Two people with measles might have exposed others at a Navy commissary and other facilities

SAN DIEGO - Two people who caught the measles might have exposed others at a Navy commissary, medical facilities and a lawyer's office, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported today.

The potential exposure at the Naval Base San Diego Commissary would have happened Saturday between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., according to the HHSA.

The individuals also might have exposed others at the Pettit Kohn Law Offices, 11622 El Camino Real, last Friday between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., and Monday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., the HHSA said.

The agency reported that the affected medical offices are the Sharp Rees-Stealy Sorrento Mesa Urgent Care Center, 10243 Genetic Center Drive, Monday between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sharp Rees-Stealy Sorrento Mesa Primary Care, at the same address, Tuesday between 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

"Measles is a very contagious disease that can be spread easily by coughing, sneezing or being in same room with an infected person," said Dr. Eric McDonald, the county deputy public health officer.

"Anyone who was at any of these specific locations at these times should watch for symptoms and contact their health care provider by telephone first, if they show any signs of the disease."

Both of the sick individuals, who were not identified, are connected to a San Diego resident who contracted the illness during a visit to the Philippines.

HHSA and Navy public health officials are contacting individuals who were known to be at the listed locations during the exposure periods to determine if they have been vaccinated. The HHSA recommends that people who have not been vaccinated, or not had measles, contact their doctors within one week of the date of exposure.

People without a health provider can contact the HHSA Epidemiology Branch at (619) 692-8499.

Those with symptoms are asked to telephone the provider in advance, rather than visit an office directly, so that infection control measures can be implemented to prevent exposure to others.

The HHSA said measles develop seven to 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms include cough, runny nose and red eyes, and a distinctive red rash usually appears one to four days after early symptoms appear.

A person is considered contagious four days before the rash appears. The rash begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet.

"The best way to prevent measles is by getting the measles vaccine," McDonald said. "Infants under 12 months of age are at high risk of infection with measles because they would not have received the protective vaccine."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends two doses of the vaccine: the first at 12 months of age, and the second between ages 4 to 6 years.

Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older, including diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults, according to the HHSA.

The agency said there is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.

Information about measles, other disease and vaccinations is available by calling the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966 or visiting the website at www.sdiz.org.

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