I Hate Measles


January 25, 2013 BY Dr. Natasha Burgert

2011 saw a dangerous resurgence of measles.

In neighborhoods throughout the world, people were getting sickened by this vaccine-preventable disease. And despite measles being declared eliminated in 2000, the US was no longer being spared.

Kansas City, where I work as a general pediatrician, was one of the 17 communities taking a direct hit. The incredibly contagious virus spread through the city in a haphazard, unpredictable way. Clusters of children were being exposed. Many were infected.

Some of the infected Kansas City children were my patients. They were in my care. These were my kids. And at the time of the virus’ arrival, these babies were all under 12 months. All too young to receive a safe, effective vaccine that could have prevented the illness.
 
The parents of my sick patients stayed awake all night with feverish babies, worrying about a rash that just kept spreading. Some infants suffered from complications and were hospitalized. Meanwhile, I was consumed with disbelief.

How could this be happening in my Kansas City?

The infections were meticulously traced in order to determine the source. My disbelief turned to rage when it became clear these children were infected from a likely vector. A young, unvaccinated person had traveled internationally, had become infected, and brought measles home.

My patients suffered from a vaccine-preventable disease because of someone else’s choice to not vaccinate their child.

The uncomfortable simplicity of this conclusion was haunting. The parents of my sick patients had made the right choice. They had vaccinated according to the recommended CDC/AAP schedule. Meanwhile, I had been on the front lines of vaccine education and awareness, continually partnering with families to protect children. And out of nowhere, measles arrived. It seemed to make a mockery of our efforts.

Measles, literally, came to my backyard.

Months after the successful recovery of my little patients, I was still reminded of my experience with measles. Every vaccine-hesitant parent, every measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, every baby with a rash all brought back a mix of emotions.

In time, however, I was determined that measles would not get the best of me, or my patient families. So, in the summer of 2012, I chose to actively respond to this experience.

For 12 weeks, I told my patient families about Shot@Life. I explained that a $5 donation would allow another child to be protected from measles for life. Just five bucks - and another child would be protected from a vaccine-preventable disease that had made children ill in our own neighborhood. The ihatemeasles project was born.



Throughout the summer, my patient families were overly enthusiastic at the opportunity to help. They proved it by demonstrating outrageous generosity. At the end of 12 weeks, we collected enough money to protect 1,348 children from measles. A grand total of over $6700.

ihatemeasles taught me 3 things:

  1. Many, many parents believe in the amazing protection of vaccines. They actively share the reasons why their own children are vaccinated, and promote that choice to their families and friends. They spend time on Facebook and blogs, correcting misinformation and redirecting to scientific research. They provide resources and tools to vaccine-hesitant friends, encouraging them to make a better decision. They are warriors on the frontlines of playgroups and playgrounds.

  2. Parents understand our global responsibility to protect children against vaccine-preventable disease. In KC, we had a very raw experience with the consequences of a connected, interactive, global community. Our own choices protect our children. In turn, those decisions also help our neighbors, our friends, and our world. Working together to vaccinate the world’s children is a reflection of responsibility, and mutual benefit.

  3. Parents are looking for a way to help. In fact, many families are hungry for a way to provide other children life-saving vaccinations. They want to invest in the health of children all over the world. They want to be able to share the privilege that their own child so easily receives. Maybe part of our job, as vaccine advocates, is simply leading them to that place. 

I am honored to be joining other vaccine advocates at the Shot@Life Champion Summit next month. In D.C, I will meet others who are on the front lines of patient care, social outreach, research, and legislation. We will learn from leaders in vaccine policy and awareness. And will be empowered with ideas for our own communities, and for our Nation’s legislative desks.

Together, we will continue to fight the good fight of vaccine awareness and action. And we will all be more powerful than ever.

 

POSTED IN: Champions, Parenthood, Partners, Supporters

Comments

Submitted by jams123 on: December 22, 2014 I don’t really know what I could did plainly hadn't encountered this kind of step this way http://www.ub-electronic-cigarette.co.uk
Submitted by Anonymous on: December 22, 2014 A good example of content presentation. A piece of information from you every now and then is really great. Everything was so well coordinated and looked so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. smart custom writing
Submitted by jack89 on: December 22, 2014 I had been on the front lines of vaccine education and awareness, continually partnering with families to protect children. And out of nowhere, measles arrived house movers boca
Submitted by Anonymous on: December 22, 2014 Every vaccine-hesitant parent, every measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, every baby with a rash all brought back a mix of emotions. lenovo k450 specs
Submitted by AFSD on: December 22, 2014 That is definitely your own initial check out usually we've been typically typically significant due to this web site due to this, view with regard to controlling this ability That is definitely your particular initial holiday break ordered your particular world-wide-web. You will end up presenting an amazing content material. Elite vanilla escorts
Submitted by jack89 on: December 22, 2014 I don't think his sense of proportion was as good as Wren's, but he was more imaginative and less prone to repeat himself. boca house movers
Submitted by jack89 on: December 22, 2014 I said just now scale of civilization - how are you this big treat your weakness and minority, how do you disagree inclusive dissident house movers boca
Submitted by Anonymous on: December 22, 2014 This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here! keep up the good work https://www.archive.org/details/girlfriend-activation-system-review/
Submitted by Anonymous on: December 21, 2014 They had vaccinated according to the recommended CDC/AAP schedule. Meanwhile, I had been on the front lines of vaccine education and awareness Sextreffen
Submitted by william on: December 21, 2014 Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. homeowner insurance quotes
Submitted by william on: December 21, 2014 I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. cheap auto insurance quotes
Submitted by Anonymous on: December 20, 2014 worrying about a rash that just kept spreading. Some infants suffered from complications and were hospitalized. girlsdoporn
Submitted by asdsad on: December 20, 2014 Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. There tend to be not many people who can certainly write not so simple posts that artistically. Continue the nice writing https://www.rebelmouse.com/hemorrhoidnomore/
Submitted by Anonymous on: December 20, 2014 Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks, I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link to this instead if thats cool. Thanks. https://rebelmouse.com/fattyliverdietguidereviews/
Submitted by jack89 on: December 20, 2014 so many destinations within the country and public transportation won't get them everywhere they want to go CPA boca
Submitted by jack89 on: December 20, 2014 You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. boca CPA
Submitted by baby gifts on: December 19, 2014 Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the last part : I care for such information a lot. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you baby gifts
Submitted by jackman30 on: December 19, 2014 vaccine education and awareness, continually partnering with families to protect children. And out of nowhere, measles arrived. It seemed to make a mockery of our efforts. https://www.rebelmouse.com/troublespottrainingreviews/

Leave a Comment

 

Nickname
Comment
Enter this word:

In This Section