California public health officials are investigating a possible measles outbreak at Disneyland and an L.A. Starbucks location, according to a press release from the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
Officials say that a person who is confirmed to be actively infected with measles is known to have visited at least two public spaces where he or she would have been exposed to potentially thousands of other people. Specifically, the person is known to have been at Disneyland for the better part of 12 hours on October 16, as well as spending over an hour at a Starbucks on Sepulveda Blvd.
Officials say that anyone who believes they may have been exposed to measles and at risk for contracting the infection can contact health officials to get more specific information about where the infected person was and when. Further, health officials will review the immunization records of anyone who thinks they may have been exposed and who contacts them, and will notify that person’s doctor if they are pregnant, have a compromised immune system, or are otherwise at risk of a fatal or damaging measles infection.
Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases known to science. People exposed to the virus, and who aren’t immune to it, can unknowingly carry it around for a week or so before showing symptoms.
Symptoms, which typically present one to three weeks after exposure, generally include fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, of course, a characteristic rash.
In healthy adults, measles usually goes away on its own without further complications. But in infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, it can end in blindness or pneumonia, according to Healthline.
Measles was at one time all but eradicated in the United States, thanks to the widespread acceptance of the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
“The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others,” says Dr. Muntu Davis of the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
However, thanks to the anti-vaccination movement, measles is making a comeback, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. In fact, at one time in 2015, at least 100 cases of measles were all traced back to Disneyland. Officials suspected at the time that a visitor from outside the country, who wasn’t vaccinated against measles, may have been the source of the outbreak. Most of the people who contracted the disease were not vaccinated.