California Public Health Officials Concerned About Measles Outbreak

Apr 1, 2019

Credit clevelandclinic.org

There are now 16 confirmed cases of measles in California, from Los Angeles to Tehama [tuh-hay-muh] county in the north, according to the latest count by the California Department of Public Health.

KVCR's Ken Vincent has more.

State health officials say they are "quite concerned" given that there were a total of 21 cases of measles over the entirety of 2018.

Dr. James Watt heads the division of communicable disease control at CDPH. He says the recent outbreaks in California [and the U.S.] tend to spread in communities where immunization coverage is lower...and that varies geographically.

[AX/Measles-1-CC: "So there are specific communities that have lower coverage. We see that in our school data, there are some schools that have lower percentage of children who've received all their immunization. Those are the places we're really most concerned about."]

Infants cannot have the measles vaccine until they turn one...so they are vulnerable to other unvaccinated children or adults who could transmit the disease. 

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is still widespread in many parts of the world. Several of the cases in California involve travelers who picked up measles abroad and may've transmitted it at airports in San Francisco and Los Angeles.