Get vaccinated. | Photo: Dave Haygarth, CC BY 2.0
Shelby County, Tennessee, is reporting that they have six confirmed cases of measles in what is sure to be a larger outbreak given that both adults and children seem to be involved. I’m just sitting here thinking about how measles was supposedly eradicated in the US in the year 2000.
I’m really not sure what else to think right now, because there are only two options that I can see: either a batch of MMR vaccine failed, or people aren’t getting vaccinated enough in Tennessee. Neither is a great option. The former would probably be worse: it’d shake the populous’s faith in vaccines, for starters, and then anti-vaxxers would come along and tout the failure as another reason not to vaccinate — even though every single bit of science we have on the topic is overwhelmingly in support of the practice. The latter would just be face-palmingly upsetting, but it wouldn’t put people at future risk. It’s strange when you’re hoping an outbreak is the result of ignorance, isn’t it?
Right now county health officials are trying to track down anyone who’s been in contact with any of the people infected, because as we all know, measles is so stupidly contagious that if you walk through a room within two hours of someone who has measles coughing or sneezing in it, you can get it if you’re not vaccinated.
If you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated.
If you’re in Shelby County, there’s a hotline you can call for more information, too: 901-222-9299.
Stay safe, people.
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Richard Ford Burley is a human, writer, and doctoral candidate at Boston College, as well as an editor at Ledger, the first academic journal devoted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In his spare time he writes about science, skepticism, feminism, and futurism here at This Week In Tomorrow.