U.S. health authorities in the state of California said Thursday that people who aren't vaccinated against measles should stay away from Disneyland, after an outbreak in the state was linked to the popular theme park.
The state officials recommended that children under 12 months and people who've never had a measles vaccination stay away from the park while the disease event continues.
“We anticipate we will see additional cases,” said Gil Chavez, Deputy Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the California Department of Public Health. He added that already, the number of confirmed measles cases in California is about the same as the state saw for all of 2014.
The theme park known as “the happiest place on Earth” began to detect the first cases of the illness between December 17-20 and 42 of the state's 70 measles cases since then can be linked to initial exposure at Disneyland and the adjacent Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California, according to official figures.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles is one of the most contagious viral diseases known. In close contact it can be transmitted to more than 90 percent of susceptible people.
As a respiratory disease, measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. Humans are the only natural host for sustaining measles virus transmission, which makes global eradication of measles feasible.