I Was on the Front Line of L.A.’s Last Measles Outbreak

Why Doesn't Anyone Remember the 12,000 People Who Got Sick, or the 600,000 Vaccine Doses We Gave Out 25 Years Ago?

vaccine research

When it comes to diseases, we never seem to worry until they capture the attention of the media or affect us personally. Today, as new cases of measles turn up in California, I feel a sense of dread—and déjà vu.

Between January 1988 and December 1990, Southern California saw 12,434 cases of measles. Los Angeles County was the first to report its problem in what became a statewide epidemic where 75 people died after developing complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis. In two of those three years, the federal …

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