With measles thought to be wiped out in the United States since 2000, December's outbreak at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and subsequent spread much farther beyond Orange County are unusual from a recent historical perspective.
But the response from the bashers of immigrants, anti-vaxxers and anti-abortionists who have capitalized on the outbreak? No, you could see that coming like a smoke cloud blowing into your southwest Anaheim neighborhood after a nightly fireworks spectacular.
The rhetorical frenzy has been as swift as the disease's spread. State health officials revealed on Jan. 7 that nine confirmed cases of measles were tied to people who had been at Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. Patients ranged in age from 8 months to 21 years, six victims had not been vaccinated, and five were Disney cast members.
"Although we aren't sure exactly how this year's outbreak began, we assume that someone got infected overseas, visited the parks and spread the disease to others," Dr. Anne Schuchat, who directs the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a Jan. 29 news conference.More »