UPDATE 4-Doctors group urges measles shots as Disneyland outbreak spreads
(State public health agency cites unvaccinated individuals as principal factor in outbreak)
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES Jan 23 (Reuters) - The leading U.S. pediatrician group on Friday urged parents, schools and communities to vaccinate children against measles in the face of an outbreak that began at Disneyland in California in December and has spread to more than 80 people in seven states and Mexico.
The American Academy of Pediatrics said all children should get the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella between 12 and 15 months of age and again between 4 and 6 years old.
"A family vacation to an amusement park - or a trip to the grocery store, a football game or school - should not result in children becoming sickened by an almost 100 percent preventable disease," Errol Alden, the group's executive director, said in a statement.
The California Department of Public Health has reported 68 confirmed measles cases among state residents since December, most linked to an initial exposure at Disneyland or its adjacent Disney California Adventure Park.
Fourteen more cases linked to Disney parks have been reported out of state - five in Arizona, three in Utah, two in Washington state and one each in Oregon, Colorado, Nevada and Mexico.
The outbreak is believed to have begun when an infected person, likely from out of the country, visited the resort in Anaheim between Dec. 15 and Dec. 20. The health department said others with measles are known to have visited Disney parks in January while infectious but did not elaborate.
Among those infected are at least five Disney employees and a student from a local high school that has ordered its unvaccinated students to stay home until Jan. 29. Continuación...