Colorado’s unvaccinated won’t just stay home |

Colorado’s unvaccinated won’t just stay home

Morgan Liddick’s column of Feb. 10, “Civil liberties, measles and vaccines,” accurately reflects the problems related to the current under-vaccination for measles in the U.S. and especially in Colorado. However, in his last two paragraphs, he argues against mandated vaccination and proposes a voluntary decision of unvaccinated individuals to “remain home.” This is unrealistic for several reasons and will afford little protection from spreading the disease. (1) Since individuals with measles are asymptomatic for the first several days of their illness, they will have no reason to stay at home, but are highly infectious at that stage. (2) We know that many people with symptoms of the flu continue to go to work and school, thereby exposing others, although they are advised to stay at home. Similarly, people with milder symptoms of other infectious diseases, such as measles, will not avoid going out into the public. (3) Even if unvaccinated children are prevented from attending school, there are plenty of other ways they come in contact with others to spread the infection (such as visiting Disneyland). As pointed out in Liddick’s column, vaccination has had a dramatic effect in reducing deaths from these childhood illnesses. Medical science has given us the answers for how to best protect the children in our communities from these illnesses. But it requires participation from all of us.

Dr. Peter C. Raich


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