Brilliant. An unvaccinated Berkeley student rides a BART train. It turns out he has measles! Hahaha what a riot; joke’s on him, right? Well no, it’s more that it’s on everyone who was on that train.
People who are unvaccinated have a much higher risk of contracting it than people who are vaccinated. The young man, confirmed to have a case of measles, was unvaccinated and had recently traveled to Asia, where he may have contracted the disease. Measles had been wiped out natively in the U.S. by the 1990s, but local epidemics can be triggered when unvaccinated people travel to other countries. This has happened over and again here in America in the past few years, which is why measles cases tripled in 2013. Tripled.
This new case is particularly worrisome to me because that area has lower vaccination rates than it should. Ironically, that’s generally the case for areas where people are more affluent and better educated (including parts of California and my own home of Boulder, Colo.); they hear anti-vax propaganda, look it up online, and find the nonsense spouted by the anti-vaxxers which in turn confirms their bias.
More affluent and better educated but not better educated enough. Better educated enough to be susceptible to anti-vax bullshit but not enough to see through it and look for more reliable information. Not, for instance, better educated enough to know what kind of havoc infectious diseases used to wreak.
Remember: When you get vaccinated, you are not just protecting you and yours. You’re also helping protect babies too young for their shots, older people, and people with compromised immunities (for example, those who are on immunosuppressants for cancer or arthritis treatment). Herd immunity is real, and important.
People like Jenny McCarthy, Andrew Wakefield, RFK Jr., NVIC, and the AVN are wrong. Vaccines don’t cause autism, have very low risk, and have huge benefits. I hope this situation in San Francisco doesn’t turn into an outbreak because that could be very nasty indeed. We’ve seen it happen too many times before, and it’s the legacy of those people above and others who spread anti-vax nonsense.
Unvaccinated people? Stay off the trains. Stay out of shops, schools, libraries – well just stay home, really. With the windows closed.