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State Measles Cases Jump

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San Andreas, CA – State Health Officials say the number of measles cases has risen sharply.

The California Department of Public Health has reported fifteen confirmed cases of measles so far this year. Last year at the same time, only two cases had been reported.

“No measles cases have been reported at this time in Calaveras County,” stated Dr. Kelaita, County Health Officer. “Measles is a very contagious viral disease that is spread through the air when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.”

Measles are a vaccine preventable disease. State Health Officials report they want to see a 90% vaccine rate for California. Dr. Kelaita says Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties rates are well below that as parents are opting out of getting their children vaccinated. He adds that means there is a large group of children who are susceptible to measles.

“Parents are concerned that vaccines aren’t safe. There are concerns that vaccines may cause Autism, have preservatives in them that contain mercury and that’s not the case. Also, there is no scientific evidence that vaccinations are causing Autism or in any way connected to Autism,” says Dr. Kelaita.

The Calaveras County Health Department has put out this information on measles:

Infants, pregnant women and immune compromised persons are at more risk of severe complications from measles. Health Officials recommend two doses of Measles, Mumps Rubella (MMR) vaccine for kids before kindergarten. Unvaccinated children and adults who have not already had the disease increase the risk of spreading the disease in the community.

Measles symptoms begin with a fever lasting for a few days, followed by a cough, runny nose, red watery eyes and a rash. The rash usually starts on the face, behind the ears and then covers the rest of the body. An infected person can spread the disease for about 8 days – 4 days before the rash starts and 4 days after the rash appears on the body.

Immunizations for children are available at Public Health Services for children up to 18 years of age if they do not have immunization coverage or if they have Medi-Cal. No one who is eligible to receive vaccine is denied because of inability to pay the $16 fee.

Immunization clinics are held at the Public Health office in San Andreas every Monday from 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM and Thursday from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM. On the third Tuesday of each month, an immunization clinic is held at Valley Springs United Methodist Church from 3:00 PM – 5:30 PM.

You can call Public Health Services for more information at 754.6592 or click here.