measles-1660x1940Just three months ago, Americans were terrified of Ebola. Remember that? Most of us expected a mass outbreak. One in three people worried that a relative would get sick. Nearly 80% of Americans — 80%! — even wanted doctors and nurses that treated Ebola patients to be locked into quarantines, despite lack of medical evidence. Of course, a mass Ebola outbreak in the United States never materialized. But a major measles outbreak is already here. And it’s only going to get worse. “We have had, in two and a half weeks, as many cases [in California] as we had in all of last year,” Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist for California, said on Wednesday. “From this particular outbreak, we can expect to see additional cases.” Chavez was discussing the measles outbreak that began at Disneyland in December, with at least 70 people now infected. It’s a vivid reminder that, when it comes to infectious disease, a small world isn’t so great after all: Some of these measles infections are “secondary” cases, or people who got sick after the initial group of infected people dispersed across the nation. But as Chris Ingraham’s Wonkblog graphic above illustrates, America’s been grappling with a bigger problem; the number of measles cases in the United States had been skyrocketing for months. In that context, the Disneyland outbreak is a symptom of a chronic public health issue, not the cause. What’s going wrong? Blame the usual culprits: Ignorance and fear-mongering. Forbes