Even though there have been no cases of measles reported in Plumas County, the nationwide measles outbreak is an ongoing story, with the numbers changing almost daily.
As of March 28, there are four confirmed cases in Butte County. There is one confirmed case from Tehama County and three confirmed cases in Placer County. The current outbreak is of concern to Plumas County health officials, with confirmed cases now in seven California counties for a total of 16 confirmed measles cases, including11 outbreak-associated cases so far in 2019.
Measles causes fever, runny nose, cough and a rash all over the body. The virus lives in mucus in the nose and throat of the infected person. When that person sneezes or coughs, droplets spray into the air. The droplets can get into other people’s noses or throats when they breathe or put their fingers in their mouth or nose after touching an infected surface. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person, who are not immune,will become infected.
Measles vaccine, which is given in combination with rubella and mumps vaccine (MMR) is effective and safe. Two doses are recommended for children. If your child has not received MMR vaccine or has only received one dose, Plumas County Public Health Agency recommends that you contact your healthcare provider for immunization as soon as possible. Plumas County Public Health Agency has a limited amount of vaccine available as well.
Could I still get measles if I am fully vaccinated? Very few people — about three out of 100 — who get two doses of measles vaccine will still get measles if exposed to the virus. Experts aren’t sure why; it could be that their immune systems didn’t respond as well as they should have to the vaccine. But the good news is, fully vaccinated people who get measles are much more likely to have a milder illness, and they are also less likely to spread the disease to other people, including people who can’t get vaccinated because they are too young or have weakened immune systems.
“We encourage individuals to stay up to date with their immunizations, as the MMR vaccine is one of the most highly effective vaccines given.” said Dr. Mark Satterfield, Plumas County Health Officer.
Measles can cause serious illness, or even death, in young children. If your children have not been vaccinated against measles, contact your healthcare provider or Plumas County Public Health Agency at 283-6330 or 800-801-6330.