‘Conquered’ Childhood Illnesses Making a Resurgence

Can Vaccinations Keep Measles, Mumps and Polio at Bay?

The return of childhood diseases such as measles and mumps have some alarmed. (Nancy Fann-Im/Wisegeek.com)
The return of childhood diseases such as measles and mumps have some alarmed. (Nancy Fann-Im/Wisegeek.com)

In 2000, the U. S. reportedly declared that measles had been eliminated.

However, in 2014, a massive outbreak occurred at Disneyland in California.

Eighty-four individuals in 14 states were infected. As of late 2016, there were 22 confirmed cases in Arizona alone.

These numbers double the annual rate of infections in the U.S. and counts as a grave concern because the disease can lead to encephalitis, blindness and death.

Also, while the World Health Organization had long declared a large swath of the world to be polio-free, that disease has also returned with a vengeance, officials said.

The comeback of those diseases in which most children are vaccinated against is due to two factors: infections from abroad and the anti-vaccine movement, according to listverse.com.

“Basically, there’s a reemergence of vaccination preventable diseases and it’s of very big concern,” said Dr. Abdul-Quyyum Ahmed, co-founder of Multicare Physicians DPC.

“We need to understand the cause of these reemergence. The reoccurrence is mostly seen in the unvaccinated or patients whose vaccination status is questionable,” Ahmed said.

“It’s rarely seen in individuals with definite vaccination status. The other cause could be a waning-effect of immunization especially in the case of pertussis and hence the need for revaccination or re-immunization. It’s all about educating families and parents,” he said.

History has shown that illness and disease tends to evolve and return, said Dr. Lisa T. Williams, who owns Assessments Unlimited LLC.

“Technology and medical advancements are evolving as well. I have no doubt that we have the capabilities to face the challenges of older diseases returning through innovation and cutting-edge research, but we must find a way to address these issues while keeping costs down,” Williams said.

Though measles outbreaks are primarily linked to unvaccinated people, Jason McDonald of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a Time Magazine report that some vaccines aren’t foolproof.

For example, the whooping-cough vaccine may lose its efficacy over time.

Overall, most people do get their vaccinations.

A CDC report looking at children entering kindergarten for the 2012—13 school year in all U.S. states found that more than 90 percent had their vaccines.

Still, there are people — including public figures and celebrities — who don’t vaccinate their children and promote their choices.

Most infamously, Jenny McCarthy has espoused her antivaccination position because she believes vaccines are full of toxins and cause autism, Time reported.

Some of the preventable diseases that are making a vicious return because some aren’t getting their vaccination include measles where, for every 1,000 children who get the measles, one or two will die, the CDC said.

Most in the U.S. are vaccinated against the measles, but since measles is still around in other countries, those who travel outside of the U.S. can contract it if they are not vaccinated.

Other diseases that have made a comeback according to the CDC are mumps, whooping cough and chicken pox.

From Jan. 1 to July 15, 2017, 117 people from 13 states — California, Florida, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington — were reported to have measles.

“Measles is sometimes ignored and thought of as a kind of rash that will go away with time but it’s a very serious disease,” said Beatriz Mallory, the senior vice president of SensisHealth, a Washington, D.C.-based cross-cultural healthcare marketing, advertising and branding agency.

“If you catch measles during pregnancy and you’ve never had a vaccine, this may result in a miscarriage, stillbirth or pre-term delivery,” Mallory said, noting that polio, an infectious disease, has also made a comeback.

“Here in the U.S., we’ve nearly eradicated that disease, so it won’t be a great concern if we continue to make sure our children get all of their shots,” she said.

“Having health insurance enables us to afford all of the vaccinations our children and we need to stay healthy, and therefore keep us all from the threat of infectious diseases,” Mallory said.

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About Stacy Brown 282 Articles
I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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