California health officials confirm 79 measles cases in state

California health officials said yesterday there were 79 confirmed measles cases in the state, CNN  reported.

The California Department of Public Health website, said 52 of those cases were linked to an outbreak at Disneyland (See:Disneyland measles outbreak spreads, 70 cases across US ).

Four confirmed cases had been recorded in Riverside County, where the Desert Sands Unified School District told 66 students, who had either not been vaccinated for measles or could not show proof of vacinatiopn, that they needed to stay home.

According a report from CNN affiliate KESQ, one student at Palm Desert High School was suspected of having had measles and though the student had been cleared to return, to class health officials were still trying to determine if the student actually had measles.

For now, the others would be required to study at their homes.

According to a spokeswoman for the school district, Mary Perry, the students who were released would be asked to stay home until the incubation period for contagion was complete. The earliest a student could return without proof of vaccination is 9 February according to the report of the station.

Sixteen cases linked to Disneyland had been recorded outside California (seven in Arizona, three in Utah, two in Washington, one in Colorado, one in Oregon, one in Nebraska and one in Mexico).

Meanwhile, Arizona health officials were keeping tabs on 1,000 people, including 200 children, who could have been exposed to measles at a Phoenix-area medical center.

The outbreak which originated in California's Disney parks had spread to the state and those who had been exposed to the disease and not vaccinated are being asked to stay away from going out in public or wear masks if they have to.
Health officials do not know how many children were vaccinated for measles or their age ranges. Children under a year cannot get vaccinated for measles, mumps or rubella, but could get an immunity booster.

After California, Arizona is the second in the number of cases traced to Disney parks last month. Measles had been confirmed in Utah, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Nebraska as well.