The outbreak of measles in Orange County continues to spread, and has been linked to Disneyland. There are many questioning how this could happen, with many experts blaming the fact that people chose not to vaccinate their children against it. Many blame the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine for autism, and opted to avoid the possibility of causing the mental disability.
The L.A. Times states that confirmed cases of the disease has now risen to 16 within Orange County. Health officials believe that it will increase, with six current cases of measles still to be determined. The officials have also determined that the exposure of the six new possible cases did not occur from any of the Disney theme parks or due to contact with Disneyland visitors. So far, 10 of the cases have been linked to the California children’s theme parks.
While there are treatments available to help with the disease, health officials believe that prevention is the best option. Children should be immunized from it when they are old enough, and those with compromised immune systems should avoid contact with anyone with measles. The disease can become severe and require hospital treatment when those with compromised immune systems catch it. It can also be dangerous for pregnant woman and children too young to be immunized.
Those who believe they may have the disease should call their doctor first. Avoid exposing others to it, especially as the measles outbreak continues to spread in Orange County.
The outbreak has also spread nationwide and even across the border to Mexico. There are now 41 reported cases in California, according to an update from the California Department of Public Health. Six cases are out of state, with a 22-month-old baby in Mexico. The baby was visiting one of the Disney parks and was not vaccinated against the disease.
The planned actions of the health department are still unclear. It is expected that health experts will increase the number of awareness campaigns and encourage more to vaccinate against the disease. So far, the only statement released says that officials will “use all tools” they have available. The statement does touch on talking about vaccinations, including covering how safe the vaccines are for the health. There are more risks to people not neing vaccinated.
The law on vaccinations will also be covered. The California Health and Safety Code states that all children must be immunized against certain diseases before they can attend private and public elementary or secondary schools, family day care homes, nurseries, developmental centers and child care centers. This helps to keep all children safe within the area.
Measles is an extremely contagious disease. It is airborne, so can be passed just by being around people with it. This is why there is now so much focus on encouraging people to have their children vaccinated. Children should receive the MMR vaccine after they turn one, but there are some exceptions within the law that allow parents to opt out for their own beliefs. However, parents are encouraged to keep their children safe as the measles outbreak continues to spread in Orange County.
By Alexandria Ingham
Photo by Tom Bricker – Flickr License