San Diegans urged to vaccinate as number of measles cases contin - The CW San Diego - News 8

San Diegans urged to vaccinate as number of measles cases continues to rise

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – Dozens of cases of the measles have been confirmed across the Pacific Northwest, and health experts across the country – and in San Diego- are urging patients to protect themselves.

Dr. Eric McDonald is the director of immunization and epidemiology at San Diego County Health and Human Services and is urging San Diegans who have not had their measles vaccine to get it.

The urgent call as an outbreak of the disease continues in Washington state, New York and Oregon.

“The single most important thing San Diegans and Californians can do is follow the CDC recommendations about getting vaccinations. The vaccine is a series of two shots and is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. McDonald.

Since January, there have been 49 confirmed cases in Washington state – most of them children. Forty-one of them had not been vaccinated against the disease.

So far, there has only been one case in California and that was in Los Angeles. The largest recent outbreak in California was in 2015 – which was linked to Disneyland.

San Diego has not had a case since 2017.

Dr. McDonald said people most at risk besides non-immunized children are those who work in the healthcare field and people who travel internationally regularly. “Measles for most people causes a mild illness that they recover from a certain percentage will need to be hospitalized. One in 1,000 will die.”

Measles is highly contagious. The virus spread through the air and lingers for hours. If one sick child coughs in a room and leaves, another unvaccinated person has a 90 percent change of catching the illness.

A person with measles can spread the virus to others for about eight days, starting four days before the rash appears and ending when the rash has been present for four days.

The belief that the measles is just a mild childhood disease is not true. If you are not sure if you are immune to measles, you can get a blood test to find out.

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