10:30 AM ET — Nov. 29 – Jane Malveaux (@JaneMevilleaux) asked about measles and exemptions from vaccinations in response to WFAA-TV reporter Laura Cañas. The doctor, a CNN contributor, spent almost 20 years researching measles outbreaks.
10:15 AM ET — The aftermath of the shooting that left 15 dead in Thousand Oaks remains in question, and 11 people remained hospitalized, including seven who are critical.
Amid the carnage in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health officials warned that outbreak of the measles virus was spreading, thanks to a measles outbreak linked to the Disneyland amusement park.
Last Friday, a healthcare worker who had been exposed to measles at the Ventura County Medical Center was diagnosed with the disease, one of the 16 confirmed cases in the central California county, county officials said Friday.
A second employee who had been hospitalized, was also infected, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. The patient had been working at the emergency room and had contracted the disease when visiting the medical center’s cafeteria, officials said.
The four victims in the county all had measles as well, officials said. As of Friday, there were 11 people being treated at the local hospital, according to officials, including seven who were listed in critical condition.
The state Department of Public Health said there were 119 confirmed cases across California in the past three weeks, with 18 still at a level of probable. In all, 146 cases were reported across the U.S. between October 1 and November 24, and 35 were associated with out-of-state travel, the CDC said in a notice on Friday.
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Dozens of other illnesses, including five who were given severe cases of pneumonia, may have affected the people who were exposed to measles on December 1 or 1, either at the medical center or the hospital. Nine others were referred to the center, the state Department of Public Health said Friday.
Measles is a highly contagious, airborne viral disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus, a strain found in the human body. The disease is most common among infants, according to the CDC, but can also spread to adults. A person who becomes infected with measles can usually recover completely without intervention. However, in rare cases of severe illness or complications, such as encephalitis or miscarriage, complications are fatal for some patients.