First 2019 Case of Measles Confirmed in San Diego County

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The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has confirmed the first case of measles this year in an 11-month old child who had recently traveled to the Philippines. The unimmunized infant is currently hospitalized, but doctors fear the child 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.

Health and Human Services are working to identify the individuals that may have been exposed to the contagious infant, as well as to determine if they have been vaccinated or not. 

“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 healthcare provider if they show any signs of the disease.”

Measles has an incubation period of seven to 21 days, allowing for it to be easily spread to others before the infected individual begins to see symptoms. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. It is also identified by a distinctive rash that begins on the face and head, and spreads downwards to the hands and feet. 

Children who contract measles are at a much greater risk than adults for developing serious complications like diarrhea, ear infection, and pneumonia. Death can occur from these complications, and there is currently no treatment for the infection. The best way to protect yourself and children from the measles is getting your vaccinations. This is especially important for international travelers, as there have recently been measles outbreaks in several countries. 

The local medical community has been on high alert and on the lookout for any cases of measles, as several states have been hit hard by a resurgence of measles infection. The last reported case of measles in San Diego County was back in 2017. Doctors say the majority of cases across the country effect unvaccinated individuals who were exposed and infected overseas and brought it back to the states.

Measles was declared eliminated from the United States back in 2000, thanks to a highly effective vaccination program. It was considered to be one of the major successes of modern medicine at the time, but that progress has since regressed since the surge of the anti-vaccination movement

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