Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency Public Health Branch is investigating another confirmed case of measles; this time the patient is an infant. This case has been linked to the Shasta County measles case announced on April 11. Public Health officials urge residents to be aware of measles symptoms and to take precautions to help stop the spread.
“This case is particularly disheartening since the child is too young to receive the necessary vaccinations,” said Karen Ramstrom, the Shasta County HHSA Public Health Officer. “Infants are one of the vulnerable groups that we want to protect with high levels of community immunity.”
To prevent measles from spreading, the level of community immunity needed is 95% but Shasta County is only at 93%. For most, that means receiving two MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccinations. People who have received two doses of the measles vaccine have less than 1% chance of contracting the disease after exposure. It is particularly important for adults to get their vaccinations to protect vulnerable infants who are initially vaccinated at 12-15 months followed by a second MMR at kindergarten age. The recommendation for most adults without evidence of immunity (e.g., documented vaccination or laboratory test) is one MMR vaccination. If you aren’t sure, it doesn’t hurt to get another MMR.
Measles is incredibly contagious and can be spread without direct person-to-person contact. The measles virus is able to remain in the air for up to one hour after an infected person leaves a location.
The locations that the most recent patient visited are:
- The 99 Cents Only Store on Hilltop Drive in Redding on April 18 from 2 – 3:30 pm
- WalMart in Redding on April 18 from 2:45 – 4:30 p.m.
- SavMor Foods on Westside Road in Redding on April 19 from 9:45 – 11:15 a.m.
- Dollar Tree on Westside Road in Redding on April 19 from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m.
It is important to know that the locations listed above are all safe and the public should not have any concerns about exposure at this time.
If you have been to any of these locations watch for measles symptoms. Please call a physician if you develop measles symptoms, including fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that typically appears on the face along the hairline or behind the ears and spreads to the rest of the body. DO NOT go out in public, to a clinic, hospital or physician’s office before calling their facility to prevent spreading the disease to others. An individual is infectious from four days before the rash starts until four days after the rash appears.
“So far, most infected persons in Shasta County have required hospitalization for treatment and recovery. That alone shows how seriously we need to treat this situation,” said Ramstrom. “The belief that this is no worse than a bad cold or chicken pox is definitely out there and that’s simply not the case.”
For more information about measles, including a list of all current measles exposure times and locations,, visit www.shastahhsa.net and click on the “Information on Measles” banner at the top of the page.