California health authorities declared that the large measles outbreak in Disneyland is now over due to the fact that no new infections were reported in the last 42 days.
The highly contagious disease broke out at Disneyland in December and spread to Canada, Mexico and half a dozen of US states. Ever since then the disease detectives have tried for months to control the disease.
147 people were infected, among which 131 were from California. Fortunately, the outbreak did not take any lives. The 42 days represent 2 incubation periods. Since no other case of measles was confirmed during this period this means that outbreak can be declared over.
Epidemiologist and deputy director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health, Dr. Gil Chavez, said that the fact that the outbreak has passed is a very important accomplishment.
The main reason why the outbreak started was the fact that many people were not immunized and consequently fell ill. Some of the people who were affected by the disease mentioned some personal reasons for which they did not want to vaccinate and others where too young to get the shot. ‘
After the Disneyland incident state lawmakers plan to introduce bills which would not allow parents to avoid vaccinating their children. However the proposed legislation led to controversy and the vote was postponed until next week.
Dr. Chavez explained that certain communities need higher vaccination rates. He believes that if the rates were higher such outbreaks would not occur. According to him the increased degree of non-immunization makes people so susceptible to outbreaks like the one at Disneyland.
James Cherry, specialist in infectious diseases from the University of California, believes that the outbreak could have been more serious, but it was not the case thanks to the prompt reaction of the publish health representatives. They successfully managed to track down thousands of people who had the possibility of being exposed to patients infected who had measles and they also put the sick persons under isolation until they were healthy again and there were no risks of spreading the diseases.
Although the outbreak was declared over, in the province of Quebec (Canada) there are 159 cases of people who are still sick. Most of them come from a religious community where the vaccination rate was very low.
Image Source: WSb Radio
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