The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is investigating an additional confirmed case of measles in a Los Angeles County resident. Public Health has not identified any public exposure locations associated with this case at this time. Public Health urges residents, especially those who travel internationally and those who have not been fully protected against measles, to get measles immunization to protect themselves and prevent the spread of measles.
Currently, there have been eleven measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to eight non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County.
“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, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “Measles gets spread, by air and by 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.”
This case is a reminder that there is an increased risk of the measles at this time. 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% 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.
For more information about measles, visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/measlesor call 2-1-1.
Submitted by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health