Panic as Health Officials Urge Adults to Get Measles Vaccine

Vaccine (Associated Press/ Charles Rex Arbogast)
Associated Press/ Charles Rex Arbogast

Public health officials are raising their measles intervention alert, urging adults to consider a measles vaccine booster as California now reports 59 cases of the disease.

With a considerable incubation period for the disease, it is more than likely this number will increase in coming days.

Infected individuals began surfacing in considerable quantity in mid-December at southern California’s Disneyland theme park.

As the outbreak has grown in numbers, under-vaccinated students have been sent home from several California schools in an effort to suppress the spread of measles cases. Two dozen have been kept home from Huntington Beach High School alone, only one of which had contracted the illness.

A study of vaccination records in northern California found a trend that graduate-level educated residents and lower-income communities have been under-vaccinating their children. Parents are allowed to sign paperwork exempting their children from otherwise required vaccinations if they wish to not vaccinate their children.


Some parents have expressed concern over potential harmful side effects of vaccinations including deafness, long-term seizures, permanent brain damage and serious allergic reaction as documented by the Centers for Disease Control. Others have alleged a connection to autism while a number of medical professionals refute the connection.


An estimated 82% of measles cases identified in the outbreak and for which vaccination records were obtained, were not vaccinated for the disease, KTLA 5 reports.

Of the 59 measles cases reported in California, the California Department of Public Health notes that 42 have known links to the Disneyland outbreak. In addition, eight cases linked to the theme park have arisen between Mexico, Utah, Washington, Colorado and Oregon.

The highly contagious disease can remain active for two hours after an infected person coughs or sneezes infected droplets into the air.


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