Measles Case Reinforces Importance of Vaccines

A Shasta County adult is recovering from the measles, Shasta County Public Health has confirmed. The patient is at home and was instructed to remain quarantined from others to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease until their infectious period is over later today. Public Health is contacting anyone who may have been in contact with the individual during their 8-day contagious period. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has received reports of 52 confirmed measles cases in California residents so far in 2014, compared to 4 for the same time period in 2013.

Public Health is asking anyone who was at the Redding Olive Garden restaurant between 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, to check whether they have received two doses of the measles vaccine, which is usually given in the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. If not, they could be at risk of measles, and should be alert to typical symptoms, which include fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (pink eye) and then a rash that starts at the head and spreads downwards. Please call a physician if you are displaying these symptoms. DO NOT go to a clinic, hospital or physician’s office before calling their facility to prevent spreading the disease to others. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. Management at the Redding Olive Garden is working cooperatively with Public Health and following up with employees regarding potential exposure.

People who have received two doses of the measles vaccine have less than 1% chance of contracting the disease after exposure. Children routinely get their first dose of the MMR vaccine at 12 months old or later. The second dose of MMR is usually administered before the child begins kindergarten but may be given one month or more after the first dose. Prior to the 1990s, many people only received one dose of the vaccine so Public Health encourages those individuals to ask their health care provider if they should receive a second MMR shot.

The complications of measles can be dangerous. Six to 10 percent of the people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea or even pneumonia. One out of 1,000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about two out of 1,000 will die. People with compromised immune systems and women who are pregnant are at a greater risk of serious complications.

Cases have occurred in Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and now Shasta counties. Of those 52 cases, 12 people had travelled internationally, including areas of the world where measles is widespread and a current outbreak is occurring. This is the first reported measles case in Shasta County in at least 17 years.

Measles is a highly contagious, viral disease. It is widespread in many parts of the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia. People planning to travel abroad are encouraged to get the necessary vaccinations to protect them from disease. For more information about measles and recommended childhood vaccinations, visit www.shastahhsa.net.

-from press release

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-from press release
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