Arizona measles threat looms over Super Bowl weekend

By Troy Espera, ABS-CBN News

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – A measles outbreak that started in Disney parks in Southern California in December has now spread to Arizona where it could threaten this weekend’s Super Bowl festivities.

Health officials there say about a thousand people in the Phoenix area, including 200 children, could have been exposed to measles at a medical center that was visited by one of the states’ eight confirmed measles patients.

It’s a major health concern that comes just days before millions of Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots fans descend upon Phoenix for the Super Bowl.

Elswhere, at least 79 cases of measles are now confirmed in California.

Cases linked to the outbreak have also been found in Mexico, Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Michigan, and Nebraska.

New cases were reported this week in Illinois and Minnesota.

“We’re concerned because it can be a very, very serious disease,” explained Dr. Rachel Rubin of Cook County Department of Health. “It can, not in most instances, not in the vast majority, but it can be fatal, because you can get severe complications from the actual viral illness itself — developing a pneumonia, neurological complications, heart complications, etc.”

According to doctors, measles outbreaks have worsened in recent years, partly because of a growing movement by parents who choose not to vaccinate their children, citing personal beliefs.

Last yearthere were 644 confirmed measles cases in the country. It’s the highest number of cases since the highly contagious disease was eliminated in the US 14 years ago.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked many of those measles cases to unvaccinated people who were infected while traveling in the Philippines during an outbreak there.

Back in Phoenix, doctors ask those who have not been vaccinated against measles to stay home for 21 days or wear masks if they have to go out in public.

It’s a last minute effort to keep the measles outbreak under control ahead of the year’s biggest day in football.

You can contact Troy Espera at for more information.

2 Comments on this post.

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  • Delia
    29 January 2015 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Hello disease and terrorists and Muslims with Sharia Law. Say hello to America the newest 3rd world country. Thank you media and congress for stupidly agreeing to treasonous Obama.

  • Mario
    29 January 2015 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    CDC linked many of measles cases to unvaccinated people who were infected while traveling in PH….CDC do not blame PH, for the measles outbreak in the US. Blame Obama,last year, he flooded America with over 100,000 illiterate immigrant from Central America, many of whom were infected with Measles and TB.These diseases were eliminated in the US 14 yrs ago.