Contra Costa County reports first case of measles in 3 years

Contra Costa County now has its first reported case of measles in three years.  

"Whenever there is a case of measles we are concerned because it is so contagious," said Paul Leung of the Contra Costa Public Health Department.

The health department has issued an alert that others could have been exposed if they haven't been vaccinated.

"It can start with cold-like symptoms. Fever, sore throat, cough. Then a rash will appear. It usually lasts a few days. It usually starts on the head and moves down the body. You are contagious four days before the rash appears and four days after," said Leung.

Health officials  have traced the movements of the unidentified infected county resident.

Measles advisories have gone out in Sedona, Arizona where the patient visited August 6 through August 8.

An advisory also went out in Los Angeles where the same person visited from August 8 through the 10th before heading home.

Health officials in those areas have reported no measles cases.

On August 11, back in Contra Costa County, the patient visited the John Muir Medical Center emergency department in Walnut Creek.

Patients there at the time have been notified but no reports of anyone getting the measles there.  

The patient also stopped at Chow Restaurant in Lafayette the morning of August 14.

The restaurant  manager says the staff have all been vaccinated and no customers have called with concerns.

Measles is not spread through food, but through the air so there is no current risk of infection here.

Residents we spoke with say getting the vaccination is important to them.

"It's our safety and the community's safety. You are vulnerable," said Natalie Cruz of Oakley.

Most people are immunized as children.

Anyone concerned about vaccinations or whether they have symptoms of measles is urged to call their doctor.

Additional details are available on the county's website