SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – An unvaccinated 8-month-old child is the first confirmed measles case in San Bernardino County, the Department of Public Health (DPH) said.
Four California outbreaks reported in 2019, were linked to patients who traveled abroad. As of June 26, 2019, there have been 56 confirmed measles cases in the State of California. “The previous outbreak of measles in California was associated with travel to Disneyland from December 2014- April 2015, where at least 131 California residents were infected with measles,” the DPH said. “The outbreak also infected residents of six other states, as well as Mexico and Canada.”
Measles is easily spread by air and direct contact with the infected person. The disease can be severe, causing fever, rash, cough, and red watery eyes. The San Bernardino County DPH said that the disease is contagious from around four days before the rash even appears to four days after the rash appears. High vaccination rates are essential to prevent further disease outbreaks.
In 2000, due to the vaccination, the disease was eradicated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. In 2019, only halfway through the year, over 1000 cases have been recorded in the United States in 22 states. In all of 2018, there were only 372 cases total. Still common in other parts of the world, travelers should be sure to be vaccinated with the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) at least two weeks before traveling abroad. Children can be vaccinated as young as 6 months.
Children not traveling are recommended to get their first dose of MMR at 12-15 months. The second dose is recommended between 4-6 years old. Immunized adults do not need boosters, but anyone born since 1957, who has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine may still be vulnerable to the disease and should ask their medical provider about getting immunized.
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