Measles outbreak expected to spread closer to KC metro

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KANSAS CITY, Kan.  -- An outbreak at the happiest place on earth is spreading, moving closer to the metro.

Measles cases linked to Disneyland are coming this way. At least nine children have now been diagnosed outside California, including our neighboring states of Colorado and Nebraska.

“You take a large mobile community from around the world, you put them in this one incubator spot, and you drop in the person who has measles,” said University of Kansas hospital Pediatrician Steve Lauer.

And doctors say that's exactly how the measles mayhem began.

It happened around Christmas. Doctors say someone with the measles went to Disneyland and it spread like wildfire. Already 70 people have been diagnosed and hundreds more have been exposed across seven states.

While a case hasn't been confirmed in Missouri or Kansas, Doctor Lauer says it will.

"This is the kind of thing that we know is going to happen and continue to happen as we see the effects of pockets of families that don't vaccinate their children," he said.

Doctor Lauer says he's noticed a recent spike in parents choosing not to vaccinate their kids, after news broke it could cause autism.

Although Lauer says that theory has been debunked, the newest generation of parents is still hesitant to inject anything into their children's body.

"Nobody has seen measles in this country. The question that comes up for families is why am I vaccinating against a disease that doesn't cause any problems here, we've never seen measles?" Doctor Lauer said.

But it's there.

Last year the CDC reports 644 people were diagnosed with the measles and although it's not on our front door step yet he strongly believes the highly infectious, airborne illness is coming if vaccinations aren't a priority.

"We need to be vigilant about protecting people and giving them the best health care we possibly can,” said Lauer.

This is one of the most highly contagious diseases around and now California health officials are warning people to stay away from Disneyland unless they're vaccinated.