Although measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, a nationwide increase in measles cases, most linked to international travel, has been noted this year. In many European countries, the measles outbreaks, including a large outbreak in France, are of particular concern as these countries are not often considered as sources of new measles cases. Measles is currently circulating in most regions of the world outside of North and South America.
Since January 2011, thirteen cases, of measles have been reported in California alone. Nearly all of the cases are known to have traveled recently to Europe or Asia or to have been in contact with international travelers (including via transit through U.S. international airports); some of the cases have been intentionally unvaccinated children.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards.
We are recommending that individuals who travel be up to date with their vaccinations. Contact your regular health care provider to find out if you are up to date.
Unvaccinated children or adults who are traveling internationally should receive an MMR vaccine before they go.
doses of MMR (administered at least 28 days apart) are recommended for children over 1 year of age.
Infants traveling to these countries can be vaccinated as young as six months of age (though they should also have the two standard doses of MMR after their first birthday).
If you suspect that you or someone you know may have contracted measles, you/they should avoid contact with others if possible and contact a health care provider immediately for further instructions.
If you do not have a regular health care provider or do not have health insurance, please call the Nurse of the Day at (510) 981-5300 for more information.
For more information about measles go to:
California Department of Public Health
Center for Disease Control
Health Care Providers
For information about reporting a suspected case of measles go to:
Communicable Disease Reporting