Outbreak could be avoided

Published 11:29 am Friday, April 26, 2019

According to CNN’s reporting, the U.S. is currently dealing with its largest outbreak of measles cases since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000

State and local health departments have reported 681 cases across 22 states this week. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 626 so far this year. This puts 2019 on track to be surpass last year’s record.

The culprit in all of this? Not anything of a biological nature. The CDC says it is the refusal of Americans to be vaccinated and then those who contracted the disease overseas coming into unvaccinated communities.

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Unfortunately, we live in an era when misinformation runs rampant and the proliferation of junk science and conspiracies of the anti-vaccination movement, claiming vaccines cause autism, have taken a foothold with far too many.

It should not need to be said yet again, but the science is clear and we urge everyone, for the sake of themselves and others, to get vaccinated.

And, longer term, this shows the need for strengthening science education and critical thinking in public schools, to lessen the danger of the public becoming gullible to misinformation.

The fact a disease that was basically eradicated has made a resurgence due to sheer ignorance is a sad statement of our times.