The number of measles cases linked to Disney theme parks continue to climb, and no place has been hit quite as hard as where Disneyland resides, Orange County, California.

Orange County, California Image/David Benbennick
Orange County, California
Image/David Benbennick

Orange County now has sixteen confirmed cases of measles, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.  10 of the cases have been linked to visiting Disneyland or Disneyland California Adventure Park in December.

However, health officials note that the source of the infection for the six most recent cases is not known; they were not exposed at Disneyland and had no known contact to any of the confirmed Disney-associated cases.

The identification of six measles cases with acquisition from unknown community contacts indicates exposure to measles is more widespread throughout the county. The Health Care Agency expects that the measles outbreak will continue to spread, so all should be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles.  Health officials remind the public that the best way to prevent the measles is by getting vaccinated.

Related: Utah reports 3rd measles case linked to Disneyland 

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Children too young to be immunized, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk for severe illness.  Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person.  People are contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears.

Anyone suspecting they have measles should CALL their medical provider BEFORE arriving at the medical office to avoid exposing others to the measles virus.

Related: Disney measles outbreak grows in California, Mexico infant infected