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Disneyland Measles Outbreak Renews Vaccination Debate

WELLNESS-At the time of this article, a measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland has infected 59 people in California. 42 of those cases can be linked directly to Disneyland with 5 of those cases affecting Disney employees. There are at least 8 other cases that have spread through Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Mexico.  At the time of this article, the outbreak is still active with the most recent case being diagnosed in a Disney Employee less than a week ago.  

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection affecting the respiratory system and skin.  Symptoms develop 1 to 2 weeks after the person has been infected and at the outset a high fever is typical followed by spots in the mouth, malaise, and a loss of appetite.  Within a few days, a rash will appear that covers most of the body along with a cough. If there are no other complications the illness will last from 7 to 10 days.  

In an older person, the symptoms can become more serious and the rash is usually more severe. Measles is an airborne disease and the chance of passing it from an infected person to someone who has never had it and has not been immunized is about 90%.  Once you have had measles you can not get them again.  

With all of this media attention on the measles outbreak at Disney, the story is quickly becoming an argument about vaccinations.  In Orange county and other upper middle class areas, there is a greater number of parents that choose against having their children vaccinated and some say that this is contributing to the problem.  

In the past 30 years, there has been a surge in people that are not vaccinating their children mainly with concern that there could be a link between vaccinations and autism. In the 70’s and 80’s, Autism used to affect about 1 in 2000 kids. Currently, it affects a staggering 1 in every 150.  

The mainstream media will tell you that the vaccinations are perfectly safe, and that there is no link between vaccinations and autism, but with just a little digging one can easily find information from naysayers and skeptics alike.  People like Dr. Maurice Hilleman and Viera Scheibner were advocates against vaccinations, and some say that the power of the drug companies muzzled them both. 

Part of their argument is that at such a young delicate age, babies may be more susceptible to compounds like aluminum and formaldehyde that are inside vaccinations.  Until recently it was a question as to whether the blood brain barrier was fully formed in infants, but research done at Stanford University in 2010 demonstrates that the barrier is intact by the third trimester of fetal development.  

There are many questions left unanswered regarding vaccinations in America and the best way for parents to go about treating their children.  Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, but with Disneyland and measles in the spotlight, there is no question that we will be seeing much more debate over the vaccination controversy.  


(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist, TV host and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch.)



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Vol 13 Issue 7

Pub: Jan 23, 2015