Where are you trying to go, measles virus? Looks like you’ve made yet another appearance at an airport. This time it’s the Philadelphia International Airport.
You and your comrades are once again consuming the time, effort, and resources of health and public health officials. For example, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has had to get involved as evidenced by this tweet from Rachel Levine, MD, the Secretary of Health for Pennsylvania:
Tying up Departments of Health with such cases is like asking someone who is running a marathon to give a TED talk and repair a car engine at the same time. Perhaps you realize that further stretching such overstretched and underfunded departments will prevent them from dealing with your friends like the microbes that cause food-borne illnesses and insect-borne diseases.
But you and your comrades had to go to the Philly airport on October 2 and 3 and visit the places outlined by the following news report from CBS Philly:
This is not the first time you measles viruses have appeared at airports. Just last month on September 20, your comrades made appearances at two different airports. There were measles cases at the Los Angeles International Airport, as reported by KTLA 5. and the Greater Rochester International Airport, as per the Democrat and Chronicle.
Yes, it’s clear that as a highly contagious virus, the airport is a great place to go to see more and more of yourself. You have plenty of people to infect. These people then can travel to many different places to further spread and create more and more of your comrades. Plus, it’s easier to jump from person to person when everyone is squeezed together in security lines, at gates, and in airplanes like toothpaste in a tube.
This year, 2019, has been a good year for you. Fewer people have been getting the measles vaccine, which the best thing to prevent you from multiplying and spreading. Nothing else comes close. You’ve already caused more reported cases of the measles in the U.S. than any other year since 1992, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As of October 3, 2019, the tally has reached 1,250 different cases in 31 states.
Then, there are people who are claiming that you only cause mild disease. Of course, you know better than that. So far this year, your viral compatriots have led to 119 people being hospitalized this year and and 61 having serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis. You know that you can cause major problems and can kill.
Yet, some humans are still doing things to help you spread. According to the CDC, this year “the majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.” There appears to be a number of pro-measles messages circulating on social media, and people trying to make these message go viral, which in turn will help you go more viral. Yes, anti-vaccination campaigns actually end up being pro-measles. Betcha you didn’t think you would get so much help from some humans. After all, some humans are trying to stop the one defense that actually works against you.