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Measles in USA

30 Dec 2016

A media reportLink of 23 December 2016 states that the Los Angeles County’s Public Health Department (LAPHD) has confirmed a total of 9 measles cases in an outbreak that is believed to have started in late November 2016.

A health alert has been issued to medical providers in Los Angeles County informing them of the measles outbreak and urging them to consider the possibility that patients with an acute rash and fever may have the disease.

The LAPHD confirmed that some exposures may have occurred in public places, though for privacy reasons they will not disclose the age of the cases or where they were infected. However, LAPHD has confirmed that in situations where they are unable to contact all those potentially exposed they would make the geographic location of infection public knowledge.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness; it may be more severe in teenagers and adults, and can sometimes lead to serious complications. Situations where people mix closely with each other provide the ideal scenario for the measles virus to spread.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.