San Diego, California - A person diagnosed with measles may have exposed others to the disease at four different locations in the County from March 3 through 10, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) reported this week.

The individual is linked to a previously reported San Diego resident who contracted measles after a recent trip to the Philippines. This is the third additional case linked to the original exposure.

“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 Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.

The newly diagnosed individual may have exposed members of the public at the following locations:

  • Veterans Affairs (VA) Chula Vista Clinic, 835 3rd Ave., Chula Vista, from March 3 – 7 and on March 10 from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • 24 Hour Fitness, 870 Amena Court, Chula Vista, on March 3 and March 9 between 6:30 and 10:30 p.m.
  • Mater Dei Catholic Church, 1571 Magdalena Ave., Chula Vista, on March 5 between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and March 9 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.
  • Navy Exchange Main Store, Naval Base San Diego, 2260 Callagan Hwy., on March 9 between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

HHSA, VA 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 develops 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.

“Anyone who was at any of the specific locations should watch for symptoms and contact their health care provider by phone if they show any signs of the disease,” said Wooten. “We ask people with symptoms to phone 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.”

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.

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 www.sdiz.org.