Havasu at Risk of Measles Outbreak


Photo Credit Carly Arsenault

Carly Arsenault, Equipment Manager

You’re driving to school, and you see no cars in the parking lot. Puzzled, you attempt to go to first period. Plastered on the door of the hall you see a warning: School is cancelled due to a measles outbreak. Being unvaccinated and in danger, you call your mom because you feel a tingling itch traveling down your back.

While this is an example of what might happen should the measles reach Lake Havasu, currently, there is an outbreak of the measles in Pima County, Arizona. Though it is south of Phoenix, students at LHHS travel to this area for competitions and sports occasionally. This is serious; the children of Lake Havasu are in danger.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads to others through coughing and sneezing. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.” The measles start with a fever, then normal sick symptoms (coughing, runny nose and red eyes) and then a rash of red spots spread viscously across the skin. There are various outcomes of this disease, including pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and death. “The measles are 100% preventable with sufficient vaccinations,” Keenan Norman R.N. said (Kingman Regional Medical Center). When you don’t vaccinate your children, you put millions of people in danger.

“If the school has an outbreak of the measles, they could have to shut down the school for 30–60 days,” school nurse Tammara Knight said. More importantly, these days would have to be made up.

However, there is a solution to this problem. MMR is a vaccine the prevents the measles, mumps and rubella. People who are properly vaccinated were given their first shots between the first and second year of birth and their second and last shot between the ages 4–6, according to CDC. That’s it!—two shots are all it takes to keep kids safe from preventable diseases.

Parents who do not vaccinate have their reasons, which include religion, personal beliefs or philosophy, safety concerns, and a desire for more information from healthcare providers. One common theory is that autism is somehow connected to vaccines. However, medical professionals have proven that vaccines don’t cause autism and side effects are almost always minor. The man who originally claimed that vaccines do cause autism got his medical license revoked. Scientists have worked hard to keep these deadly diseases under control and to keep the kids of the past few generations safe from these diseases.

Parents must then choose between serious diseases and their beliefs on the best benefit for their child. Please for the love of children across the world vaccinate YOUR children. It’s scary, and no one should die of something preventable.