Measles cases on the rise in Orange County


Brandon Tejada, Contributing Writer

Since last year, there has been a rising amount of measles cases reported in Orange County.

According to the Mayo Clinic Website, “​Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus. Once quite common, measles can now almost always be prevented with a vaccine…​while death rates have been falling worldwide as more children receive the measles vaccine, the disease still kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5.​”

The Mayo Clinic website also said that there has been a recent spike in reported cases of measles, despite the disease not being widespread in a decade.

“​There are 23 confirmed cases of measles in Orange County,” said​ Orange County’s Commissioner of Health Dr. Irina Gelman.

In a recent letter shared over the Monroe-Woodbury district website, Dr. Gelman said symptoms take between 10 to 12 days to show. The letter also said that symptoms include “a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis and/or runny nose.”

The school nurses of Monroe-Woodbury High School have also expressed their concern for measles spreading around the county.

“It can live on a surface; it can live in the air where a person was for up to two hours. So it’s really contagious, and it lives in the nose and the throat of the infected person and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing,” said Dr. Sassi.

She said that students should go to the health office if they start showing symptoms of measles and report infected students that are showing symptoms.

“We would immediately quarantine them,” said Dr. Sassi. “We would put them here in the back; we would call their parents, and they would bring the student home or to the doctor.”

Parents can also help prevent the spread of the disease by vaccinating their kids and telling them about symptoms. According to the Mayo Clinic, the MMR vaccine allows the immune system to better fend against measles.

Despite the school asking parents to vaccinate their kids, Dr. Sassi said there are exemptions for parents who do not want to vaccinate their kids for religious or medical reasons. Few students are un-vaccinated in the high school.