Doctors encourage vaccinations as California measles outbreak spreads

Doctors encourage vaccinations as California measles outbreak spreads

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - If you're planning a trip to Disneyland in California, but you haven't been vaccinated against the measles, you might want to cancel your trip.

Health officials in California have issued that warning after new measles infections were linked to the theme park.

So far 70 people have gotten the measles in an outbreak that's been traced to Disney parks and officials expect that number to rise.

The disease was one of the primary topics at an annual Cape Girardeau County Health Department meeting on Thursday.

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show there were 644 new measles cases last year in 27 states.

That's the largest yearly number of cases seen in nearly 25 years.

Public health nurses says the problem is that the majority of people who get measles are unvaccinated.

Sandy Gibbons, the immunizations coordinator says measles doesn't target just specific parts of the population, that's why vaccinations are so important.

"Anybody who doesn't have antibodies against it is a target," Gibbons said. "Any body who doesn't have immunity is a target, it doesn't matter what age. We as grandparents can give it to any grandchild, Walmart, you can get it anywhere. Anybody is susceptible to it."

New CDC guidelines suggest everyone no matter the age need two doses of the measles vaccine.

Gibbons said years ago that wasn't the case, so seniors are the one who likely need a vaccine right now.

"We have found out from the CDC recently that they feel like those of us that who are a little bit older when we had our vaccination we only had one, so like all others it can kind of weed out as you get older so our immunity isn't as good as it used to be so maybe we're passing it on to these kids," Gibbons said.

While the vaccine was once thought to cause autism, most doctors say that's been proved untrue.

Children should get their first dose of the vaccine when they turn 1 and their second between the ages of four and six.

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