The number of confirmed measles cases has went from 9 to 19 in just two short days following the January 7th California Department of Public Health press release. The confirmed cases are mostly concentrated to California residents, but there are also confirmed two cases in Utah and one in Colorado. Of those in California, eight of those cases are located in Orange county, two in Riverside County, two in San Diego County and the remaining four scattered through various other counties.
The highly infectious airborne disease can be contagious for 9 days. “If you have symptoms, and believe you may have been exposed, please contact your health care provider,” said Dr. Chapman. “The best way to prevent measles and its spread is to get vaccinated.”
Measles has been eliminated in the United States since 2000. However, large measles outbreaks have occurred in Western Europe, Pakistan, Vietnam and the Philippines in recent years. Travelers to areas where measles is endemic can bring measles back to the U.S., resulting in limited domestic transmission of measles. Disney and other theme parks in California are international attractions and visitors come from many parts of the world, including those where measles is endemic.
Two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR vaccine) are more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles. Measles vaccines have been available in the United States since 1963, and two doses have been recommended since 1989. If you are unsure of your vaccination status, check with your doctor to have a test to check for measles immunity or to receive vaccination.
Only one of the confirmed cases received both MMR vaccines, two were two young and the rest, according to the press release were not vaccinated. Health care providers treating patients with fever and a rash should consider measles, and ask patients about travel to international destinations and domestic venues that are popular with international travelers.