ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — Orange County health officials confirmed that five Disneyland park employees have tested positive for measles.
Of those, two had reportedly been vaccinated.
To date, 59 measles cases have been confirmed in California over the last month. Officials said at least 20 of the confirmed cases are in Orange County — two of which were just reported Wednesday — and 13 are associated with visits to the Disney parks in mid-December.
Two people are currently hospitalized.
Experts say one person with the virus will infect nine out of 10 people around them who have not been vaccinated.
They say those vaccinated are still susceptible to the virus but their symptoms will be much less pronounced and they would be less infectious.
On Tuesday night, Pamela Hymel, the chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, released the following statement:
“In an abundance of caution, we also offered vaccinations and immunity tests. To date, a few cast members have tested positive and some have been medically cleared and returned to work. Cast members who may have come in contact with those who were positive are being tested for the virus. While awaiting results, they have been put on paid leave until medically cleared.”
A Disney spokesperson said three of the employees contracted measles from Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. It’s unclear when the remaining two were infected.
An employee at the theme park spoke to CBS2/KCAL9’s Stacey Butler on condition that she not be identified: “It is scary thinking that the ‘Happiest Place On Earth’ is infected with measles now.”
She said, “All these kids that don’t get vaccinated they could easily come meet princesses or characters and come up and hug us.”