Not only were visitors affected by the recent Disneyland measles outbreak, reports indicate that several park workers were sick as well. Officials now indicate that five of those infected in the recent outbreak were park employees.
The employees, referred to as “cast members” in the Disney world, were diagnosed after news of the Disneyland measles outbreak spread. CNN notes that of the five Disney employees hit with the measles, three have already fully recovered. The other two remain off of work for now.
The exposure period for the Disneyland measles outbreak covered December 17 through 20. According to the California Department of Public Health, all cases from the Disneyland Resort exposure should have happened by January 10 and no new cases have been identified in guests who were at the park after that time period.
Disney’s Dr. Pamela Hymel says that as soon as the park was notified of the outbreak tied to the park on January 7, they communicated with their staff to raise awareness. Vaccinations and immunity tests were offered and those who were in contact with the sick cast members have been put on paid leave until they are medically cleared.
In total, the Orange County health agency indicates that 13 adults and five children were diagnosed with the measles in the county. The California Department of Public Health indicates that 36 cases in the state are linked to the Disneyland measles outbreak, with several additional cases elsewhere being tied back to the park as well. There are also a handful of cases in the state that have recently occurred but that are not tied to the Disneyland cases.
Naturally, the Disneyland measles outbreak intensifies the dialogue regarding parents not vaccinating their children. As Fox News notes, numerous studies have dismissed the argument that there is a link between vaccinations and autism, but people remain passionate about the topic on both sides of the discussion.
The Los Angeles Times notes that this is being described by officials as the worst measles outbreak in California in the past 15 years. More than 50 cases have been identified as being tied to the Disneyland measles outbreak, and now some students in Orange County who have not been vaccinated or have no proof of having had the immunization are being sent home from school for 21 days.
The Disneyland measles outbreak, with numerous cast members affected as well, definitely cranks up the discussion among immunization supporters and critics alike. Many medical professionals are urging those avoiding vaccinations to reconsider their decision, and the latest outbreak may provide a new opportunity for a broader discussion on the topic.
[Image via the Daily Beast]