The Los Angeles Department of Public Health (DPH) is alerting travelers to the outbreak of measles occurring nationally and internationally as summer approaches and travel increases.
DPH has confirmed one case of measles in a person who flew in and out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on April 18, 2019, while infectious. Persons who may have been on-site at the date and time for any of the following locations, may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days after being exposed: Arrival time at Remote Gate, Tom Bradley International Terminal was between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Duration of possible exposure at Gate 37A, Terminal 3 was between 4 and 11:30 p.m. Currently, there is no risk related to measles at these venues at this time. DPH reminds everyone who has not been immunized against measles to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunization.
“With ninety-percent effectiveness, the measles immunization is the best way to keep from getting and spreading measles. There is, however, increased chance of exposure at this time,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “Because non-immune adults, particularly those born in 1957 or later, have also been affected by recent outbreaks, we recommend that everyone contact their doctor to ensure they have received two doses of the measles immunization.”
Travelers taking domestic trips or planning to attend large-scale events, should follow the general Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov. Those traveling internationally should consider an expedited vaccine schedule, particularly for children and anyone who does not have evidence of immunity.
The recommendations are: infants 6 months through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days. Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
According to the CDC, 555 cases of measles have been confirmed in the United States so far this year, with the number of measles cases expected to rise.
Although Los Angeles County has no reported cases for 2019, Public Health has responded to three nonresident cases that traveled through Los Angeles County this year, and cases in the cities of Long Beach and Pasadena have been reported.
Protect Yourself and Others from Illness
Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. About 90 percent of non-immune individuals become infected if exposed. Common symptoms of this highly contagious illness include fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and a rash which usually appears 10 to 21 days after the exposure. The CDC recommends that all children receive two doses of MMR vaccine, the first between the ages of 12 to 15 months, and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years.
Measles immunizations are available at your healthcare provider, local pharmacy, or health clinic. Public Health clinics offer no- or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. To find a nearby Public Health clinic, call 2-1-1, or visit publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/phcenters.htm. n
For more information about measles, visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/measles or call 2-1-1.