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Total Number of Disney Measles Reached 67, Including Six Infants Who Were Too Young to Be vaccinated

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Image credit: Jon Delorey via Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

According to the California Department of Public Health, 59 residents in California have been infected with measles in addition to some related cases in Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Mexico, thus the total number of measles in 2015 has reached 67.

The ages of the patients in California are ranged from seven months and 70 years, among whom 28 had not been vaccinated at least. However, that was not attributed to their own choice, because six infants were too young to be vaccinated. Generally speaking, the first dose of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is applied to children who are 12 months or older, and the second dose would be given before they go to kindergarten at the age of five.

Among the confirmed cases, 42 have been closely connected with Disneyland or DisneyCaliforniaAdventurePark in OrangeCounty, including five park employees. Therefore, any staff has been required to stay home or present the necessary proof that they either have been vaccinated or are immune if they had contacted their measles-stricken coworkers. As Pamela Hymel of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts said, for the possible strict caution, the park authority has tried to provide vaccinations and immunity tests with help from the Orange County Health Care Agency.

As some unvaccinated students from a high school in the same county were asked to stay home for three weeks earlier this month, Deanne Thompson of the agency said, the special group of residents should be much concerned, such as infants who were too young to be immunized, people with other health problems and those who had not been vaccinated.

As a highly contagious viral disease, measles could be spread quickly through the air because of coughing and sneezing. The initial exposures happened in December, but some were infectious in January during their visits to the parks. Less than two weeks ago, nine cases were only identified in this outbreak with California as its center.

In addition, some patients have never been to Disneyland or any locations in which more travelers were congregates, for example, other amusement parks and airports, so the health department suggested that any patient with clinically compatible symptoms at this moment should be cautious about measles, which typically began with a fever lasting a few days, then being followed by coughing, pink eye, runny nose as well as a rash that would become obvious on the face, hairline, behind the ears, and the entire body in the end

Based on the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014 a record number of measles cases were confirmed in the U.S with 644 cases in 27 states. It was the biggest number of measles cases reported since its elimination was documented in the country in 2000.