Disney measles outbreak spreads

2015-01-24 09:58

(File) (Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - A measles outbreak around Disneyland in California has spread to six more US states and Mexico and an international visitor to the theme park likely sparked the health alert, officials have said.

Fifty-one confirmed cases of measles have been reported to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention since late December, the US government agency said, most in California but others as far afield as Nebraska and Washington states.

The CDC said those who had fallen ill were aged from 10 months to 57 and only a tiny fraction were vaccinated against measles, in the face of an anti-vaccination trend that has emerged in recent years, particularly in North America.

Opponents fear the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine causes autism, even though an array of studies have ruled out any link.

Infectious period

Measles has been officially eradicated from the United States since 2000 while remaining widespread in other regions including Europe, Africa and Asia.

"In addition to the US cases, one case was reported from Mexico in an unvaccinated child who visited Disneyland resort theme parks on 17 and 20 December last year," the CDC said.

While health officials have yet to isolate the source of the outbreak, "it is likely that a traveller (or more than one traveller) who was infected with measles overseas visited one or both of the Disney parks in December during their infectious period," the CDC added.

Hearing loss

Measles is highly contagious and can be spread through the air without physical contact. Infection usually begins with a fever followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis and a rash.

Complications can include blindness, hearing loss, pneumonia and death. One to two children of every 1 000 infected with measles will die from it, the CDC said.

Eradication means the disease is no longer native to the United States, but there were 644 measles cases in the US last year, an enormous jump from 173 cases in 2013.

Read more on:    us  |  health

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.