Measles Spreading in Massachusetts

More

There's a measles outbreak in Massachusetts, probably thanks to low vaccination rates.


It's hard to believe, but we're sliding backwards on two of the three public health achievements of the 20th century: vaccination, antibiotics, and clean water.  Antibiotic resistance is a growing problem, one that we're partly inflicting on ourselves by rampant overuse.  And now vaccine resistance is spreading among parents who want to free ride on the herd immunity of others.  If these diseases were widespread, they'd be rushing to vaccinate their kids.  But they can delay, or forgo the vaccines entirely, thanks to other parents who are willing to risk their kids in order to do the right thing.  They're already killing little babies who catch pertussis before they can be vaccinated, and now measles has killed six people in France just since the start of the year.

I am against the death penalty.  I wouldn't even favor it for Andrew Wakefield.  But I would like to make him spend the rest of his life explaining himself to the parents of children who have died from diseases that could have been prevented through timely vaccination.
Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In