Measles Outbreak

Photo Courtesy of

Photo Courtesy of

Lily Rajaee, Photojournalist

How truly protected are you from getting the measles virus? Even though California has a generally high vaccination rate, many health officials are concerned with the growing number of cases found in certain communities.

The first outbreak of Measles cases began in California’s Disneyland, as numerous infectious patients were found to have all visited the theme park between the months of December and January. As of February 6th, the amount of cases hasd grown to 103 in California, 32 of which are from Orange County. Out of the cases of Measles around the United States, 92% are traced back to the outbreak that began in Disneyland. Understandably, this large amount of cases is alarming to concerned parents with small children. As thousands of tourists and visitors go to Disneyland each day, the Disney headquarters are assuring everyone that they are doing everything in their power to make sure their park is a safe environment for all. However, the infection is slowly beginning to spread to other American states.

Throughout the past twenty years, a growing amount of parents have skipped or delayed the recommended vaccinations for their children. Since Measles is one of the most contagious viruses, it is fairly easy to become contaminated if the virus lives in one’s surroundings. In more depth, Measles can linger in the air, infecting a non-immune individual even two hours after the person leaves the room. Amongst the controversy surrounding whether or not children should receive the Measles vaccination, it is apparent that non-vaccinated  children are much more prone to being affected from the Measles outbreak. Studies have shown that 97% of the vaccinations are in fact effective, a terrific rate of success from the point of view of health officials.

So what can Mustangs do to help the country in their movement towards treating and preventing the growth of Measles? In the next few weeks of February, Red Cross will be holding their Measles Initiative project in order to raise money for the cause. For every dollar raised by the Red Cross, a single vaccination will be paid for in order to protect society from the virus. Student Tianna White (10) comments, “I think that people should know that these diseases do in fact come back, and everyone should be more aware of the possibility of things like this happening.”

Certainly, people around the world should be educated about how to prevent and react to sudden outbreaks, such as the Measles.