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

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'Mickey Mouse Measles' Spreading Fast; Now in 7 U.S. States

Super Bowl XLIX

Good for measles: Super Bowl XLIX

The reason the current "Mickey Mouse Measles" outbreak has spread so fast in seven states is simple: each person infected with the virus can infect up to 20 other persons.

Bad news for the thousands of fans of Super Bowl XLIX that plan to be at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona for the kick-off  on Feb.1.

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Arizona's one of the seven states hit by the Mickey Mouse Measles outbreak. The other six are California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Health authorities have confirmed 67 measles cases in these seven states.

Arizona health officials said they were tracking more than 1,000 people that might have been exposed to measles during the original outbreak that began at Disneyland in southern California a week ago.

Some 200 of these persons of interest are children. Arizona has seven confirmed cases of measles.

Lcal government officials in three counties in the Phoenix area (Maricopa, Gila and Pina) have asked unvaccinated residents who might have been exposed to stay home from school, work or day care for 21 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that overall, 84 people in 14 states were diagnosed with measles from Jan. 1 through 28.

Most were infected either at Disneyland or by someone who went there.  Some 15 percent of measles patients were hospitalized.

Ominously, most of the infected people weren't fully vaccinated. Measles, which is one of the most contagious diseases, is so potent because it lingers in the air and can affect persons two hours after an infected person leaves a room.

The U.S. had more cases of measles in January than it usually has in an entire year, said Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general.

"This has the potential to get really huge. We don't know how big this will get", she said.

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