Public Health News
Public Health News

Second Case of Measles in San Luis Obispo County

Author: Public Health Department
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 3:26 PM

The Public Health Department confirmed today that a second resident of the county has developed measles.


The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department confirmed today that a second resident of the county has developed measles. The second case of measles had contact with the initial adult case, but was too young for vaccination against measles.

The Public Health Department has quarantined several people who had contact with the initial case, including this second case. Quarantine can help limit the spread of disease in the population. Due to the quarantine measures in place, there were no further contacts exposed to the disease from the second case.

“This second case of measles highlights the importance of vaccination to protect our most vulnerable community members,” said County of San Luis Obispo Deputy Health Officer Dr. Christy Mulkerin. “By vaccinating ourselves and our families, we protect those in the community who cannot vaccinate due to age or medical condition.”

Measles is spread through the air from person to person through coughing or sneezing. The symptoms of measles generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected. Measles typically begins with high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis). Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts on the face and spreads to 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 ending four days after.

Measles can be serious, especially for young children. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain), and death. People in the United States still get measles, but it is not very common because most people in this country are protected against measles through vaccination. However, measles is still common in other parts of the world, including many countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Every year, unvaccinated people get measles while they are abroad and bring the disease into the United States and spread it to others.

Measles can spread quickly in communities where people are not vaccinated, which is why it is so important to be up to date on vaccinations, including before traveling abroad. People who have had measles in the past or who have been vaccinated against measles per Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations are considered immune. Those who are unsure of their vaccination status should check with their doctor to determine if they need to receive the vaccine. If you are ill, and are concerned you may have measles, you should contact your doctor by phone first before going to their office so measures can be taken to prevent possible spread to others.

For more information about measles, please visit www.cdc.gov/measles.