By Tom Christensen, County of San Diego Communications Office
The first case of measles this year in San Diego County has been confirmed in an 11-month-old resident who had recently traveled to the Philippines, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.
The unimmunized infant is currently hospitalized, but may have exposed others while seeking care at the following locations:
- Kaiser Permanente Otay Mesa Medical Offices, 4650 Palm Ave., San Diego, CA 92154 on the following dates and times: July 29 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Pediatric Clinic; August 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Pediatric Clinic, Urgent Care and Pharmacy; and August 5 from 4:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Pediatric Clinic.
- Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, 9455 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92123: August 5 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. in the Emergency Department.
HHSA is working with Kaiser Permanente to identify and follow up with patients and staff who may have been exposed at those locations to determine if they have been vaccinated and their potential for developing measles.
“Measles is a very contagious disease that can be spread easily by coughing, sneezing or being in the same room with an infected person,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Anyone who was at any of these specific locations at the dates and times listed above should watch for symptoms and call their health care provider if they show any signs of the disease.”
People with symptoms are asked to telephone their doctor’s office in advance, rather than visit an office directly, so that infection control measures may be activated to prevent exposure to others.
The HHSA Public Health Lab does molecular testing for measles. San Diego County is reporting its first measles case of 2019. An 11-month-old who recently traveled to the Philippines has been confirmed to have the disease.
Measles develops seven to 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. The distinctive red rash usually appears one to four days after early symptoms appear. A person is considered contagious four days before the rash appears. The rash typically begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet. It fades in the same order it began, from head to feet.
“The best way to prevent measles is by getting the measles vaccine,” said Wooten. “With measles outbreaks occurring in several countries, including the Philippines, it is very important that all international travelers get vaccinated. Infants between 6 and 12 months of age who travel should get one dose, and travelers over 12 months of age should get two doses at least four weeks apart.”
Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older. Complications can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults. There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problems.
For more information about measles, other vaccine-preventable diseases and the shots that protect against them, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966 or visit the website at www.sdiz.org.