The sudden outbreak of measles across the United States raises questions about how the disease arrived in the country after it was eradicated here in 2000.
A quick review of the U.S. State Department visa requirements for immigrant visas reveals that applicants must be vaccinated for measles prior to their approval. Measles vaccination is not required for tourist visas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nor is it required for any other disease.
That leaves three possibilities. One is that a tourist present legally in the U.S. brought measles to the country while visiting. This is the most plausible explanation, given that the outbreak began at Disneyland.
Another possibility is that an illegal immigrant brought measles to the country.
And the third, probably most remote, possibility is that a legal immigrant who was vaccinated still managed to contract the disease abroad, since the vaccination is not 100% effective in all cases.
There was a sudden arrival of illegal immigrant children over the summer. However, many of those children were from countries and regions that have high rates of immunization.
The highest rates of under-vaccination in the U.S. are to be found in low-income communities where illegal immigrants may live–but also in high-income communities where many residents have graduate degrees, and some are attracted to alternative methods of healing and non-Western medicine.
Reports from the border last year did indicate some problems with diseases, including illnesses likely to be spread rapidly in cramped holding facilities. Border patrol officers told Breitbart News at the time that they do not screen for diseases among those detained.
From the border, many detainees were scattered to processing centers throughout the country, and many entered local schools this fall. The spread of measles from Disneyland across the country is far more recent, however.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak