and stupid, that enough people are so flagrantly scientifically illiterate that a disease that was declared virtually eliminated in the US as of 2000, has come roaring back due to people who have swallowed some kind of nonsense "purity of our precious bodily fluids" codswallop.
For a little bit of a primer on what vaccinations are--your body has a splendid disease-fighting mechanism called "anti-bodies". You make them if you've been infected with a disease and survive it. A vaccine provokes your body to have the antibodies that fight certain diseases to keep you safe from that particular infection. People have known how this basic principle of immunization works for over two centuries. That's a really long time in medical science-terms. We're getting good at it by now, and the MMR vaccine that prevents measles, mumps and rubella is incredibly effective. And is in no way proven to be associated with autism.
Measles, on the other hand, is a pretty awful disease, which is why science developed vaccination against it in the first place. Measles is associated with blindness, secondary pneumonia, encephalitis, and there have been cases of peripheral gangrene. Yes, that means really sick patients can lose limbs. Skin doesn't necessarily get just a nice, neat little rash and you pour on the calamine and so on, like with chickenpox, which everyone my age got. It's a dense rash and skin can split, like with the poor little guy in the picture above.
And measles spreads quite a lot because it's very infectious, and spreads more when people are stupid. Unvaccinated Americans, or under-vaccinated Americans, travelling outside of the country, are very likely to bring this disease here from travelling abroad. And when they come into contact with even more unvaccinated people, why--we have an epidemic on our hands!
In this day and age--this is so very stupid. Seriously--anti-vaxxers need to read better books and start vaccinating their kids. And people need to check their own immunization history and seek a booster shot if that's required for them--it isn't just about your own, personal choices regarding your own likelihood to get a disease. It's about not being a jerk who compromises your whole community's health.
EDIT: Mumps is coming back, too. That can make your kids sterile. As in ixnay on the andbabiesgray. Can we just all be a little more smart?