A new case of measles caused the shutdown of a Santa Monica High School day care center Monday after one of its infant attendees was diagnosed the disease. The current outbreak began in California’s Disneyland theme park with 74 of the 107 recent cases linked to the Magic Kingdom point of origin.
Last week the same school reported another confirmed case of the measles, caught by the Samohi freshman baseball coach. A release from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District that reported the coach’s sickness followed with additional encouragement for parents of unvaccinated children to update their children on all immunizations. The release also informed parents that if any of the baseball team members had contact with the infected coach and were not immunized, those students would have been required to stay out of school for the 21-day measles incubation period.
President Obama negated the concerns of parents who chose not to vaccinate their children in an NBC News interview airing Monday, saying, “”We’ve looked at this again and again. There is every reason to get vaccinated, but there aren’t reasons to not.”
Parents have expressed concerned over potential harmful and even permanent side effects of vaccinations. Though serious side effects are rare, the Centers for Disease Control has documented deafness, long-term seizures, permanent brain damage and serious allergic reaction among potential side effects to the measles vaccine. Some parents have also expressed concerns over an alleged connection to autism, while a number of medical professionals refute the connection.
A recently released study of electronic medical records in northern California for immunizations turned up a trend of under-vaccination among graduate-level educated households, as well as in low-income communities.
As panic has grown over the recent outbreak, public health officials have implored even previously immunized adults to obtain a measles vaccine booster.
In 2000, public health officials declared measles eliminated in the United States.
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