L.A. County raises measles alert

In­fected per­son may have sick­ened oth­ers in Mal­ibu, Pasadena and Santa Mon­ica.

Los Angeles Times - - CALIFORNIA - SOUMYA KAR­LA­MANGLA

Health of­fi­cials are warn­ing that shop­pers and din­ers in Los An­ge­les County may have been ex­posed to measles in late De­cem­ber.

Of­fi­cials con­firmed one case of measles in a per­son who vis­ited sev­eral lo­ca­tions in Mal­ibu, Pasadena and Santa Mon­ica while in­fec­tious. There is no longer any risk of in­fec­tion at those es­tab­lish­ments, be­cause measles spreads when the sick per­son coughs or sneezes around oth­ers, of­fi­cials say.

But peo­ple who were pos­si­bly near the in­fected per­son “may be at risk of de­vel­op­ing measles and should watch for symp­toms of the ill­ness,” the L.A. County Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health said in a state­ment.

Symp­toms in­clude a fever, cough, red eyes and a rash that ap­pears 10 to 12 days after ex­po­sure, of­fi­cials say.

“If you think that you or some­one you know has been ex­posed to or has measles, con­tact your health­care provider by phone right be­fore go­ing in,” said L.A. County health of­fi­cer Dr. Muntu Davis in the state­ment. “Get­ting im­mu­nized is the best way to keep from get­ting and spread­ing measles.”

Of­fi­cials say the in­fected per­son vis­ited the Santa Mon­ica Pier and Blue Plate Taco restau­rant Dec. 26 be­tween 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m; Ralphs and Nord­strom Rack on Foothill Boule­vard in Pasadena on Dec. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Par­adise Cove Beach Cafe in Mal­ibu on Dec. 29 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Cal­i­for­nia tight­ened its vac­cine laws in 2016 after a ma­jor out­break of measles cen­tered on Dis­ney­land. Now, school-age chil­dren must be fully im­mu­nized un­less a doc­tor writes them a med­i­cal ex­emp­tion.

After the law took ef­fect, the vac­ci­na­tion rate among kinder­gart­ners in Cal­i­for­nia jumped from 93% to 95%. Doc­tors say roughly 95% of peo­ple need to be im­mu­nized to pro­tect against a highly con­ta­gious dis­ease such as measles.

The last ma­jor measles out­break in L.A. County was in 2017, when more than a dozen peo­ple in a Jew­ish com­mu­nity in the western part of the county be­came ill. None of those in­fected had been vac­ci­nated, of­fi­cials say.

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