Measles, a highly contagious viral disease, has been confirmed in a resident who returned to San Luis Obispo County after a trip abroad.
“The patient had returned from France, where measles cases have been occurring at epidemic levels for the past two years,” according to a news release from Ann McDowell, an epidemiologist for the county.
McDowell wrote that “no local public exposures are believed to have occurred from this patient.” She said he came to San Luis Obispo County by car, did not visit any local establishments and went to the hospital.
McDowell said people who intend to go abroad should learn what immunizations are recommended for the areas in which they intend to travel.
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Measles, she wrote, has “increased dramatically” in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Fourteen cases have been diagnosed in California this year.
Symptoms include “a rash that can range from pink to red blotches, which can merge into large areas of the skin,” as well as fever, cough, runny nose, red or swollen watery eyes, and white spots in the mouth.
McDowell described measles as “a moderate to serous illness, with intense malaise and feelings of discomfort.”
She said those who develop a rash with fever should contact their medical provider immediately. However, she added, they should notify medical providers before going to the clinic or doctor’s office, so that providers can take precautions to avoid spreading the disease.
People born before 1957 are generally immune, she wrote, as are those born after 1957 who received two doses of vaccine. Those who received only one dose are at higher risk, she wrote.
For more information, call the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department at 781-5500 or go to http://www.cdc.gov/measles/.