Measles Multi-State Outbreak

For Immediate Release
January 27, 2015; 2:45pm
DPHSS Release No. 2015-008

Measles Multi-State Outbreak

The Department of Public Health and Social Services (DPHSS) has been informed of a large multi-state measles outbreak that started in California is associated with travel to Disneyland Resort Theme Parks (which includes Disneyland and Disney California Adventure) from December 17- 20, 2014. As of January 21, 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of 52 confirmed cases of measles linked to this outbreak: 42 from California; 9 from six other states (3 in Utah, 2 in Washington, 1 in Oregon, 1 in Colorado, 1 in Arizona, and 1 in New England); and one from Mexico.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It is primarily spread by person to person contact via large respiratory droplets. Symptoms are characterized by a generalized rash lasting 3 days or longer, with fever (101⁰ F or higher) and cough, or coryza (runny nose), or conjunctivitis (red eyes).

The DPHSS recommends that persons traveling ensure they are vaccinated for measles (given in combination with the measles and mumps vaccines) 2 weeks before departing. Due to frequent travel of residents between Guam and a majority of the affected U.S. states, it is possible that the disease may be brought here. Therefore, the DPHSS also encourages parents to review their children’s shot record to ensure they have received the MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine.

The current recommendations from the U.S. CDC are:

• Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, with the first dose given at 1 year of age or older and dose #2 given between 4-6 years of age.
• All persons born during or after 1957 should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR vaccine given on or after the first birthday.

All health care providers on Guam are urged to be on alert for possible cases of measles and to promptly report suspect cases to the Immunization Program, Bureau of Communicable Disease Control, at 735-7143/7148 or 735-7135. Furthermore, all health care providers are urged to review and update the immunization status of all patients they see. If vaccination is contraindicated because of illness, a follow-up appointment should be scheduled to update vaccination as soon as the illness is over.

For more information, please call the DPHSS Immunization Program at 735-7143.

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