A cinema full of people who went to see Avengers: Endgame may have been exposed to the measles virus.
Millions of people have been to see the latest Marvel film since its release last week, and some fans were so excited that they resisted sleep in order to be among the first to find out what happened to the universe after Thanos snapped his fingers.
Among those who attended a midnight screening was a woman in her 20s, who is thought to have been to see the film at the AMC movie theater in Fullerton, California, at 11pm on April 26.
Just hours later, she went to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with measles. The disease is highly infectious, and although it usually clears in around seven to 10 days, it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications in some people.
Anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated or who has never had measles before can catch the infection, which is spread through the droplets which come out of the nose and mouth when a person with measles coughs or sneezes.
Ninety per cent of people exposed to the virus will reportedly catch it if they haven’t been vaccinated.
According to the LA Times, health officials explained that the woman, who has not been named, had recently returned from a country where there is a measles outbreak.
The Avengers fan has since voluntarily quarantined herself in her home in Orange County, while officials try to identify anyone who might have been exposed to the disease while at the cinema.
Although measles was considered eradicated in the US in the year 2000, misleading information about vaccines has lead many to avoid vaccinations; leaving them exposed to the virus.
Measles cases reached a record high in the US last week, when the Centres for Disease Control confirmed that 695 cases of measles had been reported in 22 states since 2019 began.
California has some of the tightest vaccine rules in the country, after a 2014 outbreak encouraged a change in the law. The state passed a bill which went into effect in 2016, eliminating all personal belief exemptions and tightening the approach to students who were enrolled into schools without having yet been vaccinated.
While the new rules succeeded in getting many children vaccinated, they will not have impacted teens and adults.
Health officials are urging anyone who believes they may have been exposed at the theatre to check their vaccine record and call their doctor for advice.
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