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Old Virus Resurfaces In Calaveras County As Young Child Contracts Measles

SAN ANDREAS (CBS13) — A new case of an old disease is raising long-term concerns in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. A young child in Calaveras County contracted measles.

"One of our concerns is, are other people within our community walking around with measles?" said Cori Allen, the county's Health and Human Services director. "In the United States, having the MMR vaccine, which includes the vaccine for measles, is pretty standard practice."

Allen says the child, who's under the age of 5, was not vaccinated against measles. Doctors say the virus is so contagious, 9 out of 10 people who come into contact with someone infected will also get it if they're not vaccinated and immune.

Measles can spread just by a child being in a room where an infected person has been and even up to two hours after the infected person has left.

The county compiled a list of local places where the infected child visited over the last month, including multiple farmers' markets and playgrounds all within Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. They are:

  • September 10: Angels Camp Farmers Market and playground at Utica Park
  • September 12: Murphys Farmers Market and playground at Murphys Community Park
  • September 13: Playground at Murphys Community Park
  • September 15: Rapid Care: Adventist Health, Angels Camp and Adventist Health Sonora Emergency Department
  • September 17: Arnold Medical Clinic: Dignity Health
  • September 20: Angels Camp Medical Clinic: Dignity Health

Right now, they're most concerned about babies too young to have received the vaccine or unvaccinated pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. They're now in the race to stop the spread of an old virus, especially while battling a new one like COVID-19.

"With measles, it's 7 to 14 days before your first symptoms show. So if you're out and you're seeing people and engaging with people you really can get a widespread impact very quickly," Allen said.

Measles usually starts with a fever, a cough and then a rash three to five days later. In some cases, it can lead to serious complications including swelling of the brain and seizures.

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