The other day, during a visit to Portland, I hit my head badly enough to need stitches; I went to the ER only to pause, at the door, where an enormous sign asked patients with measles to don a mask.
Although I was still bleeding, I considered turning away. I had a seven-month-old at home, who was not yet eligible for his vaccine. Could I carry measles home with me? I didn’t want to know.
It felt strange to have to worry about this in 2019. A century and a half ago infectious disease was the leading cause of death in Americans, but nowadays mortality from infections is dramatically reduced, thanks not only to antibiotics and the sanitary revolution but to the advent of vaccines. Read More