Measles Hits Canada in Disneyland Outbreak

Jae C.Hong/AP
Jae C.Hong/AP

Measles continues to spread internationally, with ten cases now appearing in Quebec, Canada connected to a California outbreak, according to a Feb. 11 report by the Public Health Department (PHD) of the Agency for Health and Social Services of Lanaudière.

The Canadian public health release fell short of specifically relating the outbreak to the Disneyland cases, but did state: “the first cases contracted the virus during a visit to a park in California, where other cases have been reported.*”

In California alone, 110 cases of the disease have been reported since the initial December 17-20 outbreak at Disneyland theme park as of February 11, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Magic Kingdom is cited as the source of the outbreak, with 39 cases believed to have stemmed from an initial source at the park.

A smaller, secondary outbreak is believed to have occurred in mid-January. A four-month-old baby Mobius Loop, recently developed symptoms of the disease approximately two weeks after a January 18 trip to the park. He was confirmed to have contracted measles shortly after his parents observed a rash.

Measles is typically contagious four days before and four days after a rash appears. Children in the United States are recommended to start the two shot MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination beginning at 12 months of age.

The Quebec release stated, “It is important to remember that the ten cases are not vaccinated against measles, they are all linked and reside in the Lanaudière region.” It went on to note the immunization schedule of Quebec, which lists the measles vaccine as being administered between 12 and 18 months of age.

Reporting on a separate, unrelated case of measles in Canada, Sun News reported, “In 2014, nine cases of measles were reported in the province, a large leap from the previous three years when there were zero cases.” The Manitoba 11-month-old is believed to have contracted the highly infectious disease on a trip to India last month. The disease was considered eradicated in Canada as of 1998.

Measles was documented as having been eliminated from the U.S. in 2000 according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Outside of California, 16 additional cases of measles across seven states and Mexico have been connected to the Disneyland outbreak, according to the CDPH. Two of the connected cases were confirmed in Mexico. CDPH is no longer tracking cases outside of California. CDPH has stated that other states are not required to report to California and thus CDPH could not ensure complete and accurate reporting data for outside the state.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana

*The Quebec PDH statement was originally released in French, but was translated using Google Translate.


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