On Jan. 25, a Bard College student with measles travelled on a New York train, possibly exposing other passengers to the virus. New York is now the 14th state involved in a current nationwide measles outbreak.
News outlets reported that the student boarded the Amtrak train at Penn Station and got off in Rhinecliff, New York. According to college officials, the student has been isolated during recovery.
This is the second time in recent months that a life-threatening disease has spread across the country and into New York. Last October, Ebola arrived in the Empire State, bringing panic along with it.
However, Staples nurses all agreed that the illnesses are completely different because of the preventative medication that measles has and Ebola lacks.
“Ebola and measles shouldn’t even be placed in the same sentence,” Libby Russ, school nurse, said.
It is because of this preventative medication that students like Julie Kaplan ’17 are not as worried about the measles epidemic as they were about Ebola. Kaplan said that she thinks measles will stop sooner because the vaccine will prevent it from spreading.
The State of Connecticut requires that all students in grades K-12 have two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. More than 95 percent of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to measles, and a second dose gives immunity to almost all of those who did not respond to the first dose, according to the CDC.
Daryl Choi ’16, although not intimidated by either Ebola or measles, noted the increasing prevalence of diseases like these.
“I don’t feel threatened by these two infections in any way,” he said. “However, one thing that is indeed concerning is that these airborne diseases are a lot more common than before […] and the media turns them into a large fear.”