Measles outbreak sweeps across the U.S.

By Elijah Wilkinson

Copy Editor

Across the United States, measles reports have been randomly popping up at an alarming rate with over 764 outbreaks in a total of 22 states in the country. According to an article by The Associated Press, these cases have popped up in major population areas like the Los Angeles, New York City, Houston and other cases in states like Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, and Illinois. With three cases popping up locally in Liberty.

Measles, which the US had declared eradicated in 2000 but remains endemic in other countries is a disease that can be deadly due to the fact that it spreads through the blood and has a chance to enter the brain where it causes deadly brain swelling. Measles is an airborne virus that spreads due to the uncontrollable coughing caused by  pathogen infecting the immune system, other symptoms of measles include high fever, rash, runny nose, pink watering eyes, and earache. The average time between exposure and symptoms can be as many as 21 days after initial exposure.
     Most states have passed legislation making it required to get yourself and your kids vaccinated, but 47 out of 50 states allow a religious exemption and 17 allow exemption due to philosophical reasons. Some of these states include, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho and Louisiana. The Missouri school system allows exemptions state wide for religious reasons as well.

It’s theorized by the Center for Disease Control that the outbreak started due to people traveling from different countries where measles is still very active and encountering people at high risk for infection. This, combined with large decline in people refusing to vaccinate themselves or their children due to philosophical or religious beliefs is believed to have caused the resurgence of the measles. This current outbreak is shaping up to be the worst one since 1995, which saw nearly 1,000 cases nationwide.

Tips for avoiding

the measles:

Wash hands often.

Do not share food, drinks, or dishes with others especially if they have been in an area that the virus has been spotted.

Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing since the pathogen travels through            s sthe air.

Avoid areas where people have been exposed to the virus.