Number of measles cases linked to Disneyland grows

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The number of measles cases linked to a pre-Christmas visit to Disneyland continues to grow. Doctors were concerned because the outbreak is showing no signs of slowing up.

The number of measles cases has now risen to at least 87 people across seven states and Mexico. ABC News Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser is worried the number will continue to grow because some parents refuse to have their kids vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella.

Dr. Besser told Action News, "They're deciding not to vaccinate. Many states are making it easier for parents just to have an exemption based on belief and desire not to vaccinate and that ends up putting not just their children at risk but other children who have been vaccinated."

Doctors believed the outbreak started with an unvaccinated visitor - possibly an international traveler. Adults who had the measles when they were young are safe but many people are unsure of their medical history.

Dr. Besser explained, "If you're an adult born after 1957 and you don't know whether you were vaccinated, your doctor can give you a blood test and see if you're immune or if you're still at risk, and if you're at risk you can get a shot."

Measles may have been eradicated in the US in 2000 but last year we still had over 600 cases with the largest linked to Disneyland.

The disease is still very common in other countries. Right now, doctors are dealing with outbreaks in Europe, Africa and the Philippines.

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