(KAIT) - When was the last time you knew someone who had smallpox? If you're old enough to remember, it's been a while. It was eradicated in 1977.
How about polio? It's been a while since anyone has seen a case in the United States.
That's because of advancements in medicine, including vaccines that prevented the spread of those diseases.
We are on our way to eliminating other diseases like rubella and measles, I say, on our way. We as a human population are all that stand in the way.
Warning: we are going to show a picture that you may feel is too graphic, but we feel is important to make a point.
As I mentioned, the last case of smallpox was 42 years ago. That's not that long ago.
Here's a picture taken in 1973 of a little girl in India with smallpox.
As a parent, I thank those who eradicated this terrible disease.
I also mention we are all that stand in the way of eradicating measles. There are several outbreaks in the U.S. right now.
Most of the outbreaks center around people who refused to get themselves or their kids vaccinated.
We can debate the side effects, but when the world's medical community is shouting from the rafters for everyone to get vaccinated it's surprising how many people feel like they understand more about vaccinations than those who've been studying deadly diseases for years.
We are all entitled to our opinions, but not our own facts.
The fact is vaccinations have saved hundreds of millions of people. There are hundreds of millions more to save through vaccinations. Just ask the Centers for Disease Control - they'll tell you.
We are not isolated here in Region Eight.
We have a special report airing Thursday night at ten about why some of us aren’t getting our needed vaccinations and what’s at stake.
We hope you’ll watch.