Relearning the Horrors of Measles

February 6, 2015 3:00 PM

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Relearning the Horrors of Measles

I expected to battle rare and exotic diseases when I joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service as a disease detective in 2011. Instead, I fought outbreak after outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases as they spread through kindergartens, day care centers and even hospitals in the U.S.

In my first outbreak investigation, five newborns contracted whooping cough in a neonatal intensive care unit in Arizona. Coughing health care workers who had not been vaccinated against the disease exposed 40 sick babies to the bacteria.

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