Disclaimer: this post contains more sarcasm than usual.
I am so sick and tired of hearing about the measles outbreak. I am even more sick and tired of the hatred, ugliness, ignorance, and rudeness that it is bringing out of people. Ugh! I can’t even log in to my Facebook account and scroll 1/3 of the way down the page before my eyes are accosted by some form of nastiness directed FROM and AT all sides of the vaccination debate. It’s ridiculous. People are getting all up in arms about something, that is really NOTHING in the grand scheme of things.
The current measles outbreak (close to 100 people in 14, possibly 15 states) is a red herring. It’s distracting our attention away from the real issues facing our children today. In the grand scheme of things, getting the measles is merely a blip on the screen. Listen, before you jump up to attack me, please hear me out. I do not wish illness on anybody, nor am I trying to make light of any child who is trying to adapt and heal through a virus such as measles, pertussis, mumps, etc. I am also not making commentary on any parent’s right to choose to vaccinate or decline vaccinations, so please don’t go there. Okay? Thanks.
But while we, as a collective society, have our heads turned to the right looking at the measles and ever-volatile vaccination debate, the real issue is on the left. Our kids are SICK and they are only getting sicker. Let’s put this into perspective. Last year, 644 cases of measles were reported. That is 0.000203% of the United States population. In other words, 1 in 492,236 people in the US got measles last year. Of those, guess how many died? None. That’s right. ZERO. ZIP. ZILCH. In fact there have been absolutely NO deaths in the US from measles in the last ten years. But yet, here we are, calling each other names, making disparaging remarks, and pointing fingers. At what? I ask.
What we SHOULD be looking at, where our emotions SHOULD be getting high, and where our politicians SHOULD be inserting their opinions and policy is the fact that kids in the United States are sick. Currently the US ranks 26th in the world in infant mortality. A baby born in Japan, Korea or even Slovakia has a greater chance of living to see their first birthday than a baby born in the US. Where are the voices of passionate parents calling for action? The current US c-section rate is 32.8%, even though the World Health Organization clearly states that optimal c-section rates should be between 5-10%. According to the WHO, rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good. Who is fighting for these babies? According to a study by Gottfried Guttman, MD of 1000 infants, 80% of babies were born with what he called Kinematic Imbalances due to Suboccipital Strain (KISS syndrome), or what we chiropractors call an Upper Cervical subluxation.
60-80% (1 in 1.7 to 1 in 1.25) of children will be diagnosed with an ear infection before their first birthday and 75% of all kids will have been on at least one round of antibiotics before they turn 3. Where is the media on this? Which reminds me, antibiotic use in the first year of life leads to an increased risk of early-onset asthma and multiple rounds of antibiotics lead to an increased risk of persistent asthma. Speaking of asthma, 1 in 10 kids have it. Where are the politicians and their opinions? 1 in 10 kids have allergies, 1 in 9 kids have ADHD and the most commonly prescribed drug, Ritalin, is in the same class of as cocaine. Uh, hello?!?!? Anyone out there? Where is the public outcry? 1 in 7 kids have a health problem for which medication has to be taken regularly for at least 3 months. 75% of all school-aged children miss at least 1 day of school in a 12-month period due to illness or injury and 6% miss more than 11 days. 1 in 68 children have Autism Spectrum Disorder, 1 in 54 of those are boys. 1 in 13 children between the ages of 6-17 take at least one prescribed medication to treat emotional or behavioral difficulties.
I mean, come on, people. We are getting so hotheaded and emotional over the measles and vaccine rights that we’re completely and totally missing the bigger picture! WAKE UP! The measles is the least of your worries.
Many statistics were garnered from this publication of the CDC.