Contagious measles virus erupts in LA county
Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. About 90 percent of people who have never been immunized against measles become ill 7-21 days after exposure. CBS News screen grab Two more measles
Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. About 90 percent of people who have never been immunized against measles become ill 7-21 days after exposure. CBS News screen grab
Two more measles cases confirmed in Los Angeles County
LOS ANGELES – Two Los Angeles. County residents have been afflicted with the measles after traveling recently. Both individuals became ill with measles shortly after returning to L.A. County.
The Public Health Dept. is assessing public health and looking to identify others who are at risk for measles and may have been exposed to these individuals. Public Health urges residents, especially those who travel internationally and those who have not been fully protected against measles, to get the measles immunization in order to better protect their individual health and to prevent the spread of measles to others.
Other people may have been exposed to measles since public locations were visited by a person with measles while infectious. Potential public exposure locations and times were as follows:
• Geffen Playhouse, 10886 Le Conte Ave., Los Angeles, June 7, 2019 ; 8-11 p.m.
• Toscana Restaurant-Brentwood, 11633 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, June 8, 2019; 7-11 p.m.
There is no known current risk related to measles that exists, currently, at either of these venues at this time.
Anyone who may have been at these locations on those dates may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days after being exposed. People who were in the location(s) above around the same time(s) should:
Review their immunization and medical histories if they don’t already know they are protected against measles. People who have not had measles or the measles immunization should talk with a health care provider about receiving Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunization.
Contact and notify their health care provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if they are pregnant, an infant, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized. Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately.
“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, finally, a rash,” said Muntu Davis, M.D., L.A. County Health Officer. “It gets spread, by air, and direct contact, even before you know [you] have it. The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others.”
Currently, there have been 10 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to eight non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County. Of the 10 measles cases among residents, five are not linked to any of the others, and three of these cases are linked to international travel. The majority of the cases were unvaccinated. These two new cases are not linked to each other and were likely exposed to measles while traveling outside of the United States.
Summer travelers should know their immunization status before traveling. Travelers taking domestic trips should follow the general Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination recommendations. Those traveling internationally should consider the expedited schedule, particularly for children and anyone who does not have evidence of immunity. Additional cases and exposures may occur here related to returning travelers, especially returning international travelers who are not already protected against measles. Public Health encourages everyone who can to be up-to-date with their recommended immunizations.
Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. About 90 percent of people who have never been immunized against measles become ill 7-21 days after exposure. Infected people can infect those around them before they have symptoms and know they are infected. Common symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and a rash which usually appears 10 to 21 days after the exposure. The measles virus can be transmitted from one person to another up to 4 days before the onset of rash.
Individuals should contact their healthcare provider by phone before going in if they develop measles symptoms, so measures can be taken to prevent possible spread to others in the provider’s waiting room. They should also tell their doctor or other healthcare provider if they traveled internationally or had international visitors in the last 21 days or had exposure to another person with measles.
Public Health interviews all persons with measles in the county to identify who may have come in contact with them, in order to try to prevent further spread of measles. Public Health communicates with health care providers, health plans, local governments, schools, and elected officials to provide updates on the measles outbreak and actions they can take to help prevent the spread of measles and support the countywide response.
Measles immunizations are available at healthcare providers, local pharmacy or health clinic. Public Health clinics offer no or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. To find a nearby Public Health clinic, call 2-1-1 or visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/phcenters.htm.