Fourth Measles Case Reported in Orange County

Although the patient had visited many public places, no one else who came in contact with the afflicted has been infected,

A fourth case of measles has been reported in Orange County over the past several months. Patch file photo.
A fourth case of measles has been reported in Orange County over the past several months. Patch file photo.

A fourth case of measles has been confirmed in Orange County over the past couple of months, officials said today.

In the latest confirmed case, the afflicted visited four places in five trips in Anaheim and Stanton. The disease is extremely contagious and can be spread through the air.

“What's unique about this case is they were in such public settings and everyone they came in contact has been identified,” said Nicole Stanfield of the Orange County Health Care Agency.

No one else who came in contact with the person with measles has been infected, Stanfield said.

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

The person with 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.

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 99 percent of the time, Zahn said.

--City News Service

Shirley Dicktor February 21, 2014 at 01:42 AM
Lyda Cooper February 21, 2014 at 03:52 PM
I agree, Shirley.....Also, why is the immunization not effective when you are out of the country or does the article mean that people coming into our country are not immunized and are bringing the disease with them?
Thrill February 22, 2014 at 09:02 AM
Seriously people don't endanger the rest because you are too lazy to VACCINATE. Others could die if they catch measles. Also, who takes their child to Dell Taco that late? This sounds like irresponsible parenting.
Merideth N Richard Shriver February 22, 2014 at 03:26 PM
seriously? who gives a shit if they are out late and it doesn't make them a bad parent..are you a good parent @thrill? don't judge people you don't know. Measles is popular in Philippines for sure but the flu or whopping cough that is going around is the one we should worry about..


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