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 xsc on: May 27, 2015 Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community. auto and home insurance quotes comparison
Submitted by jams123 on: May 27, 2015 I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. seo in barcelona
Submitted by xs on: May 27, 2015 Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.Thanks. www.rebelmouse.com
Submitted by xsc on: May 27, 2015 Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. http://www.best-binaryoptionsbrokers.com/
Submitted by victer on: May 27, 2015 now free xbox live trial codes is available now you can download it
Submitted by jams123 on: May 27, 2015 Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you! gatwick airport parking
Submitted by Anonymous on: May 27, 2015 Folks make sure you will be it doesn't matter what comprehends your existing eye-sight internally guide omnipresent the complete second plan proposed you preserve look at. Commercial and Industrial air conditioners
Submitted by poker on: May 27, 2015 This blog could be the inspiring blog I ever seen! thanks for sharing :) sharing is sign of care :) Poker Uang Asli
Submitted by unterkunft usedom on: May 27, 2015 I think every business owner had a website or social presence on social website. This post showing the strength of farmer in a very decent way, thanks for sharing like this post keep it up.unterkunft usedom
Submitted by jack on: May 27, 2015 I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed baseball uniforms
Submitted by ninja303 on: May 27, 2015 this blog was really great, never seen a great blog like this before. i think im gonna share this to my friends.. Prediksi Bola: Dnipro vs Sevilla, Final Liga Eropa 28 Mei 2015
Submitted by asdasd on: May 26, 2015 I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often. how to get a girlfriend in college
Submitted by jams123 on: May 26, 2015 My family along with we sprang out keeping attempting to find this kind of evaluate however you will find small property or home. cheap backlinks
Submitted by asdasd on: May 26, 2015 I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.. rebelmouse.com
Submitted by jams123 on: May 26, 2015 I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts.blog comments
Submitted by unterkunft usedom on: May 26, 2015 This is an awesome post. Just one of the very best post I've ever seen. What a really good and awesome post. Keep up your work on articles.unterkunft usedom
Submitted by MOK11 on: May 26, 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. elo boosting
Submitted by wallens on: May 26, 2015 Great Article it its really informative and innovative keep us posted with new updates. its was really valuable. thanks a lot. e-liquid concentrates
Submitted by Ronika on: May 26, 2015 Great Post !! Very interesting topic will bookmark your site to check if you write more about in the future.!! kala jadu
Submitted by muzammil on: May 26, 2015 it's really nice and meanful. it's really cool blog. Linking is very useful thing.you have really helped lots of people who visit blog and provide them usefull information.elo boost

Leave a Comment


Enter this word:

In This Section