Measles on the move

(NBC News) More than 50 people have been diagnosed with the measles in an outbreak that began in December at California’s Disneyland.

“We are very concerned, and it’s expanded much more rapidly than we thought,” says pediatrician Dr. Robert Bjork.

Cases have been reported in Utah, Colorado and Washington state. The airborne virus is so contagious it can stick around after an infected person has left the room.

Measles causes fever, a cough and runny nose. It’s also marked by a signature rash that may not show up until after the patient has been contagious for days.

Many patients in the outbreak that began in Disneyland were not vaccinated, either because they were too young or because parents decided against vaccinating their children. Doctors say a decrease in vaccination rates is the main reason the nation has seen a marked increase in measles outbreaks in recent years. More than 600 people were infected in the United States in 2014, the worst year for measles in over a decade.

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