The Power of Vaccines
Via the NYT, Measles Deaths Fall to a Record Low Worldwide:
For the first time in history, annual deaths around the globe from measles have fallen below 100,000, the World Health Organization announced this year. As recently as the 1980s, measles killed 2.6 million people a year.
The decline — a public health triumph, as measles has long been a leading killer of malnourished children — was accomplished by widespread donor-supported vaccination that began in the early 2000s.
The estimated number of deaths fell to 89,780 in 2016, but the figure was released by the W.H.O. only in October.
These are truly astounding figures, and ones that put the anti-vaxxer movement into its shameful context.
Because measles is so contagious — one child can infect a dozen others in a classroom or at a playground, even before the telltale rash appears — outbreaks in any community or school can be prevented only by pushing vaccination rates to 95 percent.