Measles Confirmed In Northridge Health Officials War Of Exposure

February 2, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

NORTHRIDGE, CA — Amid a global measles outbreak, Los Angeles County confirmed its first case this year in a resident who recently traveled through Los Angeles International Airport while infectious and visited a fast food restaurant in Northridge.

The disease spreads easily, and health officials are warning people who may have been exposed to monitor themselves for symptoms and notify a doctor. The person travelled on Turkish Airlines flight 009 and passed through the Tom Bradley International Terminal Gate 157, at 5 p.m. Jan. 25, according to the Los County Department of Public Health.

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After landing, the patient visited a Chick-Fil-A restaurant at 18521 Devonshire St. in Northridge at some point between 8 and 10:30 p.m. Jan. 25.

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Other passengers are being warned of their exposure.

“Public Health encourages residents to confirm their measles vaccination status,” health officials said in a statement. “If they have not had measles in the past and have not yet obtained the vaccine, they are at risk of contracting measles if they have been exposed. Unimmunized persons or those with unknown immunization status who were at these sites during the date and times listed above are at risk of developing measles from seven to 21 days after being exposed. Individuals who have been free of symptoms for more than 21 days are no longer at risk.”

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County health officials said they are continuing to investigate whether the patient may have visited any other locations or potentially exposed anyone else.

No other details were released about the patient, or the person’s current condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is monitoring a global measles outbreak that has already spread to some states as unvaccinated travelers bring the disease home.

“Measles is extremely contagious,” the CDC warned. “Around 9 out of 10 people who are not protected will become infected following exposure to the measles virus.”

Major Outbreaks have been recorded in Europe and cases have popped up this year in Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

“Right now, measles outbreaks are occurring in every region of the world,” according to the CDC. “Although measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000, almost 1,300 cases of measles were reported in 31 states in the U.S. in 2019— the greatest number since 1992.”

Vaccination rates further dropped during the pandemic, according to the CDC, and 350 Southland schools have vaccination rates too low to achieve herd immunity, according to a CBS News investigation released Thursday.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed was urged to check their immunization status and talk with a healthcare provider if they believe they may not be protected from infection. Anyone who develops symptoms was advised to stay home from work or school and contact a health care provider right away.

Common symptoms are fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, tiny white spots in the mouth and a rash that develops three to five days after other signs of illness. The rash generally starts at the face and moves downward, health officials said.

“Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know you have it and can lead to severe disease,” Dr. Muntu Davis, county health officer, said in a statement. “Measles is highly contagious for those who are not immune to it. Initially causing fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and followed by a rash, it can result in serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults.”

City News Service contributed to this report.

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