Measles in Disneyland
After an uncharacteristically high number of measles cases in late 2014, the highly publicized California measles outbreak hit the media early this year. Linked to Disneyland Resort Theme Parks in California the outbreak quickly became a multi-state public health incident that resulted in a total of 147 cases. Cases related to this outbreak were identified in seven states in the U.S., as well as Mexico and Canada.
Attention to this outbreak was further fueled by the interest surrounding vaccinations. Among the reported measles cases, the majority of patients were unvaccinated or had an unknown or undocumented vaccination status.
Why a Measles Outbreak in the U.S. is a Big Deal
In 2000, the United States declared that measles was eliminated from this country. The elimination of measles in the U.S. was due to a highly effective measles vaccine, a strong vaccination program that achieves high vaccine coverage in children, and a strong public health system for detecting and responding to measles cases and outbreaks.
Before a measles vaccine became available in 1963, 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected with measles each year, resulting in an estimated 48,000 hospitalizations and 400 to 500 deaths. Most people in the U.S. today are protected against measles through vaccination, so measles cases are uncommon compared to the number of cases before a vaccine was available. However, the risk of measles re-establishing itself as a prominent disease in the U.S. is possible—especially if vaccine coverage levels drop.
Read the full article here