Did Las Vegas Valley measles start at Disneyland?

Exactly how nine Southern Nevadans caught measles this year may never be known, but the outbreak linked to Disneyland remains a suspect.

Genetic testing was unable to definitively pinpoint the source, said Dr. Joe Iser, chief medical officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. But some of the patients infected with measles here had a strain that was genetically similar to the one from Disneyland.

The Las Vegas-area outbreak could have come from the Southern California theme park, Iser said Tuesday, or it could be linked to the dominant strain of the virus that has been circulating throughout the world for the past year.

All the patients in Southern Nevada have long since recovered, and the nationwide measles outbreak has abated. Researchers tied the Disneyland outbreak to low vaccination rates, and more than 150 cases of measles nationwide were linked to the theme park. The measles cases threw a spotlight on the anti-vaccination movement and led to renewed interest among Nevadans in ensuring they receive vaccines at the optimal time to be protected.

Health care professionals say the risk of the illness is far worse than the risk of being vaccinated. Fears about potential side effects of vaccinations, based on refuted research suggesting a connection to autism, lead some parents to opt against inoculating their children.

In Nevada, state law requires students to be vaccinated unless they have filed an exemption for religious beliefs or medical reasons. Every state Nevada borders has a personal beliefs exemption allowing parents to keep their children unvaccinated.

“We’re lucky here in Nevada, but being on the border of those states requires us to be vigilant about our vaccination rates and making sure we’re up to date,” said Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada, a statewide nonprofit coalition promoting vaccinations.

On Saturday, parents have an opportunity to have the immunization status of their children checked at the Passport to Immunizations and Health Fair at the Southern Nevada Health District, 330 S. Valley View Blvd. in Las Vegas.

While Saturday’s event is designed for preschoolers, all children will be served, said JoAnn Rupiper, the health district’s community health nurse manager.

“We focus on the younger children, but if a parent brings in an older child, we’ll make sure they’re up to date on their vaccinations, too,” she said.

Nevada ranked 49th for vaccine coverage of kids between 19 and 35 months old in the 2013 National Immunization Survey, put together by U.S. public health officials.

People seeking vaccinations at the health district this year increased over the same period in 2014, Rupiper said. In February and March, about 1,450 inoculations were administered compared to about 960 the year earlier.

Contact Steven Moore at smoore@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563.

Life Videos
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Army medic’s Afghanistan story told in new book
The graphic novel “Machete Squad” is based on journals written by Las Vegan Brent Dulak.
Las Vegas man talks about losing his wife
Dwayne Murray, 37, lost his wife, LaQuinta while she was at Centennial Hills Hospital. A jury awarded him $43 million last week after it said the hospital failed to perform the standard of care in administering a drug for her sickle cell disease.
Barber sets up shop in grandfather’s old shop
Andres Dominguez’s new barber shop is filled with memories of his grandfather, who ran the El Cortez landmark for more than 30 years. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life and times of a 90-year-old horse player
Leo Polito of Las Vegas describes meeting legendary jockey and trainer Johnny Longden on the beach at Del Mar. Mike Brunker/Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Learning the history of singing bowls
Presentation at Summerlin Library teaches residents about the history of singing bowls (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Learning live-saving techniques in Stop the Bleed class
Leslie Shaffer, an AMR paramedic, shows how to control bleeding during a Stop the Bleed course at the Summerlin Library. The class is designed to teach anyone how to control and stop life-threatening bleeding. (Mia Sims/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vicki Richardson speaks about on the power of art
Artist and arts advocate Vicki Richardson talks about the power of art to inspire and challenge. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
DressCoders pairs tech with haute couture
DressCoders is a startup focused on haute couture garments. The company uses illuminated thread that is washable and can be sewn right into the fabric. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Brava infrared oven
In cooking with the Brava infrared oven,there’s no preheating. the bulbs can reach 500 degrees in less than a second. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sinks Merge Style And Utility
Study could determine cause of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s diseases
Dr. Aaron Ritter, director of clinical trials at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, discusses his research on how inflammation in the brain impacts Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Holocaust survivors talk about tragedy and friendship
Janos Strauss and Alexander Kuechel share their perspectives on life. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
'Siegel Cares' Santa delivers toys to kids at Siegel Suites in Las Vegas
Siegel Cares, the charitable wing of The Siegel Group, delivered toys to families at their apartment complexes in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Revisiting “Christ the King” sculpture
A longtime admirer of the sculpture at Christ the King Catholic Community in Las Vegas shares her perspective. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Home Front Page Footer Listing