Nine people who visited Disneyland or Disneyland California Adventure Park during December have confirmed measles cases, state health officials said Wednesday. Seven of the patients live in California and two live in Utah.
State and county health officers are investigating an additional four suspected cases, two in Utah and two in California. All the patients visited the parks in Orange County between Dec.15-20, California Department of Public Health officials said.
“If you have symptoms, and believe you may have been exposed, please contact your health care provider,” Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director and state health officer, said in a statement. “The best way to prevent measles and its spread is to get vaccinated.”
Kathleen Harriman, chief of vaccine preventable diseases with the department, said that "it's our speculation that there was an (infected) international visitor at one of the parks, and that person or persons was able to infect a lot of people."
Measles is "a very infectious disease," she added, and was eliminated from the United States in 2000. "So all the cases of measles in the United States originate with an imported case, even though there can be transmission once one of those cases gets here." Measles is airborne and highly contagious. It can live on a surface where an infected person coughed or sneezed up to two hours and possibly infect others.