In December 2014, a large outbreak of measles started in California when at least 40 people who visited or worked at Disneyland theme park in Orange County contracted measles; the outbreak also spread to at least half a dozen other states. On April 17, 2015, the outbreak was declared over, since at least two 21-day incubation periods (42 days) have elapsed from the end of the infectious period of the last known outbreak-related measles case.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is widespread in many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. Measles begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, along the hairline, and behind the ears and then affects the rest of the body. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. Children routinely get their first dose of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine at 12 months old or later. The second dose of MMR is usually administered before the child begins kindergarten but may be given one month or more after the first dose. For anyone planning to travel internationally, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) strongly encourages all Californians to make sure they are protected against measles and other dangerous diseases before they go abroad.
For additional information on California measles cases, please see the Measles Surveillance Updates.
How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child's Child Care Facility/School?
Child care facilities with low vaccination rates are at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Some children are allowed by California law to skip immunizations if a parent submits a personal beliefs exemption (PBE) or medical exemption (PME) at enrollment. Other children, may be admitted to child care on the 'condition' they complete remaining vaccinations when due. Often there is no follow-up and these children remain under-vaccinated. To lookup vaccination rates at your child care/ school, click below:
Child Care/Preschool | Kindergarten | 7th Grade