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Measles – Only One Airline Flight Away



This week we have been approached by a number of well-meaning parents and travelers over the hazards associated with various routine vaccinations. Indeed, no vaccine is 100 percent effective nor 100 percent safe. But let us pause a moment and consider the alternative: measles – the disease afflicting the child in this photo. Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease. In 1980, before widespread vaccination, measles caused an estimated 2.6 million DEATHS each year. Yet today’s the vaccine is effective. Between 2000 and 2012 alone, measles vaccination resulted in a 78% drop in measles deaths worldwide. Still, in spite of availability of this effective vaccine, in 2012 there were 122,000 measles deaths globally – about 330 deaths every day or 14 deaths every hour – among people who were never vaccinated. Now, measles is rare in North America. Why? Because we are most all vaccinated. But measles is common in Africa and SE Asia. It’s only one airline flight away – in either direction.

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