~ As Appeared in the June 2017 Issue of North Shore News ~
Yes! The current mumps outbreak is a perfect example of why.
As of May 23, the Hawaii State Department of Health confirmed that there were 51 cases of mumps, both children, and adults. It’s not just happening in Hawaii either – according to the Centers for Disease Control, 42 states reported 2,570 cases from January to April this year. In 2016, 5,833 cases were reported, up drastically from the 229 reported cases in 2012.
The current outbreak isn’t surprising because it’s a highly contagious viral illness, spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes or by sharing or touching contaminated ‘items. It is even more contagious than the flu.
Mumps was a fairly common disease until 1969 when a vaccine was developed. Through proper immunizations, the number of cases dropped 99 percent
Why are there so many cases now? A likely answer is that parents are not immunizing their children because they worry about the pain or believe their children are safe because everyone else is immunized. And even though claims that vaccinations are linked to autism have long been debunked, some parents cling to that belief.
With approximately eight million visitors a year to Hawaii, it’s dangerous to rely on others being immunized. Many of the current mumps cases have been in adults which put unimmunized kids at risk. Unfortunately, polio and diphtheria exist in developing countries, and recent news reports show how easily measles, pertussis, hepatitis A and B can affect people. And what active child hasn’t needed a tetanus shot somewhere along the line?
If you are considering not immunizing your children, please remember that it’s better to prevent a disease than treating it. Avoid the complications that may arise and threaten your child’s health and well-being and talk with your doctor about immunizations.
Do you have a medical question?
To see the other Immunization schedules please visit the CDCs website: HERE