Nine people who visited Disneyland or Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim in mid-December have contracted measles, the state Department of Public Health announced on 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 involve California residents, from Orange, Pasadena, Riverside, San Diego and Alameda, according to the CDPH. Two other cases are Utah residents. The three suspected cases are all among California residents.
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.
Disney is "working with the health department to provide any information and assistance we can," said Dr. Pamela Hymel, the chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.