In march 2013, when a teenager returns to New York for his holiday, he had no idea that it was going to cause the biggest outbreak of measles that the city has seen in 20 years
In total, 58 people have been infected in the town on the east coast of the United States between march and June 2013, according to a study published this July 30, 2018 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. A team of researchers at the Department of health of the city is interested in the economic cost that has produced this epidemic.
Thanks to good vaccination coverage, the disease had disappeared from the United States in 2000. How has she thus been reintroduced into the country? The lack of denials and delays of voluntary vaccination in recent years, according to the researchers.
In fact, the young man was not vaccinated when he was infected in London, where he was studying. A native of New York, it is when he returns to his family as the first cases of infection occur. None of the family members was vaccinated.
In France, 11 vaccines are mandatory from 1 January 2018, including the measles vaccine.
But in the United States, most States allow the option for parents to refuse the vaccination of their children on the basis of their beliefs. ” READ ALSO – ARE there any mandatory vaccinations that are unnecessary? A case of pneumonia, and a false coucheL’epidemic then spread in the places crossed by the infected persons, measles is transmitted by droplets of saliva suspended in the air. In total, the researchers identified 3351 people who have been in contact with the virus, among which 58 people contracted measles. 45 were aged at least 12 months, but were not vaccinated because of a refusal on the part of their parents. Some have developed complications, including one case of pneumonia, a miscarriage, and a transmission from a mother to her newborn. Finally, 12 other patients were too young to receive the vaccine.
“Most of the cases occur in the United States involve people who are not vaccinated,” stresses Jason L. Schwartz, professor of public health at the University of Yale (United States), who was not involved in the study.
“Given the very contagious nature of the virus, even a single case of measles can cause a number of cases,” he says.
” READ ALSO – Three French out of four are in favour of vaccination “A high rate of vaccination is of public utility”The epidemic has mobilized 87 health professionals, who have spent a total of 10. .054 hours trying to master it. . By adding their salary to the price of the medical equipment used, the total cost of this epidemic is approximately us $ 400,000 (350,000 euros), argue the researchers. “In addition to the health risks that non-vaccinated individuals pose to themselves and to others, especially young people, the economic burden of the epidemics is another result of dismal performance of these individual decisions to reject the recommendations for vaccination,” said Jason L. . Schwartz. A high rate of vaccination is in the public interest. In fact, it reduces the likelihood that a person, vaccinated or not, encounter a disease preventable by the vaccine.
“Those who have voluntarily chosen not to be vaccinated are free riders, taking advantage of this public effort not contributing to it”, he laments.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that affects mostly children and young adults.
During the first 2-3 days, the symptoms resemble those of flu: cough, runny nose, and fever.
Then, a rash of red patches on the skin appears, first on the face and then all over the body. Its complications include diarrhea, middle ear infections, but also pneumonia or encephalitis, a brain inflammation that can be fatal. The combined vaccine MMR can avoid it, as well as mumps and rubella. The first injection is made between 12 and 15 months and a second at 4-6 years of age.
In France, a measles epidemic began in November 2017.
Nearly a thousand cases have been reported and among them, three deaths. Public health France blames inadequate immunization coverage in French, recalling that “vaccination is the only protection individual and collective against measles. .” .