ALERT: 23 Measles Cases in the State of California have been reported in since January 1st, 2014
23 Measles Cases in the State of California have been reported in since January 1st, 2014
Twenty-three (23) cases of measles with four other possible cases under investigation have been reported to California Department of Public Health as of between 01/01/2014 and 03/06/2014. Two additional cases were diagnosed in San Diego this past week.
To date, officials have traced the origin of many of the cases to travel outside of North and South America. The majority of the cases had traveled to the Philippines where an outbreak has affected more than 1700 people. Other cases around the U.S. have been traced to travel in England, France and Germany.
Of the cases without international travel most patients had contact with patients who developed the disease after exposure to individuals who had traveled to countries with existing outbreaks and the majority of all measles cases were intentionally unvaccinated.
The last large outbreak of measles in the U.S. occurred during 1989-1991, with 17,000 cases of measles and 70 deaths in California. The current large measles outbreak in the Philippines has resulted in over 1700 cases and 21 deaths.
Unvaccinated children and adults who are traveling to countries where measles is circulating should receive MMR vaccine before you travel. Infants traveling to these countries can be vaccinated as young as six months of age (though they should also have the two standard doses of MMR vaccine after their first birthday).
As pediatricians, we will be looking for measles in patients of any age who have a fever AND a rash regardless of their travel history. Fever can spike as high as 105°F. Measles rashes are red, blotchy and flat or slightly raised. The rash typically starts on the hairline and face and then spreads downwards to the rest of the body. Complications of measles can include diarrhea, ear infection, and pneumonia.
Though there is no treatment after infection, prevention is possible with the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which is routinely given to children at 12 months and again between ages 4 and 6.
If you suspect your child may have measles, we ask that you let us know before you arrive in our office so that we can isolate your child from other children (especially infants). We also ask that you arrive with a blanket loosely placed over the head of your child. Please be aware that our staff will be wearing special masks to prevent transmission to themselves.