Infant Is First Measles Case Confirmed in San Diego County in 2019: Officials

Health officials in San Diego said the 11-month-old may have exposed others while seeking care at local clinics on July 29, Aug. 4 or Aug. 5

The first case of measles this year in San Diego County has been confirmed in an 11-month-old infant, county health officials said Wednesday.

The County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency said the unimmunized infant recently traveled to the Philippines and is currently hospitalized.

The county said the baby may have exposed others while seeking care at the following locations:

  • Kaiser Permanente Otay Mesa Medical Offices, 4650 Palm Ave., San Diego, CA 92154 on the following dates and times: July 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Pediatric Clinic; Aug. 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Pediatric Clinic, Urgent Care and Pharmacy; and Aug. 5 from 4:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Pediatric Clinic.
  • Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center, 9455 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San Diego, CA 92123: Aug. 5 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Emergency Department.

HHSA is working with Kaiser Permanente to identify and follow up with patients and staff who may have been exposed at those locations to check if they have been vaccinated and their potential for developing measles.

"Measles is a very contagious disease that can be spread easily by coughing, sneezing or being in the same room with an infected person," said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. "Anyone who was at any of these specific locations at the dates and times listed above should watch for symptoms and call their health care provider if they show any signs of the disease."

People with symptoms are asked to telephone their doctor’s office in advance, rather than visit an office directly, so that infection control measures may be activated to prevent exposure to others.

According to California Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, measles symptoms can appear seven to 14 days after contact with the virus. A measles rash can appear three to five days after the first symptoms.

If by August 26th there are no new cases of measles then we would be in the clear. The incubation period for measles is up to 21 days and the toddler was diagnosed on the 5th, say officials. 

County Health Officials say there are about 100 patients that need to be contacted, plus anyone who accompanied those patients. 

“I’m very worried because more likely than not, sorry to say, there was someone in those waiting rooms or the emergency room that the health department will not be able to contact,” said Doctor John Bradley, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at Rady Children’s Hospital.

HHSA said complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older.

Complications can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults. There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated the number of reported measles cases in June. They reported it had surpassed 1,000 cases, the highest in 27 years. 

Just last month Los Angeles had reported 16 measles cases in county residents just this year. 

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