The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Measles Epidemic Here in the Richest Country in the World

Mar 11, 2024

Measles cases are rising in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on March 1 that at least 41 measles cases had been reported in the U.S. in 17 states, including California, Illinois, Maryland, and Michigan, up from 35 cases the week before. The increases concern health experts because the number of recorded cases in the first two months of this year is nearing the total number recorded all last year.

Measles was officially declared eliminated in the U.S. back in 2000. It is still the most easily transmitted human virus presently in circulation. Before the measles vaccination program was started in the U.S. in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got the disease each year in the U.S. Approximately 500,000 of these cases were reported to the CDC each year. Of these, about 48,000 people were hospitalized, and 400 to 500 people died.

The CDC says the two reasons for the current increase in the number of reported measles cases are an increase in international travel and an increase in the number of unvaccinated people in the U.S. and other countries. Some health insurance plans don’t pay for vaccinations, and some people can’t afford to pay for them out of pocket. In addition, anti-vaccination attitudes have taken hold with some people. So, an increasing number of people are unvaccinated. This has created a disaster waiting to happen.

What’s missing is a truly comprehensive health system—one that could reach and teach everyone and could vaccinate all children quickly, conveniently, and for free.

A health system is entirely free from the profit system.