San Bernardino County Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed a positive case of measles. This single case occurred in an eight-month-old unvaccinated child who recently traveled internationally.
In 2019, four outbreaks linked to patients who travelled internationally have been reported in California. According to the California Department of Public Health, there are 56 confirmed measles cases throughout the state as of June 26, 2019. The previous outbreak of measles in California was associated with travel to Disneyland from December 2014 – April 2015, where at least 131 California residents were infected with measles. The outbreak also infected residents of six other states, as well as Mexico and Canada.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough and red, watery eyes. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. It is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears until four days after the rash appears.
“Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to prevent outbreaks of disease in our community,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer. “Measles is still common in many parts of the world including Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. Checking vaccination before departure is key in preventing infection and is the best defense against acquiring measles locally and internationally.”
Residents planning to travel internationally should visit www.cdc.gov/measles/travel-vaccine-assessment/index.html to determine their vaccination status and risk of potential exposures to vaccine-preventable diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all unvaccinated individuals receive MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) at least two weeks before departure, if possible. Infants who are traveling can be vaccinated as young as six months of age.
Children are recommended to get their first dose of MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age. The second dose of MMR is recommended between four to six years of age. Immunized adults do not need boosters. However, anyone born since 1957 who has not had two doses of vaccine may still be vulnerable to measles and should ask their medical provider about getting immunized.
Please visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html for more information about measles or contact the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.