51 Confirmed Measles Cases in California Prompts Officials to Issue Warning

Officials advise adults and children who will be traveling internationally to get the measles vaccine

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Patch photo archive
Health officials are advising people planning international travel to take precautions against measles due to a high incidence of the disease in California this year.

As of Friday, there had been 51 confirmed measles cases reported in California so far in 2014.

There had only been four reported cases by the same time last year, according to the California Department of Public Health. Four of the reported cases were in San Mateo County, four in Contra Costa County, two in Alameda County and one in Santa Clara County.

The rest of the cases occurred in Southern California. Most of the California measles cases have been contracted by people who were exposed to the disease while traveling internationally, including to the Philippines, India and Vietnam, or who came into contact with international visitors, according to the Monterey County Health Department.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel notice for the Philippines in March due to more than 15,000 suspected cases of measles in that country between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 of this year, including 23 deaths.
The CDC advises adults and children over 12 months of age who plan to visit the Philippines to get two doses of the measles vaccine 28 days apart for optimal protection. Infants between the ages of six and 11 months should get one dose of the measles vaccine before travel, according to the CDC. However, they will still need to get two doses of the vaccine when they are older.
Two doses of the measles vaccine provides near 100 percent protection from measles, according to the CDC. International travelers can check the specific CDC recommendations for their destination by visiting www.cdc.gov/travel.
Complications of measles include pneumonia, permanent hearing loss and death, according to the CDC.

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—By Bay City News
Amy L. Keyishian April 09, 2014 at 03:33 PM
Alan, a friend of mine posted that on my Facebook page and someone immediately popped up to accuse Huffington Post and the post's author of being in the pocket of "Big Pharma." Whenever I try to have a reasonable conversation with these folks, they say that they don't trust the CDC because it is part of the federal government, which they also don't trust (I guess they are like tea partiers in that way?), and they don't trust double-blind scientific proof because "experiments can be manipulated." It's really hard to fight back against this kind of thinking: they say not to blindly follow the government, yet they blindly follow Jenny McCarthy. I used to dismiss the anti-vax crowd as just a few fringe people who couldn't do real damage, but that's clearly not the case anymore, and my methods of firing off furious emails and calling names is REALLY not changing any minds. I'm committed to finding enough common ground that we can protect the public health, but my gosh, it's tough. I don't seem to be able to break through.
Amy L. Keyishian April 09, 2014 at 03:39 PM
L, the most commonly cited objection, in my experience, is that the MMR vaccine is "too much" for a little one's system (with many claiming that their children's symptoms appeared right after getting the MMR), that the government has some kind of financial interest in forcing people to have unnecessary vaccinations, and that we have been misled as to how dangerous these diseases are. There IS such a thing as vaccination injury, but incidence is so minuscule compared to the dangers from the diseases that it's ludicrous (to me, at least). It's hard to take these arguments seriously enough to validate the fears of the people making them.
dorthy manser April 09, 2014 at 05:27 PM
Thank you, Amy. I've also had a very hard time figuring out how to confront this issue. It is difficult when it becomes apparent that it just isn't nonsense anymore, it's dangerous nonsense. People will literally die if the anti-vaxx crowd is successful at convincing people not to vaccinate their kids. Potentially a lot of people. When you combine that with the stupidity, outright lies and paranoia displayed by celebrity spokes-people like Jenny McCarthy it becomes really hard to maintain ones composure (oops, I just lost mine). I suppose it's best to treat everyone as one would treat a good friend who is skeptical of modern medicine and scared for their children. As far as the black helicopter people go, I'm not sure what can be done to convince them, since they invariably believe that any data not conforming to their beliefs must the due to a conspiracy of some kind. I've known a lot of publicly funded scientists over the years, and the idea that they could all somehow be conspiring to harm public health in order to enrich corporations is ludicrous and insulting. Part of the problem is that as a result of reasonable skepticism of expert opinion, many people have decided that there is no such thing. Or, even worse, they pick people who have zero expertise but who are good at manipulating their fears. So now we have a huge population of scientifically illiterate people who no longer trust doctors, but are willing to put all their faith in internet scam artists like the "Health Ranger". This can't end well.
Lisbeth Allen April 09, 2014 at 07:22 PM
Costco makes millions off of supplements. Flip through their monthly magazine. Every other page is some supplement for which people have no need. Not only are we a nation of consumers, we are a nation of gullible consumers.
Edward April 10, 2014 at 12:44 AM
I received my case of measels in 1967 in the ARMY at Fort Sill, Oaklahoma. When they started offering for my children I chose the imunization for them and now Public Schools Require them in California. Home Schooling by anti-vaxx parents will be the first ones to catch the bugs from "out of state" or "out of country" (Like UC Berkley with 14,000 of them) anti-vaxx or could not get the Vaxx.. TB is on the rise from the "out of county" rich kids at our colleges also. TB was eradicated in the U.S. 30 years ago but now it is back and we no longer give imunizations for it.


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