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Health department brings in extra help after 2 in Utah County contract measles

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Jan 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-09 00:28:01-05

UTAH COUNTY -- Many residents in Utah County are not only expressing concern, but are taking action Thursday to prevent the spread of measles.

On Wednesday we learned that two people in that county contracted measles during a recent trip to Disneyland.

After The Utah Department of Health made the announcement on Wednesday evening, the Provo Health Department began to be flooded with calls, with the majority of them relating to measles.

"It has been really busy here, we've received a lot of phone calls in regards to people wondering if they were up to date on their immunizations," said Janette Bell, who is a registered nurse.

The calls continued throughout Thursday. Extra workers came in to deal specifically with anyone needing treatment or a measles vaccine.

"We have had people come in to update their MMR immunizations and have blood draws to make sure they are up to date," Bell said.

While many are working to protect themselves against the highly contagious disease, the Utah County Department of Health is busy preventing the spread of it.

"This is a case we don't see very often; last time we saw it in Utah was 2011, then you have to go back ten years before that to see this," said Lance Madigan, who is The Utah County Health Department's Public Information Officer.

State and county health departments are still working to find those that may have been infected at several locations in Utah County, including movie theaters, stores an LDS Church and three hospitals between December 27 and January 5. Click here for the list.

"Measles itself is extremely contagious; if you're not protected and you're exposed, you have about a 90 percent chance of contracting the disease yourself, and that's what we're trying to get ahead of," Madigan said.

The Utah County Department of Health said businesses where people could have been exposed to the disease now have no risk.

Click here for more information about the measles in Utah and the efforts being made to prevent more cases.