A 2014 AP-GfK survey found that only 53 percent of Americans were confident that vaccines are safe and effective, which is similar to the proportion who believe that houses can be haunted by ghosts. I don't need to make the case about how harmful these beliefs are -- it's been done plenty of times before, and moreover studies show that arguing with anti-vaxxers only makes them more confident in their beliefs.
But the latest CDC data illustrate the troubling resurgence of a disease that, as of 2000, had been declared eliminated. Anti-vaxxers are quite literally turning back the clock on decades of public health progress.
Correction: An earlier version of this post mis-stated the number of Americans confident in the safety of vaccines. It is 53 percent, not 51 percent.