Orange County Sees Fifth Case of Measles in Last 9 Weeks

The disease is extremely contagious and can be spread through the air.

Orange County has had five cases of measles in the past nine week. Patch file photo.
Orange County has had five cases of measles in the past nine week. Patch file photo.

A fifth case of measles has been confirmed in Orange County over the past nine weeks, officials said today.

In the latest confirmed case, the afflicted visited St. Joseph's emergency room, 1100 W. Stewart Drive, between 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., Sunday, and between 7:30 p.m. until 5 a.m. Monday, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency.

The disease is extremely contagious and can be spread through the air.

The rash of measles is rare because the county usually only sees about one or no cases annually, Nicole Stanfield of the Health Care Agency said.

The fourth person who contracted measles went to Del Taco, 7001 Katella Ave., Stanton from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Feb. 10 and 4 to 9 p.m. Feb. 13.

Then the afflicted also went to the Pueblo Medical Center, 8045 Cerritos Ave., Stanton, from 2 to 4 p.m., Feb. 11, Western High School in Anaheim on Feb. 13, and West Anaheim Medical Center, 3033 W. Orange Ave., Anaheim, from 8 to 11 a.m., Feb. 14.

Symptoms usually start 10 to 12 days after exposure, but sometimes up to three weeks, with a fever as high as 105 degrees, malaise, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Two to four days later, a rash develops, usually around the ears and hairline, that can spread to the face and arms and legs.

In the other three local cases, the patients went to area health care providers. More than 150 patients and their family and friends faced potential exposure and required their own evaluations.

Many had to undergo testing and receive vaccination.

Physicians were recently advised by the agency that any patients with measles symptoms should be isolated and given a surgical mask. Only healthcare workers who have immunity to the disease should care for the patients, according to the county.

Last month, Dr. Matt Zahn, the agency's medical director for epidemiology, said "multiple cases that have been identified in California have occurred after international travel. This has been an issue for years."

Measles is unusual in the U.S., so most people contract it in another country, Zahn said. In Orange County, those recently afflicted have traveled to and from the Philippines, Zahn said.

Unfounded skepticism of vaccinating children is also an issue, Zahn said.

"Parents are inundated with information questioning the value of vaccines," Zahn said, adding those claims are baseless.

The vaccine for measles works about 99 percent of the time, Zahn said.

--City News Service

Shripathi Kamath March 11, 2014 at 01:33 AM
Jessica Tompkins March 19, 2014 at 04:32 PM
I agree Jeff. And if the vax works 99% of the time, get your kids vaxed if you feel it's the right thing and you should be good to go. I think the real problem is people not staying home when they are sick. Schools push kids to go "because every day counts." Stay home and rest and get netter, then head back to work or school. I had someone sitting next to me at dinner when I was 8 months pregnant who, no joke, had strep throat. Why go to dinner, or anywhere, when you are sick?
Jessica Tompkins March 19, 2014 at 04:33 PM
Also the article does not say if the kids are vaxed. Important information to leave out.
Brainwashed_In_Church March 28, 2014 at 11:11 PM
Measles vaccine coverage as of 2012, according to the WHO: Viet Nam: 96% Mexico: 99% U.S.: 92%


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