A quick Google will provide dozens of medical experts explaining why vaccines carry no risk and prevent the spread of harmful diseases. A carefully-worded Google search will also return results from crackpot bloggers saying the opposite.
If you put in a little bit of effort and believe what you read from a quasi-source you'll also be able to prove that the earth is flat.
What is undeniably true is that the spread and infection rates of diseases once thought dealt with is rising. The vaccination rates for children is decreasing. These two facts are related.
The state of Washington has declared a state of emergency in order to deal with a disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000.
The shocking, and frankly disappointing, turn of events happened as the number of confirmed measles cases rose to 25 over the weekend. Of those, 24 involved children that haven't been vaccinated.
Measles is most known for the red-spotted rash that forms on those who contract it. It also involves high fever, runny nose, sore throat and inflamed eyes.
Measles can be fatal to children.
"The measles virus is a highly contagious infectious disease that can be fatal in small children," said Gov. Jay Inslee in a proclamation. He went on to say that the outbreak creates an "extreme public health risk."
Declaring a State of Emergency is more than a symbolic gesture. It will provide access to funds that the state will use to help combat the spread of the disease.
Of the cases, all but one have been centered in Clark County, near the border with Oregon. The single case outside of the county involved a man who recently traveled there.
The state is scrambling to put a stop to the outbreak. According to the Centers for Disease Control, two of every 1,000 children that contract measles will die from complications.
The CDC is vocal about recommending vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps and the rubella virus.
Once common, measles saw a large downturn with the introduction of a successful vaccine. In 2000, it was declared irradiated in the United States after a decades-long campaign to combat the disease.
While there is often fear of needles, the anti-vaxx movement saw a resurgence after a British doctor published a study linking the measles vaccine to the rise of autism. His paper has since been retracted and proven fraudulent. The doctor, Andrew Wakefield, had his medical license revoked. However, his paper lived on and has since been cited by prominent anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy.
The CDC reports that the rate of unvaccinated two-year-olds has increased 50% from 2011 to 2015.