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Visitors Leave Disneyland with Measles, not Memories

A recent trip to Disneyland has left dozens of visitors with measles rather than memories.

At least 26 people who visited the theme park in Orange County, California, between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 have contracted the disease. State officials have confirmed that the outbreak is the worst in 15 years. Already, the disease has spread to Utah, Colorado, and Washington State. Six individuals have been hospitalized.

“Disneyland — this is the ideal scenario. This is sort of the perfect storm,” said Dr. James Cherry, an expert on pediatric infectious diseases who works at the University of California, Los Angeles.

This current outbreak comes at the tail end of last year’s surge in measles cases. At least 644 people came down with measles in the United States in 2014, up from 189 in 2013 — an increase of more than 340 percent.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads when a person coughs, sneezes, or even breathes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “You can catch measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, up to 2 hours after that person is gone.”

Symptoms of the measles begins with a high fever, then continue with coughing, red eyes, and finally a rash that spreads across a person’s entire body.

The Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and effective for most people and can help prevent measles. No vaccine, however, is 100 percent effective. Indeed, multiple players in the National Hockey League have come down with mumps this year, despite having received the MMR vaccine.

Although vaccines have proven effective in combating the spread of disease, for some, administration of a shot can result in rare but serious side effects or injuries.

One such injury is Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). This injury leads to severe damage in the tendons and ligaments of a person’s shoulder. Symptoms vary but can include limited range of motion, frozen shoulder, and general tenderness. Sometimes surgery is necessary to correct the damage.

SIRVA can occur if a health administrator injects a vaccine too high on a person’s shoulder or at the wrong angle. If a person is underweight or has a low body mass, SIRVA can also result from the needle over penetrating the deltoid muscle.

A recent study published in the medical journal Pediatrics found that the MMR vaccine can sometimes lead to seizures.

Fortunately, there is help for anyone who suffers a negative reaction to a vaccine.

The federal government created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in 1988. The VICP helps folks suffering from serious side effects obtain compensation for their injuries. Last year, the average reward was over $500,000.

The VICP covers a variety of vaccines. For the most up-to-date list, check out the vaccine injury compensation table on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services‘ website.

As news of Disneyland’s measles outbreak spreads, some parents may consider getting an MMR vaccine for their children. They’re unlikely to suffer any side effects. But if they do, it’s important to remember that the VICP can help.


If you have suffered from a negative shot reaction, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, or any other illness subsequent to receiving a vaccination, please contact an attorney today. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation. This vaccine attorney is a seasoned litigator whose practice is dedicated to serving those injured by vaccines.

About Leah Durant

Leah Durant is a former U.S. Department of Justice trial attorney who specializes in vaccine injury claims covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. These cases are filed before the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (more commonly known as the “vaccine court”) in Washington, DC, where she has been admitted to practice since 2008. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Leah Durant is a graduate of the University of Maryland College Park and received her law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Leah Durant’s legal practice concentrates on litigating complex vaccine injury and medical related cases. She has an extensive legal background and has experience representing individuals with complex medical claims.


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