Public health officials in Contra Costa County near San Francisco say a Berkeley student had measles when he rode the Bay Area Rapid Transit train, possibly exposing thousands of people to this contagious and dangerous virus.
He rode BART between Feb. 4 and 7, 2014, so anyone who rode at that time should be aware they may have been exposed. Symptoms take about one to three weeks after exposure to crop up and include fever, runny nose, red eyes, and coughing. A few days later the red rash appears, generally in the face before it spreads to the rest of the body. You can read more about measles at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Traveling the world to infect people. This is what happens when selfish people use a complacent community to harm the community, both physically and economically.
Anyone who rode with him – or anytime up to four hours later – was exposed to measles.
Measles is one of the most contagious diseases we know of. One person can easily infect close to 20 more. Over 90% of the susceptible people exposed will get the disease. It can kill. It has huge economic costs.
Every case in the US costs the public over $10,000. And every case in an unvaccinated child costs the family over $700 directly.
So a family which choses to not vaccinate its children for anti-vacccine reasons will be out of pocket almost $1500 for their principles, as well as putting the rest of the community at risk (that is, many small children and the elderly can succumb because of impaired immune systems).
In order to shut down an epidemic and use herd immunity to protect the community, we need over 95% of the population to be vaccinated.
So, every person who gets sick and every person who dies does so because someone did not get vaccinated. Those who refuse to get vaccinated are a danger to the community.
As well as costing all of us money. We will have $10,000 less to spend on community needs for every unvaccinated child who gets sick.
Those refusing vaccinations are not principled. They are selfish, putting their own concerns – foolish as they may be – ahead of the concerns of the community they live in.