At one time, many children came down with the measles and mumps - and a substantial number suffered lasting physical damage from complications. Some died.
Then effective vaccines were developed and relieved parents made certain their children's "shots" were up to date.
But with success against the diseases and several others, many people assume the risk of catching measles or mumps is miniscule. So they don't pay as much attention to vaccination schedules. A few, misguided by a faked study years ago on mercury in vaccines, think saying no to them is good for their children. Some parents object on religious grounds.
Now we are paying the price for years of neglect in keeping children vaccinated. Outbreaks of both measles and mumps have hit Ohio. At last count, 215 cases of measles and 415 of mumps had been confirmed. More than half the mumps cases were linked to The Ohio State University.
Both outbreaks could spread to our area.
So, if you are a parent, we encourage you to check with a doctor about whether your child needs to be vaccinated. Even if you are an adult uncertain of whether you are protected, checking would be a good idea.