Health officials in California declared today that the measles outbreak that started in Disneyland is finally over, reports the Associated Press. The last case linked to the theme park was reported on March 2nd, according to the California Department of Health.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that was declared eliminated from the US in 2000. In the years that followed, the US saw about 60 cases each year. But in 2013, the total number of cases hit 644. A year later, the disneyland outbreak happened.
More than 130 cases have been reported by California residents since December. Of those cases, 40 were actual visitors of the park. The rest occurred when people came in contact with Disneyland visitors in their homes, as well as in hospital emergency rooms.
Canada is still dealing with the Disneyland outbreak
Although the outbreak is over in the US, the Canadian province of Quebec is still dealing with Disneyland-related cases. And the US isn't measles-free; the country is home to a number of other measles outbreaks, the Associated Press reports.
The source of the Disneyland outbreak was an overseas visitor, according to the CDC. Measles is highly contagious and sometimes deadly. As a result, the outbreak caused a heated debate about vaccinations in the US; had kids been vaccinated against the disease, the outbreak would not have been so large, many reasoned. To ensure that this doesn't happen again, California legislators have introduced a bill called SB 277, which would make it necessary for kids to be vaccinated against measles and other diseases before enrolling in a school in the state, reports the LA Times. Exemptions based on medical reasons would still be possible under this new law.
Right now, more than 13,000 children of kindergarden age are exempt from vaccinations because of their parents' beliefs.