On Tuesday, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department confirmed a case of the measles virus in the county.
The unidentified patient was only described as an “adult resident of the county,” and officials say he was unvaccinated. Health officials also said the patient had contact with international travelers over the holidays, and showed symptoms of measles starting January 3.
The patient visited Twin Cities Community Hospital on January 8 and 9.
This case follows a recent measles outbreak in Los Angeles County and one case in Santa Barbara County.
WHAT IS MEASLES?
Per the SLO County Public Health Department:
Measles is highly contagious; it is spread through the air from person to person through coughing or sneezing. The incubation period is 7-21 days after exposure. Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Then a rash of tiny, red spots appears, starting on the face and spreading to the rest of the body.
People with measles are usually contagious for about nine days, including the four days before their rash starts, the day of rash onset, and ending four days after. Any person who believes they have been exposed to measles should be on the alert for 21 days after exposure, to watch for symptoms of respiratory illness with fever, followed by a rash.
Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, people who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles (2 doses of the MMR vaccine) are considered immune. People born in the US before 1957 are unlikely to be susceptible to measles, but may consider getting a dose of the vaccine.
Young infants, pregnant women, and those with severe immunocompromising health conditions who may have been exposed are at particular risk. Some of these high-risk patients might be eligible to receive measles immunoglobulin to decrease the risk of contracting measles.
Visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles/ for more information on measles.