UTAH COUNTY, Utah – An outbreak of measles in California has spread to Utah, where there are currently two confirmed cases of the disease in Utah County.
"It is so infectious that virtually everyone susceptible who is exposed will be getting it, 90 percent,” said Dr. Joseph Miner, executive director of the Utah County Health Department.
The two patients are siblings, both under the age of 18. During a vacation in California last month, they contracted the measles while visiting Disneyland, likely on the day of December 17.
“This could easily turn from two people into dozens,” Miner said. “Hundreds of people if you don't aggressively jump on it very quickly.”
The Utah patients would have been contagious from December 27 to January 5, which means anyone they came into contact with during that time could have been exposed.
A list of locations the children visited has been compiled in an effort to determine who may be impacted. If you recall being at any of the spots below, you are asked to contact the Utah Poison Control Center at 1-800-456-7707.
- Friday, 12/26/2014 – Macey’s Grocery Store, Orem, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- Friday, 12/26/2014 – Cinemark Movies 8, Provo, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
- Friday, 12/26/2014 – Carmike Wynnsong 12, Provo, 10:00 p.m. to closing
- Sunday, 12/28/2014 – Geneva Heights LDS Church Building, 847 West 800 North, Orem, 7:00 p.m.
- Monday, 12/29/2014 – Walmart, Sandhill Road, Orem, 9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
- Friday, 1/2/2015 – Orem Community Hospital, East Entrance Lobby, Lab, or Gift Shop, Orem, 4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, 1/3/2015 – Timpanogos Regional Hospital, ER Waiting Room & Registration Desk, Orem, 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Saturday, 1/3/2015 – Timpanogos Regional Hospital Lab Waiting Room, Orem, 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
- Sunday, 1/4/2015 – Timpanogos Regional Hospital Lab Waiting Room, Orem, 1:45 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Thus far, about a dozen people have been asked to quarantine themselves because of their interactions with the kids. According to Dr. Allyn Nakashima of the Utah Department of Health, that number could increase.
“It’s important to stop this early,” Dr. Nakashima said. “There's no way for us to find them unless they come forward."
Neither child involved in these cases had been immunized for measles. According to the Utah Department of Health, the MMR vaccine provides 99.7 percent protection from the disease when given in two doses.
“For the most part, the United States has been measles free,” Nakashima said. “Except for these sporadic outbreaks from re-introductions of the virus.”
Vaccination within 72 hours of exposure to measles in unvaccinated persons can still provide protection in some cases.
Symptoms of the measles include a fever of 101 degrees or higher, cough, runny nose and a rash that spreads to cover the body.