Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Opens 06/29/2015 at 10:00 pm (EST/NYC); closes 07/07/2015 at 6:55 pm (EST/NYC)
Due to the Measles outbreak, the local park was deserted. No one had been there for days. Why, you ask? The town was under quarantine because of an outbreak.
How did Measles get to this suburban town in California? The community had a large number of families the were part of the anti-vaccination movement. The result was that several members of the community attended an event at a local fair and were exposed to Measles.
Since that exposure, twenty-three young children had died and thirteen had developed blindness from the disease. Those in the town were not allowed to leave for work or pleasure. Still, parents refused to vaccinate their children and by law were not required to vaccinate.
The CDC visited the town during a town meeting and recommended that everyone without the disease. Since this outbreak, several other states had reported new growth in Measles statistics.
Why did the town refuse to be vaccinated? They were stuck in their belief that vaccinations cause harm.
Could this happen to us? Could there be an outbreak of disease or virus that could cause injury or death? The World Health Organization (WHO) states:
Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.
The disease remains one of the leading causes of death among young children globally, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Approximately 145,700 people died from measles in 2013 – mostly children under the age of 5.
We are one disease away from an epidemic, especially with the growth of fathers and mothers that refuse vaccinations. I grew up with a sister who had Polio, contracted before the vaccine was available. What will happen if people decide to stop vaccines and the Polio virus recurs and spreads?
This could happen with any of the diseases we are vaccinated for in childhood. We must remain vigilant and educate our communities about the benefit of vaccines not only for the individual but for the community at large.