So Cal Measles Outbreak Goes From Bad to Worse

Southern California’s recent measles epidemic shows no signs of letting up. In fact, officials say it is expanding—fast. The number of confirmed measles cases has nearly doubled since Tuesday to a total of 51. And it won’t stop there. Officials expect more cases in the coming days.

The outbreak, which is believed to have originated at the Happiest Place on Earth, has already begun affecting people who were nowhere near the park between Dec. 17 and 20—the dates in question. Orange County has been particularly hard hit, with sixteen cases, including six of unknown origin. Compounding the problem are exceptionally low vaccination rates in the county.

UCLA infectious disease expert James Cherry says the only hope is to get more people immunized in time. Otherwise, he fears it could turn into the worst outbreak since 1989. That outbreak, brought on by depressed vaccination rates, affected over 55,000 people nationwide and led to 120 deaths.

In addition to Orange County, 10 cases have been confirmed in the County of San Diego. Nine of those patients had not received the vaccine. Measles cases stemming from the Disneyland visits have also been confirmed in the counties of Los Angeles, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Alameda, as well as Utah, Colorado, Washington, and Mexico.

Read more about the outbreak here.