News & Politics

Number of Measles Cases Nearing Pre-Eradication Annual Record—and It's Only May

Number of Measles Cases Nearing Pre-Eradication Annual Record—and It's Only May
(Image credit: Dave Haygarth via Flickr)

What if they eradicated a disease in the 21st century but people inexplicably wanted it to come back?

Welcome to the measles in 2019 AD.

Thanks to a bunch of armchair scientists who are adherents of a movement that was mostly begun by celebrities whose IQs averaged in the single digits, a disease that was declared to be gone less than twenty years ago is soaring to record outbreak numbers. In a hurry, too:

I have recently been chronicling the life-threatening consequences of the anti-vaxxer lunacy, as well as proposing a not-so-tongue-in-cheek solution. Last week, Instagram joined parent company Facebook in combating the spread of anti-vaxxer misinformation.

As I have written before, the initial reaction to the threat posed by the anti-vaccination people was a bit slow, as they were mostly viewed as a fringe, isolated curiosity.

Not so much anymore.

The Hill:

The number of measles cases in the U.S. has reached 839 across 23 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as outbreaks across the country show no sign of slowing.

There have been 75 new cases reported in the past week, and the total number of cases is inching closer to the record 963 cases reported in 1994. The current outbreak is still the largest since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.

No new states reported outbreaks in the past week, but the number of cases in New York — home of the largest outbreak in the country — continued to climb.

The New York Times reported last week that the outbreak in New York is now spreading beyond the Orthodox Jewish community. The obvious problem with an outbreak there is that New York City has the most tourist traffic of any city in the United States. It’s the beginning of a pandemic horror movie.

It is also totally unnecessary, which is the real tragedy here.

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