The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Tuesday May 24 that the number of cases of measles in the United States has dramatically risen during the first 19 weeks of 2011. The article was published online in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and states that there have been 118 cases of measles reported so far this year. This is the largest amount of yearly cases reported since 1996. The reported cases came from 23 states and New York City. During the years of 2001 to 2008, the average number of reported cases for the entire year has been about 56. Thus, in only the first 5 months of this year, the nation has seen more than double the average yearly reported cases. Of particular relevance, 105 cases (89%) occurred in individuals who had previously not been vaccinated against measles with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Forty-seven patients needed to be hospitalized as a result of their illness, and nine developed pneumonia. None of the hospitalized patients developed viral encephalitis or died as a result of their illness. Of the 118 reported cases, 105 cases (89%) were imported to the United States by travelers that had visited either Europe or Southeast Asia. In Europe, 33 countries are reporting outbreaks. In particular, France has reported an extremely large outbreak of more than 10,000 cases that included 12 cases of viral encephalitis, 360 cases of severe measles pneumonia, and six-measles related deaths. In the United States, the largest outbreak occurred in a Minnesota population where 21 individuals contracted the disease. In this particular community, many children have been unvaccinated due to parental concerns about the safety of the MMR vaccine and its link to autism. The National Autism Association has previously implicated the vaccine preservative thimerosal as a possible causative agent for autism. Thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines since 1992, and there has been no documented connection. In 1998, a British researcher named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published an article in the Lancet describing a supposed connection between the MMR vaccine and the development of intestinal symptoms and autism. He presented data obtain from 12 children that suggested that the vaccine was causative in the development of autism. After the controversial publication, compliance with MMR vaccination in England dropped to as low as 61% in 2003. Subsequently, there were several major outbreaks of measles occurring in inadequately vaccinated children. The authors have since retracted their publication, and the findings have been shown to be fraudulent and inaccurate. Despite this, parents on both sides of the Atlantic and throughout the world have embraced Dr. Wakefield’s theory. This inaccurate theory has led to the development of a formidable challenge to the vaccination programs of many countries, and has led to the resurgence of measles as a major world disease ounce again. Ironically enough, today marks the start of Autism One, a conference in which celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy will advance this inaccurate theory. Although the exact cause of autism is not know, there has been a significant amount of research showing that there is no connection to the MMR vaccine. Parents in the United States and throughout the world should trust in the safety of the MMR vaccine, and understand that there is no link to the development of autism or autism spectrum disorder. If the current trend of non-compliance with MMR vaccination continues, the health of the world will be put into jeopardy as measles makes a resurgence.