Fight Back: 3 Myths Fueling Measles Comeback

Fight Back: 3 Myths Fueling Measles Comeback

Measles is a health problem that has long been a distant memory, but is now plaguing thousands of children around the world again. There are many reasons it’s making a comeback, but the biggest factor is vaccination defiance — parents who refuse to give their kids proper immunization.

It’s terrible to think why and how children will be deprived of something that would prevent them from a serious and life-threatening disease, but here’s the culprit: misinformation. The rise of the Internet made information more accessible to people, and that unfortunately includes misinformation. Beware of these false claims disguised as scientific truths:

Measles isn’t a serious disease.

Some people think that this health problem is harmless since medical care in developed countries, with their resources, can address this health problem easily. However, that’s wrong. The reason measles doesn’t appear serious because, for the longest time, there hasn’t been any outbreak (at least until now), thanks to the vaccinations developed long before.

This condition can be serious and fatal, that it can affect an entire community. Unfortunately, it can’t be treated by antivirals. Yes, its symptoms (like fever and sore throat) can be addressed by pediatric treatment, as Salem-based doctors say, but if the virus triggers a host of other health problems, it may result in death. Diarrhea and dehydration, pneumonia, and encephalitis, or the swelling of the brain tissue are among its severe complications. Your best defense against this serious disease is vaccination.

It’s better to get immunity from the disease than vaccines.

young boy getting a vaccine injection

Some believe that natural immunity, getting protection from measles by experiencing the disease first, is more effective than vaccination. The problem in this perception is that even if your child survives the infection, imagine the suffering they were put through with its severe symptoms and complications. Remember that there’s also a risk of infecting other people, an entire community.

As for vaccination, two doses of MMR is enough to reach immunity against the disease, without going through much difficulty. Yes, there are side effects, but of course, you’ll expect that for any medicine. Moreover, pediatricians often instruct parents after-care routines to reduce the side effects. You may be advised to encourage drinking lots of water or taking aspirin to relieve the pain from the shot. Some doctors also recommend using cool, damp cloth to minimize the redness and swelling.

It causes autism.

This is probably the most popular of all myths. You see them on the news and on your social media timelines. This isn’t new. In fact, this was the very thing people were talking about two decades ago when a scientist did a study stating the link between vaccines and autism — only that it wasn’t true.

It was a big sham set up to earn money. Someone hired the scientist so they can sue vaccine manufacturers. Its claims were unfounded, too. The children that were part of the study already had autism symptoms and not all of them took the vaccine. The studies over the years confirmed that there’s no relationship between MMR vaccines and autism.

It’s unfortunate that measles is making a comeback. It’s more unfortunate that all this can be avoided with a shot or two. If you really care for your child’s health, get them vaccinated.