Measles Makes a Shocking Comeback


Photo Credit: Newsweek

A baby infected with measles.

Over the past couple of months, what was thought to be a completely eradicated deadly disease known as Measles has made a terrifying comeback. As of now, there have been 43 reported cases in Southeast Michigan alone, two of which are in Oakland County. Because there are many people who feel that vaccines are unsafe or are linked to conditions like autism, unvaccinated individuals and potentially the people around them are not safe from the spread of viral infections like Measles.

According to The National Library of Medicine, Measles is “aerosol-borne and one of the most contagious pathogenic viruses known.” It leads to very serious infections and is more often fatal than not. The virus attacks the body by first entering the back of the throat, lungs, and the lymphatic system. Eventually, it moves down to urinary tract, blood vessels, eyes, and central nervous system. Here it replicates and continues to attack the immune system until antibodies are weakened. Because this disease is so strong and destructive, there have not been any effective treatments developed. However, there are antibiotics which help suppress and even cure symptoms.

Measles is spread through coughing or sneezing, and a person may have and share the virus for four days before the telltale rash appears. The Detroit News reports that this virus was thought to have been eliminated in the year 2000, but in recent years signs of the disease have sprung up, and testing has confirmed that the infected individuals were not in fact vaccinated.

“I do not understand why you would not want to be vaccinated for Measles. Unless you have an underlying health condition that prohibits it, vaccinations are pretty harmless. Measles can kill you, so getting a vaccine should be worth any risk it may come with,” said senior Emma Curran.

The World Health Organization found that Measles killed 110,000 people in 2017. There has been a 30% increase in measles cases in recent years due to unvaccinated Americans returning to the country after travel. In 2019, from January 1 to April 26, 704 cases of Measles have been reported in the United States. This means that unvaccinated people who either traveled to or from the U.S. entered or reentered with this virus in their system.

Photo Credit:
The easy distinguished Measles rash.

“Michigan has one of the highest non-vaccination rates in the country, so I don’t think it’s all that surprising that Measles has returned and is infecting Oakland County,” said AP Environmental Science teacher Mrs. Branoff.

Some people argue that vaccinations can contain substances like mercury or tissues from aborted fetuses. Many of these claims, although validly reasoned, have not been scientifically proven. Whatever reason people have for avoiding vaccines, whether it’s for actual health reasons or over hysteria, it is causing infections that should not have re-entered the modern world to return.

Before deciding not vaccinate, people need to make sure they are educated on all the facts. Know which diseases have the potential to resurface, and know what diseases are still present in that region. As Measles leaves its unmistakable rash and on it’s victims, it’s easy to wonder if we could have prevented its revival by simply getting a shot.