Kern DPH said case passed through the county while infectious

Kern County Public Health Services has just received confirmation of a measles case that traveled through and spent the night in Kern County while infectious.

Dr. Claudia Jonah issued a news release Friday afternoon to inform the public of the signs and symptoms of the measles so everyone can take proper precautions.

Measles typically begins with a mild to moderate fever accompanied by cough, runny nose, and watery eyes.

The fever often spikes as high as 104-105°F and then a red blotchy, raised rash appears, usually first on the face, along the hairline and behind the ears.

This rash rapidly spreads downward to the chest and back and, finally, to the thighs and feet. In approximately one week, the rash fades in the same sequence that it appeared.

Measles is highly contagious and the virus stays in the air for up to two hours after the infected person is no longer present. Anyone exposed who has not had measles vaccine, can become ill anywhere from 8 to 21 days after exposure.

“Now is the time to check your vaccination status against measles so that you are protected,” says Denise Smith, Director of Disease Control. The recommendation is two MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccines.

If you have any of the above symptoms between now and September 2, 2013, you should stay home. Do not go to school, go to work, use public transportation, or go anywhere else in public. You should immediately contact your healthcare provider, let them know about your symptoms and follow their instructions. Do not enter a healthcare facility (doctor’s office, urgent care, emergency room) without first notifying someone inside that you possibly have symptoms of measles.

Measles is very rare in those who have been vaccinated or had the disease. The last reported case in Kern County was in 2004.