Arizona officials have confirmed seven cases just days before the Super Bowl is held there.
With as many as 1,000 people across three Arizona counties potentially exposed to the measles, state public-health officials are asking people who think they may have come in contact with the virus to isolate themselves.
In addition, they are asking those who may have been exposed not to show up at doctors’ offices, emergency rooms or urgent-care centers, where others could be exposed to the highly contagious virus, which can linger in the air for two hours.
The possible exposure rate of 1,000 people is tied in large part to those who may have come in contact with 195 children who Maricopa County health officials say were exposed to measles between Jan. 20 and 21 at the Phoenix Children’s East Valley Center in Mesa.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 84 people in 14 states were diagnosed with measles from Jan. 1 through 28. Most were infected either at Disneyland or by someone who went there.
That means the USA had more cases of measles in January than it usually has in an entire year, says Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general. About 15% of measles patients have been hospitalized.
“This has the potential to get really huge. We don’t know how big this will get.”
Dr. Claire McCarthy, Boston Children’s Hospital.
Most of the infected people had not been fully vaccinated, she says.
Thanks antivaxxers! YOU did this. Dr. Steve Novella notes that this outbreak has the anti-vax contingency on the defensive when the inevitable has occurred, previously unheard of diseases have come raging back.
Measles kills 145,000 people around the world each year. For every 1,000 cases of measles, two to three people die and/or can develop pneumonia, deafness or encephalitis.
California is sending kids home from schools if they can not prove they are protected. Is this inconvenient? Yes. Necessary? Yes. This is SERIOUS stuff. Get vaccinated.
Super Bowl measles infection was also a concern in 2012.