Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Don't take for granted the power of a vaccine...or the Virus!

It has been all over the news and web:  There is a measles outbreak in the US.  Over 100 confirmed cases (spread out over the country). 
Today, I had a doctors appointment.  Of course, the first question I had was, "Do I need to get a measles vaccine?"  Having leukemia, I know my cells were wiped.  She relaxed me and told me because I did not get a transplant, I am not at risk for measles.  Whoo! 

Should we have a measles outbreak in today's America?  No.  It should be almost non existent in my opinion.  However, when people lax and ignore getting vaccinated, this should not surprise us.  It really shouldn't.  Because of vaccines, our mortality rate is very different than what it was in the 1800s, 1900s, 1930s, and even 1950s.  If I understand it correctly (and I'm just a non medical person here...selling real estate and writing, not a nurse, MD, etc) vaccines help our bodies learn to fight off diseases that otherwise could impair, spread rampant, or even kill us.  Listen, I had shingles.  It sucks.  Who would have thought a 36 year old would have shingles?  I didn't even have it bad.  I was already on meds to treat it while undergoing chemo.  I had a small, burning rash that lasted 2 weeks.  Others have it much worse...and I never want it again.  I will be getting a shingles vaccine as soon as I can! 

Should you get your children vaccinated?  That's currently a personal decision you as an educated, adult parent need to make for your children.  I don't have children, and I don't want to be around children that aren't vaccinated.  Its too much of a risk for me as an immune suppressed cancer patient.  Before vaccines, a child got polio and it was not only a financial burden, it was hell for the child, the parents, and family.  Don't take for granted the power of the vaccine.  Don't take for granted the power of the virus, either.

Measles can be spread very easily in the air with as little as one cough.  An outbreak could mean potential deaths to newborns and toddlers who are too young to get the vaccination.  This scares me greatly.  I have a beautiful one year old niece that likes to go with her mommy to the mall and other public places.  Should she be careful and avoid these places now until the fear of an outbreak is over? 

I'm just confused.  And Stunned.  I'm in awe that we are going to have an outbreak of measles in a country where you should not go to work or public places if you are sick.  There are too many people that depend on their jobs, and when threatened to be "written up" (whatever that means), come in sick and then serve people in the food/hospitality industry and spread infectious disease.  This happens all the time (I know, I used to be a bartender and waitress), and it should not happen at all.  Nowadays, I would feel such remorse knowing a baby got the flu because my manager needed me to come into work when I was sick.  The store or restaurant just couldn't survive without me...Bologna!

People, please go out there and gain some common sense.  Make sure you are healthy if your are going to work, traveling or just even going to the store.  Please get your children vaccinated.  Please don't send them to school sick. 

And that is my public service announcement for the day.   Thanks for reading!

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