Students of The Master’s College remain undaunted by the threat of measles at Disneyland this Saturday. The measles were almost certainly brought by someone from outside of the United States, which was declared free of measles in 2000.
“We’ve been monitoring the situation at Disneyland knowing we’d be going there.” says Vice President of Student Life Joe Keller “We’ve been in contact with Disneyland and they confirmed it was safe to visit the park.”
Measles was originally brought to the Western Hemisphere by Christopher Columbus in 1492. The effect on the native population of America, which had no immunity to the disease, was devastating.
According to The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) “Measles is transmitted primarily from person to person by large respiratory droplets but can also spread by the airborne route… Infected people are usually contagious from four days before until four days after rash onset.”
In the hypothetical case of a measles outbreak on campus the infected would be “Quarantined, we’d call the CDC, it’d be a big mess with people tested. It’d be costly,” says TMC nurse Sabrina Jensen.
To Jensen’s knowledge there has never been a measles outbreak on campus and definitely not in the last 22 years.
“People ask me all the time, should I go [to Disneyland], I can’t make that call,” says Jensen.
Students have been lining up every day this week in the lower cafeteria to purchase tickets. As of early Thursday afternoon there were just 60 of 700 tickets left.
“I’m not concerned—I’m vaccinated,” says Assistant Student Body President Matthew Fukuda “I’m not concerned for the school [either] because everyone who comes in is supposed to be vaccinated.”
The Master’s College requires two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine upon student admission to the college. However there is a waiver that can be signed to circumvent the required vaccinations. Students take full responsibility for the potential consequences by doing so.
According to an article entitled “Measles outbreak in California: What you need to know” the LA Times says. “There’s a five percent chance of vaccine failure in people who receive only one shot. The chance of failure drops to less than one percent for those who get two.
“Anybody who doesn’t know they’ve had two doses should get a dose of vaccine,” said Dr. James Cherry, primary editor of the Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
“The [immunization] is required by law,” Keller says. “But we want to give students the opportunity to use the waiver.”
When asked if The Master’s College would ever institute a mandatory vaccination admission policy Keller replied, “We’re not looking to require more than the law does.”
By Jonathan Wais