Natasha Crowcroft, co-chair of the Measles and Rubella Partnership and senior technical advisor for Measles and Rubella at the World Health Organization, recently participated in an interview with Salon about the tendency of people to reimagine the history of measles in high-income countries as less deadly than it truly was.
In the article, Crowcroft shares that even in high-income countries where children are more likely to have access to good health care, 1 in 1,000 children infected with measles die from it, and 1 in 5 end up in the hospital. These risks are intolerable. “If I said one in a 1,000 people who eat this yogurt would get a severe allergy, that product would be off the market,” she said. “If you put it in any other context, people don’t accept these risks.”
Crowcroft emphasizes that today, measles is still a deadly disease with far-reaching and long-term consequences. She also provides hope: vaccination. “It’s a completely preventable death, and it’s preventable in two ways,” she said. “One is by being vaccinated, but the other way is by everyone being vaccinated.”
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