Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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19 Measles Cases in U.S. Linked to Disney Theme Parks

Measles Cases Linked to Disney

(Photo : Reuters) Balloons of Mickey Mouse are carried down main street at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, March 11, 2011.

California health authorities on Friday linked 19 measles cases across the U.S. to visits in the state's Disney theme parks in December.

Two of the cases are in Utah, one in Colorado and the remaining sixteen in California. They were all in Disney California Adventure or Disneyland from December 15 to 20, the California public health agency reported.

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Of the 16 cases in California, only two were completely vaccinated against measles while a couple was partially vaccinated and at least two were too young to receive vaccination.

The Orange County health care agency traced the measles exposure to patients who checked into a lab and two hospitals. People with measles symptoms are urged to see their physician before getting medical attention to avoid transmitting the infectious disease.

Authorities said measles patients should have an area where they can see a healthcare provider instead of a regular waiting room where they can infect everyone else.

Earlier this week, the El Paso health department posted a measles patient being treated in a Colorado Springs hospital after visiting a California Disney park. Of the cases in California, two were in San Diego, two in Riverside and eight in Orange County.

Disney offered to work with health authorities for possible assistance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said measles is a highly infectious virus that thrives in the nose and throat, which is transmitted through sneezing and coughing. Its symptoms include cough, fever, red eyes, runny nose and a red rash.

Health experts say vaccination is the best measure against the disease. Although the U.S. is considered measles free because of a lack of continuous infection since 2000, unvaccinated Americans or foreign visitors may still cause it. 

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