“Tuesday comes and you take out the trash, And you’re sweatin’ so hard that you got a big rash.”
-Marvelous 3, “Get Over”
We have another devastating outbreak on our hands, one that could tear this nation apart. No, no, no, it’s worse than poverty, crime, or obesity, it’s one in which there’s no escape from childhood relationships that seemed forced now that you think about it; play dates and get-togethers that left you wondering what conspiracies your parents had planned, scratching your head with uncertainty. It’s the measles, and you’re scratching because of a rash, not confusion.
That may have not even been a picture of measles, but according to Google it is not chickenpox. To understand measles we must first rediscover the virus. Measles cause a red rash and irritation on the skin along with a fever, primarily during youth. Though there’s a possibility the virus is fatal when contracted by small children, a vaccine is now provided in the United States to avoid such consequence. Most cases of widespread outbreaks originate in foreign countries (Mayo, 2015). We try to enjoy our lives via travel and experiencing other cultures, and in return: rubeola. How unfortunate.
Surprisingly enough, the disease was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000 (Corum, 2015). What a harsh way to put it, “eliminated.” This is probably why everyone is scratching and coughing: our arrogance and confident intimidation towards the virus. We trashed-talked and it’s getting its vengeance. Just like any sickness that causes the vague symptoms, measles spreads from a sneeze, handshake, poor ventilated office building, or random kids you’re hanging around for some odd reason without being compensated as a babysitter (youth sports’ coach). The good news is that if you survive the infection, you have full immunity from the virus forever, which is very strange. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was the case for every virus?
Some cold symptoms forcing you to stay home? Full immunity? Not bad; it’s like getting away with a bad crime. Just like most crimes, it spreads when given enough attention by the media. Of course the media isn’t having another slow news season and purposely released a contagious virus in a consistently high-populated area such as Disneyland, but we should take a look at the statistics anyway since everyone is talking about it.
-January 2015 has already had nearly as many cases (102) as 2001 had all year (CDC, 2015) Wasn’t that the year after we “eliminated” the virus? Hmm?
-In the 1963, when the vaccinations began, there were 400,000 cases, now we have it down to much less than 1000 (Corum, 2015) I think it’s safe to say we’ve made some medical progress.
-Disneyland was not the largest outbreak in recent memory. Months earlier, 383 people were diagnosed within an Amish community in Ohio (AP, 2015). Be careful where you buy your furniture and fireplaces from now.
-14 states have reported infections thus far (CDC, 2015). California seems to be Patient Zero on this one. They just have to be better at everything, don’t they? Eesh.
So some kids got sick at Disneyland. Adults get sick at Disneyland, everyone does. It’s pretty crazy the amount of money families throw at the corporation only to uncomfortably wait in the sun for hours, constantly rub up against other park goers whom they don’t want to touch, become nauseous from spinning teacups and “It’s A Small World” on repeat, and to not trust Goofy alone with children. It still beats hanging out in Amish country I guess.
Measles has already topped the whopping four United States Ebola cases that happened in the fall of 2014 by hundreds of people. Combined, both outbreaks account for .0002% of our population. Good thing we didn’t blow this out of proportion.
Knock of wood!
AP (2015). Retrieved from https://www.yahoo.com/health/disneyland-measles-outbreak-isnt-largest-in-110164821372.html on February 6 2015
CDC (2015). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/measles/cases-outbreaks.html on February 6 2015
Corum, J. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/02/02/us/measles-facts.html?_r=0 on February 5 2015
Mayo Clinic (2015). Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/measles/basics/definition/con-20019675 on February 5 2015