For Immediate Release:
February 05, 2020
LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirms a local outbreak of measles among five persons. This outbreak includes four County residents, who were exposed to an unimmunized, international visitor who was infectious with measles while in Los Angeles County.
The following public places were visited by the confirmed case:
Unimmunized persons or those with unknown immunization status who were at these sites during the dates and times listed above are at risk of developing measles from 7 to 21 days after being exposed. Individuals who have been free of symptoms for more than 21 days are no longer at risk.
People who were in the locations above around the aforementioned times should:
“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 is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know 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.”
In 2019, there were 20 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents, in addition to 14 non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena as cases identified in those cities are reported by their local health departments). Most of these cases were not immunized or did not know whether they had ever been immunized or previously infected with the measles virus.
Additional cases and exposures may occur in Los Angeles County related to 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. Infants, young children and others are at increased risk for more serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. 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 clinics. 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 h ttp: //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.