Thursday, February 19, 2015

Amador Public Health: Measles Outbreak Reminds of Vaccination Importance

Sutter Creek, CA – California Department of Public Health confirms 117 cases of measles in the state to date. There are no cases currently in Amador County. Amador County Public Health continues to monitor the outbreak and recognizes that it may continue to spread in California.

“This is a good reminder of the importance of vaccination,” states Dr. Rita Kerr, Amador County Health Officer. “Measles is a very contagious and potentially severe vaccine-preventable disease that spreads through the air and by contact with an infected person.”

Symptoms usually begin with a fever, cough, runny nose and/or red, watery eyes. A red rash occurs a few days later on the face and upper neck, then spreads down the back, trunk, arms and legs. People are contagious from about 4 days before the rash appears through 4 days after it appears.

Anyone suspecting they have measles should CALL their medical provider BEFORE seeking care to avoid exposing others.

Two doses of measles vaccine (MMR) are more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles. If you are unsure of your vaccination status, check with your doctor to see if you need a booster.

Vaccinations are safe, and the benefits far outweigh any risks. Side effects are usually mild, such as soreness where the shot was given. Measles is found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Vaccination before traveling is recommended.

Amador County Public Health holds immunization clinics on the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. The MMR vaccine is also available at some local pharmacies.

To learn more about measles, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at:  and the California Department of Public Health website at:

PHOTO: This thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) reveals a single virus particle, or virion, of measles virus. Photo by Cynthia Goldsmith, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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