New Zealand teen with measles may have exposed hundreds at Disneyland and other tourist destinations

Posted at 3:54 PM, Aug 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-24 15:54:45-04

LOS ANGELES – A teenage girl traveling through Southern California may have exposed hundreds of people to the measles when she visited several popular tourist destinations, health officials said Friday.

The girl, visiting from New Zealand, was contagious with the measles when she spent time at various Southern California attractions including Disneyland, Universal Studios and Madame Tussauds in Hollywood earlier this month, according to health alerts issued by Los Angeles and Orange counties.

“We were notified that the tourist visited multiple Southern California locations and have been advised by Orange County Health Care Agency that the risk to cast and guests is likely low,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, the chief medical officer for Disney Parks, in a statement.

Los Angeles and Orange counties’ public health agencies issued health alerts outlining the dates and times the girl was in large public spaces and warns the public to take precautionary measures in the event that they may have been exposed to the measles virus.

Measles is a highly contagious disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can spread through coughing and sneezing and can live for up to two hours in the air where an infected person coughed or sneezed.

The symptoms appear about nine to 12 days after a person has been infected. Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis or red, watery eyes, the letter said. This is followed by a fever and a rash two or three days later.

To date there have been 16 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to 11 non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles, according to Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.