Share this with anyone who doubts vaccines. The U.K. just eliminated measles.

37 years ago, vaccines drove smallpox into extinction. Polio is about to be on death’s doorstep. Now the U.K. can say it has added one more name to its personal kill list — measles.

According to a new report from the World Health Organization, Denmark, Spain, and the United Kingdom in 2016 successfully eliminated the measles virus.

The secret behind this achievement is something simple: vaccines and herd immunity.

It’s important to note that, as the WHO defines it, “elimination” doesn’t mean “completely wiped out.” There were still about 1,600 cases in the United Kingdom last year.

Instead, the WHO reports, the United Kingdom has “interrupted endemic transmission.” That is to say, enough people are vaccinated that even if someone does catch the virus, it’s effectively impossible for the disease to spread. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as herd immunity, and it didn’t happen overnight.

This is the culmination of a long, steady vaccination campaign.

Vaccination campaigns can sometimes face challenges — inadequate supply, unequal access to health services, and hesitancy or misinformation.

Still, the four countries of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) have managed to reach a 95% measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination rate in children younger than 5 years old.

While measles might sound relatively innocuous, it’s a serious, potentially deadly disease, especially for children. Measles can cause permanent hearing loss, encephalitis, and death. It can also cause babies to be born prematurely if a pregnant woman contracts the disease. Eliminating it is a big achievement.

The United Kingdom is not the first country to achieve this goal. According to the WHO, 42 out of 53 European countries have achieved elimination.

This news shows that with dedicated, sustained efforts, we can chase some of our greatest specters back into the shadows.

There’s still plenty to be done. The U.K. will need to keep up its high vaccination rates and keep the herd immunity strong, or else the disease may gain a foothold once again. But with the vast majority of European countries having now eliminated this disease, measles might soon be marching down the same path as smallpox.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/share-this-with-anyone-who-doubts-vaccines-the-uk-just-eliminated-measles

Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares her breast cancer diagnosis with a heartfelt call to action.

On Thursday, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced via Twitter that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Just 11 days after accepting her sixth straight Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, the “Veep” star shared her diagnosis with the world.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she wrote.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union,” she added. “The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

Each year, an estimated 231,840 U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will die. Early detection plays a huge role in reducing that number.

Breast cancer accounts for the second-most cancer-related deaths in U.S. women behind only lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Regular screenings — self-checks and with a doctor — can aid in catching the cancer at its most treatable point, early on.

In her call to action, Louis-Dreyfus sounds optimistic, urging her followers to keep fighting so that others have access to the same care she’ll be able to receive. While recent efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have fallen flat, we are far from having “universal health care.” 11% of women ages 19 to 64 in the U.S. don’t have any form of health insurance. While that number has fallen since the ACA’s implementation, it still means that millions of women are unable to access preventive care.

Thanks to a number of health centers around the country, such as Planned Parenthood, low-income and uninsured women aren’t left completely out in the cold. Unfortunately, these groups are frequently under attack from political opponents.

Louis-Dreyfus’s decision to share her diagnosis with her fans serves as a reminder that any of us can be hit by illness at any time — making the fight for universal care that much more important.

It’s never a bad time to call your members of Congress and let them know that you want to live in a world where everybody has access to the same care she has.

We wish Louis-Dreyfus the absolute best of luck going forward.

Louis-Dreyfus accepts the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series on Sept. 17, 2017. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/julia-louis-dreyfus-shares-her-breast-cancer-diagnosis-with-a-heartfelt-call-to-action

A terrible tweet about depression has the internet in an uproar.

On Sept. 7, 2017, kickboxer Andrew Tate tweeted that “depression isn’t real.”

“You feel sad, you move on,” he wrote to his 26,000 fans and followers. “You will always be depressed if your life is depressing.”

Andrew Tate is not a medical doctor, mental health professional, nor expert in any related field that would add weight to his (seemingly unsolicited) opinion on the subject. Yet, in a combative 13-part Twitter thread, the athlete argued his assertion is correct because he believes that people living with depression are simply “lazy” and will find any excuse to “absolve responsibilities” to feel better.

As is typically the case when you’re a well-known person spouting falsehoods on an important subject online, people reacted — and fast.

Musician Alex Gaskarth noted making such ill-informed declarations without understanding the issue does harm to real people.

Entrepreneur Vikas Shah pointed out Tate’s tweets reflect how stigma surrounding mental illness keeps people who are struggling from accessing care.

J.K. Rowling — who has butted heads with Tate on Twitter before — suggested the boxer’s tweets say more about his own mental well-being than about the science behind depression.

Comedian Patton Oswalt, who lives with depression, blasted Tate’s initial tweet as “false,” claiming it reads more like an “energy drink tagline” than anything else.

Other users, like Josh Peterson, used the opportunity to spread awareness on the issue and share resources to access help, should anyone reading need them.

(You can check out the full list of Peterson’s helpful links here.)

Tate shared his unfortunate tweet thread just a couple days before World Suicide Prevention Day, so what better time to follow Peterson’s lead here and revisit the facts on what depression is and isn’t?

Depression is unequivocally real.

Or, as the Cleveland Clinic puts it: “[Depression] is a medical problem, not a personal weakness.” We’d never tell someone with cancer to simply think themselves into healing — why would we do so when it comes to depression?

Research shows a combination of faulty mood regulation by the brain, stressful life events, and genetics (among other factors) can all play a role in causing depression, Harvard Medical School emphasized. Contrary to Tate’s assumptions, science has shown us that it’s not a fleeting emotion; it’s a real medical condition, and there’s no real “cure” for it.

The good news is, seeking treatment does help millions of people manage and live happy lives, even with depression.

Many people routinely see therapists, use medications, and prioritize stress-relieving habits (like exercising or getting adequate sleep) that help them stay on top of their mental health.

If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, depression is a relatively common disorder: about 1 in every 6 American adults will experience depression at some point in their lives. Millions of people can relate to what you’re going through, and many of them are ready to step in and help.

Treatments for mental illness like therapies or medicines (or a combination both) are lifesavers. If you want help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or visit the American Psychological Association to learn more.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-terrible-tweet-about-depression-has-the-internet-in-an-uproar