Measles Outbreak at Disneyland Hits California Anti-Vaccination Area

Sometime during December, somebody who likely caught measles abroad made a visit to one of the theme parks of Disney in California. They sneezed while there perhaps and that is likely all that it took.

That and because there are many people in California who have decided to not be immunized against measles.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control says measles is highly contagious. If one person had it, close to 90% of those close to the person who are not immune will also be infected.

The measles that began in Disney has put Orange County, California, a hotbed of the movement of anti-immunization, at the heart of the worst outbreak of measles in California in 15 years.

Since December there has been 62 cases confirmed statewide.

More cases that also originated in California spread to four states as well as Mexico.

In all, 70 have been infected, including five employees at Disney who are now back to work. Close to one quarter of the 70 who became sick needed hospitalization.

The outbreak across California is alarming health officials in the state so much that this week they warned all children less than 12 years of age and all those who are not vaccinated or otherwise immune to avoid visiting Disney parks.

The employees at Disney resorts who were in contact with the co-workers stricken with measles were asked to remain at home unless they are able to show they were vaccinated or prove via a blood test they that are immune.

The illness spread from Disney parks to 11 different California counties and to Washington, Utah, Oregon, Colorado and Mexico, said federal health officials.

The largest concentration, a minimum of 20 cases was confirmed in Orange County, which is where Disneyland is located as well as Disney Adventure Park.

That county is the center for a movement nationwide against immunizations based on them being linked to autism in a study that has since been discredited.

California requires its children to be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella but parents who do not believe in vaccinations can be given an exemption by signing a waiver based on personal belief.


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One Response

  1. Hand N. Yell says:

    Address these facts and I will no longer have concerns about vaccines:

    “Why the Press Shouldn’t Dismiss Vaccine Skeptics”

    …This wholesale demeaning of vaccine skeptics defies explanation. Granted, kooks and quacks exist in the vaccination field, just as they exist elsewhere. But why taint the skeptics as a whole, and fail to respectfully report dissenting views? No journalist would have had any difficulty finding dozens of distinguished skeptical scientists for the very few “rogue” scientists that the press has vilified.

    How hard, for example, should it have been for the press to notice the views of Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National Institute of Health, the former head of the American Red Cross, and the former Chair of the White House Cabinet Group on Biotechnology, one of several White House positions she held in service to three U.S. presidents.

    Dr. Healy criticized the public health establishment for being “too quick to dismiss [vaccine concerns] as irrational…The more you delve into it, if you look at the basic science, if you look at the research that’s been done in animals, if you also look at some of these individual cases, and if you look at the evidence… what you come away with is that the question [of vaccine safety] has not been answered.”

    Dr. Healy’s views would have been particularly easy to find because they were actually aired by one of America’s leading journalists Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News, in one of the rare instances in which the mainstream press fairly presented a skeptic’s perspective on the vaccine issue.

    Journalists should also have had no trouble finding Dr. Diane Harper, a lead developer of the controversial Gardasil vaccine and another interviewee of Attkisson’s. Dr. Harper believes this vaccine, which is being recommended for teens and pre-teens to combat cervical cancer, is less effective than the common Pap smear, and that it may harm more children than it helps. “Parents and women must know that deaths
    occurred,” she stated in arguing that parents need to know that they could be subjecting their children to needless risks.

    Journalists might have sought the views of skeptics among academics. At the University of British Columbia, for example, researchers Chris Shaw and Lucija Tomljenovic in the Faculty of Medicine state that the cervical cancer vaccine may lead to death among susceptible members of the population.

    Their views have been quite public, as were those of Professor Walter Spitzer of McGill University, considered Canada’s “dean” of epidemiology. In 2002 testimony to a U.S. Congressional committee hearing into the safety of various childhood vaccines, he matter-of-factly stated that, based on the evidence to date involving one of the vaccine combinations under scrutiny, “I cannot recommend it … for my own grandchildren.”

    Finally, journalists who place special stock in the credibility of
    government scientists might have noticed the views of none other than Peter Fletcher, former Chief Scientific Officer at the UK’s Department of Health.

    Dr. Fletcher was also the Medical Assessor to the Committee on Safety of Medicines, and thus the very person who determined for the UK government whether vaccines were safe. Dr. Fletcher has several times gone public with his concerns over vaccines, and with his frustration
    that “no one in authority will even admit [a vaccine-related problem
    could be] happening, let alone try to investigate the causes.”

    Those who are labelled as anti-vaccination rogue scientists are hardly
    rogues — they are found at the pinnacle of the medical establishment. And they are hardly anti-vaccination. All of the scientists that I mention in this article value vaccines for the great good that they can do. Their opposition is to mass vaccination of the population, which discounts the risk that people with certain predispositions can react badly to various vaccines, just as people with certain predispositions can react badly to various prescription drugs.

    Identify the vulnerable populations, the skeptics say, so that all can be confident when vaccines are administered. For this, they deserve our appreciation, not our ridicule.

    (By Lawrence Solomon, research director at Toronto-based Consumer Policy Institute, columnist, Huffington Post, Posted 01/06/2014 12:41 pm EST Updated: 03/08/2014 5:59 am EST)

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