Tags: disneyland | measles | outbreak | infected

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Worsens; 26 Cases Now Linked to Calif. Park

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 04:20 PM

An outbreak of measles linked to Disneyland appears to be worsening.

The number of cases has risen to 26, and health officials are concerned about further spreading of the disease after a woman infected in the outbreak flew from Orange County to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The California resident in her 20s became contagious on Dec. 28, flew on Dec. 29, and wasn’t diagnosed until Jan. 8, the Times said.

Patients in Colorado also were exposed to the disease after a man who had visited Disneyland was treated for the disease in Colorado Springs. Two cases also have been confirmed in Utah, the newspaper said.

"This happened exactly where you would expect to see this happen — in a place where people from different parts of the country congregate in one spot," Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center, said, according to Forbes. "It’s not surprising that it happened in a southern California theme park because southern California over the past few years has had pretty woeful rates of vaccination."

Offit compared the outbreak to falling off a cliff in slow motion. He said the disease, for which there is no treatment, affected 3 million to 4 million people and caused about 500 deaths each year before the vaccine was developed.

Herd immunity helps protect children too young to be vaccinated and those with weakened immune systems by keeping the disease at bay, Forbes said. But immunization rates have fallen.

Some preschools in California have immunization rates below those in developing countries such as South Sudan, The Hollywood Reporter said.

More than 13,000 "personal beliefs exemptions" were turned in to California schools last year, informing the schools that parents were opting out of having their children vaccinated, CBS News reported.

"I think parents that have chosen not to vaccinate realize that they are taking somewhat of a risk, but it's a calculated risk," Rebecca Estepp, whose son had a severe reaction to a vaccination as a baby, told CBS News. "They may have seen a vaccine injury in their own families or by their own neighbors and they're just questioning."

Twitter users weighed in on the issue.








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An outbreak of measles linked to Disneyland appears to be worsening.
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2015-20-14
Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 04:20 PM
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