The U.S. has been hit by a wave of measles this year and it is has been the biggest outbreak in the 21st Century, and any of us can be a victim. The measles consists of a runny nose, sneezing, rashes, and swollen eyes. Although it may not seem that bad, it can spread rapidly and can lead to death. It’s a big concern for unvaccinated people and APB seniors who will attend UCLA and CSULA in the fall because that is where most cases resided this year. Although there may have been only 10 cases in Los Angeles as of May 8th of this year, it should still concern anyone who is not up to date with their shots because measles are highly contagious.
The importance of vaccinations; Are you vaccinated?
When interviewing students, many of them did not know what the measles were. After being informed, they were asked if they were concerned with the current outbreak, in which they responded, “Now I am”. Sophomore, Brian Gonzales was asked if he knew he was up to date with their vaccinations, which his response was, “How do I check that?” This raised concerns that students don’t actually know if they’re up to date with vaccinations. However, APB’s office manager, Aida, exclaims, “The majority of the students do have them–they might not be aware that they have them, but their parents most likely did take them to all their regular vaccinations”. It is required that students turn in their immunization records that show the vaccinations they have and need before they enroll in the school because it is a safety precaution.
Students were also asked if they feel like they would push others to get their vaccinations, especially those attending UCLA and CSULA in the fall of 2019. Senior Porscha Outlaw states, “I feel like everyone should get their shots, for safety purposes, because the people who thought they didn’t need to get their shots are being affected by this situation that they’re in. LA is also a big city and things can spread really fast because there’s so many people, so you really have to be careful and take those kinds of precautions”. Universities are also taking precautions, senior Jennifer Garcia explains,” I am aware of the fact that I need to get another [shot] because you have to show proof of a certain vaccination for college”. Colleges are requiring incoming students to receive their vaccines before they enter the campus.
Who is to blame?
It is also in-theory, connected to people who aren’t aware of the importance of vaccinations or even the people who are anti-vax. Sub-teacher, Mr. Brustin claims, “It’s unfortunate because it was declared eradicated [dead] decades ago, now it’s back. I think due to misinformation about vaccinations.” When asked about the role of anti-vax people, he states, “They have the role in this. I think the parents want what’s best for their child, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there and it’s unfortunate that a lot of celebrities and people of power are espousing [supporting] these theories that aren’t based on facts.”
How is APB Admin responding?
The office is sending out letters to parents regarding the measles outbreak and information about vaccines. Mr. Reed claims, “We are monitoring the situation, we’re always mindful of health issues and if anything were to indicate that there is an issue on campus, we would do even more.” The letter that is being sent out to parents has the information that anyone should have when it comes to the measles and vaccinations. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has also released information on their website, which can be found at www.publichealth.lacounty.gov. It is important for you to be informed and keep up with your shots to prevent attracting and spreading these foul diseases.