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PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT CONFIRMS FIRST MEASLES CASE OF 2019

Community Members are Urged to Know Measles Vaccination Status

(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) has confirmed the first case of measles in the county since 2016. The person identified is a resident of Santa Barbara in his 20s. The individual is considered infectious between May 25, 2019, through June 2, 2019, but has been in isolation since May 29, 2019.

The PHD is confident that the exposure was limited, as the individual spent much of his infectious period outside the county of Santa Barbara. At this time, the PHD is involved in contacting and interviewing persons who may have been exposed to the individual to confirm immunization and immunity status. PHD is also working closely with Riverside County, Los Angeles County, Ventura County, and San Francisco, as the individual traveled to these areas during his infectious period.

“We highly encourage every person to know their measles vaccination status by checking in with their health care providers. Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily by air and through direct contact with someone who is infected. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is safe and highly effective in protecting individuals from contracting measles,” shared Dr. Henning Ansorg, Health Officer for the PHD.

The PHD investigates all contacts the person may have had to prevent any additional spread of measles. PHD also communicates with local healthcare providers to ensure timely identification of illness and to prevent the spread of disease.

For more information on measles, checking immunization status, and protecting yourself, please visit https://countyofsb.org/phd/measles2019/.

About the Author

Author: Melissa Debacker, MSN, RN, CPHQ, HACP, Chief Quality Assurance Officer

Melissa DeBacker has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years and has worked at LVMC for 25 years. She became Director of Quality/Risk Management/Infection Prevention in April 2013 and was promoted to Chief of the department in 2018. A Lompoc native, she began her career in healthcare as a Certified Nursing Assistant in 1981.

Learn more about Melissa

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