SAN DIEGO – San Diego County health officials are urging residents Thursday to be aware of their vaccination status as the nationwide measles outbreak persists.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, residents born prior to 1957 are essentially immune due to the disease’s widespread nature when they were young. Residents born between 1957 and 1963 may need to receive the vaccine again because early versions were not as effective as the current vaccine.
For all others, including children and infants, the CDC and San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency say it’s important to ensure their measles-mumps-rubella vaccination status is up to date. While the measles outbreak has yet to affect San Diego County, an up-to-date vaccination status will be helpful if a local resident is exposed to a contagious measles host.
“Fortunately, the MMR vaccination is available and in ample supply,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “Adults with questions about their vaccination history should contact their medical provider and, if necessary, schedule a vaccination.”
The current nationwide measles outbreak is the largest on record in at least 25 years, according to the CDC, which has confirmed more than 700 cases across the country. In California, 38 measles cases have been confirmed in 11 counties.
Measles cases have been confirmed in Los Angeles and Orange counties in recent days, causing the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health to quarantine hundreds of UCLA and Cal State Los Angeles students and faculty members who may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease.
“San Diego County’s Public Health Department works closely with the local college community on vaccinations,” Wooten said. “I’m confident that my colleagues on campus know the importance of immunizations and maintaining records, but this outbreak happening for now outside our county’s borders is a good reminder for us all.”