The number of measles cases from the outbreak that started in Disneyland last month nearly doubled this week. At least 85 cases are now confirmed in seven states, the latest in Nebraska. And the outbreak could spread even further.
Alaska health officials are closely monitoring 1-year-old Rivki Webb after she tested positive for measles this week. Her mother, Emily, said the family had just returned from a visit to Southern California.
Rivki had also just received the measles vaccine, which can cause similar symptoms. Dr. Monique Karaganis is her pediatrician.
“There was DNA of measles in this child, and we need to now sort out if that is connected to the outbreak in California or not,” Karaganis said.
The outbreak began at Disneyland the week before Christmas. Of California’s 68 cases so far, 48 are linked to Disneyland.
California’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Gilberto Chavez, warns, “If you are not vaccinated, stay away from Disneyland.”
Nine-month-old Eden Nguyen is too young to get the measles vaccine. Doctors told her mother, Christine, it’s best to cancel a trip to the theme park.
“We want to go, but her health is most important, so the trip can always wait,” Christine Nguyen said.
“I want people to be aware and to vaccinate their kids,” said Emily Webb, “because that’s the whole reason that she got sick in the first place, was because people don’t vaccinate.”
Lab results will soon determine if Rivki has the measles, a disease once thought eradicated in the U.S.