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


Submitted by Anonymous on: October 13, 2015 I havent any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. The Venus Factor Review
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 10, 2015 I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. UK lae vehicle rental
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 9, 2015 I know your expertise on this. I must say we should have an online discussion on this. Writing only comments will close the discussion straight away! And will restrict the benefits from this information. publish academy review
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 8, 2015 Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot. Affilojetpack 2.0 review
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 8, 2015 I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Venus Factor Review
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 7, 2015 I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. autostop romani in uk
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 7, 2015 Hi! Thanks for the great information you havr provided! You have touched on crucuial points! UK Psychics
Submitted by asdf on: October 5, 2015 Nice blog and absolutely outstanding. You can do something much better but i still say this perfect.Keep trying for the best. Grapefruit Knife
Submitted by sdgsdg on: October 5, 2015 I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site. Wine Making Equipment
Submitted by Anonymous on: October 2, 2015 Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? www.memyfriends.com/
Submitted by Anonymous on: September 30, 2015 If more people that write articles really concerned themselves with writing great content like you, more readers would be interested in their writings. Thank you for caring about your content. nasir ilyas solicitor
Submitted by Anonymous on: September 29, 2015 Very useful info. Hope to see more posts soon!. Add Listing
Submitted by Anonymous on: September 29, 2015 This blog is so nice to me. I will keep on coming here again and again. Visit my link as well.. The Rich Jerk
Submitted by movietube download on: September 28, 2015 Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find so many useful info here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. movietube download
Submitted by Canada Goose Solde on: September 24, 2015 Nice Informative Blog having nice sharing.. Canada Goose Solde
Submitted by sky tv contact on: September 23, 2015 I am hoping the same best effort from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing skills has inspired me. sky tv contact
Submitted by Anonymous on: September 20, 2015 Wow, cool post. I’d like to write like this too – taking time and real hard work to make a great article… but I put things off too much and never seem to get started. Thanks though. Affilojetpack 2 Review
Submitted by Anonymous on: September 19, 2015 There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information. https://www.rebelmouse.com/thediabetesprotocolreviews/
Submitted by Fat Diminisher on: September 13, 2015 I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. Fat Diminisher
Submitted by Video Vibe Pro Review on: September 13, 2015 This is highly informatics, crisp and clear. I think that everything has been described in systematic manner so that reader could get maximum information and learn many things. Video Vibe Pro Review

Leave a Comment


Enter this word:

In This Section