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3rd Utah County resident tests positive for measles

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PROVO — A third young person in Utah County has come down with measles after two Utah teens came home from Disneyland with the illness in December.

The newly confirmed case is also a person under 18 years of age who had contact with the two people who became ill during travel to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in mid-December. This third person was previously not vaccinated against measles, but received a measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine after the first two Utahns (who were also not vaccinated prior to becoming sick) became ill, the Utah County Health Department said Saturday.

The health department does not expect any cases to come from infection by this third case, as the person was effectively under quarantine during their own infectious period.

The three Utah cases are related to a larger outbreak of measles that apparently originated at the Southern California theme park. Officials in California have confirmed at least 45 measles cases there, but not all can be traced to possible exposure at Disneyland, as the infectious period there was between Dec. 17 and 20, according to the California Department of Public Health.

In addition to the 45 confirmed cases of measles in California and three in Utah, Washington has two and Colorado has one, stemming from Disneyland. A toddler in Mexico has also been confirmed to have contracted the highly contagious illness during a visit at the theme park.

"The best way to protect yourself and your family from measles — as well as many other preventable diseases — is to be fully immunized," said Utah County Health Department spokesman Lance Madigan. He said immunization not only protects individuals, but "helps to limit the spread of disease in the community."

For local information on the current outbreak, visit www.health.utah.gov/measles. For general information on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, visit a local health department office or www.immunize-utah.org, or call the Utah Department of Health Immunization hotline at 1-800-275-0659.

The California health department states, "the only way to prevent measles is through immunization, and this outbreak is a reminder that measles is just a plane ride away from the United States."

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Wendy Leonard

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