Measles has spread throughout the country, and now the number of reported cases is over 700. Health officials added more warnings about the potential severity of the disease as well as providing an updated count.

According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 704 people have been diagnosed with measles so far this year. The majority of these cases occurred in children under the age of 18 who had not been vaccinated.

The news comes as lawmakers in New York announced they are introducing legislation that would remove all non-medical exemptions from vaccine requirements for children in the state.

…“Measles is not a harmless childhood illness but a dangerous highly contagious disease,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a CDC press briefing on Monday.

About one out of every 1,000 children with measles will develop swelling of the brain, or encephalitis, which can lead to convulsions and leave the child deaf or with an intellectual disability.

For every 1,000 children who get the disease, the CDC estimates one or two will die from it. Measles can also cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-weight baby.

Last week, I reported that officials identified two Los Angeles area universities as potential exposure sites. Both institutions now have imposed quarantines on students who have not received vaccinations.

The Los Angeles branches of the University of California and California State University imposed the quarantine — which bars from campus all students and staff who can’t furnish proof of vaccination — after several people tested positive for the highly contagious measles virus. The schools said they’re trying to identify anyone the infected persons may have exposed.

“When Public Health identifies a person who has been exposed to measles and does not have written verification of two vaccination doses, they will be subject to quarantine of up to 21 days,” Cal State Los Angeles said in a statement. “This will be enforced by a Health Officer Order.”

The disease has traveled south, with the first case being reported in Orange County.

The Orange County Health Care Agency on Tuesday confirmed the first case of measles in 2019 — a Placentia resident in her 20s who traveled abroad recently.

OCHCA confirmed that she is considered infectious between April 23 and May 1. The individual is currently under voluntary isolation at home.

OCHCA provided a list of potential exposure locations and times in the county:

• 5 Hutton Centre Dr., Santa Ana, CA 92707
o April 23 – 25 from 7:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. daily
• St. Jude Emergency Department, 101 E. Valencia Mesa Dr., Fullerton, CA 92835
o April 27 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
• AMC Movie Theater, 1001 S. Lemon St., Fullerton, CA 92832
o April 25 from 11 p.m. – April 26 at 4 a.m.

There is some good news. Legal Insurrection readers may recall that the first serious outbreak of this season occurred around Clark County, Washington.

That outbreak appears to be over.

It’s been 42 days since the last identified case in Clark County.

That’s two incubation periods with no new exposures; that’s enough to satisfy Clark County Public Health that the outbreak is over.

The 73 cases in Clark County are part of the largest nationwide outbreak of measles since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

One mother urged people get vaccinated, after her 5-month old contracted a case before he was old enough to receive the vaccine.

Sara Blum told CNN that her son Walter Blum had a fever of 102.5 and a rash covering his entire body. She said she was shocked by the temperature and called the full-body rash “terrifying.”

…“This would have been 100% preventable if people would just trust doctors and science, and vaccinate their children rather than going off of their own opinions and doing their research through facebook. Because of them, my little boy had to get measles and suffer.”

Fortunately, the little boy is on the road to recovery. Hopefully, this has been an object lesson for many on believing pop science instead of the real kind and that next year’s case number won’t approach this year’s record.


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