A Calaveras County child under the age of 5 recently contracted measles and has since recovered, though local health officials are concerned about possible exposure of those not vaccinated against the disease.

Calaveras County Public Health identified several locations where the public might have been exposed: ∙

Sept. 10: Angels Camp Farmers Market and playground at Utica Park

Sept. 12: Murphys Farmers Market and playground at Murphys Community Park

Sept. 13: Playground at Murphys Community Park

Sept. 15: Rapid Care: Adventist Health, Angels Camp and Adventist Health Sonora Emergency Department

Sept. 17: Arnold Medical Clinic: Dignity Health

Sept. 20: Angels Camp Medical Clinic: Dignity Health

The infected child reportedly did not travel outside of Calaveras and Tuolumne counties while contagious.

“Measles is a very contagious and serious disease. It is so contagious that 9 out of 10 people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected,” said county health officer Dr. René Ramirez. “Measles is a preventable disease. People should check their vaccination status to make sure they are fully protected against measles and, if not, to get vaccinated.”

In the recently confirmed measles case, the child was not vaccinated, according to Public Health.

“Two doses of the measles vaccine is about 97% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus. If you have symptoms of measles call your local health care provider to let them know. If you can, avoid walking into a clinic without advanced warning,” a Public Health press release states.

Additional information from Public Health:

“Measles is spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes. A child can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after the person has left. Seven to 14 days after a measles infection, the first symptoms show. It begins with high fever (may spike to more than 104˚F), cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash 3-5 days after symptoms begin. The rash typically appears on the face along the hairline or behind the ears and spreads to the rest of the body. An infected person can spread measles even before knowing they have the disease, from four days before the rash starts through four days after the rash appears.

Complications of measles can include diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, and seizures. Severe complications can be fatal. Groups that at highest risk to suffer from measles complications include:

∙ Unvaccinated young children.

∙ Unvaccinated pregnant women

∙ People with a weakened immune system (who have not been vaccinated or was vaccinated but did not develop immunity)

The best protection against measles is the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Two doses of the MMR vaccine are recommended for immunity to measles:

∙ The first dose at 12 to 15 months of age.

∙ The second dose of MMR vaccine is usually given at four to six years of age.

Anyone traveling outside of the United States should ensure they have received the full measles vaccination. The MMR vaccine can be obtained through your regular medical provider or local clinic.

For more information on measles, visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles/. To obtain a measles vaccination, call your health care provider.”

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Dakota graduated from Bret Harte in 2013 and went to Davidson College, NC where she earned a bachelor's degree in Arab studies. After spending time studying in the Middle East and Europe, she is happy to be home, writing about the community she loves.

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