a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Measles vs Disneyland

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Measles vs Disneyland

SUMMARY: Idiots don't vaccinate, and now we have this media frenzy and what could be a health catastrophe.

A personal journey into measles--

November 2009:
Friend comes from Australia to do Disneyland. We make plans to meet again in 5 years and do it again.

Jan 2015:
Tickets are purchased, plans are made, friend arrives from Australia for the first time since then  specifically for that planned Disneyland trip. But braces yourselves--

From AP:

"While still a scourge in many corners of the world, measles has been all but eradicated in the U.S. since 2000 because of vaccinations. But the virus has made a comeback in recent years, in part because of people obtaining personal belief exemptions from rules that say children must get their shots to enroll in school."

From AP, Jan. 23, 2015 (that would be yesterday):
"A major measles outbreak traced to Disneyland..." [starting in mid-December] ...[has sickened 70 people, most traced back to Disneyland.] "To control this latest outbreak, those who are not vaccinated were warned this week to stay away from Disney theme parks."
"Disney employees who have no proof of immunization and may have come into contact with sick colleagues were placed on paid leave until they are given the medical all-clear."

From CNN, Jan 22:

Forty-two of the state's 59 measles cases since December can be linked to initial exposure at Disneyland and the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California Department of Public Health officials said. 
Since Friday, California's public health department had been saying the disease linked to Disney was over. 
But on Wednesday, Kathleen Harriman, chief of the Vaccine Preventable Epidemiology Section for the state public health department, said the most recent case was diagnosed, in a park employee, on Sunday. 
This outbreak, health officials said Wednesday, is ongoing.
Read more: http://www.kpho.com/story/27908793/outbreak-of-51-measles-cases-linked-to-disneyland#ixzz3Po73Q900

From USA Today:
A quarter of the patients in this outbreak have been hospitalized.
Measles is damaging and deadly. From the Immunization Action Coalition:
The 1989–1991 measles outbreak in the U.S. resulted in more than 55,000 cases and more than 100 deaths. In the United States, from 1987 to 2000, the most commonly reported complications associated with measles infection were pneumonia (6%), otitis media (7%), and diarrhea (8%). For every 1,000 reported measles cases in the United States, approximately one case of encephalitis and two to three deaths resulted. The risk for death from measles or its complications is greater for infants, young children, and adults than for older children and adolescents.
From a friend:
"Measles is THE most infectious disease known."
From the IAC again:

How contagious are measles, mumps, and rubella?
Measles is highly infectious. It is primarily transmitted from person to person via large respiratory droplets. Airborne transmission via aerosolized droplets has been documented in closed areas (such as an office examination room) for up to 2 hours after a person with measles occupied the area. Following exposure, more than 90% of susceptible people develop measles. The virus can be transmitted from 4 days before the rash becomes visible to 4 days after the rash appears.

 And IDIOTS continue to not vaccinate.  Back to AP:
The vast majority of those who got sick had not gotten the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine.
From the CDC:
"You do NOT need the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) if you had BLOOD TESTS that show you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella."
Well, that's scary--how quickly can I get a blood test done?

... But wait--

From the LA Times:
 "Do I need a shot if I had the measles long ago?
A: No. "The people who had measles a long time ago, there's good evidence they're protected for life. The only exception to that is if they got it in the first year of life," said Dr. James Cherry, a UCLA research professor and primary editor of the Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases. Virtually all people born before 1947 would have had the measles, Cherry said."

(That last sentence-- wow.  We don't realize how lucky we are that the vaccines were developed.)

From my baby book:
April 26, '62. Came home from school with fever of 102. 4 days later, developed measles rash. Maximum fever recorded--104.5. Back in school after 2 weeks.
From my doc, when I asked about whether I shd get a blood test anyway:
All patients born before 1957 even without clearly documented history of Measles are considered to be immune and do not need any additional immunization.
Well, there ya go, I had it "long ago" (doesn't SEEM like that long ago) and so I shouldn't need a blood test or a vaccine. Guess I'm going to DISNEYLAND!

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