According the New York Times, there were 37 reported cases of measles in the U.S. in 2004 and 644 in 2014. So far this year, 84 cases have been reported. None of these cases were fatal.
Over the weekend, a Bard student diagnosed with measles traveled from New York City to the campus on a train, potentially exposing many in our area. He is now being treated in isolation.
The increase in measles cases corresponds with a decrease in vaccination rates across the country. The decrease has been by choice, led by parents concerned that the contents of the vaccines carry risks of bad reactions as well as unintended consequences like autism (a link that has remained in the minds of many despite the medical journal article that claimed it being retracted). These parents usually opt for their children to get some recommended vaccinations, but not all, and/or stretching out the schedule over a longer period of time rather than getting several at the same time.
The anti-vaccine movement has been blamed for the return of measles. As vaccine rates drop below 95 percent in areas, herd immunity is compromised and diseases previously eradicated can return.
What do you think?