I had measles when I was a kid. It sucked. But I was lucky. We once had hundreds of thousands of cases a year in this country and hundreds of deaths. The disease has largely been conquered because of vaccinations. But now, it's starting to creep back, in part because of parents who have listened to ill-informed hysteria about a phantom link between the vaccinations and autism:
The Academy of Pediatrics has made educating parents about the safety of vaccines one of its top priorities this year. That's partly because busy doctors have grown frustrated by the amount of time they're spending answering parents' questions about things they read on the Internet or heard from TV talk shows.
Ah, the Internet -- all the information in the world, some of it even true.
I had whooping cough as a kid, too. Coupled with my asthma, it almost did me in. Thank God . . . oh, wait:
At least one outbreak this year of another preventable disease was blamed on lack of immunizations. At least 17 children were sick withat a private school in the San Francisco Bay area, and 13 were not vaccinated against the disease, which can be fatal to children.