LA Confirms 1st Measles Outbreak of 2020

Most measles cases in the USA are related to international travelers
hollywood street sign in los angeles

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed a measles outbreak among 5 persons. 

According to an LA Public Health press release issued on February 5, 2020, this measles outbreak began when a measles virus infectious international visitor was visiting the greater Los Angeles area.

Furthermore, Public Health says ‘additional measles cases may occur in LA County.’

During 2019, Public Health says ‘there were 20 measles cases among LA County residents, in addition to 14 non-resident measles cases that traveled through LA County. Most of those individuals were not immunized or did not know whether they had ever been immunized or previously infected with the measles virus.

Eight of the measles outbreaks in the USA during 2019 occurred in under-immunized, close-knit communities.

Muntu Davis, M.D., MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer, said in a press release, “Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know have it. The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others.”

People who were in the LA County locations listed below around the aforementioned times should:

  • Review their immunization and medical records to determine if they are protected against measles. People who have not had measles infection previously or received the measles immunization may not be protected from the measles virus and should talk with a health care provider about receiving measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) immunization.
  • Contact and notify their health care provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if they are pregnant, an infant, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized regardless of vaccination history.
  • Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a healthcare provider immediately.

The following public places were visited by the confirmed case:

  • 1/26/2020: CVS Pharmacy, 11941 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 8:30am-7:00pm
  • 1/27/2020: Starbucks, 11707 San Vicente Blvd, LA 90049, 9:00am-11:15am
  • 1/27/2020: Whole Foods, 11737 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 9:15am-11:30am
  • 1/27/2020: CVS Pharmacy, 11941 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 6:30am-5:00pm
  • 1/27/2020: Souplantation, 11911 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 116, LA 90049, 12:00pm-2:30pm
  • 1/27/2020: Pinkberry Yogurt, 1612 Montana Ave., Santa Monica 90403, 6:45pm-9:00pm
  • 1/28/2020: Starbucks, 11707 San Vicente Blvd, LA 90049, 9:00am-11:15am
  • 1/28/2020: Starbucks, 11705 National Blvd., LA 90064, 12:45pm-3:30pm
  • 1/28/2020: Starbucks, 2525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90403, 9:30am- 12:00pm
  • 1/28/2020: CVS Pharmacy, 11941 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 6:30am-5:00pm
  • 1/28/2020: Andy’s Liquor, 440 W. Manchester Blvd., Inglewood 90301, 8:28pm-11:00pm
  • 1/28/2020: Kye’s, 1518 Montana Ave., Santa Monica 90403, 5:45pm-8:00pm
  • 1/28/2020: Maca Salon and Permanent Makeup, 1779 Westwood Blvd., LA 90024, 3:45pm - 6:45pm
  • 1/28/2020: Pinkberry Yogurt, 1612 Montana Ave., Santa Monica 90403, 6:05pm-8:30pm
  • 1/29/2020: Whole Foods, 11737 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 9:00am-11:10am
  • 1/29/2020: Starbucks, 11707 San Vicente Blvd, LA 90049, 9:10am-11:15am
  • 1/29/2020: Nishi Poke and Ramen Bistro, 2536 Overland Ave., LA 90064, 1:00pm-4:00pm
  • 1/29/2020: Vicente Foods, 12027 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 5:45pm-8:30pm
  • 1/29/2020: United Oil 76 Gas Station (went inside office), 1776 Cloverfield Blvd., Santa Monica 90404, 8:15pm-10:30pm
  • 1/30/2020: Starbucks, 11707 San Vicente Blvd, LA 90049, 9:00am-11:15am
  • 1/30/2020: CVS Pharmacy, 11623 Rosecrans Ave., Norwalk 90650, 4:20pm-6:40pm
  • 1/30/2020: New China Mongolian Barbeque Restaurant, 10001 Hawthorne Blvd., Inglewood 90304, 4:15pm-7:30pm
  • 1/30/2020: Red Wing Shoe Store, 18533 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance 90504, 6:30pm-9:00pm
  • 1/30/2020: Shu-Sushi House Unico, 2932 ½ Beverly Glen Circle, Bel Air 90077, 7:30pm-11:30pm
  • 1/30/2020: Yogurtland, 11706 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 9:45pm-12:00am
  • 1/31/2020: Starbucks, 11707 San Vicente Blvd, LA 90049, 9:00am-11:15am
  • 1/31/2020: Starbucks, 2525 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica 90403, 9:23am-12:00pm
  • 1/31/2020: Buffalo Wild Wings Restaurant, 6081 Center Dr., Suite 150, LA 90045 (part of Howard Hughes Center), 6:45pm- 9:15pm
  • 1/31/2020: Westfield Century City Mall (Nordstrom’s and Gelson’s only), 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., LA 90067, 12:00pm-3:10pm
  • 2/01/2020: Whole Foods, 11737 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 12:20am-2:40pm
  • 2/01/2020: Starbucks, 11707 San Vicente Blvd, LA 90049, 12:00pm-2:15pm
  • 2/01/2020: Kreation Organic Café, 11754 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 12:45pm-3:00pm
  • 2/01/2020: Acai Nation, 11740 San Vicente Blvd., LA 90049, 1:05pm-3:15pm

Under-immunized persons or those with unknown immunization status who were at these sites during the dates and times listed above are at risk of developing measles from 7 to 21 days after being exposed.

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Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. About 90 percent of people who have never been immunized against measles become ill 7-21 days after exposure. 

Infected people can infect those around them before they have symptoms and know they are infected. 

Individuals who have been free of symptoms for more than 21 days are no longer at risk, says LA Public Health.

Travelers taking domestic trips should follow the general Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination recommendations. Those traveling internationally should ensure they have received 2-doses and consider the expedited schedule for infants less than 12 months old.

To notify everyone of their ongoing measles risk, the CDC reissued a Global Travel Alert on January 3, 2020.

The CDC says international travelers between the ages of 1 to 6 years should receive ‘both’ lifetime MMR vaccine doses before departure.

This CDC Travel Alert is important since a recent study reported that most eligible pediatric international travelers were not immunized against the measles virus prior to departure.

This Massachusetts General Hospital study published on December 9, 2019, found that despite recommendations from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a large number of children traveling aboard are not protected from the measles virus due to a clinician decision or guardian refusal.

During 2019, the CDC confirmed 1,282 individual cases of measles in 31 states. About 73 percent of the cases were linked to recent measles outbreaks in New York City and Rockland County NY.

The CDC says measles can be prevented with the MMR-II vaccine. Children have the option of getting the Proquad vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella.

Measles immunizations are available at healthcare providers, local pharmacy or health clinics. Public Health clinics offer no or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. To find a nearby Public Health clinic, call 2-1-1.

The LA Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. 

Measles vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations.