January 23, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: Public Health Vaccination
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) confirmed today that the number of measles cases in the state has grown to 68 California residents with a number of additional suspected cases under investigation.
Infected individuals range in age from seven months to 70 years. The vaccination status is documented for 34 of the 68 cases ̶ 28 patients were unvaccinated (six were infants too young to vaccinate), one patient had received only one dose of the MMR vaccine and five had received two or more doses of MMR vaccine.
The California measles patients reside in 11 local health jurisdictions: Alameda, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Ventura Counties and the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena.
While most (48 cases) fell ill after visiting Disneyland or Disney California Adventure in December, DHCS has confirmed that additional people visited the Disney parks while infectious in January causing new infections beyond what they had originally thought was the exposure window.
CDPH advises physicians that because there have been new cases of measles in persons who have not been international travelers or visited theme parks, measles should be considered in patients of any age who have a fever and a rash. Fever can spike as high as 105° F. Measles rashes are red, blotchy and maculopapular and typically start on the hairline and face and then spread downwards to the rest of the body. Physicians should also obtain a thorough health history on such patients, including prior immunization for measles.
If you suspect your patient may have measles, isolate them immediately and alert your local health department as soon as possible. If measles is suspected (see CDPH infection control guidance), do not allow suspect measles patients to remain in the waiting area or other common areas. For additional infection control information, please see the CDC “Guideline for Isolation Precautions.”
Post-exposure prophylaxis can be administered to individuals who have come into contact with an infected patient within 72 hours of exposure (MMR vaccine) or up to six days after exposure (immune globulin - intramuscular). Please consult with your local health department regarding appropriate administration.