Karen Belz
Updated Feb 20, 2018 @ 2:58 pm

If you’re on the fence about vaccinations, here’s some news from Europe that may make you change your mind. Due to some parents opting to skip vaccinations for their children, measles cases are on the rise in a big way.

Back in 2016, there were 5,273 reported cases of measles in Europe, according to an article by Fortune. Just a year later, 21,315 cases were reported, with 35 of them resulting in deaths that could have been prevented. Out of Europe, the most cases occurred in Italy and Romania, with Ukraine coming in third with just under 5,000 cases alone.

Measles was considered to be incredibly rare after the vaccine was introduced in the 1960s. Primarily affecting children, it spreads easily once someone is infected. Since babies often get their first measles vaccination between the ages of 12 and 15 months, they may be in danger until that point if they come into contact with someone who’s contagious. Measles symptoms may appear similar to the common cold, such as a sore throat and runny nose, but also include a red skin rash.

Here’s the good news — in the United States, the number of patients who are annually admitted with measles is still relatively low. Typically averaging around 60 cases per year according to Mayo Clinic. The number for 2017 was 118.

However, just like it did in Europe, the number may rise if U.S. parents refuse to vaccinate.

The good news is that Europe is well-aware of the setback.

We hope that misinformation on the dangers of childhood vaccination finally comes to an end — for all our sakes.