123 Measles Cases Confirmed; Calif. Lawmakers Plan Vaccine Bill
On Monday, the California Department of Public Health confirmed 107 measles cases in the state, at least 39 of which can be linked directly to an outbreak that began at Disneyland in December 2014, the Los Angeles Times' "L.A. Now" reports.
Health officials have confirmed a total of at least 123 measles cases in several states and Mexico.
About 60% of the confirmed cases in California are among individuals who are at least 20 years old, while nine patients are infants under 12 months old.
According to "L.A. Now," 11 California counties now have confirmed measles cases, with the most reported in:
- Orange County, with 34 cases;
- Los Angeles County, with 26 cases; and
- San Diego County, with 13 cases (Xia, "L.A. Now," Los Angeles Times, 2/9).
Calif. Lawmakers To Propose Head Start Vaccination Requirements
Meanwhile, two California lawmakers plan to introduce a bill in Congress that would require all children attending preschools that participate in the Head Start program to get vaccinated, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
The bill, by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), would allow parents to opt out only if a doctor confirms that a medical condition makes the immunization unsafe for the child. Other preschool students who are unvaccinated would have three months to get their immunizations up to date (Rosenhall, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 2/7).
A Los Angeles Times analysis of preschool immunization data found that California Head Start programs have a vaccination rate of about 96%.
Overall, the analysis found that private preschools in California tend to have lower vaccination rates than public facilities, with:
- Private child-care centers having vaccination rates of about 87%; and
- Public centers having rates of about 90% (Xia et al., Los Angeles Times, 2/4).
Calif. Lawmakers Call on CDC To Partner in Measles Training Efforts
The group, led by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), said that CDC "should ... be a leading partner" in efforts to train unprepared health care workers. They noted that without quick action from CDC, misdiagnoses could further the spread of the disease (Ferris, The Hill, 2/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.