California Officials Warn Residents About Measles in Theme Parks

The measles outbreak in California is prompting state health officials to warn residents about exposure to international travelers at theme parks like Disneyland, where dozens of people have been exposed.

Adults who haven’t been immunized, or children too young, should avoid the Walt Disney Co. park, the Associated Press reported, citing an interview with state epidemiologist Gil Chavez. Any patient with measles-like symptoms who has been to places where tourists congregate, such as theme parks and airports, should “be considered to have a plausible exposure to measles,” the California Department of Public Health said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

California residents have come down with 59 cases of measles since late December, the department said. Of those, 42 have been linked to initial exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. More cases are expected. Including residents of four other U.S. states and Mexico, the outbreak traced to the Disney parks totals 70, the AP said.

Health officials urged people to get vaccinations.

“California has many international attractions and visitors come from many parts of the world,” the department said. “It is important for health care providers and the public to be aware that measles transmission can occur in California, and they can prevent transmission by receiving the MMR vaccine.” The vaccine covers measles, mumps and rubella.

Officials at Burbank, California-based Disney didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment outside of normal business hours.

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