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Measles outbreak continues to spread as schools tell students to stay home




A dose of measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Children's Hospital on June 02, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced that in the United States they are seeing the most measles cases in 20 years as they warned clinicians, parents and others to watch for and get vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus.
A dose of measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Children's Hospital on June 02, 2014 in Miami, Florida. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week announced that in the United States they are seeing the most measles cases in 20 years as they warned clinicians, parents and others to watch for and get vaccinated against the potentially deadly virus.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Two dozen students at Huntington Beach High School have been sent home for three weeks after possibly being exposed to measles earlier this month. School officials say a student that had the measles virus was on campus for several days and may have spread the incredibly contagious disease.

The Orange County Health Department says it has confirmed 16 cases in the county so far, six of which were unrelated to the Disneyland outbreak in late December. State law mandates that school-age children receive the MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella, but parents who think that there are links between the vaccine and autism can have their child exempted by signing a personal belief waiver.

Measles can show up eight to 21 days after exposure. At first, symptoms are fever, coughing, runny nose, and bloodshot eyes. Within a few days, the fever spikes and the signature red, spotty rash begins to appear on the face and spreads down the body.

Guests:

Rebecca Plevin, KPCC health reporter

Dr. Helene Calvet, deputy public health officer with the Orange County Department of Public Health.

Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of hospital epidemiology at UC-Irvine Medical Center and assistant clinical professor of infectious diseases.