Do you have the Measles?


Cynthia Molina

The front entrance of Children's Hospital of Orange County in Orange, Calif.

Cynthia Molina, Staff Writer

Did you go watch “Avengers: Endgame” the weekend it premiered? Well, if you watched it at the AMC Theaters in Fullerton, Calif., you may have been exposed to the measles. The disease has spread throughout the county including: Santa Ana, Long Beach, Irvine and Fullerton.

The most asked question is, what are measles? Measles is a disease caused by infection with the rubeola virus.The virus lives in the mucus of the nose and throat of an infected person. The measles is contagious for about four days after being infected, it spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person.

The people who are in most danger are pregnant women and infants who are unable to be immunized till the age of one.

The symptoms for the disease are fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny nose, inflamed eyes, Koplik’s spots (tiny white spots found inside the mouth), and a skin rash. These symptoms are found after 14 days of being infected, meanwhile there’s no sign that you are infected.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever.” The fever can rise sharply, as high as 104 to 105.8 F.

It is very important to be vaccinated, if you are not sure, if you are vaccinated, ask your doctor as soon as possible. For now, always be cautious of those around you. The most heard story about the outbreak of measles, is the lady who went to go watch “Avengers: Endgame” at the AMC theatre in Fullerton and exposed others in the theater with the contagious disease.

The lady is identified as a Placentia woman in her 20’s who recently traveled internationally. It is possible others might have been infected during the movie. The disease did not just spread, the woman had also gone to work at the Griffin Towers in Santa Ana. Her measles were diagnosed when she went to the emergency room at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton on April 27.

Another case has been an infant who was brought to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. The infant is under one-years-old and was not immunized.

Senior Alexa Peñaloza from Godinez Fundamental High School is a volunteer at CHOC and has been well aware of the case about the baby. ¨I just found out recently from the hospital where I do my community service that there has been outbreak of measles and they’ve been trying to keep it contained and they’ve been monitoring it as closely as possible,¨ says Peñaloza.

Peñaloza also added, ¨It has been about two weeks since the baby has been discharged and no longer in the hospital, but the disease did spread to three other patients.¨ The other three children are being treated and the hospital has isolated others from being in contact with the children infected. “They have been isolated in their bedroom, signs were put outside their bedrooms to not go in there because it’s very dangerous,” said Peñaloza.

Peñaloza was scared at the beginning, ¨I mean I panicked at first and said, “I have to get out of here, I don’t want to catch the disease especially not before graduation, I don’t want to show up with a runny nose and a rash.¨ It would be an unforgettable day for Peñaloza but lucky for her she is vaccinated since the hospital requires her to be vaccinated in order to do her community service.

Since the disease has been brought to Santa Ana, students at Godinez are worried. Junior Christopher Mejia, when asked if he knew what measles are seemed scared as he answered, “No, I don’t, but I know you get a rash.” However, Mejia is not the only one in campus who doesn’t know much about measles.

Saray Castro is another junior on campus who is more aware of the measles. She said, “Now I am but before I wasn’t, I didn’t even know what measles were.”  It is no surprise that students do not know much about the measles since the disease has not been as exposed since 2015.

Junior, Ariana Guillen does know about the measles. She said, “Yes, I do know, it’s a disease and you get a rash that covers your body and I know some of the other symptoms are fever and sore throat.”

As for Castro and Guillen, the measles is something that scares them even though they are vaccinated. “Yes, it scares me because you don’t know when you can get it or if you have it or not. So me not knowing if I have it or not scares me,” says Guillen.

Same goes for Castro, “Yes, the measles do scare me because there are people who are unvaccinated.”

One thing all three juniors do have in common is how they found out about the outbreak of the measles. The students said they found out the week “Endgame” premiered, which was the case of the Placentia woman. They said that the following week after the premiere, Principal Jesse Church made an announcement about the measles, sent a letter home to parents and thus, they felt safer after the incicdent.

The measles continue, but the frightened students continue their lives as they are more aware about the situation. After realizing they are vaccinated, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends, they aren’t as scared.

As Mejia concluded the interview he stressed to everyone, “Stay safe and stay vaccinated.”