vaccinations

Destination: Bulgaria. It's a small country in Eastern Europe, often overlooked by American tourists. But my husband's father grew up in Bulgaria, so it's long been on our travel list.

It's also on the list of countries with recent measles outbreaks. Bulgaria has had almost 800 cases this year, according to the World Health Organization.

Malaria drugs are failing at an "alarming" rate in Southeast Asia as drug-resistant strains of the malaria parasite emerge.

Updated at 4:33 p.m. ET Friday

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Thursday ending vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs, the latest attempt to address the growing measles outbreak, the worst the U.S. has experienced in decades.

Vaccination has become a dirty word at the Oklahoma Capitol.

Public health policies that drew little attention for decades are now so politically toxic that few lawmakers want to take a recorded vote on the issue. And fewer still feel comfortable talking about updates to the state’s vaccination schedule or getting rid of certain vaccine exemptions. Even bills mandating vaccine information for adults are shot down as they wend their way through the legislative process.

Imagine for a minute: A company makes a vaccine that protects kids from a life-threatening disease but, with little warning, decides to stop selling it in the U.S.

That's exactly what happened last year in West Africa, for a vaccine against rotavirus — a disease that kills about 200,000 young children and babies each year.

The number of new measles cases in the United States so far this year has hit 971, exceeding a record established 25 years ago that covered a whole year of new measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

The toddler looking up at Dr. Melanie Seifman in her Washington, D.C., exam room seems a little dazed.

It could be because she just woke up from a nap at daycare. It could be that she remembers the shots she got last time, and she knows what's coming.

The little girl is catching up on some vaccines she's behind on: missing doses of the DTaP and polio vaccines. She's over two years old — both of those shots are supposed to happen at a baby's six-month check up.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

Amid one of the largest measles outbreaks in the U.S. in recent history, vaccines are on the minds of many Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported this week that the number of measles cases this year has climbed to 839 in 23 states, affecting mostly unvaccinated people. Most people in the U.S. are vaccinated against measles when they're children as part of the routine immunizations they get in primary care.

On a Tuesday afternoon last month — a work and school day — more than 1,000 parents and children made their way to the state Capitol in Salem, Ore., bearing signs reading, "hands off our rights" and chanting "we do not consent!"

Like activists around the country this year, they had been mobilized by what for many is a noncontroversial fact of life: vaccines.

Americans could be forgiven for not knowing that much about measles. After all, it's been 51 years since an effective vaccine was introduced, quickly turning the disease from a common childhood experience to a rarity, and nearly two decades since the disease was declared eliminated from the U.S.

But outbreaks have surfaced throughout the country over the past few months, affecting more than 700 people.

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