MEASLES EXPOSURE AT DISNEYLAND, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, LAX AND OTHER LOS ANGELES SITES IN MID-AUGUST

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2 cases of measles in San Diego County are unrelated to the Anaheim exposure

Creative Commons photo by CrispyCreme via Wikimedia

By Miriam Raftery

August 25, 2019 (Anaheim) – For the second time in four years, a visitor to Disneyland has exposed countless others to measles.  The patient, a girl from New Zealand, arrived at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on August 11 and visited Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park on August 12, followed by Universal Studios, the Chinese Theatre and Madame Tussauds wax museum August 14-15.  She and her family stayed at the Desert Palms Hotel in Anaheim.

The last outbreak tied to Disneyland occurred in 2015, sickening 147 people in multiple U.S. states and Canada.

Public health officials in Orange County warn that measles is an airborne disease that is highly contagious.  It can also spread via direct contact. It may take 7 to 21 days after exposure to develop symptoms that typically include a rash, red eyes, cough, runny nose and fever.

The public is urged to get vaccinated for measles if your vaccinations are not up to date.  Anyone developing symptoms of measles should call their doctor before going in to minimize spread of the illness.  

According to the World Health Organization, measles cases nearly tripled in the first seven months this year compared with the same period last year – and cases are on the rise around the world including New Zealand, Europe, the U.S. and other locations.

Measles Vaccinations are now recommended for all international travelers; infants age 6-12 months should get one dose and travelers over 12 months should get two doses at least four weeks apart.

So far, no cases have been reported that are linked to the New Zealand girl, who has recovered and returned home. However, measles cases have been reported in multiple southern California counties including locally.

San Diego County has reported two measles cases in the past week. The latest, an San Diego infant just under a year old, had contracted measles in the Philippines. 

The infant may have exposed the public at the following locations:

  • 85˚ Bakery Café, 3361 Rosecrans Street, on Aug. 15, 16, 17 and 18 from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Min Sok Chon Korean Restaurant, 4620 Convoy Street, on Aug. 15 from 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • Ralph’s, 3011 Alta View Drive, on Aug. 16 from approximately 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“If you were at any of the locations at the dates and times listed, you should watch for symptoms of measles and call your health care provider if you show any signs of developing the disease,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., County interim deputy public health officer. “Measles is a very contagious disease that can be easily spread by coughing, sneezing or being in the same room with an infected person.”

Complications from measles can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults over age 20.

There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problems.

For more information about measles, other vaccine-preventable diseases and the shots that protect against them, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966 or visit the website at www.sdiz.org.