The Super Bowl has become a US annual event, with all the media, parties, commercials, half-time show, exclusive tickets, football pools, strange bets, and more. This year we can add something new to the mix, a Super Bowl alert for measles, after a warning that about 1000 people in Arizona may have been exposed to a measles outbreak.
The Arizona Health Department has been battling the outbreak since at least 7 cases of measles have been confirmed around Phoenix. These cases tie back to the Disneyland outbreak in California. The epicenter of this outbreak was traced back to one unvaccinated family from Pinal County, AZrizona.
The usual precaution is vaccination against measles, however, it’s not practical for Super Bowl visitors at this because there isn’t enough time to build up immunity. Officials in the area are working hard to contain the outbreak and isolate confirmed cases to prevent spreading.
Measles is a highly contagious airborne virus that spreads without physical contact. Infection typically begins with a fever, cough, conjunctivitis, runny nose, and rash. Complications from measles could include pneumonia, hearing loss, blindness, and even death. According to the US Centers for Disease Control, between 1 and 3 children of every 1,000 infected with measles will die from it.
Arizona currently ranks second to California in the number of patients with measles linked to the outbreak at the Disney park. Arizona health officials are recommending that any unvaccinated child or adult who has been in contact with a measles- infected person be isolated at home for 21 days to help stop the virus.
- Muskal, M. 2015. Arizona copes with measles outbreak as Super Bowl nears. LA Times website. January 29, 2015. http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-arizona-measles-outbreak-super-bowl-20150129-story.html.
- Super Bowl alert after measles out-break warning in Arizona. Yahoo! News website. January 29, 2015. http://news.yahoo.com/super-bowl-alert-measles-outbreak-warning-arizona-210753800.html;_ylt=A0LEV1M_mMtU2LEAKTRXNyoA.