ANAHEIM, Calif., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- As the number of measles cases linked to California's Disneyland theme parks swells, public health officials are growing increasingly concerned about patients who have contracted the disease despite being fully vaccinated.
Health officials said those who were immunized in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are at risk for the highly infectious disease. Before 1989, only one dose of the measles vaccine was recommended. After large-scale outbreaks in the years that followed, officials recommended a second dose.
"I would say anybody who doesn't know they've had two doses should get a dose of vaccine," Dr. James Cherry, a UCLA research professor and primary editor of the Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, told the Los Angeles Times. He said it is also safe to get a third dose.
The outbreak began at Disneyland California or Disney California Adventure Park before Christmas and quickly spread to five states and Mexico.
Today, there are 59 confirmed cases of measles in five states, including five Disney employees, said Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health. Patients range in age from 7 months to 70 years.
At Huntington Beach High School in California, 24 unvaccinated students were told to stay home for three weeks -- the measles incubation period -- after a student at the school was diagnosed with the virus.