It is Wednesday afternoon and I have one last annual visit for the day. As I enter the room, a slender 27-year-old woman wearing a white t-shirt and baggy blue jeans sits in the chair across from me.
Young eyes awake to a febrile surprise / amid a quake of jittering limbs, / a clonic fit whose master cried / and shook the serenity of his crib.
It is illegal to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater because it places the individuals surrounding you at risk of harm. Why then can someone demand that people not vaccinate their children when this puts not only their children, but others at risk as well?
In the month of January, we have had more cases of measles in the United States than we typically have in an entire year. The reason the United States is able to keep cases of measles so low is because of MMR vaccination. In an ideal world, everyone would receive vaccines so that the entire population would be immune to measles. This way, when someone brand new arrived, their infected state would not have grave implications. The reality is this: there are some groups of the population who cannot receive vaccines.
It has been one month since ringing in the New Year, and already, the United States has racked up more cases of measles than it usually sees in an entire year. The current outbreak, thought to have originated in Disneyland, has expanded to at least 14 states and affected more than 100 patients. Last year, there were 644 reported cases of measles, more than the entire preceding 5-year period combined.