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Published On: Sun, Mar 30th, 2014

California measles tally now at 49, Orange tops all counties

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has received reports of 49 confirmed measles cases in California residents so far this year. During the same period in 2013, the Golden State reported only four cases.

Measles   Image/CDC

Measles Image/CDC

In the break down within the state, Orange County has twenty-one confirmed cases of measles in 2014, the most reported by any county in California.

In addition to Orange County, cases are also reported from  Alameda (1), Contra Costa (4), Los Angeles (10) Riverside (5), San Diego (4), San Mateo (3) and Santa Clara (1) counties.

Health officials  expect that the measles outbreak will continue to spread, and reminds the public that the best way to prevent the measles is by getting vaccinated. “Being fully vaccinated against measles does more than just protect the person who receives the vaccination — it also protects their family and friends, including children who may be too young to be vaccinated”, says  Dr. Ron Chapman, CDPH director.

The CDPH reports, as far as international travel as being a source of the cases, 11 patients had travelled outside of North or South America, including to parts of the world where outbreaks are actively occurring or where measles is widespread.

Of the patients without international travel, 30 had contact with known measles cases, three had contact with international travelers and 5 are under investigation to identify potential sources.

Two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine are very protective; individuals who have not received two doses of MMR vaccine may be at risk of infection. Vaccination is especially important for children, health care workers, adolescents and adults who have not been adequately vaccinated, and people planning foreign travel.

Before the routine use of the measles vaccine (1963) and the MMR vaccine (1971), though, measles cases — and complications from those cases — were high. There used to be about 500,000 cases of measles and 500 measles deaths each year in the United States.

Measles is a disease caused by a virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Measles virus is highly contagious and can remain so for up to 2 hours in the air or on surfaces.

Symptoms of measles are rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Some people who become sick with measles also get an ear infection, diarrhea, or a serious lung infection, such as pneumonia. Although severe cases are rare, measles can cause swelling of the brain and even death.

Measles can be especially severe in infants and in people who are malnourished or who have weakened immune systems (such as from HIV infection or cancer or from certain drugs or therapies).

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

Follow me on Twitter @bactiman63

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. UC Berkeley student in isolation with measles, second reported case of measles at the university - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] March, there are 49 confirmed measles cases in California with onset in 2014. Alameda County has reported 2 cases and Contra Costa County has reported 4 […]

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