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Measles outbreak: Los Angeles health officials investigate after 5 cases confirmed

Officials investigate measles outbreak in SoCal

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is investigating a measles outbreak after five measles cases were confirmed so far this year among county residents, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The outbreak includes four confirmed cases linked to one another after international travel and an additional single case of measles after international travel, according to officials.

"We will likely see additional measles cases in Los Angeles County, so it is important if you or someone you know has the symptoms of measles or has been exposed to measles to contact your healthcare provider by phone right away before seeking treatment," said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. "The best way to protect yourself and to prevent the spread of measles is to get the measles immunization, with two doses of measles immunization being about 97 percent effective at preventing measles."

The following locations have been identified by public health officials as places where the public may have been exposed to measles:

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Tom Bradley International Terminal, arrived at Gate 218 on April 1 from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Franz Hall on April 2, 4, and 9 and Boelter Hall on April 2 and 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • California State University, Los Angeles, Main Library, on April 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • El Pollo Loco Restaurant, 1939 Verdugo Blvd, La Cañada Flintridge, on April 11 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • El Sauz Tacos, 4432 San Fernando Rd, Glendale, on April 13 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Measles cases on the rise in U.S.

"Measles is not a trivial disease"

In January, WHO named the anti-vaccination movement among the top 10 global health threats for 2019.

Measles can be serious for all age groups, but it is most dangerous for children under 5 and adults over 70.

According to the CDC, as many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young kids.

About 1 out of every 1,000 children with measles will develop swelling of the brain, which can lead to convulsions and leave the child deaf or with an intellectual disability. For every 1,000 children who get the disease, the CDC estimated one or two will die from it.

Measles can also cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely or have a low-birth-weight baby.

"Measles is not a trivial disease," Fauci warned. "When measles was rampant before the vaccines were available, it was one of the most devastating diseases globally and in the United States. Prior to the 1960's when the vaccine was introduced there were a couple million cases of measles and 400 to 500 deaths a year, thousands and thousands of hospitalizations and a thousand cases of encephalitis [inflammation of the brain]."

Ashley Welch contributed to this report.

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