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Vincent Iannelli, M.D.

Measles Advisory in California

By February 5, 2014

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A measles alert posted on a home of a child with measles by the health department. - Photo by Buyenlarge/Getty ImagesCalifornia has had its fair share of measles outbreaks over the years.

After all, it was in California where a large measles outbreak in 2008 was triggered by an unvaccinated 7-year-old who had traveled to Switzerland with his family.  Eleven other people, including 3 under age 12-months and too young to be vaccinated, developed measles in that outbreak that ended up costing $176,980 to contain.

And more recently, California had at least 27 cases in 2010 (61 total in the US), more than 28 cases in 2011 (220 total in the US), and 18 in 2013 (187 total in the US). Statistics for 2012 aren't listed on the California Department of Health Services website, but you can see that California often represents a rather large percentage of the total measles cases in the United States.

They aren't getting off to a great start in 2014 either. A case first noted on January 3 has now spread to a total of 3 confirmed cases of measles in 6 weeks.  This increase in the size of the outbreak, especially since the potential source of one of the cases is still unknown, "raises the potential for additional cases in the near future."

To work towards containing this outbreak, the Orange County Health Department has investigated over 150 people and their family and friends who may have been exposed to measles recently, offering when appropriate:

  • serologic testing
  • postexposure prophylaxis with MMR
  • postexposure prophylaxis with immune globulin

The Orange County Health Department also advises that "To protect themselves and their loved ones, all Orange County residents should make sure they are up-to-date on their measles vaccinations."

Get Educated. Get Vaccinated. Stop the Outbreaks.

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