Last Week In Disneyland: Measles

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

By Rachel Miles

On Friday January 23 CNN released the report that a case of measles that broke out in Disneyland in California during mid-December is, in fact, not over but is quickly spreading once again. Currently, public health officials are claiming that if someone has received the vaccination, they ought to be safe from contracting the disease. Health officials continued to say that if children are not vaccinated, keep them away from areas known to have recently held infected persons with Disneyland as the prime location. As of Jan. 23, over eighty percent of the measles cases could be directly related back to the theme park, with the others in question possibly being from the same source.

Measles is a virus that is spread through the air, making it easy to spread in the congested theme park that is Disneyland. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is a respiratory disease whose beginning symptoms are: fever, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and red eyes. These symptoms, as is the case is with many of the recent disease scares, can range from anything from the common cold to Ebola. However, while these symptoms may not be Measles, those with concerns are highly encouraged to visit their doctors as the next symptom is a highly unpleasant full body rash. Yet most of those affected by the outbreak, about eighty percent, were those who were unvaccinated either by choice or because of age.

By Jan. 28 the number of cases had risen up to ninety-five, again with about eighty percent directly related to Disneyland.  The related cases have now been recognized not only in California, but also in Arizona, Utah, Washington, Nebraska, Oregon, Colorado, and in Mexico. It is now encouraged on the Western half of the country that those who have not been vaccinated for measles remain out of highly concentrated areas such as airports and shopping malls because of the contagious nature of the disease.

The measles disease is not usually fatal, and in California only about one in four cases have been hospitalized. However, to get ahead of the outbreak, many students who have not been immunized have been asked to stay home from school in California. However, while there is one questioned case in Michigan, the outbreak does not seem to have reached too far from the west coast. Despite this, people are encouraged to avoid crowded areas when possible, to wash hands often and report any concerns to a doctor.