The Pasadena Public Health Department (PPHD) continues to closely monitor the recent outbreak of measles cases in the United States, working with county and state health officials to identify local cases and individuals who may have come into contact with persons with measles. As of Feb. 10, 2015, there are four confirmed cases of measles within PPHD’s jurisdiction.
“Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that spreads easily from person to person through the air,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, Health Officer for Pasadena. “We are working with healthcare providers, public and private schools and local and state health officials to prevent the further spread of measles in Pasadena. We urge everyone to make sure they and their children are fully vaccinated.”
A safe and effective method to prevent measles is to get vaccinated, Dr. Goh said. Studies show that 99 percent of persons who properly receive two doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine develop immunity against the disease.
MMR vaccines are covered by most health insurance plans or can be obtained at the Department’s Travel and Immunization Clinic, 1845 N. Fair Oaks Ave. The clinic will be closed February 11-18, 2015. Go online to www.cityofpasadena.net/PublicHealth for more information. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also has measles information at www.cdc.gov/measles/about.
Know the facts to protect yourself and your family against measles:
-The CDC recommends that children receive their first MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age. The second dose of MMR is given when they are 4 to 6 years old before going to school.
-Vaccinating children, teens and adults is the best way to protect infants who are too young to receive the MMR vaccine. The more people who are vaccinated, the lower the risk to all.
-Vaccinations are very safe and the benefits generally far outweigh any risks. Speak with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of vaccines.
-Measles is generally found in many parts of the world. Vaccinate before traveling.
-Common symptoms of measles include runny nose, cough, red eyes, fever, and rash that usually starts on the face and spreads down the body. Someone with measles is contagious about four daysbefore a rash develops and four days after the rash appears. Measles can also cause complications like pneumonia, brain swelling, and, in some cases, even death.
-Measles spreads easily through the air and can infect a person who is in the same room as someone with measles, even an hour after the infected person has left. About 90 percent of exposed individuals who are not immune (not vaccinated or not previously infected) will likely become infected.
If you are unsure of your vaccination status or if you may have had contact with someone with measles, consult your healthcare provider. If you are already ill, first contact your provider by phone to help prevent the spread of measles in the doctor’s offices.
Local healthcare providers must immediately report any suspected or confirmed cases of measles in people who reside in Pasadena to the PPHD at (626) 744-6043 (24-hour disease reporting line).