Meanwhile, traveler at Portland International Airport leads authorities to issue measles exposure warnings.
It was only three weeks ago that the US was declared measles-free.
Now, Los Angeles health officials are warning that a person diagnosed with measles visited Disneyland followed by a stop to a popular Starbucks location, exposing thousands to the illness.
The theme park draws an average of 44,000 people every day from all over the country and the world – and any of the visitors that day could have come into contact with the infected Los Angeles resident.
Officials warn visitors to both location to watch for symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat and eventually the tell-tale rash, which will likely appear within 21 days of exposure.
Measles cases have surged to over 1,200 in the US in 2019, threatening the nation’s measles elimination status and far outpacing a 2014 outbreak among 288 people that had Disneyland at its epicenter.
Legal Insurrection readers may recall we covered the 2014 Disneyland-centered outbreak. Officials traced the infectious park visitor to 147 measles cases and the impetus behind major legislative change in the state regarding vaccinations.
Health officials noted that the current case-load is centered on unvaccinated individuals.
There have been 19 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to 11 non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County — excluding Long Beach and Pasadena, as cases identified in those cities are reported by their local health departments — according to the county health department.
The majority of cases to date were unvaccinated or did not know whether they had ever been vaccinated.
“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, finally, a rash,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County health officer. “Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know have it. The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others.”
We also followed the Portland-area outbreak this year that led to the declaration of a public health emergency. Now area officials are issuing a warning that someone diagnosed with measles went through the Portland International Airport on Saturday (Oct. 12).
According to officials, the person was not immune and visited countries where measles is common.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can remain in the air for up to two hours.
The traveler was at PDX about midday Saturday (Oct. 12). The window of exposure is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“Anyone exposed and not immune can get just-in-time medicine; [the] window closes tomorrow,” a spokesperson from Multnomah County Health said.
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