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By Andrea Swayne
Seven cases of the measles have been confirmed in California and all reported having visited the same Orange County theme park within six days of each other, California Department of Public Health officials said Jan. 7 in a news release.
The patients hail from five different locations within the state, said Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director and state health officer in the statement. All seven—ranging from 8 months to 21 years old—visited Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20, making it likely that an infectious person was also at the parks during the same time period, officials said.
Another three California residents are suspected of having the disease, and two additional cases have been confirmed in Utah.
Early signs of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. A red rash typically appears within a few days on the face and then spreads to the body. Patients can be contagious for nine days with the highly infectious airborne disease.
“If you have symptoms, and believe you may have been exposed, please contact your health care provider,” Chapman said. “The best way to prevent measles and its spread is to get vaccinated.”
The seven Californians confirmed to have the disease reside in Alameda, Orange, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego health jurisdictions. Of the seven, only one was vaccinated.
Health care providers are being reminded to evaluate for measles when treating patients with a rash and fever. Several large contact investigations are ongoing, CDPH officials said.
To find out more, visit the CDPH website at www.cdph.ca.gov.