August 11, 2010
A 20-month-old Solana Beach boy has been diagnosed with measles, according to officials with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). The unvaccinated child traveled to England recently and is now on home quarantine.
“Measles is a highly-contagious disease that is spread easily by coughing, sneezing or coming in close contact with an infected person,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Anyone who visited the locations where the child visited during the time he was infectious should watch for symptoms and visit their health care provider if they show any signs of having been exposed to measles.”
Potential for public exposure to measles due to this case occurred at Paper Paper, 142 South Solana Hills Drive, Solana Beach, from approximately 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 4; CVS Pharmacy, 683 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 4; Del Mar Horse Park, located at Via de la Valle and El Camino Real, Del Mar, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 5; Costco, 951 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 5; and 4S Ranch - Pioneer Water Park, located at the corner of Albert and Sienna Hills in Rancho Bernardo, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 6.
“It’s important to remember that the measles is spread through the air and may stay suspended in the air for up to two hours after it is released into the environment,” said Wooten. “Currently, there is no longer a risk of contracting measles by visiting any of the above locations because of this exposure.”
The last measles outbreak in San Diego County was in May, 2010. England and other European countries have experienced rising numbers of measles cases for the past several years.
Measles causes a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, usually lasting one to two weeks. It can be spread from four days before the rash appears to four days afterwards. The rash 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.
Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years of age 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 control of fever are recommended. Persons with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.
The best way to prevent measles is by getting the measles vaccine. All persons born in 1957 or after should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine or other evidence of immunity to measles. The CDC recommends two doses of the vaccine; the first at 12 months of age, and the second between ages 4 -6.
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.
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