For Immediate Release:
July 12, 2019
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is investigating two additional confirmed cases of measles in Los Angeles County residents. These cases are linked to two cases reported earlier this month, which together account for a four-case outbreak involving a close social group. Public Health has not identified any public exposure locations associated with these cases at this time.
With the on-going occurrence of measles outbreaks in the United States and internationally, there is an increased risk of measles when traveling to these locations at this time. Public Health urges residents, especially those who have not been fully protected against measles and those who travel internationally, to get measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization to protect themselves and prevent the spread of measles.
Currently, there have been fourteen measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to eight non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County. The majority of cases to date were unvaccinated. This outbreak is not connected to outbreak that occurred in April.
“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 spreads 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.”
Additional cases and exposures may occur here related to returning travelers, especially returning international travelers who are not already protected against measles. Travelers taking domestic trips should follow the general Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination recommendations. Those traveling internationally should ensure they have received two doses and consider the expedited schedule for infants less than 12 months old.
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.h tm.
For more information about measles, visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/measles or call 2-1-1.
The Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more about Los Angeles County Public Health, please visit www.publichea lth.lacounty.gov, and follow LA County Public Health on social media at twitter.com/lap ublichealth, facebook.co m/lapublichealth, instagra m.com/lapublichealth and youtube.com/ lapublichealth.