Articles, Blog

Why Is The Measles Virus So Contagious?

January 14, 2020

SciShow is supported by { ♪INTRO } The word “contagious” probably conjures
up all sorts of horrific images of Ebola or the
plague— diseases that have a reputation for gruesome, indiscriminate killing. So you might be surprised to hear that when it comes to the world’s most contagious diseases, those don’t even make the top 10. The winners on that list can be ten or more times as contagious as Ebola or the plague, and they aren’t off in some remote jungle or a thing of the past, either. They’re right here, right now. In fact, measles—that almost-eliminated virus now making headlines in places like Washington and New York— is one of the most contagious diseases we know of. And it’s contagiousness is a big part of why it’s making a resurgence. Now, the word “contagious” has a very specific meaning to epidemiologists —the scientists that study how diseases spread. A disease is considered especially contagious if one sick person is likely to infect a lot of other people. And that’s something that can be quantified. The average number of people a single sick person infects is known as a disease’s basic reproduction number or R0. R0 is based on a number of factors, like the rate of contact between infected and susceptible people how long an infected person is contagious, Probability that an uninfected person will contract the disease if they’re around someone who’s sick. Because of that, it’s not a fixed number— there are a lot of varibles that can impact how contagious a pathogen will be in a specific environment. So contagiousness can vary from location to location and outbreak to outbreak When R0 is less than 1, a disease is considered self limiting. Basically it’s not going to spread through a population, and will eventually just die out. When R0 is 1, a disease will kind of hang
around, but it won’t cause an outbreak Above 1, and things start to look bad because the number of infected people increases exponentially To put that in perspective, the most contagious diseases we know of have double or even triple digit R0s That’s why a disease like ebola—which
has an R0 between 1.5 and 2.5—can cause epidemics but isn’t considered super contagious. It is very infectious, though. Infectiousness is measured by the infective
dose— basically, how many virus particles, spores,
bacterial cells, or other sadistic little vehicles of doom
it actually takes to make you sick. Ebola is also really deadly. So basically, it’s extra-super terrifying. But if someone in your town has ebola,
you could probably hit up the local grocery store
without worrying— that’s not true for really contagious diseases
like measles. Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease
that was basically eliminated from the United States
at the turn of this century, but now it’s clawing its way back.
Yay. Measles R0s from previous outbreaks vary a
lot, from about 5 to several hundred depending
on factors like population density and vaccination status. But taken together, it’s clear that if no
one is vaccinated, then an infected person with measles will likely infect more than
a dozen other people, each of whom can go on to infect another dozen or more people,
and so on. And it takes vaccination rates above 95% to
push that R0 to 1 or less to keep it in check. One of the main reasons measles is so contagious
is that, kind of like ebola, it’s really infectious—it doesn’t take a lot of viruses
to get you sick. If you are in close contact with someone who
has measles and you’re unvaccinated, your chances of getting sick are about 90 percent. Meanwhile, during flu season, you probably
breathe in influenza viruses any time you enter an enclosed, public space like an airplane
or a daycare without getting sick… most of the time. Another big reason it gets around is its route
of transmission. Measles can go airborne, where it can linger
for up to two hours. Theoretically, someone with measles can walk
into an elevator, cough, and then two hours later you can walk into the same elevator
and catch it. You don’t even have to be in the same room at the same time! And measles has a way to ensure a lot of little
infectious viruses get into the air with every cough. As they say in real estate, it’s all about
location, location, location. The measles virus makes itself at home in
your trachea, at the top of your respiratory system, so it’s in a prime position to come
out when you cough or sneeze. Other respiratory viruses, like influenza,
have to travel much further in order to get out of your body. And Ebola, by comparison, is spread through
bodily fluids. So you have to come into contact with things
like blood, vomit, or feces in order to become infected. Which is much less likely than the elevator
scenario, though infinitely more disgusting. Also, people with ebola aren’t contagious
until they develop symptoms. So they’re not really likely to wander around during
the contagious period when they can spread the infection. People with measles can be contagious up to
four days before the characteristic rash develops. So they might think they have a cold, shrug
it off, and spend days walk around coughing, sneezing, pushing elevator buttons, shaking
hands, or going to Disneyland, before it even occurs to them they should stay home. This sort of thing happens with other diseases,
too—like the bacterial illness pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Pertussis generally has an R0 of 12 to 17,
which probably has something to do with the fact that adolescents and adults often get
a mild, cold-like version of the disease, or have no symptoms at all. That’s simply not the case with influenza,
which has a low R0 of around 1 or 2. People with the flu are only contagious for about
a day before they develop symptoms. And they’re most contagious when they’re
three or four days in—when they’re most likely in bed. One of the only viruses to top measles’
claim to contagious fame is rotavirus, the nasty stomach bug that’s most common in
children. It has an average R0 of about 25. And that’s probably because, like measles,
it’s extremely infectious, but it’s even hardier. It causes explosive diarrhea and is most common
in children, so, well, you can extrapolate from there how it gets around. Also, the virus is present in an infected
person’s feces before they develop symptoms, and it can last hours on unwashed hands, days on some surfaces, and weeks in drinking water. In fact, small kids with questionable hygiene is a common theme when it comes to super-contagious diseases. That certainly helps measles move around schools and daycares, and it’s part of why chickenpox generally has an R0 of 10 to 12. The virus can be passed through the air, but it’s also present inside the pustules that develop, so it can get all over kids’ hands when they scratch those itchy lumps. The virus that causes chickenpox probably doesn’t survive too long outside the human body, though—which is why it doesn’t quite have the legs that measles does. So, in conclusion, you should stockpile beans, rice, and bottled water and never leave your house. Or, you could take reasonable precautions
against contagious diseases. The contagiousness of viruses like measles is a big part of why we’ve developed vaccines against them—because even if they’re not
as deadly as ebola, they are still deadly. The likelihood someone will die depends a
lot on where they live — in developed countries like the United States it’s around around
a half a percent, but in developing countries it’s closer to 6%. Unfortunately, some people, like young babies or people with compromised immune systems, aren’t able to get those vaccines. So if you want to help protect everyone around you and stay safe yourself, you can get vaccinated and get your children vaccinated on the recommended
schedule. And don’t forget to do the usual common
sense things like wash your hands frequently, and, for the most part, steer clear of other
people’s bodily fluids. I mean, you might luck out and stay healthy no matter what. But taking such simple steps can reduce your odds of getting sick. And
if you want to really understand what it means to reduce those odds, you might want to check out the Probability course on Probabilities are all around us all the time, and this course helps you get to know them inside and out by explaining the math that underlies things like poker strategy and weather prediction. That, in turn, can help you make
more informed decisions, from the best bet to make with your cards to whether you should carry your umbrella today. It’s one of the many interactive lessons
and quizzes in math and science Brilliant offers. And right now, the first 200 people
to sign up at will get 20% off of an annual premium subscription to Brilliant. So you can learn a lot, have fun and know that you’re supporting SciShow
too! { ♪OUTRO }


  • Reply SciShow March 18, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    SciShow is supported by Go to to get 20% off of an annual Premium subscription.

  • Reply Mark Keller March 19, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Antivaxxers unite and form … CON TA GION!!!!
    People infecting powers … ACTIVATE!

  • Reply Adaginy March 19, 2019 at 9:01 pm

    Public service announcement: Your pertussis vaccination wears off in your teens! Get a booster shot! You do not want whooping cough! It suuuucks.
    (If you have a uterus, you may be able to get the booster at your next uterus-checkup. It's recommended for pregnant folks, so OBGYNs are likely to have it on hand.)

  • Reply Pf Liu March 19, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    How about we nuke anti-vaxxers

  • Reply Nysythic March 19, 2019 at 9:16 pm

    Diseases are Earth's vaccinations against humans. Humans won the battle because they falsely believe they are entitled to infect Earth with themselves. Go humanity!

  • Reply Aaron Divelbliss March 19, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    If I could add a million likes I would. As a server, I see alot of people. I'm sick maybe once a year. Thank you vaccines and hygiene!

  • Reply Zeldas Champion March 19, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    If vaccines existed for polio before my grandfather was born, he would have been able to walk like normal people.

  • Reply Nikki Williamson March 19, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    You mentioned the plague- How much do we actually know about the plague and how do we know that stuff? Considering the plague was in the 1300s?

    I’m going to research this myself but a video on this would be cool.

  • Reply Михаил К March 19, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    stupidity. anti-vaccine freaks' stupidity makes it so contagious.

  • Reply alan smithee March 19, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    How have Americans grown to pronounce "not" and "naught" the same way?
    I'm confused.

  • Reply alan smithee March 19, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Hey, everyone!
    Italy has banned non-vaccinated children from going to certain schools!

  • Reply Bushcraft1974 March 19, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Instead of the MMR Vaccination can you get them individually if you are worried about possible Autism?

  • Reply ratichocc March 19, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    what if antivaxxers just didn't want an abortion and are trying to find other ways to legally kill their child

  • Reply Mason Warehime March 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm


  • Reply Greg Gallacci March 19, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    How did humanity evolve through 3 millions years without vaccination?
    What made disease so damn deadly in the last last 75 years?
    Did the virus get deadly over night, or is someone making lots of money by passing laws to make shots mandatory?
    If touching an organism kills less than than 1% of those exposed, maybe the dead ones were simply not suited to life on this planet.
    Vaccination is short-circuiting natural selection.

  • Reply bo adams March 19, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    Morons not vaccinating their children

  • Reply Jaydaks rules March 19, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    vaccines cause the overpopulation on earth with the weak and sickly. gud luck to the human genome

  • Reply Jesus Christ March 19, 2019 at 11:50 pm

    Thou shalt vaccinate 🙏

  • Reply MATT0927 56 March 20, 2019 at 12:04 am

    The existence of antivaxxers make it so contagious

  • Reply Matthew Greet March 20, 2019 at 12:08 am

    What Scishow needs is an old person who remembers pre-vaccine days swearing at ant-vaxxers for five minutes straight.

  • Reply ĐȺɍꝁnɇss March 20, 2019 at 12:10 am

    How much did bigpharma pay you?

  • Reply Matthew Greet March 20, 2019 at 12:22 am

    The correct response to the re-introduction of measles in the US is not a weak, sarcastic "Yay." It's an emphatic "One of mankind's greatest victories against the scourge of disease and a few morons are undoing it!"

  • Reply sammy124 March 20, 2019 at 12:33 am

    But.. I like bodily fluids 🙁

  • Reply Diamond Jub March 20, 2019 at 12:45 am

    If you're like me and play Plague Inc., Poop is the most contagious virus known to man

  • Reply czdaniel1 March 20, 2019 at 12:46 am

    You didn't answer the question. All you did was point to a number-system that quantifies a scale of relative infectivity, which is the equivalent of answering with: Why is measles so contagious? Because Measles is contagious!

  • Reply HardRockMiner March 20, 2019 at 1:00 am

    What's next, Scurvy??

  • Reply Exo stretch March 20, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Schools be like: “come to school unless you know you’re really sick. It’s not worth missing days for a little cold”

  • Reply coltin engle March 20, 2019 at 1:16 am

    Proven not a virus by German Supreme Court. So what is it?

  • Reply sent4dc March 20, 2019 at 1:20 am

    R-nought? Dude, what are you British?

  • Reply Micah Philson March 20, 2019 at 1:24 am

    2:03 From now on, I'm referring to any and every carrier/transmitter of disease as a "sadistic little vehicle of destruction"!

  • Reply Sam Paige March 20, 2019 at 1:27 am

    True story: Our child care center got an inquiry call and they asked "Do you support my philosophical right to not vaccinate?" and my director kindly responded "I'm afraid we require all our students to be vaccinated." Click Do you realize we have an entire classroom of children too young for the vaccine and about a third of the kids in the building don't know how to cover their cough? It would take just one case of measles to wipe out the entire baby room.

  • Reply coltin engle March 20, 2019 at 1:29 am

    Check out polio rates, and vaccination rates in India. Why does Egypt have better vaccination rates than the US, yet more disease? It's almost like they're not correlated.

  • Reply Nardy Nite March 20, 2019 at 1:36 am

    71 antivaxxers?

  • Reply Okaro X March 20, 2019 at 1:55 am

    Nonsense. If it was 0.5% then before vaccinations there would have been 20000 deaths annually as without vaccinations everyone gets it i.e. 4 million annually in the US. 6% is even more ridiculous. Even some versions of smallpox were not that deadly. The reported cases in the US were under a million but most probably were not reported anywhere.

  • Reply Brad March 20, 2019 at 2:03 am

    😔 get vaccinated you damn fools.

  • Reply Alexis Rivera March 20, 2019 at 2:20 am

    The term eradicated when it comes to diseases is crazy misleading. Things like measles were not near eradicated/eliminated. People were just generally vaccinated against it so it doesn't spread. But the virus itself? They are still out there all around us. Lax vaccination just opens us up to find that out the hard way with children who don't even have a say on their own vaccinations paying the price of our skepticism and ignorance.

  • Reply chez-d usa March 20, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Rifetech destroys all bacteria micro bacteria viruses mold and fungus the technology in a pulsed format has fda approval for healing non union bone fractures cuz it's the only thing that can it cud do so much more if big pharm was sued into submission and forced to allow it's use to it's full potential

  • Reply Dave M March 20, 2019 at 3:24 am

    Who's this bozo …where that other dude

  • Reply Kite March 20, 2019 at 3:42 am

    I was never vaccinated lmao and i dodged people now im REALLY dodging people now

  • Reply Linkstinator2004 March 20, 2019 at 3:49 am

    No, the measles virus is only making a comeback because of those idiot anti-vaxxers!

  • Reply zyxwvutsrqponmlkh March 20, 2019 at 3:56 am

    2:31 Let's just let everyone go untreated and die until we collectively gain an innate immunity.

  • Reply BioFire March 20, 2019 at 4:00 am

    Thank you DemocRATS for your anti-American open border/no borders policies.
    Diseases we once conquered are now making a resurgence.
    Thank you DummycRATS,

  • Reply Ahlamkin March 20, 2019 at 4:01 am

    I just came here to hear the anti vaxxers quote McCarthy…

  • Reply Willy Yappy March 20, 2019 at 4:01 am

    because of a reason (that I cannot state if I want to keep things civil). we currently have 55.000 Measles cases in Indonesia for the last 5 years. That's 11.000 per year, why 11.000? because we like to take one step further from 10.000

  • Reply supercomputer2004 March 20, 2019 at 4:06 am

    I don't mind if the anti vaxxers don't vax themselves but if they don't vax their kids that is wrong

  • Reply Insolentish March 20, 2019 at 4:09 am

    Tldr , don't use the elevator

  • Reply Wotand March 20, 2019 at 4:27 am

    It really puzzles me why a whole anti-vaccine movement even exists. I mean, if you don't vaccinate your kids here you lose the guardianship over them.

  • Reply FenexDragonis March 20, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Only contagious if your an anti-vaxer. We should thank them for giving these illnesses a potential to resurface and the potential to mutate/adapt to a form the vaccines are no longer effective

  • Reply Cae Herlin March 20, 2019 at 5:46 am

    Alternate title: how to be passive-aggressive towards anti-vaxxers with science without actually ever mention anti-vaxxers directly.

  • Reply DOON March 20, 2019 at 6:27 am

    You need to fact check how you contract ebola

  • Reply John Dough March 20, 2019 at 7:16 am

    How do you infect other people if they are vaccinated?

  • Reply boxhead6177 March 20, 2019 at 8:37 am

    In unrelated news… the leader of the opposition to compulsary childhood immunisation in Italy, Massimiliano Fedriga, was hospitalised for Chickenpox.

  • Reply 4ichpich March 20, 2019 at 9:01 am

    vaccination… yeah… i thought of only going outside with a gasmask…

  • Reply Anton-Constantin March 20, 2019 at 10:43 am

    but now it's clawing it's way back, yaaay

  • Reply Rice Guy March 20, 2019 at 12:35 pm

    lots of people blame antivaxx people, but the ones who migrated illegally were the cause because most of them haven't been vaccinated and reintroduced the virus on the US

  • Reply Alterss Bot March 20, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Measles wont get eliminated in the US with open borders.

  • Reply Cabrera1027 March 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Um, of all the advice they give to prevent yourself from getting or spreading diseases, why are they neglecting VACCINES???

  • Reply Aella Lee March 20, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    Oh so I did myself a favour as a kid by being mysophobic. I refused to be friends with kids that didn't wash their hands after leaving the bathroom.

  • Reply Ed Purcell March 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    If a child broke his arm and the parents wouldn't bring him to the hospital because they "believed" the kid was better healing on his own the "natural" way, that would be child abuse, right? So why are anti-vax parents allowed to carry on that way?

  • Reply Daniel Lanctot March 20, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    So why scare people by saying Measles is quote: "…still deadly…" when the death rate is 0.5% or les (Some say it is 1 or two deaths per 1000 cases in industrial countries; bringing it down to 0.1% or 0.2%)? That is not "deadly" those are extremely rare cases of people with weaker immune systems; tragic for their families, no doubts there, but it is not like the plague, which is what many news stories would makke you think and people go nuts demanding mandatory vaccinations for everyone.

    Meanwhile, certain flu viruses (Like the H5N1) can have a death rate of 60% of cases and while they make vaccination campaigns to ENCOURAGE people to get vaccinated, no one calls for mandatory vaccination in those cases (That is the disonest part in these reportings: Not putting things in perspective and using "scare words" to trigger fears in the population)

  • Reply Albert FC March 20, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Antivaxxers are worse than we think

  • Reply MrWombatty March 20, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Not just amongst young children that the Rotovirus spreads really quickly, as high numbers of elderly patients in nursing-homes quickly catch it! Very unpleasant for them & staff members!

  • Reply Amy March 20, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Thank you for making this so clear and informative, it could help to tackle the anti-vaxxers, hopefully it'll get through to at least some of them.

  • Reply roberto R March 20, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    I have a newborn, first measles vaccine is around six months… F U antivax morons.

  • Reply He Ang pro_CTB March 20, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Because to change the world, everything starts with me.

  • Reply J P March 20, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    The thing that really sucks about this is that the longer a virus has a chance to hang around the longer it has a chance to evolve and change. My education is more geared toward equine biosecurity/farm biosecurity, but it still applies to humans. There was an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001 in the UK. What was specifically troubling about this outbreak was that it went airborne, it changed and was devastating in terms of its effect economically. This can happen with any virus as they are living things. So when you have something like this, where a disease was almost eradicated, it really exemplifies just how stupid anti-vaxxers are and the potential they have for damage.

  • Reply Michael Alexander March 20, 2019 at 11:25 pm

    I can’t believe there’s people that don’t vaccinate. I’d make a plea for them to vaccinate, but it’s rare to see them in these types of videos, especially reading comments

  • Reply PRoseLegendary March 21, 2019 at 1:34 am

    My city currently has a measles outbreak and I have a baby under 6 months. I'm vaccinated and I breastfeed so apparently my baby gets some immunity from me, but every time my baby gets a cold I'm anxious, wondering whether it will turn into something more serious. Bloody anti-vaxxers.

  • Reply Gamer Fuel March 21, 2019 at 2:35 am

    More anti-anti-vaccine propaganda, from Scishow. Or should I say LIESHOW. #checkmate #owned

  • Reply Kokiri Owl March 21, 2019 at 2:57 am

    Anti-vaxx comments startiiing… NOW

  • Reply jannatin karlen March 21, 2019 at 4:29 am

    let the natural selection speaks, some organism are too dumb to pass their gene

  • Reply kindlin March 21, 2019 at 6:17 am

    You didn't actually answer the question in your title, besides for, maybe, "It flourishes in your trachea." I'm curious why it flourishes in your trachea and why it's so infectious. Thinking about it now, the answer to both of those questions might actually be, "because it flourishes in your trachea," which explains fast transmission and catching it quickly (you breath it in directly to where it wants to go). However, I would have liked the conclusion of this video to have put it all together nicely for the less critical-thinking-type individuals.

  • Reply Vistico93 March 21, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Why is he coughing INTO HIS HANDS?!!!

    Cough into your sleeve!

  • Reply SmellsLikeCurry March 21, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Anti-Vaxx people needed to be jailed for child abuse

  • Reply acegeek March 21, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    stockpiling beans and rice and bottled water. Never leaving the house ever ever.

  • Reply Mikayla Eckel Cifrese March 21, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    Doesn't age affect high likely you are to get measles though?

  • Reply Brett Harrison March 22, 2019 at 8:06 am

    I just want you all to know that the harder you push an anti vaxxer with the law the more you validate our worst fears. Look how big and civil you all are.

  • Reply Blep Lord 404 March 23, 2019 at 3:03 am

    Two words: anti vaccers

  • Reply orphidian11 March 23, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    81 dislikes from anti-vaxxers

  • Reply Vennom Scandi March 23, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    people who cant get vaccines are often people in poor countries, or kids in rich countries with parents who have a compromised thinking system

  • Reply culwin March 24, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Anti-vaxxers are the dumbest people on the planet right now.
    Change my mind.

  • Reply Αποστόλης Νικάκης March 24, 2019 at 2:41 am

    More pro-vaccine propaganda? Good. The more the merrier.

  • Reply Yumna Bayuaji March 24, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Make everyone watch this please

  • Reply Michael Côté March 24, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Have there been any studies looking at the effectiveness of wearing a mask, like they do in Asian countries, at preventing the spread of influenza? Are there any studies that look at the hand washing habits of people who get the flu shot? Are they less likely to wash their hands because they believe they're immune to the common cold?

  • Reply Brian JOnker March 24, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    Wonder how many dead kids it takes to fix stupid

  • Reply MikeDNC March 24, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    .. And even more importantly, prevent others from getting sick by thoroughly covering all coughs and sneezes with the inside of a shirt for example — not those "fist covers" that do almost nothing 🙂

    I'll bet if we could all do that for a few weeks, along with keep all contagious kids away from others during that time, many or most human contagious diseases would be eradicated. But it would take a worldwide, like-minded effort.

  • Reply NimbusFilms March 25, 2019 at 5:39 am

    that’s fort myers international airport @ 3:12

  • Reply 2dozen22s March 25, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    Didn't quite know about the amount of virus particles it takes to contract the illness, and how we frequently contact them but don't get sick. That's rather interesting. How does this work specifically? And how does entry vector affect this? eg: blood to blood, food, eye or nose touching, etc.

    Could a singular well placed flu virus you breath in cause a full infection ignoring the presumably low statistical likely hood?

    Also obligatory: screw antivaxxers. One brought a kid w/ Measles to Puerto Rico, last native case was 2006. If you'd rather risk causing an outbreak and killing someone or your own child (or causing permanent damage), than to vaccinate due to some non-factually based conspiracy theory about autism or whatnot, you are an incredibly selfish person with total disregard to other people's safety and well being.

  • Reply TRAS̸H DØVE March 30, 2019 at 4:26 am

    Why do I almost exclusively hear from anti-vaxxers in the US and not over here in Europe?

    On the other hand, we invented tricking people into buying really expensive sugar and call it homeopathy

  • Reply James Runyon March 31, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    Government won't be controlling me with vaccines.

  • Reply Nothing April 1, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    Wht exactly is the mechanism by which a pathogen can be spread through the air or not? I know it comes down to genetics, but what is the actual physical trait that lets them spread this way?

  • Reply Nothing April 1, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    I'm really glad to see so few dislikes for this. I was afraid more people would dislike it cuz they're against vaccines.

  • Reply ForestDew April 8, 2019 at 12:45 am

    And I just learned today I'm not vaccinated for measles… I know what to do soon.

  • Reply FrancesBaconandEggs April 10, 2019 at 6:35 am

    What is an example of a disease with an R0 of 1?

  • Reply FrancesBaconandEggs April 10, 2019 at 6:35 am

    What is an example of a disease with an R0 of 1?

  • Reply leeann May 13, 2019 at 8:40 am

    My dad had polio when he was a child. His left calf was really slim and the other was normal, but he could walk normally and did serve in the navy. He was very lucky.  I remember in first grade 1977, one day the whole school was sent into our gym by grade, lined up and given vaccination, kid after kid assembly line style. The school had a lot of very poor families. People could not afford the immunizations for their kids.  It was a very big deal that they could do that for us. Health insurance wasn't something everyone had when I was a kid. My dad's employer paid his premiums and I think that's one of the reasons he stayed at the lumber yard. That and because there was a recession. Insurance was expensive. Just because you needed medical care didn't mean you always got it. A lot of kids only saw the school nurse if they needed a doctor. You could also go down to the public health clinic and see what they could do for you. A major reason people declared bankruptcy was medical bills. I was in college by the time the bankruptcy laws started to make much harder to declare. It was a common thing to hear about and no one thought much of it. I remember being very pessimistic about it thinking well that's the way it was.  Never in my life did I ever think that it would be better. I'm so glad I was wrong. Medical care is sometimes so necessary, but it was so economically biased. People would loose their homes because they had a surgery or had been in a car accident. It wasn't like they got out of paying their bills. Bankruptcy only dismissed what couldn't be paid with the dissolution of your assets. The hospitals and doctors didn't get paid and the losses were passed on to others as higher prices and higher premiums.  If you are young enough to only have ever experienced Obamacare  you do not have the first hand perspective of how different it was then vs now. It was very unfair. The kids that didn't have immunizations were the poor kids. The kids without insurance were the poor kids. So it was a big deal for the school to be able to do that for us. The vaccine the gave us in the gym was  a drop of clear liquid on our tongue, not a shot.  I remember the school nurse telling me it didn't taste, but it did slightly and I didn't trust her after that because I felt  she had lied to me that once.  I have a scar on my right shoulder where I was given the measles or smallpox shot at as a baby. They stopped giving those in 1976 or so. I had chickenpox in 2nd grade. The next day, a full half of the school was absent.  My brother as came down with it and my mom put him in the tub with as many ice cubes she could find to get his fever down and  I'm pretty sure aspirin or Tylenol. If you have a fever you have to get it down because it can make you slow. The water washed off the calamine lotion that helped with the itch.  He was so young, about 4 years old and he didn't understand why he couldn't scratch at the pustules and he howled and howled at how it just drove him crazy with the itching until she let his out of the tub and could get the calamine on him again. It is pink and smells funky. Chickenpox itched so bad you just wanted to scratch your skin right off.  I do have a few scars left from it where I picked off the scabs that formed over where the pox had been. My mom warned me but I didn't listen. Or, I did listen but couldn't not do it anyways.  History isn't that long ago as far a human experience concerning disease goes. (And I did not mean to sound so old, geez! )

  • Reply Professor Rosenstock June 18, 2019 at 12:19 am

    I have a lot of Autistic friends, I just spent Saturday dicussing fashion with one. We both lived long enough to have met each other and dicuss fashion as grown ups. Raising a child who's Autistic isn't easy ( granted raising a child is generally not easy) but its better than having a dead child. I can hug one friend and talk about cats with another. You can't with a dead child.

  • Reply GM Steelhaven August 23, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Anti-vaxxers and undocumented/illegal aliens… wonderful mix…

  • Reply Georgi Georgiev September 19, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    This is the sound of natural selection hitting anti-vaxers with the speed of light…

  • Reply Carrie Lawson November 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    "Stimple steps"
    ….Thank you for leaving that in there, Stefan! Lol, for real!!
    I have OCD/perfectionist issues and seem to have a sort of "constant stage fright", for all aspects of life. It warms my heart when brilliant people, such as yourself, slip up and let it roll off their back, like nothing.

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