An official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the measles outbreak that began in California’s Disneyland most likely came from overseas, either carried by a foreigner or an American who caught the disease. Currently, 94 people have been diagnosed with measles, two-thirds of which have been linked to Disneyland. Measles, a virus that had been completely eradicated from the United States in 2000, is the most highly infectious disease known, with a 90 percent transmission rate among those who are not immunized and come in contact with the virus.
“We don’t know exactly how this outbreak started but we do think it was likely a person infected with measles overseas,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “We assume that someone got infected with measles overseas, visited Disneyland park, and spread the disease to others.”
The majority of the diagnosed cases were in individuals and children who had not been vaccinated.
Though it was eliminated in America, measles is still common across the globe. Countries which continue to have a large number of cases of measles include France, the Philippines, Qatar, Dubai, Indonesia and Azerbaijan. Therefore, it is still important to be vaccinated at an early age in order to prevent potential contraction of the virus from foreign travel or travelers. Adults can also still get the MMR vaccine.
Unfortunately, an ongoing trend in the past decade has been to avoid having children vaccinated, for fear that the shots may cause autism. However, despite actress Jenny McCarthy’s public anti-vaccine movement, numerous studies have shown that such claims are false, and there is no link between autism and vaccines.
Officials firmly believe that the most important step in stopping the further spread of this virus is to get vaccinated.