After an outbreak that began back in December at Disneyland, authorities have now confirmed that there are more than 100 confirmed cases of measles in the United States. While 58 of the total cases have been epidemiologically connected to the Disneyland outbreak and are highly contagious, more than a dozen other cases have been reported in other US states as well as in Mexico.
Amid this unprecedented situation, White House officials have issued a statement on Friday reminding parents of the effectiveness of vaccination. Josh Earnest, spokesman for President Barack Obama, admitted that the final decision lies with the parents, but that scientific evidence is clear: vaccinations protect children.
When asked about the president’s position regarding parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, Earnest explained that he was not able to dispense medical advice. What he was able to do, however, is to point out that there is significant scientific evidence in support of the safety and effects of the vaccine.
According to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the combined measles-mumps-rubella vaccine has a 97 percent efficiency in preventing measles. Yet many parents fear the possible connection between vaccinations and autism. There are, of course, other reasons why parents refuse to have their children vaccinated, including religious and cultural ones.
The CDC also urged Americans to get vaccinated and allow their children to be vaccinated. In 2000, the United States announced that measles had officially been eliminated as a result of the extensive vaccination efforts that the country had undergone.
Apart from California, measles cases have been confirmed in states such as New York, Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Utah, Washington, Texas, South Dakota, Pennsylvania and Nebraska.
Measles is a viral respiratory disease that presents with symptoms such as fever, runny nose, a sore throat and red eyes. An extended rash soon follows. Normally, the disease runs its course without complications, however, in immune-compromised patients, the disease can be fatal.
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