PHOENIX — As the measles outbreak in Arizona winds down, doctors at the State Health Department are beginning to breathe a sigh of relief.
“Measles is really highly contagious, and we know we had about 1000 people or more that were exposed to the disease,” Jessica Rigler with the Arizona Department of Health Services said.
As the chief for the Bureau of Epidemiology and Disease Control, Rigler said Arizona’s high vaccination rate is to thank for the relatively low spread of the disease.
“The vaccine is really, really effective against measles so if you have high levels of vaccination, it is going to protect the community from further spread,” she said.
According to Rigler, the anti-vaccination movement is not based in any scientific fact but it had the potential to harm a large portion of the Arizona public.
“Nationwide we had a significantly increased number of cases than we have seen in the past and we think that is probably due to the fact that people have begun to get scared of the vaccine and haven’t been vaccinating as much,” she said.