WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Officials say parents instrumental to preventing measles spread

Parents instrumental to preventing the spread of measles | Courtesy of nature.com
U.S. health professionals say parents are crucial to preventing a measles outbreak, as children must be vaccinated to stop the disease from spreading.

Over 130 measles cases have been confirmed in California since December. Most correlate with an outbreak from Disneyland, and most of the people who contracted the illness were not vaccinated for measles. Measles was previously believed to be eliminated in the U.S., and officials the have traced this outbreak to foreign travelers.

“A high number of cases are in three major Southern California counties: Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego,” Children’s Hospital Los Angeles infectious disease specialist Michael Neely said. “There are also additional cases that have spread throughout the United States, so in total we had more than 100 cases in the first month of 2015. Usually, we have about that many cases within the U.S. in the entire year. We are well on our way to the largest outbreak that we have had in years, ever since the vaccine has been introduced.”

Experts maintain that the best way to prevent contracting measles is to receive the vaccination.

“The anti-vaccine movement has led to the highest number of people who have not been vaccinated against measles since the vaccine has been introduced,” Neely said. “So we have a larger percentage of our population now who are unfortunately susceptible to this infection. Again, because it is so infectious, it is easy for anyone who does not have immunity against this virus to become symptomatic to develop this disease when they encounter this virus.”

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Children?s Hospital Los Angeles 4650 Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90027

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