by RUBY AUJLA
Previously rather low, the number of measles cases in California has now risen to nearly seventy-nine cases; of these cases, fifty-two are linked to the outbreak of measles from Disneyland. It appears that a foreign traveler with measles spread the disease to others whilst visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, California earlier in December. Five Disneyland employees have also been diagnosed with measles.
Unvaccinated students attending school in the Desert Sands Unified School District in Southern California have been forced to stay home from school and show proof of immunization or simply return on February ninth because of five confirmed measles cases in Riverside County. The highly-contagious disease is easily spread amongst those who are not vaccinated from it.
Measles is an infectious viral disease that affects the respiratory system. Symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, and a skin rash; most symptoms do not appear until about two weeks after being exposed to the virus. An individual with measles is contagious for four days before the rash appears and four days after the rash appears.
The disease has not been a prominent issue in the United States since the development of the vaccine to protect against it; most children and adults have been vaccinated, which means it is more difficult to spread the virus amongst different individuals. However, young children, older adults, and individuals who are typically not protected by the measles vaccine are at high risk for developing the virus when near someone infected with the disease.