California: People not vaccinated for measles urged to avoid Disneyland

LTMB2-021111-AVPLos Angeles – People who have not been vaccinated against measles, including children too young to be vaccinated, should avoid visiting Disneyland after infection incidents were linked to the theme park.

So far, 70 people in five U.S. states and Mexico have contracted measles, because of the outbreak that was traced to Disney parks in December and has since spread into the community. The vast majority of infections -62 of them- occurred in California and their number is expected to increase.

Health experts revealed new measles cases linked to visits to Disney parks in January, after the incubation period of the original outbreak. The age of people who have been infected range in age from 7 months to 70 years old. The vast majority were not vaccinated and a quarter had to be hospitalized.

Among those sickened were five Disneyland employees, three of which have now returned to work. The company said that employees who may have been in contact with those infected, were asked to show proof of vaccination or have a blood test to show immunity against measles. Those with pending results were put on paid leave.

Measles has hit California hard recently. The state typically sees four to 60 measles cases a year. Since measles is highly contagious, people who have not been vaccinated against measles, are susceptible and should avoid visiting Disney “for the time being”, said epidemiologist Gil Chavez, while the same holds true for crowded places with a high concentration of international travelers, such as airports.