Jan 30, 2015 5:58 PM

Will measles outbreak now in 14 states spread farther after Super Bowl?


The stadium in Glendale, Ariz., can hold 73,000 spectators for Super Bowl XLIX to watch the Patriots take on the Seattle Seahawks, but Arizona health officials are watching something completely different unfolding - the risk of a measles outbreak.

So far this year, 84 cases of the measles have been reported in 14 states. New Hampshire isn't one of them, but Arizona is. They're already monitoring 1,000 people in Arizona exposed after seven people got measles. Many cases tied to the Disneyland Outbreak.

With so many people coming from all over the country then flying back home, the Super Bowl is the perfect scenario for an outbreak.

Dr. Anne Schuchat of the C.D.C. said, "And the outbreaks that we're seeing so far this year are a reminder that measles is a plane ride away. Twenty million cases around the world, and it can be in your own community."

One of the most contagious viruses in existence, measles can lurk in the air up to two hours after an infected person leaves the room.

  • 90 percent of unvaccinated people exposed can be infected.
  • 14 day incubation period.
  • Can be contagious four days before showing any symptoms.

Symptoms include sore throat, fever, runny nose, pink eye, and a rash. Most people recover just fine, but some, three in 10, experience complications including pneumonia, ear infections, and brain damage or even death in severe cases.

Measles can be prevented with a vaccination. The first dose at around 12 months old, and a second dose between 4 to 6 years old. The problem is, the trend not to vaccinate is rising causing some this disease that was once thought to be eradicated in the U.S. to resurface.

New Hampshire has no measles cases. The last case was in 2011, and the child was not vaccinated.


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