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Disneyland measles outbreak spreads, a dozen cases reported statewide

Measles may have spread, Orange County officials warn: 'We expect more cases to appear'

A measles outbreak that began at Disneyland has spread, bringing the statewide total to a dozen cases and prompting Orange County health officials to issue public warnings about possible exposure. 

Orange County health officials confirmed late Thursday that a total of five more people contracted the disease, bringing the countywide total to six cases.

Of those diagnosed, three were unvaccinated children -- who were all old enough to be vaccinated -- that contracted measles between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 at the amusement park, said Orange County Health Care Agency spokeswoman Nicole Stanfield. 

Three others are adults; one was unvaccinated, one was partly vaccinated, and one was fully vaccinated. None of the adults were hospitalized, Stanfield said.

On Wednesday, California's Department of Health reported nine confirmed cases of measles, of which seven cases are in California and two in Utah.

Others could have been exposed to measles at health facilities in Orange County while those with the disease were infectious, Stanfield said.

"We expect more cases to appear," she said.

The sites where members of the public may have been exposed to measles are all located in Orange and include:

  • The emergency department at St. Joseph Hospital on Dec. 30 between 6 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
  • Quest Diagnostics Laboratory on Jan. 3 between 12 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.
  • CHOC Children’s Hospital fourth floor between 3:40 p.m. on Jan. 1 and 12:45 p.m. on Jan. 2.
  • CHOC Children’s Hospital's emergency department on Jan. 4 from 10:25 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. and on Jan. 5 from 8:25 a.m. to 12:40 p.m.

Brief interactions with those who have measles offer a low risk of infection, but officials are asking those who were at St. Joseph Hospital, CHOC Children’s Hospital and Quest Diagnostics Laboratory in Orange to watch for symptoms from 7 to 21 days after the possible exposure.

Symptoms include a rash, fever, cough and red, watery eyes, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

Those who have not had measles or the vaccine are at a higher risk for the disease.  

Other measles cases in the state have been reported in Alameda, Riverside and San Diego counties, as well as the city of Pasadena, according to the California Department of Public Health. Two additional park visitors who were diagnosed as having measles live in Utah.

Of those confirmed cases, one was vaccinated for measles, six were unvaccinated, and two were too young to be vaccinated, state officials said.

Measles had mostly disappeared in the United States, but there has been a recent upswing in confirmed cases.

In California, Orange County had a large share of last year's confirmed cases, with 22 of the 62 people diagnosed with measles.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

12:12 a.m.: This story was updated to correct Nicole Stanfield's name and to report on the number of confirmed cases.

6:21 p.m.: This story was updated to clarify the timing of the confirmed measles diagnoses.

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