The Disneyland measles outbreak is spreading out of control, as 51 cases of the disease can be linked back to the amusement park. Forty-two of the cases have been confirmed in California, with other patients being treated in Utah, Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington. Five Disneyland employees are among the diagnosed patients. California health officials are continuing to investigate the measles outbreak and believe they have tracked it down to one unidentified infected person who spread the highly contagious virus throughout the park between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20.
Though California Department of Public Health officials have declared that outbreak over since last week, one of the state's top health officials is warning children under 1 year old, and those who are not vaccinated against the disease, to stay away from the park.
In response, the deputy director of the California Center For Infectious Diseases said that Disneyland parks are "perfectly safe" for those who've been immunized.
In response to the outbreak, one Huntington Beach, CA, school is barring kids from going to school until Jan. 29 unless they can prove that they've been vaccinated.
Most of the infected parkgoers who were initially diagnosed are unvaccinated. The Centers For Disease Control recommends that all children receive the measles vaccine, which is part of the MMR (it also guards against mumps and rubella) vaccination between the ages of 12 months and 12 years old. It is often administered in two doses, the first just after the child's first birthday and the second before kindergarten. Officials fear that an upswing in cases like this could be tied to the antivaccination movement.
Anyone who visited Disneyland over the holidays and is experiencing measles-like symptoms — fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth, or a skin rash made up of large and flat blotches — is asked to seek medical help immediately.