13-Jan-15 9:45 AM  CST

Measles Linked to the “Happiest Place on Earth”

The “Happiest Place on Earth”, Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure made headlines this week, and not for the typical reasons. Nine cases of measles have been positively linked back to the Disney theme parks. Public health officials in California and Utah have confirmed that a least 9 people who visited the parks between December 15th and December 20th have been positively diagnosed with the disease. California public health states there are an additional three cases in their state that are still waiting confirmation, but are expected to be linked back to the parks.

Measles, once a common childhood illness, has seen an insurgence in recent years, and health offices worry we could see more cases in the future. Measles, which is categorized as a respiratory illness, is an airborne virus and can spread quickly to those who have not been vaccinated or to those who, for one reason or another, have no immunity to the virus even though they have received vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), encourages people to vaccinate their children. For some a vaccination booster may be needed, due to the length of time that has elapsed since their initial vaccine.

2014 saw 610 cases of measles according to the CDC, the most since 2000. The symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat, followed by a red rash that begins on the face and travels to the trunk of the body. If symptoms such of these arise, individuals are encouraged to seek medical help as soon as possible. Those infected with the virus may be contagious for several days without showing any symptoms. Public health officials state the spread of the disease is largely related to a recent movement towards non-vaccination. Public health officials warn without proper vaccination diseases like measles that were once thought to be eradicated will once again become prevalent.

 

 

 

Resources:

Conlon, K., (2015) “Mickey, Minnie and measles for nine Disneyland tourist” CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/07/health/disneyland-measles/index.html, retrieved 10. January 2015

Hiltzik, M., (2015) “Anti-Vaccination update: How the measles crisis struck Disneyland”, Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-antivaccination-update-the-measles-crisis-strikes-disneyland-20150108-column.html, retrieved, 10. January 2015


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Source: Sandy Andrews  

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