Anti-Vaccine Parents Largely Blamed For Disneyland Measles Outbreak

| by Michael Allen

Parents who refused to vaccinate their children played a large part in the spread of measles from Disneyland to seven states and two other countries, says a new study.

The person who originally exposed people to the disease at the popular Southern California theme park has not yet been identified.

However, infectious disease experts from MIT and Boston Children’s Hospital claim that the vaccination rate among the infected people would not have been higher 86%, while herd immunity (mass vaccination compliance) is between 96% and 99%, noted The Los Angeles Times.

The experts stated in their new study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics,: "The ongoing measles outbreak linked to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, shines a glaring spotlight on our nation’s growing antivaccination movement and the prevalence of vaccination-hesitant parents."

"Parents don’t fear or respect measles, so they don’t value the vaccine,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine, told The Los Angeles Times. Dr. Schaffner was not part of the study team.

While measles is preventable with a simple vaccination, the World Health Organization web site states, "In 2013, there were 145,700 measles deaths globally – about 400 deaths every day or 16 deaths every hour."

In regard to the Disneyland outbreak, the Centers For Disease Control adds:

The outbreak likely started from a traveler who became infected overseas with measles, then visited the amusement park while infectious ... Analysis by CDC scientists shows that the measles virus type in this outbreak (B3) is identical to the virus type that caused the large measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2014.

Sources: Centers For Disease Control, World Health Organization, The Los Angeles Times, Pediatrics
Image Credit: Bill Branson