A Los Angeles County resident visited Disneyland last week while infectious with measles, health officials said late Tuesday, potentially exposing hundreds of other people to the highly contagious disease.
The individual went to Starbucks at 3006 S. Spulveda Boulevard in West Los Angeles early on the morning on October 16 before going to Disneyland from 9.15 a.m. onwards, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said in a statement.
“Anyone who may have been at these locations on these dates during these timeframes may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days after being exposed,” the statement said.
Measles can spread through coughing and sneezing and can live for up to two hours in the air where an infected person coughs or sneezes. As more details become available, the department said it would update information about exposure times and locations.
“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, finally, a rash,” said Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis.
“Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know have it. The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others.”
The department urged people concerned about exposure to monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after they may have come into contact with the virus. If symptoms develop, they should stay at home and call a health care provider immediately.
It added that residents should contact and notify their health care provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if they are pregnant, have an infant, a weakened immune system and/or are not vaccinated.
In August, a teenage girl from New Zealand visited several popular tourist attractions in Southern California while contagious with measles.
There have been 19 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019.