SAN DIEGO -- Nine people, including at least one from San Diego, who visited Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim in mid- December have contracted measles, the state Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.
State health officials said they believe a person with infectious measles was likely at one of the theme parks and spread the disease. All of the patients, along with three other people suspected of having measles, said they were at one or both of the Disney parks between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20, according to health officials.
“If you have symptoms and believe you may have been exposed, please contact your health care provider,'' said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health. “The best way to prevent measles and its spread is to get vaccinated.
Seven of the confirmed cases are California residents, from San Diego, Orange, Pasadena, Riverside and Alameda, according to the CDPH. Two other cases are Utah residents. The three suspected cases are all among California residents.
In the San Diego case, two siblings with the illness may have exposed shoppers and employees at the Parkway Plaza mall in El Cajon.
According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, the pair visited the mall Dec. 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and visited GameStop, Sunglass Hut and the mall's carousel. The HHSA said there is no current risk of exposure by visiting those locations now.
“Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread easily by coughing, sneezing, or coming in contact with an infected person,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer. “Anyone who was at Disneyland or the Parkway Plaza Mall on these dates should watch for symptoms and contact their healthcare provider by telephone first, if they show any signs of the disease.''
The confirmed California cases range in age from 8 months to 21 years old. Six of them were unvaccinated -- two being too young, state officials said.
According to the state, measles generally begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Within a few days a red rash appears, usually on the face then spreading down to the rest of the body. Measles is an infectious, airborne disease.