From the World Health Organization’s Measles Fact sheet (Updated November 2014):
Measles information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control:
The CDC measles outbreak webpage.
California Department of Public Health measles webpage with information for the current outbreak.
I recently turned 56 years of age and I was surprised to see that the majority of measles cases in California for the current outbreak are among older people. I’ve read that one measles patient in the current outbreak is 57 and another is 70 years old.
I was vaccinated for measles back in the 1960s, before the current two-dose-vaccination protocol became recommended, so today I went to the SCNM clinic and got a MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination shot.
Looking to the future: what could happen in the United States?
The figure above is from Measles Elimination Efforts and 2008–2011 Outbreak, France. In 2011 there were more than 20,000 measles cases in France and almost 5,000 patients were hospitalized, including 1,023 for severe pneumonia and 27 for encephalitis/myelitis; 10 patients died.
Measles and the brain
Studies indicate that about 1 of every 1000 people infected by the measles virus will show evidence of the spread of virus to the central nervous system (infectious virus can be isolated from the cerebrospinal fluid or brain). The measles virus has a lipid envelope with two glycoproteins that have been shown to be important for infection of human cells: the fusion protein (F) and the receptor-binding protein (H).
Since some people with compromised immune system function cannot be vaccinated and since some vaccinated individuals develop encephalitis, additional treatments for measles are being sought. For example, it has been demonstrated that for laboratory animals, peptides with sequences corresponding to parts (such as the C-terminal heptad repeat region; HRC) of the measles virus fusion protein can be conjugated to cholesterol and upon injection into animals can protect against fatal measles virus infection.
Feb. 3 2015 AZCentral.com “Gilbert pediatrician speaks out after kids’ measles exposure”
December 17-20 2014 – Disneyland visitors infected (n=39, 5 from Arizona, 4 Pinal Co. residents (P0) & 1 Mericopa Co. resident (case M0))
January 11, 2015 – 1 additional Mericopa County woman (M1) was infected by P0 at a clinic in Mesa
Jan 20 & 21 – additional people (including unvaccinated children <1 year old) were exposed at a clinic in Mesa by M1
Jan 22 – Announcement of case M0
Jan 27 – Announcement that a total of 2 more people (P1, P2) had been infected in Pinal Co.
No additional cases were reported: summary of the outbreak