When No One Is Safe From Measles

Lisa Beyer:

Chalk up another demerit for the antivaccine movement: So far, 2014 is shaping up as the worst year for confirmed cases of the measles since it was declared eliminated as an endemic disease in 2000 in the U.S.

Most of the news and media coverage of the outbreak has focused on the fact that 69 percent of the 288 people sickened so far hadn’t been vaccinated against measles.

This, of course, shouldn’t be a surprise. People who don’t get immunized are prone to getting sick. What’s more noteworthy is that 10 percent of those who’ve fallen ill had been vaccinated and another 20 percent may have been but weren’t sure. Given that almost all the cases originated with unvaccinated individuals, this means vaccine rejecters are spreading a preventable disease not only to their own families but to the rest of the population as well.