March 18, 2011
A 27-year-old Poway male has been diagnosed with measles, according to County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials. The man became ill after traveling to the Philippines and Thailand.
“Measles is highly contagious and is spread easily by coughing, sneezing or even coming in close contact with an infected person,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “The individual visited several places during the time he was infectious. Anyone who was at those locations during the same time, and who develops a rash and fever, should contact their medical provider by telephone and be evaluated for measles.”
Potential for public exposure to measles due to this case occurred at Rite Aid, 11845 Carmel Mountain Road, on March 12 from 12 noon to 5 p.m.; Costco, 12350 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, on March 7th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and March 9th from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.; and the Radisson Hotel, 11520 West Bernardo Court, on March 3 in the evening and March 4 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We want to assure the public there is no longer a risk of contracting measles by visiting any of the above locations because of this exposure,” said McDonald. “Measles virus may stay suspended in the air for up to two hours after an infectious person has been present, but there is no risk of infection after that time.”
The last case of measles in San Diego County was in August, 2010.
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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