Two visitors from Europe are suspected of falling ill with
Health authorities said one of the visitors was confirmed to have measles, and the other is suspected of contracting the highly contagious disease. The cases were in eastern Ventura County, which borders Los Angeles County.
The confirmation of measles comes as cases of the disease have been on the rise in the United States, despite it being virtually eradicated in this country in 2000. Over a nine-month period in 2011, there were 28 reported cases of measles in California--the highest in a decade.
Public health officials are concerned about the return of measles as more parents forgo
According to a report by the
In 2008, a 7-year-old boy triggered a measles outbreak in San Diego after he returned, infected, from a family trip to Switzerland. The boy infected his two siblings and nine other children at his public charter school and a doctor's office. His parents had chosen not to vaccinate him or his siblings. About 70 children had to be quarantined at home.
The number of children without vaccinations has grown over the last decade, partly because of parent fears of a link between the shots and autism, a theory repeatedly disproved in scientific literature.
"Measles is a completely preventable disease, and although it has been virtually eliminated in the United States, it still kills 200,000 people worldwide each year," Dr. Paul Russell, acting Ventura County Public Health Officer, said in a statement. "Measles is so contagious that any child who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease."
Out of every 1,000 who get the disease, one or two will die and many more will require hospitalization, according to the CDC.