The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today that there have been 123 measles cases in that state since Dec. 17, 2014. The outbreak of Disney-linked measles has now reached 121 patients. Another two illnesses from a different strain of measles have also been diagnosed.
All but 11 of the California measles cases are from 2015. Additional illnesses due to Disney-linked measles have been reported from six other states and three foreign countries. Mexico reports one imported illness linked to Disney and another that is not linked. Canada reports that ten cases of measles in Quebec are all related to the Disney outbreak. The authorities in Berlin, Germany, have also identified two measles cases there tied to theme park exposures.
A total of 165 measles cases have been reported in 2015. In Illinois, an outbreak around a suburban Chicago daycare has resulted in the illness of one adult and 12 infants. In the Las Vegas, Nevada, area, there have been six measles cases, the Las Vegas Sun reports Feb. 20.
The vaccination status is known for 110 patients in 2015. Infants too young to be vaccinated account for 27 of those cases while another 61 cases had not been immunized. Ten patients were under immunized with just one MMR vaccination.
In total, 89 percent of the patients with a known immunization status who have contracted measles in 2015 have not been fully immunized against the disease. However, public health authorities have been unable thus far to determine the vaccination status of one third of all the cases in 2015.
KIRO television news revealed in a Feb. 20 article that one of the four measles cases announced in Clallam County, Washington was a public health officer. Two of the four cases are from the same family, an infant too young to be vaccinated and a 12 year old. The first measles cases in the county is believed to be the source of the illness in the public health officer.
The Globe and Mail in a news piece on Feb. 18 reported on the growing number of measles cases in Canada. The Province of Ontario is reporting at least 17 cases, and there is one reported case in Manitoba. In combination with the Disney-linked cases in Quebec, Canada has seen 28 measles cases in 2015.
In the Niagara region, the Canadian report six measles cases which are all linked. The origins of the first case have not been discovered. In the Toronto area, however, no links between the 11 cases have been determined. Public health authorities are “scratching their heads.”
In war-torn Syria, 15 children under 18 months of age recently died within hours of receiving what was supposed to be a measles vaccine. The BBC reports in a Feb. 18 article that through some sort of mix-up, about 100 children received injections of a muscle relaxant, atracurium. It proved fatal to 15 of them. The incident occurred in rebel-held northeastern Syria on Feb. 17.
The number of measles cases in the United States for 2015 is more than any year from 2000 through 2010. Last year saw about 644 cases, 2011 had 220 and 2013 had 186 measles cases. Even if the number of illnesses slows, the country is en route to suffering the second highest disease total in the last 16 years.