4th measles case reported in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO — A small outbreak of measles has grown, with a man potentially exposing others at four locations, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Wednesday.

The unidentified man is the third person to catch measles from someone who contracted the illness while visiting the Philippines, according to the HHSA.

countyhealthThe agency said the new victim might have exposed others March 3-7 and March 10 at the Veterans’ Affairs Clinic on Third Avenue in Chula Vista; on March 3 and March 9 between 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at the 24 Hour Fitness at 870 Amena Court in Chula Vista; on March 5 between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and March 9 between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Mater Dei Catholic Church at 1571 Magdalena Ave. in Chula Vista; and March 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Navy Exchange main store at Navy Base San Diego.

“Anyone who was at any of the specific locations should watch for symptoms and contact their health care provider by phone if they show any signs of the disease,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “We ask people with symptoms to phone their doctor’s office in advance, rather than visit an office directly, so that infection control measures may be implemented to prevent exposure to others.”

Early symptoms include cough, runny nose and red eyes, and a distinctive red rash usually appears one to four days after early symptoms appear.

A person is considered contagious four days before the rash appears. The rash begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the vaccine: the first at 12 months of age, and the second between ages 4 to 6 years.

Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older, including diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults, according to the HHSA.

There is no treatment for measles, with bed rest, fluids and fever control measures recommended for patients. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.

Information about measles and vaccinations is available by calling the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966 or visiting the website at http://www.sdiz.org. People without a health provider can contact the HHSA Epidemiology Branch at (619) 692-8499.