February 21, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Measles Alert in Southern California: International Traveler Sparks Concern Amidst Report of Lack of Vaccination

Confirmed Case Prompts Public Health Response – Potential Exposures Identified 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has reported a confirmed case of measles in a resident who traveled through Los Angeles International (LAX) airport on January 25, 2024, while infectious. The affected individual arrived on Turkish Airlines 009 flight at the Tom Bradley International Airport (TBIT) Terminal B, Gate 157, at 5:00 p.m.

Passengers who were present at Terminal B between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the mentioned date may be at risk of developing measles due to exposure. Collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control, local health departments will notify passengers assigned to specific seats on Turkish Airlines 009 who may have been exposed on January 25, 2024.

An additional concern arises following a CBS News Investigation revealing that hundreds of Southern California schools, including 209 in Los Angeles, have vaccination levels threatening herd immunity. With a recent outbreak of measles in Philadelphia, the vulnerability is underscored, particularly as children have been identified as reliable vectors for airborne diseases during the Covid pandemic. Measles is a disease traditionally known as a childhood disease before the MMR vaccine largely eradicated it. 

The affected individual also visited Chick-fil-A (18521 Devonshire St., Northridge, CA 91324) on January 25, 2024, between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Those present at the restaurant during this time may be at risk of developing measles due to exposure.

Public Health urges residents to confirm their measles vaccination status. Unimmunized or those with unknown immunization status who were at the specified locations during the stated date and times are at risk of developing measles seven to 21 days after exposure. Individuals who remain symptom-free for more than 21 days are no longer considered at risk.

Further investigation into potential exposures at additional locations is underway by Public Health.

Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer, emphasizes, “Measles is highly contagious and can lead to severe disease.” Initial symptoms include fever, cough, red, watery eyes, followed by a rash, with serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults.

Individuals present at the mentioned locations around the specified times are advised to review their immunization records, contact their healthcare providers, and monitor themselves for symptoms. If symptoms develop, staying at home and avoiding public spaces is recommended, with prompt communication with healthcare providers.

Measles spreads easily through the air and on surfaces, with infected persons contagious up to four days before and after the appearance of a rash. Vaccination remains a key preventative measure.

For more information on measles and vaccination resources, visit Public Health’s measles page.

In 2019, Los Angeles County faced a measles outbreak with 20 cases among residents, and in 2020, there were five reported cases. This recent case in 2024 highlights the importance of vaccination in preventing the spread of contagious diseases.

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