Atlanta, Georgia ( – Health Report) – Its story time in a preschool class, all of the children sit in a semi-circle as their teacher begins to read. With a small convulsion, Michael sneezes on Olivia. No harm there right? She barely even notices, but a few days later, Olivia develops a high fever, along with the three C’s – cough, coryza (runny nose) and conjunctivitis (itchy, red eyes). Her mother scolds herself for not immunizing Olivia sooner, and she knows what’s wrong…measles are back.

In 2000, the Center for Disease Control stated that the disease was eliminated in the U.S. thanks to a vaccine that can completely control it. But parent’s religions or fears of autism have led some them to opt out of vaccinating their children. Like Olivia, 63 of the sickened children were unvaccinated. Health officials report that Measles cases in the United States are at the highest levels since 1996, with almost half of them pertaining to children whose parents rejected vaccination. During January and July of 2008, 131 were found to have the virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. But in 2007, there were only 42 cases total. By comparison, 55 cases of measles were reported in 2006, 66 in 2005, 37 in 2004, 56 in 2003 and 44 in 2002, for an average of about 64 per year. Other cases have been identified in New York (27), Arizona (14), California (14), Wisconsin (seven), Michigan (four), Hawaii (five), Arkansas (two), and Washington, D.C., and Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia (one each). Of the 131 people throughout the United States who contracted measles this year, 112 were unvaccinated or their vaccination status was unknown.

One could argue both sides. The parents who are not vaccinating their kids are the culprits to this drastic increase, but it is their choice whether or not to do so. Yet- don’t the other children have a right to be kept from harm? The answer is yes – there are those who feel there is a level of duty on the part of the other parents to warn or discuss their children’s vaccinations. Additionally, those whom are unvaccinated by choice endanger those who aren’t yet vaccinated due to a young age. For example, a 7-year-old traveled from San Diego to Switzerland wherein he contracted the virus, and spread it to 11 other unvaccinated children, including some babies who, at the time, were too young to receive the measles vaccine. In the end, it comes down to exemplifying common curtsey and each parent’s deciding what is best for their kids.

Justice News Flash