The sitting governor of Washington state, Jay Inslee, has officially declared a state of emergency. The concern is that the reports of an outbreak of measles could quickly get out of control, and the results could be catastrophic. Although Washington is not the only state to see outbreaks in the once considered rare disease, the one that is currently running rampant in Clark County is being seen as the worst one yet.
The Pacific Northwestern states have long been home to those activists that are very vocal and organized when speaking out against vaccinations in children. Because of their constant push towards anti-vaccination, they have kept a steady pace of driving down the number of child immunizations not only in Washington but also in their neighboring states of Oregon and Idaho.
The resulting statistics show that the areas number of vaccinations are the lowest in the country, showing that in Idaho alone there is a reported 10.5 percent of kindergartners currently unvaccinated for measles. When tallying up the figures, that is almost double the median rate on a national scale.
The reason the vaccinations are not mandatory for any children, that the parents voice an objection to, can be laid solely at the feet of the lawmakers who lean more Libertarian. These lawmakers are, simply put, bowing to public peer pressure that is screaming for a relaxation in the current state laws.
Most every state in the Union has exceptions for this very situation, but Idaho's is the most controversial. For instance, three US states allow non-vaccination only as a medical exemption, and a few others will allow for religious exemptions. However, there are currently seventeen US States, including Washington, Idaho, and Oregan, that would allow non-vaccination for what they term "philosophical" exemptions. This type of exclusion, in a nutshell, means that anyone can opt of the vaccinations if they so choose.
The lax in requirements for vaccinations is leading to a very fatal and deadly combination and mix. So much so that concern is mounting that there may very well be a massive resurgence nationwide of the measles, what many consider a very deadly disease, that at one time infected tens of thousands of Americans, resulting in extended hospital stays. This is not to mention the estimated 400 – 500 individuals that died, many of them being very young children.
With data continuing to be tallied daily, as of this date an estimated 55 people are known to have contracted and become ill with the virus. All but five of these individuals are known to be in Clark County, with one case having been reported in King County, Washington; Multnomah County in Oregon, near Portland, has four reports, with three brand new instances having been reported just this past Wednesday. Health officials have stated that the majority of reported infections have occurred in those unvaccinated children under the age of ten.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Will, a lax in required vaccinations, result in the return of those diseases thought to be kept at bay?