New York County takes drastic measures during measles outbreak, bars unvaccinated from public places
Rockland county New York has taken an unprecedented step amidst a measles outbreak by declaring a state of emergency that includes an unprecedented provision.
Unvaccinated children (under the age of 18) have been barred from public places as defined as, any place where "ten or more people are intended to congregate"
and Places of Worship
This kicks in on Wednesday at midnight and is slated for a thirty day time period or, according to USA Today, until the entire community is vaccinated.
The outbreak that Rockland County is dealing with is the 6th and largest outbreak of measles recorded across the U.S. this year according to the CDC. They have identified 153 cases in Rockland county which has a population of around 330 thousand people, since October.
Other states hit by outbreaks meaning 3 or more people are identified with the disease in the same area include, California, Texas, Washington and Illinois. Clark county Washington is the second largest outbreak with 73 cases identified.
314 cases of measles have been confirmed by the CDC in 15 states in 2019 as of this month. There were only 327 cases identified in the U.S. for the whole year of 2018. More people are not vaccinating so of course we have more people contracting the disease and those same unvaccinated people are directly responsible for the spread of this very contagious disease.
Simple fact, vaccinated people as a rule do not contract the disease, and according to Sherman Alter, MD, medical director of the infectious disease department at Dayton Children’s,
“Measles is extremely contagious, it spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets hang in the air so it can spread easily. Ninety percent of unvaccinated people who come in contact with it will catch it.”
A 90% infection rate among those who are not vaccinated against the disease while infections among vaccinated people are extremely rare. Its a pretty clear pattern that can easily be traced by looking at the demographics of patient zero. This was noted in a US News article from back in January of this year concerning the Clark county Washington measles outbreak. The county of origin for the outbreak held one of the lowest percentage of vaccinations in the state, a mere 77%. A minimum of 95% vaccination rate is needed to create so called "herd immunity" to a contagious disease.
We see the same thing in Rockland county New York, according to County Executive Ed Day vaccination rates for the county are as low as 72%.
This is data that can not be disputed, we know that we are having outbreaks of measles across the country, and we know among what demographic the disease is spreading. This is fact.
Now Its time we start focusing on what we are going to do about it.
Is the solution Rockland county came up with the answer? Hell, right now I am not even sure its constitutional. But none of that changes the fact that when it comes to vaccinations we are on an inevitable collision course between personal liberty and the common good in the form of public safety. We have kicked this can down the road since the 80's and its time to finally draw a line where those two begin and end when it comes to vaccinations..
At what point does it become necessary for public safety to override personal liberty. In the end this is what we need to decide as not only individuals but a society as a whole. I have always believed that our personal liberty ends at the point to where it endangers others, and I see not vaccinating children as doing just that.
Its time to make a decision.
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