Public Health News
Public Health News

San Luis Obispo County Resident Diagnosed with Measles

Author: Public Health Department
Date: 5/5/2018 2:48:46 PM

Health officials remind residents: make sure you and your family are vaccinated.


The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department confirmed today that an adult resident of the county has been diagnosed with the measles virus. The patient was not vaccinated against measles and was exposed to it while traveling out of state.

The case was confirmed by test results from the County Public Health Laboratory. The Public Health Department investigates all cases of measles in San Luis Obispo County, identifies people who may have been exposed to the virus, and contacts those people to help ensure they receive treatment if needed and do not spread the disease further. The patient is cooperating with the Public Health Department’s investigation and its work to ensure the virus does not spread to more people.  Measles is a potentially serious illness that spreads through the air from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Measles is not common in the United States today because most people are protected from it by childhood vaccines; however, cases do still occur.

"Measles is a disease we take very seriously," said Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer of the County of San Luis Obispo. "We are fortunate today to have a vaccine that offers very good protection against this illness. If you aren't sure that you and your family have been vaccinated against measles, talk to your doctor and make sure you get vaccinated. It's the best way to stay safe."

Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth. Then a rash of tiny red spots appears on the skin, first on the face and then on the rest of the body. People with measles are usually contagious for about nine days, including the four days before their rash starts, the day of rash onset, and four days after.

If you believe you are experiencing symptoms of measles: contact your regular health care provider and tell them you are concerned about measles.

If you have not been vaccinated or are not sure if you've been vaccinated: contact your regular health care provider or contact the Public Health Department at 805-781-5500 to get your vaccine. The measles vaccine is a series of two shots and provides good protection against the virus.

The last case of measles in San Luis Obispo County was diagnosed in January 2017.

For more information about measles, visit http://cdc.gov/measles.