Measles Hits Amish Communities, and U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High
According to National Public Radio,
“Measles was brought to Ohio’s Amish communities by people returning from mission trips to the Philippines.
“Members of Amish communities in Ohio traveled to the Philippines for heartfelt reasons: They were there on service projects to help less fortunate people. Unfortunately, they came home with unwelcome hitchhikers: measles viruses.”
Unfortunately, they weren’t vaccinated against measles before they left the United States; so they contracted the disease, brought it home, and triggered the worst American outbreak in 20 years. So far, the 130 known cases have been mostly among the unvaccinated members of their own communities.
It’s not all Amish, of course. Altogether, current outbreaks have been brought by travellers from “more than a dozen different countries.” Forty-one people so far have been hospitalized in this outbreak that covered 18 states, but nobody has died so far.
This number is small compared to the hundreds of thousands that swept the US as late as the 1960s, before the disease was almost wiped out in the developed world by vaccinations. Even now, “more than 20 million people around the world (get measles) each year.”
It really is important (and safe) to get your vaccinations. Especially if you plan to travel out of the country.