An outbreak of measles has hit 22 states across the United States this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. However, a tweet the CDC posted two weeks ago, states there is “NO current multi-state measles outbreak in the US.”
But, one Corpus Christi doctor said this is an issue that should be a public concern.
“This is critically important because right now in the state of Texas, we know that we have 57,000 children who are not vaccinated that are going to school,” says Dr. Jaime Fergie, infectious diseases specialist at the Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “And that is potential for an outbreak.”
Fergie says measles can be prevented by simple vaccinations.
“Most of the students are vaccinated,” Fergie said, “but when you get the focus of it, the students who are un-vaccinated, as soon as you introduce one kid with measles there, you’re going to have an outbreak.”
Measles are a viral infection that mostly effects children. Symptoms include a high fever, red rash, red eyes and coughing. The disease is also 90 to 95 percent contagious.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, Corpus Christi Independent School District had 221 students who were exempt from vaccinations during the 2017-2018 school year.
Parent Renee Atkins, a mother of three, said she can’t believe parents don’t vaccinate their children.
“I think we’ve just lost appreciation for what can happen for not vaccinating.” Atkins said, adding that this generation does not understand how bad the measles were in the past. She wants others to realize how far in modern medicine has advanced measles treatment.
“I think the benefits of actually vaccinating your children outweigh the cons and the consequences of not vaccinating your children,” she said.
Over the years there have been several accusations that vaccinations cause children to get autism, but these reports have been debunked by numerous publications including, History of Vaccines website and the CDC.
“Unfortunately, out of ignorance, some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids,” Fergie said. “[Through] misunderstanding, instead of paying attention to what their health care provider, their doctor is telling them. And it’s a very sad situation because the child is the one who’s gonna suffer.”
Fergie said that the MMR vaccination has shown its success in preventing measles, as well as rubella and mumps. He also said that if someone did not receive the MMR vaccine as a child, they are still able to get it at any age.