Thanks to the fearful prophesies of an infectious Olympics, the world is awaiting any signs of the warned outbreaks ranging from Zika to norovirus. The premise does have some value as any mass gathering, such as the Games, increases the chance for infection spread. Yet, so far, it’s been relatively quiet.

The same cannot be said for another kind of mass gathering…

glastonburyThe Music Festival

In the United Kingdom, there has been a rise in infections coming from festivals including one of the largest, Glastonbury, pictured above.

While this might not be a surprise, the type of infection may raise a few eyebrows.

measlesMeasles

In the last few months, a total of 36 cases have been reported all sourced to a musical gathering. While this may be enough to make your head itch, the situation gets worse as some people didn’t catch the virus at the festival. Instead, they were already infected and yet still decided to go to the event to spread the joy and the virus.

The reaction to this revelation has been mixed but can generally be summed up with:

cmon-man
Who could be that unaware of the consequences?

But the worst is yet to come….

Most people believe measles only infects children. But the virus can attack anyone who might happen to be vulnerable. In these cases, the average age of those suffering is 20. The oldest person was…

42(If you don’t know who this is…ask your local fanboy or fangirl)

This information is rather startling. The slowdown in measles vaccination has been ongoing for only about 15 years. The older patients most likely would have received their first shots but perhaps not the boosters necessary to maintain protection throughout life. This suggests an even greater population may be vulnerable without even knowing it.

The solution may seem easy enough: get a booster no matter how old you are. But, that’s not all that easy in this day and age. With vaccine hesitancy continuing to rise, the idea of a mass vaccination campaign might end up being fruitless and be met with resistance. But that’s not all. People simply may believe they are safe from prior shots. They would feel like they don’t need to get the boosters.

All of this leaves Public Health England in a bit of a bind. To see how they have decided to move forward, you can check out their recommendations here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/measles-vaccination-advice-for-young-adults

If you think you have a better idea, why not share it here. I might even offer my own rather unconventional proposal…

 

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