Category: Health News

San Diego, California - Two new cases of measles have been reported this week in which the individuals may have exposed members of the public at four locations in the county, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.

Both ill individuals are linked to a previously reported San Diego resident who contracted measles after a recent trip to the Philippines.  The newly diagnosed individuals may have exposed the public at the following locations:

HHSA and Navy public health officials are contacting individuals who were known to be at the listed locations during the exposure periods to determine if they have been vaccinated. People who have not been vaccinated, or who have not had measles, should contact their doctors within one week of the date of exposure for evaluation and preventive treatment if appropriate. Those who are without a health provider can contact the HHSA Epidemiology Branch at (619) 692-8499.

“Measles is a very contagious disease that can be spread easily by coughing, sneezing or being in the same room with an infected person,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “Anyone who was at any of these specific locations at these times should watch for symptoms and contact their health care provider by telephone first, if they show any signs of the disease.”

People with symptoms are asked to telephone their doctor's office in advance, rather than visit an office directly, so that infection control measures may be implemented to prevent exposure to others.

Measles develop seven to 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms include cough, runny nose and red eyes. The distinctive red rash usually appears one to four days after early symptoms appear. A person is considered contagious four days before the rash appears. The rash begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet. It fades in the same order it began, from head to feet.

“The best way to prevent measles is by getting the measles vaccine,” said McDonald. “Infants under 12 months of age are at high risk of infection with measles because they would not have received first does of vaccine yet.”

All persons born in 1957 or after should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine or other evidence of immunity to measles. The CDC recommends two doses of the vaccine: the first at 12 months of age, and the second between ages 4 - 6 years.

Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older. Complications can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults. There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.

For more information about measles, other vaccine-preventable diseases and the shots that protect against them, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966 or visit the website at