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Communicable Diseases Updates

​​​​​​MEASLES

​OC Health Care Agency Full Press Release - POTENTIAL PUBLIC EXPOSURES TO MEA​SLES CASES​

The OC Health Care Agency has confirmed the second case of measles in 2019 as of May 4, 2019. Nationwide, from January 1 to May 3, 2019, 764** individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 23 states. This is an increase of 60 cases from the previous week. This is the greatest ​number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles was declared eliminated in 2000.

**Cases as of May 3, 2019. Case count is preliminary and subject to change. Data are updated every Monday.​

Transmission 

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially serious disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Measles is spread easily by air or direct contact with an infected person. Those infected with measles are contagious approximately 4 days before the rash appears until 4 days after the rash appears. 

Symptoms

Symptoms develop approximately 8-12 days after exposure to measles for those who have never had measles or are unvaccinated.​ Common symptoms include:

  • high fever, ​​
  • cough, 
  • runny nose (coryza), 
  • and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)

​Those experiencing symptoms should monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an ​unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately.

Prevention

The best prevention for measles is vaccination. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is safe and effective. One dose of MMR is approximately 93% effective at preventing measles, two doses of MMR increases effectiveness to 97%. Children receive two doses of MMR routinely at 12-15 months and a second dose at 4-6 years. MMR vaccination is required for entry into childcare facilities, preschools and grade schools in California. Adolescents and adults who have not received the vaccine or have not had measles should vaccinate with MMR. Talk to your healthcare provider if you are not sure if you are vaccinated. Maintaining high vaccination rates is vital to preventing outbreaks of disease in our communities.

​Additional prevention strategies include:

  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing, or cough into your sleeve or elbow
  • Avoid sharing drinks or eating utensils
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as toys, keyboards, tables, counters, and doorknobs.

References
Orange County Healthcare Agency: (2019, May). Measles. Retrieved from OCHCA 
CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: (2019, May). Measles (Rubeola). Retrieved from CDC​​​​