February 6, 2019 – Measles Outbreak


Anchor lead: What’s behind the recent measles outbreak? Elizabeth Tracey reports

In Washington state, a confirmed measles outbreak is underway. The reason an infectious disease that can be serious is once again gaining a foothold is because parents are opting to not immunize their children. Maria Trent, an adolescent medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says that compromises the 90% rule that allows herd immunity, whereby the majority who are vaccinated protect those who can’t receive the vaccine.

Trent: If a lot of parents start to say I’m not going to immunize my child, then you lose the herd immunity effect. So unless you are allergic to a component of the vaccine, you should take your role in society, the public health component of it, very seriously. Because it protects those who can’t be vaccinated. We see measles in a lot of places like California where people are not willing to be immunized and then you see an outbreak, and that’s the kind of thing we experience when people don’t take their role in vaccinating their own child, for their own individual benefit, or their place in society very seriously.  :33

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.