On Friday, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department confirmed one case of measles in the county. Health officials said that measles patient is linked to the measles outbreak in Los Angeles.
Measles exposures occurred at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital on Dec. 27 sometime between 7:24 p.m. and 10:16 p.m. according to health officials who have taken measures to protect the community and all exposed healthcare workers, patients and visitors.
Neither the identity of the patient or their area of residence were released.
Measles is a highly contagious virus that is spread through the air from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Health professionals say the virus spreads rapidly among people who are not immune or vaccinated against the disease.
Symptoms of measles include:
Rashes Coughing Runny nose Conjunctivitis
Patients infected with the measles are said to show symptoms after being infectious for four days, meaning the public may be at risk of exposure requiring quick medical treatment. The incubation period for developing the disease after being exposed can take up to 21 days.
“They’ve been very cooperative. We’ve contacted all the visitors that were there at the time, all the staff at cottage hospital and we’ve contacted them to determine their immune status risk. So we feel pretty confident that the general public is not at risk,” says Dr. Takashi Wada, Santa Barbara County Public Health.
Measles may cause encephalitis, pneumonia, and even death. Those at greater risk are young children, pregnant women, and those with weak immune systems.
The Santa Barbara Public Health Department is working with the Ventura County and Los Angeles County public health departments. Residents unsure of their measles vaccination status may call their healthcare provider to see if they need to receive the vaccine.
More information on measles can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/measles/.