According to an April press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of measles in the US is at an all-time high. This, after its apparent eradication in 2000.

With the increasing popularity of anti-vaccination sentiments, many people are blaming the movement for the reported 695 cases of measles. But are rising healthcare costs equally responsible?

Keep reading to find out the answer to this question. And stick around until the end to learn how accurate information and medical loan financing can help you prevent an outbreak in your area.

The Outbreak
The outbreak began in Washington State and New York. What started as a few cases in late 2018 has turned into the longest lasting measles wave since the disease was eliminated almost 20 years ago.

Epidemiologists are scrambling to understand the cause.

Since the start of the year, reported measles cases worldwide have also increased by a whopping 300%. This explains how the outbreak began– the disease was imported by a traveler who had not been vaccinated.

Lower Rates of Measles Vaccinations
While the disease may not have originated in the US, it’s spreading because vaccination rates are at an all-time low.

In New York, some areas have vaccination rates as low as 60%. This is far beneath the 95% vaccination rate required to maintain herd immunity.

But why are fewer people getting vaccinated?

Some blame the anti-vax movement, proponents of which are spreading misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines. But others think people are simply trying to cut back on rising healthcare costs.

The jury is still out on which factor is truly to blame. In the meantime, though, there are a few things you can do to help prevent a measles outbreak in your area.

Two Solutions: Accurate Information and Medical Loan Financing
Providing patients with information about the safety of vaccinations, herd immunity, and their health is your first line of defense.

According to the CDC, this information should be accurate and scientifically based. But it should also be digestible for the general public to lessen opportunities for misinterpretation.

The next best thing to do to prevent a measles outbreak in your area is to ensure that all patients have access to affordable vaccines. If you practice in a locale with an under-insured population, people may be skipping out due to cost.

If you think this is the case, medical loan financing can help. Patients who can’t afford vaccines out of pocket can apply for a low-interest medical loan. All patients are approved and get to choose the repayment plan that fits their unique budget.

Find out more about Epic River’s patient lending program to learn how you can help patients afford the vaccines they need.