By: Calaveras Health and Human Services Agency
San Andreas, CA – Calaveras Public Health Officer, Dr. Dean Kelaita, today announced that the Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Division, has received report of a local resident of Calaveras County diagnosed with measles. The unvaccinated child resides in the Valley Springs area and developed measles after returning to California from traveling overseas. Prior to being diagnosed, the child had contact with several members of the public in Calaveras County and Amador Counties. Public Health officials are contacting the potentially exposed groups with information to prevent development of illness. “We have seen a decrease in the number of children protected with vaccinations in Calaveras” said Dr. Kelaita. “A person with measles can transmit the infection to others not protected by immunization.”
Measles is a highly contagious, viral disease that is spread through the air when a person sick with the disease coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin with fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that typically appears on the face along the hairline or behind the ears and spreads to the rest of the body. An individual is infectious from four days before the rash starts through four days after the rash appears.
Complications of measles can include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia. Severe complications can be fatal. Infants, pregnant women and people with a weakened immune system are more at risk for complications from measles.
Two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine are recommended for immunity to measles. The first dose of MMR vaccine is given at 12 to 15 months of age. The second dose of MMR vaccine is usually given at four to six years of age. Anyone traveling internationally outside the United States should ensure they have received full measles vaccination. Two doses of MMR vaccine are approximately 97 percent effective at preventing measles infection. MMR vaccine can be obtained through your regular medical provider or local clinic.
“Measles is a completely preventable disease”, said Dr. Kelaita, “Parents should check their children’s shot records and ensure they are fully protected against measles.”