(CBS SF) — Health officials in the South Bay are urging travelers to make sure their immunizations are up to date after a resident became exposed to measles during an overseas trip.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department said a Santa Cruz County resident who had measles was on an international flight that landed at SFO last month. Since then, two other passengers on that same flight have become sick with measles; one a San Francisco resident and the other a Santa Clara County resident.

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Santa Clara public health said the general public is at very low risk of measles because of these cases and no other passengers from the flight have contracted measles.

Officials noted the flight was more than three weeks ago, and measles develops within 21 days of exposure and there is no evidence showing measles spreading within any of the affected counties.

Health officials urged people, especially travelers, to make sure all immunizations are current, because measles is circulating in many countries outside the United States. Early immunization with MMR vaccine is recommended for infants ages 6-11 months before going on an international trip.


Fever? Runny nose? Cough? Red eyes, and s sore throat? Sounds like you picked up some infection.  But if your illness is followed by a rash that spreads over your body, you may have a case of the measles  An infection can be serious in all age groups, but according to infectious disease experts, children younger than 5 and adults older than 20 are more likely to suffer from complications. Common complications include ear infections and diarrhea. Some complications can be serious, and include pneumonia and encephalitis which is a swelling of the brain, as well as death.


Signs and symptoms:

Signos y síntomas


Measles transmission:

Transmisión del sarampión





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Frequently Asked Questions

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Top Things Parents Should know

Las Cosas Principales



When it comes to vaccinations, a huge new study of over 650,000 children confirms the measles vaccine or MMR vaccine does not cause or increase the risk of autism. The report is published in the prestigious Annals of Internal Medicine.  The study strongly supports that the MMR vaccine does not increase the risk for autism, does not trigger autism in susceptible children, and is not associated with the clustering of autism cases after vaccination.

CDC Information on the measles vaccine



A 2012 study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases  found that in those vaccinated against measles with two MMR shots or even those naturally immunized with an infection had waning immunity and may contribute to new cases of measles decades after the infection or shots. The more individuals who are properly vaccinated, the more protected the community is due to an affect known as “herd” immunity.  Herd immunity helps to protect people who can’t get a measles vaccine including babies, those with vaccine allergies, and anyone with an immune supressing disease like cancer.

The CDC reports that properly vaccinated individuals don’t need a booster shot, however some experts believe there may be a concern for those who were born before 1957. Most of those individuals are thought ot have been infected naturally during the course of a measles outbreak. Your doctor can order an antibody test for you, to see if you have enough antibodies in  your system and whether you would need revaccination. If you fall into this category, you may be at a higher risk for infection if you travel during an outbreak in other countries or near international travel hubs.

Another category of possible risk are those who were vaccinated between 1963 and 1967. Those individuals may have received a vaccine known as a “killed” version of the measles vaccine. If you got this version or don’t know, ask your physician if you should be revaccinated.



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