Health

Orange County confirms 5 more Disneyland measles cases (updated)

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.
Photo by KeithJ via Flickr Creative Commons

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The Orange County Health Care Agency has confirmed five more cases of measles contracted at Disneyland or California Adventure between Dec. 15-20. That brings the total number of people infected at the theme parks during that time to 17.

Eight of the cases are in Orange County; the Health Care Agency had earlier said that three of its patients are children and three are adults. The two latest cases are also adults, said Agency spokeswoman Nicole Stanfield, adding that one of the children was hospitalized.

"We do anticipate additional cases," Stanfield told KPCC in an e-mail.

Fifteen of those who caught the disease are Californians; two are from Utah. 

Of the 15 Californians, at least nine were unvaccinated; two were too young to be vaccinated.

One of the five Orange County adults was unvaccinated, and two were partially vaccinated, Stanfield noted. 

"Being vaccinated helps protect against the measles and those that have been vaccinated and become ill typically have a far less severe illness," Stanfield pointed out.

Los Angeles County on Thursday announced its first apparent Disneyland-related case.

L.A. said the adult male patient is "likely associated" with the Disneyland outbreak. Asked to clarify, L.A. County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser said in an e-mail that "the timing of the onset of his illness and his history of having visited the Disneyland parks at the same time when others appear to have been exposed...gives us a very high degree of certainty that this is where he acquired his illness."

State health officials believe an international tourist brought the measles to the theme parks, since it was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000.

Orange County on Friday updated its list of medical facilities where the public could have been exposed to measles, although Stanfield noted that "we anticipate that we will reach a point that there are so many exposure locations that we will stop listing them. It is important that people realize that measles is in the community and they may be at risk for exposure."

Here is the updated list of possible Orange County exposure locations and dates:

This story has been updated.