Public Health Investigates Additional Measles Case
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is investigating an additional confirmed case of measles in a Los Angeles County resident. This case is linked to the outbreak of four cases reported last month and is not associated with either the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) or California State University Los Angeles (Cal State LA) exposures. Additionally, Public Health has not identified any public exposure locations associated with this case at this time. Public Health urges residents to know the symptoms of measles and to get measles immunization to protect themselves and prevent the spread of measles.
Currently, there are seven measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, and five non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County. Of the seven measles cases among residents, two are not linked and were infected during international travel. The majority of the cases were unvaccinated. “It is very important if you or someone you know has symptoms of measles or has been exposed to measles to contact your healthcare provider by phone right away before going in,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “We will likely see additional measles cases in Los Angeles County, so if you are not already immune to measles, the best way to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of measles is to get the measles immunization, with two doses of measles immunization being about 97% effective at preventing measles.”
Public Health investigates all cases in the county and identifies potential contacts to try to prevent additional spread of measles. Public Health continues to monitor for measles cases and identify others who may have come in contact with persons with 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 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.
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 publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/phcenters.htm.