It shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of folks are thinking about their risk of getting measles right now.
But with record levels of measles cases this year, some of us are thinking about our level of risk much differently than others.
While most of us simply want to make sure we are vaccinated and protected, anti-vaccine folks are taking every opportunity to downplay their risks.
What’s Your Chance of Getting Measles Right Now?
So what’s your chance of getting measles?
“Measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. It is spread by coughing and sneezing, close personal contact or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. The virus remains active and contagious in the air or on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours. It can be transmitted by an infected person from 4 days prior to the onset of the rash to 4 days after the rash erupts.”WHO on Measles
That’s actually not that simple to figure out, but depends on:
- Whether or not you are vaccinated and protected, with two doses of the MMR vaccine, and immune to measles.
- Your plans to travel out of the country.
- How often you are around people who routinely travel out of the country.
- How many of your friends and family members are intentionally unvaccinated.
Those who have had two doses, with no plans to travel, and who live in an area with no reported cases, are at extremely low risk to get measles – the risk won’t be zero until measles is eradicated.
In this kind of low risk situation, kids don’t need early doses of MMR vaccines and most adults can probably get away with just having one dose of MMR.
“Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people of all ages around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected.”CDC on Measles is Highly Contagious
On the other hand, if you are unvaccinated and were at the AMC Theater on Lemon Street in Fullerton, between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on April 25, then your chance of getting measles is about 90%!
Wait! That’s a little more than the 0.000092% chance that anti-vaccine folks are throwing around…
To think of it another way, if you knew that your chances of getting hit by lightning were a little over 1 in a million, would that make you think it is okay to go outside and play golf during a severe thunderstorm?
Would you think the risk is so low that you could let your kids play outside if you heard thunder and saw lightning flashes nearby, or would you all rush inside?
That’s right! The risk of getting hit by lightning is low because most of us don’t take chances when we hear thunder or see lightning.
It’s the same with measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
The overall risk is low because most people are vaccinated and protected!
If you aren’t vaccinated and protected, as we see more and more cases, your risk of getting sick, and getting others sick, is going to continue to get higher and will always be much higher than someone who is fully vaccinated, no matter how much you want to believe in shedding, mild measles, or whatever myths help you justify keeping your kids unvaccinated and unprotected during an outbreak.
Remember, you can’t hide in the herd if you are scaring away too much the herd…
Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.
Make sure your family is protected so they don’t get caught up in a measles outbreak
More on Your Chance of Getting Measles
- VAXOPEDIA – Is My Fully Vaccinated Child at Risk from Your Unvaccinated Kids?
- VAXOPEDIA – How Can the Unvaccinated Spread Diseases They Don’t Have?
- VAXOPEDIA – What to Do If Your Child Is Exposed to Measles
- WHO – Measles
- CDC – Measles is Highly Contagious
- AAP – How to Protect Your Children During a Measles Outbreak
- AAP – Protecting Your Baby from a Measles Outbreak FAQs
- 90 percent chance of getting measles, if you are exposed and unvaccinated
- Sharyl Attkisson and measles vaccine math – wrong in so many ways
- Dr. Jay’s Magical Math
- A measles outbreak that makes the Disneyland measles outbreak look like a trip to Disneyland
- Hey antivaccination gang–it’s really simple math
- Hey antivaccination gang–it’s really really simple math
- Addressing misconceptions on measles vaccination
- Vaccine statistics – scare tactics and bad math don’t fool anyone
- This map shows every measles case in California outbreak this year
- What would it take for measles to not be eliminated anymore in the United States?
- CDC – Principles of Epidemiology in Public Health Practice, Third Edition An Introduction to Applied Epidemiology and Biostatistics
- Keeping Baby Safe During The Measles Outbreak
- When It’s Not a Choice: Measles and Leukemia
- My Baby Has Measles
- To the Parent of the Unvaccinated Child Who Exposed my Family to Measles
- Parents of Babies Too Young to Vaccinate Feel Trapped by Measles
- Measles case involving Sydney baby two months away from vaccination ‘terrified’ parents