The Measles Outbreakby Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
Posted on 2015-02-02
JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to address the House
for 1 minute.)
Ms. JACKSON LEE. Today, Mr. Speaker, I sent a letter to the Food and
Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control requesting an
alert to the public that highlights the importance of our children
becoming vaccinated for this outbreak of measles, particularly the MMR.
The United States is experiencing a large multistate measles outbreak that started in California in December of 2014 and has spread to six additional States and Mexico. From December 28, Mr. Speaker, through January 21, 2015, 51 confirmed cases linked to this outbreak have been reported to the CDC: 42 from California and nine from six other States--three in Utah, two in Washington, one in Oregon, one in Colorado, one in Nebraska, and one in Arizona.
But the spread of this is enormous. The most disturbing aspect of this outbreak is that 86 percent of the patients who have contracted the disease had either been unvaccinated or had an unknown vaccination status. The outbreak is aggravated by the large number of children whose parents have chosen not to get the MMR vaccine.
What I want to focus on, Mr. Speaker, is for us to be cautious and for us to be able to do the right thing. The saddest case was an 8- month-old baby in [[Page H687]] Arizona--innocent--who was exposed to the measles.
I ask that we take this seriously, as a member of the Homeland Security Committee, and find a way to alert parents to make the right decision for their children. I will be continuing to work on this and have asked my own community to send out an alert to help save those children and the others who are vulnerable to the measles outbreak.