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The California Measles Scare

Taken+from+http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fmeasles%2F
Taken from http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

Taken from http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

Taken from http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

By Max Rouhas

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Safety measures have been introduced to California communities after an outbreak of measles spread from the Disneyland California theme park. No one in Santa Barbara has been diagnosed with measles, however the fear exists that someone could arrive and easily infect the community.

Measles is a very contagious disease with symptoms such as coughing, sore throat, runny nose, inflamed eyes, fever, and a red skin rash that slowly covers the body starting with the face. Measles, also known as mumps or rubella, can easily be deadly, regardless of age. Reports of a measles outbreak first appeared last December from visitors of the Disneyland theme park in California. Currently, 133 people are battling measles now in California.

Students and school districts are concerned about the recent measles epidemic.

“It’s [vaccines] the only thing keeping a mass outbreak from happening,” said freshman Michael-Anthony Claytor.

The outbreak spread because some parents chose not to vaccinate their children against measles. Some parents are influenced by American model and television host Jenny McCarthy and others who believe that measles vaccines may lead to autism in children, a belief that has been disproven by many scientists.

In a population, 96 percent to 99 percent of individuals must be vaccinated to provide a low rate of disease outbreak, according to the Bioscience Technology website. The vaccination rate of infected populations in California, Illinois and Arizona is between 50 percent and 86 percent.

“I think ultimately each parent can make their own decisions but so far there’s been no actual proven evidence that these vaccinations are bad for us,” said biology teacher Chris Jones.

The Santa Barbara Unified School District issued a statement in January advising parents how to protect their family the measles outbreak. The statement also explained that the Public Health Department is tracking down people who have been exposed to the disease. The Santa Barbara Unified School District, the Public Health Department and the CDC all recommend getting vaccinations for your family as soon as possible.

“If they [non vaccinating parents] look back at history, these diseases that were vaccinating against were horrific, they caused a lot of major problems, and a lot of terrible things happened to children that had them,” said Jones. “So, I think if they really understood the history of these diseases, and they were well informed as to the actual science behind giving vaccinations, then I don’t think there would be as many people not vaccinating.”

In February the Hope Elementary School District took precautions and sent all the unvaccinated children home from school. The unvaccinated students are exempt from school and other on-campus programs for 21 days.

 

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The California Measles Scare