Monday, May 5, 2008

Stamp out Measles

It was reported in today’s paper that there have been 9 confirmed cases of Measles in Eastern Washington. When I was a child, everybody was expected to get the measles. A common question was "have you had the measles yet"? The measles were called German measles or hard measles. I had them when I was about 12 years old and I was one solid red bumpy itchy rash, including my eyes. I was flat on my back for about a week. The blinds were closed on the windows because light was very hard on your eyes while you had the measles. Measles even have an odor. Your eyes turn red, like pink eye. You are sick with fever and coughing. Siblings would soon be infected with them because they were highly contagious. Most families had 6 or 7 kids. Whooping cough and Mumps was another expected illness that most kids went through. Many children didn’t survive those illnesses. My 22-month-old sister is one that didn’t survive Whooping cough. The year was 1936.
Now it’s making a comeback. What happened to the vaccine? Are people not taking it anymore or is it ineffective?