County, City Warn Travel Season Can Increase Chances of Exposure to Measles as Outbreak Continues

Published : Sunday, April 21, 2019 | 5:18 AM

Make your reservations, buy your ticket, pack your bags, and get a measles vaccination, before you hit the travelways this spring and summer.

That’s the unified message from both the Pasadena and the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Health as travel season kicks-off during measles outbreaks occurring both nationally and internationally.

“Spring travel and attending large-scale events, especially in places with ongoing outbreaks, can increase your chances of exposure to measles,” the County department said in a statement.

“The best way to protect yourself and your family at home and during travel is to make sure your vaccines are up to date,” said Pasadena Health Officer Ying-Ying Goh.

“This includes both children and adults. Visit cdc.gov for country-specific information if travelling outside of the country, but outbreaks of disease are also occurring domestically, including exposures to measles in Pasadena and L.A. County,” Goh said.

Los Angeles County Health Officer Muntu Davis said that with 90 percent effectiveness the measles-mumps-rubella immunization (MMR) is the way to go.

“Because non-immune adults, particularly those born in 1957 or later, have also been affected by recent outbreaks,” Davis explained, “we recommend that everyone contact their doctor to ensure they have received two doses of the measles immunization.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta said there have been 555 confirmed cases of measles in the United States so far this year and the number is expected to grow.

The CDC said that’s the second highest number in 25 years and that, as of last week, the outbreak has spread to five more states, bringing the number up to 20.

The county’s warning seeks to make clear that measles are nothing to be toyed with.

The disease is highly contagious with 90 percent of nonimmune individuals getting infected upon exposure. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red-eye), and a rash that appears 10 to 21 days after contact.

If such symptoms are present, the county recommends  you call your healthcare provider and give them a heads-up before going in.

The CDC recommends a double-dose of the MMR vaccine. The first should come as a baby between the ages of 12 months and 15 months, and the second between the ages of four and six.

The nonimmune who have been exposed to measles can get the vaccination for protection from developing the disease.

Domestic trips should be conducted under the CDC’s vaccination recommendations while international travelers should consider the agencies “expedited schedule” for children and the nonimmune.

Measles immunizations are available at your healthcare provider, local pharmacy or health clinic. Public Health clinics offer no- or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured.

To find a nearby Public Health clinic, call 2-1-1 or visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/phcenters.htm. For more information about measles, visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/measles or call 2-1-1.

blog comments powered by Disqus