Measles Outbreak

The measles have been reported in 14 states across the nation as of the beginning of February according to CNN.com. The recent scare at Disneyland is being called the cause of the outbreak across the United States, with 102 reported cases of the illness.

Sophomore Kimber Sanchez went to Disneyland during the measles outbreak.

“It’s pretty scary how everyone isn’t vaccinated. These days, I think every parent should have their kids vaccinated,” Sanchez said.

There has been heavy debate about whether or not parents should have their kids vaccinated over the last decade, and also if the state should require parents to have their kids vaccinated even with religious exemptions.

As of the beginning of the year every state in the U.S. has laws that everyone should be vaccinated as a young child.

However, according to CNN.com, 48 of 50 states allow exemptions for religious reasons, and 20 of those states allow philosophical exemptions “for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs.”

Kerri Lauchner, director of Health Services at California Lutheran University, said in an email interview, “I do feel that it is best for people to be properly vaccinated. This not only helps protect the person who is vaccinated but protects those people who truly cannot receive vaccines due to medical reasons.”

Lauchner also said the vast majority of the undergraduate population is vaccinated for the measles and if not properly vaccinated they need to be vaccinated with two MMR or measles, mumps and rubello vaccination if they wanted to be treated.

In a television interview on CNN, President Barack Obama also commented on the issue this last week, saying, “There is every reason to get vaccinated, there isn’t any to not.”

According to the Ventura County Star, California has been the hardest hit state, being the epicenter of the outbreak. California is among the states that have exemptions to the measles vaccine for medical reasons and personal beliefs.

As of Feb. 4 there have been no measles cases on the Cal Lutheran campus but locally there have been some potential reports of the illness. Moorpark College sent out a mass email to those enrolled explaining how their student population could have potentially been exposed to the disease. The school said between Jan. 26 and 27 the disease could have been on campus.

The email also read, “We are most concerned about students and/or staff who were in the Tech building on Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or in the Academic Center Building on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to noon.”

The Ventura County Star said another local case was reported at a preschool in Simi Valley, which could have put about 40 people in danger of catching the disease. The child was linked to the Disneyland outbreak that occurred in late December and early January. The child attends Little Explorers Preschool Academy and was quickly quarantined after realizing they had the disease.

In a phone interview, Daniel Houghton, Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Services for the Simi Valley Unified School District said that local school districts, such as Simi Valley, have been sending their schools emails with information about local cases and also prevention information to keep the disease out of their schools.

Executive Director for the Simi Valley Unified School District, Sean Goldman, sent out an email to every principal in his district explaining symptoms of the disease and also steps to take if one has an infected student in their classroom.

According to CNN.com last year’s 644 measles cases is an outlier compared to the previous decade. The number of measles cases in 2014 was the highest since 2000.

The 102 cases we have this year is growing at a fast pace; it’s the beginning of February and the number of cases is already a sixth of last year’s cases.

However with proper vaccines and awareness, hopefully the number of cases for 2015 will not surpass the number of cases of last year.

 

Connor Sipes

Staff Writer

Published February 18th, 2015