Measles Outbreak in Los Angeles

Salma Almoradi, Photojournalist

Measles, or rubeola is an infection caused by a virus that is most common in children. This illness can be fatal, which is why it is important to get  vaccinated against it. It kills more than 100,000 people a year. This disease is highly contagious and some symptoms can include a fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, and rashes.


Towards the end of the month of April 2019, public health officials declared that there has been an outbreak. This is a first time in a while that there has been an outbreak growing so rapidly in a metropolitan area. It was stated by the Public Health Department that the transmissions are the first confirmed in the county this year. Also, it is believed that additional exposures may have occurred at Los Angeles International Airport, at several buildings on the University of California, Los Angeles campus, at a library at the California State University in Los Angeles, as well as several restaurants near Glendale.


Nationwide, there has been more than seven hundred cases confirmed, which is the highest it has ever been since the year of 2000. Forty three of them being in California so far, the number is expecting to grow. Because of the number is growing so quickly in New York- currently around four hundred and forty- the mayor is requiring people to get the vaccination for it if they haven’t already. California already has passed a law requiring all school children to get their vaccinates unless medically told not to after the measles outbreak in Disneyland in Anaheim in the year of 2015.


However, a major part of this problem is due to people refusing to get  vaccinated. Although it is beneficial to take the vaccination in order to be immune to the disease, it could cause many side effects. For example, a fever could occur, a rash and swelling. There are some less common side effects  which include; pain or stiffness in the joints, seizures, and low platelet counts. In addition, some people with certain cases are not recommended to take the vaccine. Someone who is pregnant or has life threatening allergic reactions, a low immune system, HIV, cancer, low platelet count, or blood transfusion should not take it.


While talking about the matter with Erica Casillas (12), she mentions how her mother always had her get one because “she doesn’t want to risk anything no matter what.” However, Erica also mentioned that her cousin does not take it due to having a weak immune system. Clearly, it truly just depends on the individual person whether or not to take vaccinations. Hopefully, this outbreak is resolved soon in order to prevent an epidemic from occurring.