SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Health officials keeping watch on the measles outbreaks in other parts of the nation say it’s not a question of if the measles comes to San Diego, but when.
“In 2019, we’ve seen more cases of measles across the United States, over 700, than we have in many years,” said Dean Sidelinger, Interim Deputy Public Health Officer, County of San Diego.
40 of the patients have been in California. Measles cases are at their highest level since 2000, when doctors said the disease was eliminated in the U.S.
The measles virus is spread through the air via coughs and sneezes.
The easiest way to prevent measles, according to Sidelinger, is the vaccine. You can check to see if you have immunity.
“Call your doctor. See what they have recorded in their chart. They can check the San Diego Immunization Registry, which is where we encourage providers to record vaccines for all of their patients,” said Sidelinger.
For most adults, your immunization records are on handwritten cards that were used before the registries existed. You may have to dig through drawers or ask your parents for the card.
People born before 1957 are considered immune because measles was prevalent during that time.
“For folks that were born before 1985, they’ve likely had one dose of the measles as a child, and that is very protective, that offers 95 percent protection to folks,” said Sidelinger.
The second dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine was added for children born after 1985, and is 98 percent effective in preventing the measles.