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Dozens infected with measles are from 11 states

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Posted at 11:08 AM, Jan 29, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-30 17:27:22-05

The outbreak of the measles that began in Disneyland has infected people from 11 states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of this week at least 68 people have confirmed cases. It would not confirm which states have cases and said it is up to state officials to make that known.

The states that the CDC has listed on its website include California, Arizona, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Nebraska. Cases were also reported in Mexico.

This week, the State of Arizona is working to notify families of children who visited the Phoenix Children’s East Valley Center on Jan. 20-21. They may have come in contact with a woman confirmed to have the virus.

At the time, she didn’t have the signs of infection. 

At least 1,000 people in Arizona are being monitored, and 200 are children.

Across the U.S., those who have not been vaccinated against measles are being urged to get the vaccination.

THE MEASLES
- Measles is a respiratory virus that’s spread through coughing and sneezing.
- Measles is highly contagious. If one person has the measles, 90 percent of the unvaccinated people close to them will become infected.
- Symptoms start as a runny nose, cough, red eyes and a sore throat.
- About two or three days later, little white spots appear inside the mouth.
- Within three to five days, a rash of flat red spots spreads all over the body.

COMPLICATIONS
- Children younger than 5 and adults older than 20 are the most likely to have complications from measles.
- Serious complications are pneumonia and brain swelling. The swelling can cause deafness or mental retardation.
- Two in every 1,000 children who gets measles dies from it.
- Worldwide, 122,000 people die from the measles each year.

VACCINATION
- The MMR vaccine, which covers measles, mumps and rubella, has reduced measles cases by 99 percent since it was introduced in 1971.
- The CDC recommends that children get their first dose of the MMR vaccine at around 12 months and the second dose at around 4 years.
- Even with the MMR vaccine, some people are still at risk of the measles. That includes young children who have not yet finished the MMR regimen, adults who cannot take the vaccine due to an immune system issue and those who may have lost immunity over time.
Source: CDC

Scripps National Desk writers Mandy Gambrell, Eric Pfahler and Gavin Stern contributed to this report.