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measles-outbreak-in-california-continues-to-soarHealth officials say that the measles outbreak in California is soaring. In just nine days, the number of people infected has gone from 59 cases to 91. The total is small but in just one week, the case numbers increased by 54 percent. 

Most of the cases are linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in December. Health officials said 40 of the cases were employees or park patrons, and 18 of the cases were secondary infections.

The new cases include two in Marin County, near San Francisco where a parent of a 6-year-old has asked school officials to bar any children who have not been vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

"Fortunately, there is no need to exclude any students from a Marin County school at this time as there is no evidence for school-based exposure," the county public health office said in a statement.

The two measles patients are siblings and both are not vaccinated. They are not going to school and are not in the county. The health department has reported that 63 percent of the people with measles are over 20 years old.

What is Measles and How to Stay Healthy 

Measles is a highly communicable respiratory disease caused by a virus and spread through the air. The disease starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and sore throat. The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the vaccine beginning at 12 months, and a second dose between 4 and 6 years old. 

Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, but continues to be brought in by international travelers. Measles is highly contagious, so not only is it important to get vaccinated, it's also important to isolate yourself from someone who is sick.

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