Measles is back in the news again, as approximately 70 cases in 6 different states have been documented with links to the Disneyland outbreak. Measles is a pernicious respiratory disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000. However, because more and more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kids, herd immunity has declined and measles transmission has been on the rise.
The reason why measles is particularly ugly is because infected individuals typically infect anywhere from 12 to 18 others (for ebola, the number is closer to 2). The virus is airborne, can incubate up to 21 days in a host (typically 10 days), and can be transmitted several days before the characteristic rash appears. You can fact-check me with these helpful links to the CDC and WHO measles pages, or you can briefly wonder why I even know all this shit off the top of my head. Continue reading