World health officials are worried that measles may be making a comeback. During the first six months of this year, Europe alone reported more than 41,000 cases of the disease. Thirty-seven victims died.
Contrast that with U.S. statistics: This year, there have been just 107 instances of measles here. There were no deaths. (The last, a single fatality, was in 2015.)
Many of the European deaths are linked to health care disruptions due to violence in places such as Ukraine, which has had 23,000 measles cases this year.
But according to analysts, failure of many European parents to have their children vaccinated against measles played a role, too.
Worldwide, measles remains a scourge. It was not until 2016 that the global death toll dropped below 100,000 annually, at 89,780.
Our experience in this country has been unusual because the vast majority of parents do have their children immunized. But to guard against outbreaks, a 95 percent vaccination rate is required, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Junk science — some of it fabrication — persuades some parents vaccines are dangerous. In truth, they save lives. If your child has not been immunized, consider the statistics from Europe.