Dozens of measles cases now linked to Disneyland

Since the end of December the number of confirmed measles cases in California has grown to 59 and most have been connected to an initial exposure in Disneyland in mid-December, public health officials said Wednesday.

The measles cases have been found in 11 local health jurisdictions, including in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, according to the state Department of Public Health. The patients range in age between 7 months and 70 years.

The exposure at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure theme parks in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and 20 has been connected to a total of 42 patients, including at least one in Alameda County.

Anyone who recently visited places where international travelers congregate, such as airports or theme parks, could have been exposed to measles, public health officials said.

The public health department has determined the vaccination status of 34 of the 59 measles cases and of those 34, 28 people who contracted measles were unvaccinated. One of the other six had one dose of the vaccine and five had two or more doses.

Two or more doses of the measles vaccine are considered 99 percent effective in preventing the disease. Symptoms of measles begin with fever, cough and runny nose and red eyes and within a few days a red rash appears, usually first on the face and spreading downward to the rest of the body.

MeaslesĀ is highly infections and spread through the air.