Though it has faded from the headlines to some extent, new measles cases continue to be diagnosed in the US following a large, multi-state outbreak of the vaccine-preventable disease. Patients were initially exposed following visits to Disneyland, and satellite cases appeared across the country. What has not been discussed much is that satellite cases have also appeared in other countries that were exposed in California. The World Health Organization report "Measles-The Americas 2014-2015" also describes a fatal case in Brasil.
Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pushback against criticism of parents who choose not to vaccinate their children for nonmedical reasons has included arguments that "measles is not that bad a disease", and "only 1 or 2 in 1000 patients die" (called out in this excellent piece in Science Based Medicine). Excuse me, can you repeat that? "Only 1 or 2 in 1000 die"? One in 10, 1 in 1000, 1 in 1000000...if the "one" is someone you love, it doesn't matter one damn bit how many other people were left alive. This has to particularly sting if you chose not to vaccinate your child. This is an exceptionally cruel reality when your child is unable to be vaccinated (often due to age in the case of measles). In a circumstance such as measles where there is a safe, cheap, and easy way to prevent it? One is way, way too many.