There are two reasons people get diseases like measles, mumps and whooping cough. Either they don’t have access to vaccines, or for some reason, they refuse to take them. In this latter group we have anti-vaxxers like Jenny McCarthy, who thinks vaccines cause autism, and members of the Pakistani Taliban, who think vaccines are a CIA plot against Islam.
This video visualization, put together by the people at Good, shows seven years of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks. The underlying data comes from the Council on Foreign Relations, which recently updated its database of disease events (we first covered that here).
You can see that measles is the most widespread vaccine-preventable disease, followed by mumps and polio, and that the most serious outbreaks occur in Africa, China, and South East Asia. The most serious diseases in high-income countries are measles and whooping cough, with particular hotspots in California.
CFR has also added reports of attacks against vaccination health workers. They seem mostly to occur in Pakistan and Nigeria. “This map demonstrates that the resurgence of polio in Pakistan is strongly correlated with the increase of attacks on vaccinators and health care workers there,” says Laurie Garrett, CFR Senior Fellow for Global Health.