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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

MEASLES CASE CONFIRMED IN BERKELEY
Vaccination is easy, effective protection

Berkeley, California (Friday, May 17, 2019) - Berkeley Public Health has confirmed that a Berkeley resident has measles. While the adult is no longer contagious, those who are not immune and who visited a specific site at around the same weekday afternoon time as this person are at greater risk of developing measles.

Measles is highly preventable - the recommended two doses of vaccine provides immunity to 97% of people. Even a single dose protects 93% of those vaccinated.

This effective and easy protection is important because the virus itself is easily transmitted: an infected person's cough or sneeze can linger in the air for up to an hour - at which point the risk dissipates.

The airborne virus is so contagious, inhalation infects up to 90 percent of those not immune. Heightening the risk, an infected person doesn't show symptoms during the first four days of their most contagious period.

Anyone who visited the Berkeley Bowl on 2020 Oregon Street on Tuesday May 7 from 3pm to 5pm should look for the first stage of symptoms: runny nose, red eyes, cough and fever.  Symptoms start to emerge 7 to 21 days after exposure.

The next stage of measles symptoms involves a rash that typically appears on the face and spreads down the body.

Certain groups should be particularly aware of potential symptoms: unvaccinated children, unvaccinated adults born in 1957 or later, and those with severely weakened immune systems.

If you develop these symptoms, call your doctor right away. It is important to call ahead to any medical facility and to tell them that you may have been exposed to measles, so they can take measures to protect other patients and visitors.

"Given how measles spreads through the air from someone unaware of infection, the need for vaccination is especially important," said Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the City of Berkeley's Health Officer. "The vaccine is a simple and very powerful protection."

As with many contagious diseases, City of Berkeley Public Health staff interviewed the infected person and is in the process of interviewing everyone with whom the individual had extended contact.

Measles cases nationally are at their highest levels in 25 years. Berkeley's Health Officer urges everyone - especially those planning international travel - to make sure they have the recommended two doses of vaccine.

Children should get the first dose of their Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months of age and the second dose at 4-6 years of age. A baby between 6 and 11 months who will travel internationally should receive an early dose of MMR vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adults born after 1957 should get vaccinated for measles if they did not receive the two doses as children or if they are not sure of their immune status,

If unvaccinated, unsure of your immunization status or if you've had contact with someone with measles, consult your doctor.

"Vaccination is an easy, highly effective protection from measles," said Dr. Hernandez. "Protect yourself, especially before you travel abroad."

For general information about measles:

Information for Travelers:

Places that offer measles or other vaccines:

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