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article imageNine cases of measles linked to Disneyland visit in California

By Karen Graham     Jan 8, 2015 in Health
Two people from Utah and seven from California all came down with a case of the measles, and they all apparently contracted the disease from the same place. All the visitors had visited California's Disneyland between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20.
Three additional California residents are suspected of having measles and are being followed by state department of health authorities. The common denominator with all the cases was California's Orange County theme park, Disneyland. The patients range in age from eight months to 21 years of age.
According to a spokesman for the California Department of Health, it is likely all the patients picked up the virus at one of Disneyland's theme parks, adding that measles can be infectious for as long as nine days. The seven Californians were from five different areas of the state, and six had not been vaccinated.
Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the state's Department of Public Health, has urged anyone who was at the park during that period in December to check with their doctors if they were exposed or are showing any symptoms. "The best way to prevent measles and its spread is to get vaccinated," he said in a statement.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), measles is a highly contagious disease that lives in a person's nose and throat mucus. It is spread by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include a fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Within a few days, a red rash usually first appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
Out of the 610 cases of measles reported in the United States in 2014, California had 61 cases. Health officials noted that parks like Disneyland are international attractions, and attract visitors from other countries, including those countries where measles is endemic.
"We are working with the health department to provide any information and assistance we can," said Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
More about Measles, Disneyland, Orange county, Callifornia, Utah
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