#PNN_Measles

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is investigating a non-resident measles case that traveled to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) while infectious and is also looking to identify others who are at risk for measles and may have been exposed to this person. The individual is not a resident of Los Angeles County and did not remain in the county after departing the airport in a private vehicle. This case is not linked to the case reported on August 6, nor to previously reported cases. Public Health urges residents, especially those who travel internationally and those who have not been fully protected against measles, to get the measles immunization in order to better protect their individual health and to prevent the spread of measles to others. 

Other people may have been exposed to measles since a public location was visited by the person with measles while infectious. The potential public exposure location, day and times were as follows: 

  • July 23, 2019, LAX Airport, Tom Bradley International Terminal, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

There is no known current risk related to measles that exists at this venue at this time. 

Anyone who may have been at this location on those dates may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days after being exposed. People who were in the location above around the same time should: 

  • Review their immunization and medical records to determine if they are protected against measles. People who have not had measles infection previously or received the measles immunization may not be immune and should talk with a healthcare provider about receiving measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization. 

  • Contact and notify their healthcare provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if they are pregnant, an infant, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized. 

  • Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a healthcare provider immediately.

Currently, there have been 16 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, in addition to 10 non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena as cases identified in those cities are reported by their local health departments). The majority of cases to date were unimmunized or did not know whether they had ever been immunized. 

“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, finally, a rash,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County health officer. “Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know you have it. The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others.” 

Additional cases and exposures may occur here related to returning travelers, especially returning international travelers who are not already protected against measles. Travelers taking domestic trips should follow the general Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination recommendations. Those traveling internationally should ensure they have received two doses and consider the expedited schedule for infants less than 12 months old.

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