The article by Adrienne LaFrance is devoted to the description of well-known measles that might pose a threat to the health of the nation. In 2015, many states faced a new outbreak of this disease, which became a problem for the healthcare sector and was discussed by various authorities and media. Being an experienced editor of The Atlantic and investigative reporter, LaFrance was not able to disregard this issue and wrote a paper delving into the main peculiarities of the problem. One of the main motifs for the creation of the article was the author’s desire to inform people about the discussed aspect and share credible information. That is why, in “The New Measles”, LaFrance assumes that contrary to the common misbelief, measles never went away as it is one of the most contagious and virulent illnesses in the world.
The central purpose of the given article is to help people to understand the nature of the extremely dangerous disease by showing its most important characteristics and providing all information that can be useful to individuals who do not realize the real threat associated with measles. In such a way, LaFrance writes for a broad audience that includes people from various social groups as all populations can be affected by it. The article can be taken as a response to the outbreak of this illness and the appearance of debates about vaccination and its impact on the quality of life.
The author has a clear and reasonable position regarding the discussed problem. For instance, she states that “measles killed some 2.6 million people each year before vaccination was widespread, according to the World Health Organization” (LaFrance, 2015, para. 2). Moreover, even today, it continues to kill as about 145,000 individuals die from it every year (LaFrance, 2015). Using these numbers, LaFrance appeals to logos as she wants readers to understand the real scope of the problem and realize that it remains lethal and should be given significant attention.
Another example of the appeal to logos is the author’s cogitation about the history of the disease and change in attitude to it. With the development of vaccination and the popularization of this practice, many people acquired the false idea that measles has gone, and the world will not face this threat anymore (LaFrance, 2015). Unfortunately, it remains extremely endemic and dangerous to various populations. Moreover, LaFrance emphasizes the fact that it is one of the leading causes of death among young children worldwide (LaFrance, 2015). These facts make her appeal to logos extremely powerful as they make readers reconsider their attitude to measles and think about the disease from another perspective.
The article also contains some appeals to pathos to make the arguments stronger. LaFrance (2015) states that another danger that often comes with measles is the lack of experienced specialists who can recognize and treat it. She says that today, there is a new generation of health workers who have never seen a patient with measles or who have never diagnosed or treated this cohort of clients (LaFrance, 2015). In this way, the writer addresses people’s fears of being mistreated or provided with interventions that might be not effective enough to discover the disease in its early stages and assist people in their recovery. Accepting the fact that the chance for mistreatment remains high, this reference becomes extremely potent and helps the author to justify her position.
Insisting on the necessity of vaccination, LaFrance also appeals to ethos by referencing CDC recommendations regarding this process and its safety. In accordance with the existing guidelines, immunization remains extremely safe and can protect people from being affected by measles (LaFrance, 2015). The majority of cases in the USA are related to people returning from areas where the threat is not recognized and not given appropriate attention.
One of the main drawbacks of the given article is the absence of the opposite opinion on the discussed issue. Providing another perspective on the problem and refuting them, the author can sound more convincing as in the majority of cases, readers want to know all possible approaches to some questions and consider them when making a final decision. For this reason, the absence of dialogue with the opponents of the author’s position makes LaFrance’s argument weaker.
Altogether, in the article “The New Measles,” the author manages to make a good argument about measles and the threat, it might pose to contemporary society. LaFrance provides credible statistical information and appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos to justify her position and make readers think about the given disease and ways to avoid it. Some flaws found in the paper are not critical for the understanding of the main message of the writer as she uses various pieces of data and reliable facts to justify the need for vaccination. Being one of the leading causes of death worldwide, measles remains one of the most dangerous and extremely virulent illnesses in the world, which should be given attention and struggled to ensure the high quality of people’s lives.
LaFrance, A. (2015). The new measles. The Atlantic. Web.