An unvaccinated child in Valley Springs has been diagnosed with measles after travelling overseas.
Calaveras Public Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita announced on Thursday that the Health and Human Services Agency received a report of the diagnosis and that public health officials are contacting “potentially exposed groups” in Calaveras and Amador County.
The disease is highly contagious, and those who are unvaccinated are most at risk.
According to Kelaita, there has been an increase in unvaccinated children in Calaveras County.
“Measles is a completely preventable disease,” said Dr. Kelaita in a news release. “Parents should check their children’s shot records and ensure they are fully protected against measles.”
Symptoms of measles include flu-like symptoms accompanied by a rash that typically starts around the hairline or behind the ears and spreads to the rest of the body. Complications from the disease can be fatal, especially in infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
It is recommended by medical professionals that children receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, one at the age of 12 to 15 months and the other at the age of 4 to 6 years old, according to Kelaita. Studies have proven the MMR vaccine is 97-percent effective at preventing a measles infection if properly administered.
More information will be released as it becomes available.