A lot of folks are talking about how we are seeing record numbers of measles cases this year, the most since we declared the end to the endemic spread of measles in the United States in 2000.
Believe it or not though, the record goes back further than that.
We have already seen the most cases since 1994.
That’s a 25 year record!
Remembering the Measles Epidemics of the 1990s
And trust me, we don’t want to surpass any records beyond that!
If we do break those records, reaching thousands of cases this year, then we will reach epidemic levels of measles.
And many of us who know what that means, remembering that there were 55,622 cases of measles and 123 deaths in the United States between 1989 and 1991, a time when we had good nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, and health care…
What else did we have?
A lot of unvaccinated kids!
But we learned our lesson, got more kids vaccinated, and eliminated the endemic spread of measles.
We even got to a record low of measles cases, just 37 cases in 2004!
Will we ever beat that record?
And then parents forgot how bad measles could be and that made it easier to believe in all of the misinformation of people like Andrew Wakefield, Bob Sears, Jenny McCarthy, and the new breed of anti-vaccine social media influencers who are scaring parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
Long story short, measles is back…
Fortunately, there are many people who remember and won’t let us repeat the mistakes of the past.
Many parents remember and they vaccinate and protect their kids.
Most pediatricians remember.
We remember and know that vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary. And we don’t want to wait until people start to die before more parents vaccinate their kids.
If you don’t remember what it was like when everyone had measles, read some of the stories below…
More on the Measles Epidemics of the 1990s
- VAXOPEDIA – What to Do If Your Child Is Exposed to Measles
- VAXOPEDIA – Everything You Need to Know About the Measles Vaccine
- VAXOPEDIA – Why Are You Still Worried About the MMR Vaccine?
- VAXOPEDIA – What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – Fun and Games with Measles?
- VAXOPEDIA – The Myth That Measles Isn’t Deadly
- VAXOPEDIA – When Measles Epidemics Would Close Schools
- CDC – Measles Cases and Outbreaks
- Ask the Experts about MMR
- Do You Remember the Measles Outbreak of 1989?
- I Was on the Front Line of L.A.’s Last Measles Outbreak
- The Philadelphia Measles Epidemic of 1991: Lesson from the Past or Prologue to the Future
- Why A Court Once Ordered Kids Vaccinated Against Their Parents’ Will
- Measles Outbreak Hits Colleges Where it Hurts
- Measles Cases Are Epidemic In the Region
- Measles epidemic from failure to immunize.
- A Family Struggles with Measles
- Measles stories
- My measles story: The importance of protecting the most vulnerable
- Study – The Measles Epidemic The Problems, Barriers, and Recommendations
- MMWR – Current Trends Measles — United States, 1989 and First 20 Weeks 1990
- MMWR – Current Trends Measles — United States, 1990
- MMWR – Measles Outbreak — New York City, 1990-1991