines are safe, effective, and best protected.

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