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WHY ARE SOME OF THE DISEASES THAT WERE ERADICATED RETURNING AGAIN FOR INFECTING PEOPLE?

WHY ARE SOME OF THE DISEASES THAT WERE ERADICATED (EXAMPLE, MEASLES) RETURNING AGAIN FOR INFECTING PEOPLE?

WHY ARE SOME OF THE DISEASES THAT WERE ERADICATED RETURNING AGAIN FOR INFECTING PEOPLE?

The eradicated diseases are now coming back into action. There have been such recorded instances of various diseases which were considered to be eradicated. Diseases like a whooping cough, measles, polio, rubella and Haemophilus influenza etc took lives of thousands of people before the last century. But with the awareness, precautions and widespread of vaccines against them, the rate of diseases declined completely.

FEW DISEASES THAT HAVE RESURFACED

  1. PlagueThis used to prevail during Middle Ages, taking several lives. However, within the last year, there have been sixteen reported cases of plague-causing four deaths. Plague is caused by a flea carrying Yersinia pestis bacteria from an infected rodent. There are various forms of plague-like diseases – septicemic plague (affects blood), pneumonic plague (affects lungs), bubonic plague etc. Even though the disease is rare, it has managed to come back.
  2. MeaslesIt used to take lives of 400-500 Americans every year, however, with the adoption of the vaccine in 1960, the disease was eliminated. Yet, in 2014, there have been 667 reported cases and 189 cases in 2015. It is extremely transmissible and there is no treatment available for this. Hence, vaccines are a must.
  3. Scarlet FeverIt was largely over owing to antibiotics. But with the recent comeback, scientists believe that the reason is antibiotic resistance. It can spread quickly and is extremely transmissible.
  4. MumpsIn 1967, a vaccine was made for treatment of mumps. However, there have been 688 cases reported in 2015. Complications are rare, there is no treatment but people recover within few weeks. Measles Mumps Rubella or MMR vaccine is the only way of preventing it.

REASON FOR COMEBACK

The occurrence of few diseases is linked to lack of vaccine. There are various vaccine-preventable diseases that are transmissible in nature. Outbreaks occur in a community where people are not vaccinated properly. There have been outbreaks of measles- but only in the regions where the majority of people weren’t vaccinated. Drop in vaccination count can lead to the emergence of diseases.

For instance, in 2011, more than 90% of the measles cases in the United States came from other countries. Since the majority of Americans get vaccinated against measles, there wasn’t any epidemic caused.

No disease ever gets eradicated completely. There is a need for vaccination to continue, even if the chance of diseases drops drastically. Vaccinations are important- not only for the present but also for the future.  Vaccinations protect the current and future generation of children from the emergence of eradicated diseases.

If one stops getting vaccinated, the epidemic of diseases will occur- taking more lives than it should have.