Seven new measles cases reported, virus traced to Disney theme parks

California’s Department of Public Health confirmed Monday seven more cases of measles tied to outbreaks from Disney theme parks in California, bringing the total number of infected to 26.

Officials say 22 of the cases are in California, two are in Utah, with one each in Washington state and Colorado.

The first confirmed cases began in January, the AP reported. Health officials say most of the patients visited either the Disneyland or Disney California Adventure theme parks between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20 last year, with others contracting the illness through contact with those infected.

Because the measles virus is airborne and has a nine-day infectious period, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of California’s Department of Public Health, advised those who may have been infected to call a physician before seeking treatment in order to prevent spreading the virus further.

“The best way to prevent measles and its spread is to get vaccinated,” Chapman said in a statement.

The measles virus was classified as eliminated in the United States in 2000, though the virus has found its way back to the U.S. on occasion by international travelers.

Disney officials have stated that they will work with California public health authorities to provide any necessary assistance.