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Southland measles outbreak appears to have peaked

Since Feb. 27, only three new cases have been reported in the state. (Thinkstock)
Since Feb. 27, only three new cases of measles have been reported in the state. (Thinkstock)

The measles outbreak linked to a Disneyland guest who visited the Anaheim theme park in December appears to have peaked, with only one new case reported Friday by state health officials.

Since Feb. 27, only three new cases have been reported in the state. The latest — the 133rd case — was reported in Ventura County, the state Department of Public Health announced today.

Initially it did not look like a case of the measles and the patient had to be tested again to confirm the diagnosis, said Sheila Murphy of the Ventura County Health Care Agency, bringing the county’s total to 13.

The most recent figures show 33 cases in Los Angeles County, including two in Long Beach and four in Pasadena, which have their own health departments.

Orange County stands at 35 cases and Riverside County has had eight cases. San Bernardino County has a dozen and San Diego County has 14.

Of the California cases, 40 were traced back to visitors or workers at Disneyland between Dec. 17-20, according to the state.

In 30 cases, measles was passed on from someone in the house or another close relation, officials said.

Eleven people contracted the disease in a community setting such as an emergency room where someone was seeking treatment for measles.

In 49 cases, including the latest one, it’s unknown how the disease was contracted.

Of the patients the state has vaccination records for, 57 did not get shots and 20 had one or more doses of the MMR vaccine, according to the state.

There are 173 cases reported in 17 states this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Measles cases have been reported in Washington, D.C., Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

The outbreaks in Illinois, Washington state and Nevada are unrelated to Disneyland, according to the CDC.

From Dec. 28 to March 6, 142 people from seven states came down with measles from the Disneyland outbreak. The states include Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, according to the CDC.

There were 644 measles cases in 27 states, the most since measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, according to the CDC.

In most cases, the victims were unvaccinated, according to the CDC.

The CDC reported on Feb. 13 when there were 110 cases of measles, 45 percent were unvaccinated, 5 percent had one dose and 6 percent had two doses and only one person had three doses. Twelve of those afflicted with measles were too young to get shots, and of those who were eligible to get shots, 28 intentionally took a pass based on personal beliefs and one had an “alternative plan” for immunization, according to the CDC.

Of the 28 who did not get vaccinated, 18 were children and the rest adults, according to the CDC.

The patients have ranged in age from six weeks to 70 years, with the median age 22, according to the CDC.

Experts suspect the outbreak started with a traveler who got infected overseas and then visited Disneyland while infectious, according to the CDC. Scientists say the measles virus in this outbreak matches the one in an outbreak in the Philippines last year.

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