Department of Health & Human Services

Posted on: May 20, 2014

Measles case confirmed in Humboldt County

Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services announced today that a man admitted to a local hospital earlier this week has tested positive for measles.

The man, whose name and other identifying information will not be released, had recently traveled overseas, where he is believed to have contracted the illness. He was met at San Francisco International Airport by his family, driven to their Humboldt County home and then taken the next day to St. Joseph Hospital, where all appropriate precautions were taken to avoid additional infections.

The DHHS Public Health Laboratory confirmed the test results Monday night.

“At this point we have reason to believe Humboldt County dodged a bullet,” said Public Health Deputy Director Ira Singh. “Aside from health care workers and the man’s family, it appears that no one in Humboldt County has been exposed to the illness.”

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is handling notifications of people who may have been exposed outside of Humboldt County.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), measles is a potentially fatal disease caused by a highly contagious virus, which spreads when people touch or breathe in infectious droplets passed by coughing and sneezing.

Measles can begin with fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and red eyes. Middle ear infections, pneumonia, croup and diarrhea are common complications. Measles encephalitis occurs rarely but frequently results in permanent brain damage among survivors. Death is more common among infants and immunocompromised people, including those with leukemia or HIV infection.

“This incident underscores the importance of immunization,” said Eric Gordon, a Public Health nurse at DHHS. “Failure to vaccinate your children can put them and the people they come into contact with at risk.” The man in the Humboldt County case was unvaccinated.

Measles can be prevented by the combination measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. The CDC reports that in the decade before the measles vaccination program began in the U.S., an estimated 3 to 4 million people were infected each year, with as many as 500 deaths, 48,000 hospitalizations and 1,000 people chronically disabled from measles encephalitis.

More than 90 percent of measles cases in the U.S. originate from overseas but spread rapidly through any susceptible population. CDPH reports that in 2014, there have been 60 confirmed cases of measles in California. This is Humboldt County’s first case since 2011.

For more information about measles or other vaccine-preventable diseases, please phone Public Health at 445-6200, visit www.cdc.gov/measles or contact your medical provider.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Department of Health & Human Services

DHHSConnect0717

DHHS Connect Summer 2017

Posted on: July 11, 2017

Low-cost rabies vaccines available

Posted on: May 10, 2017

New Public Health Director Named

Posted on: May 3, 2017

Redwood Coast Career Fair Tuesday

Posted on: April 26, 2017

Wet weather test period extended

Posted on: April 17, 2017

Career Fair scheduled for May 2

Posted on: April 14, 2017

DHHS Connect Spring 2017

Posted on: April 10, 2017

Cal-Learn helps young parents thrive

Posted on: March 17, 2017

Make preteen vaccines a priority

Posted on: February 14, 2017

Dog tests positive for rabies

Posted on: February 7, 2017

Cervical health promoted

Posted on: January 27, 2017

Kick smoking for good in 2017

Posted on: January 11, 2017

DHHS Connect Winter 2016-2017

Posted on: December 28, 2016

Keep the holidays happy with food safety

Posted on: December 21, 2016

Volunteers needed for Point-in-Time count

Posted on: December 15, 2016

Wet weather test period opens

Posted on: December 12, 2016

World AIDS Day recognized Dec. 1

Posted on: November 29, 2016

Veterans' service recognized year-round

Posted on: November 8, 2016

Housing campaign exceeds goal

Posted on: November 2, 2016

DHHS Connect Oct. 2016

Posted on: October 6, 2016

Housing campaign hits goal early

Posted on: September 15, 2016

Orleans cat tests positive for rabies

Posted on: September 2, 2016

Blue-green algae warning issued

Posted on: July 15, 2016

Redwood Coast Career Fair Friday

Posted on: May 16, 2016

Be a hero to a foster child

Posted on: April 15, 2016

Don’t forget preteen vaccines

Posted on: February 8, 2016

Wet weather test period opens

Posted on: December 21, 2015

FluMist Available Now

Posted on: December 3, 2015

Serve up food safety this holiday season

Posted on: November 23, 2015

Schedule back-to-school vaccines now

Posted on: August 17, 2015

World Breastfeeding Week Fair at WIC

Posted on: August 3, 2015

Blue-green algae warning issued

Posted on: June 17, 2015

Keep water recreation fun and safe

Posted on: June 11, 2015

Low-cost rabies vaccines available

Posted on: May 12, 2015

May is Mental Health Month

Posted on: April 30, 2015

Career Fair May 15

Posted on: April 29, 2015

Gonorrhea rates up in Humboldt County

Posted on: April 17, 2015

West Nile testing starts April 15

Posted on: April 14, 2015

Vaccines for Preteens

Posted on: February 10, 2015

Foster families urgently needed

Posted on: January 30, 2015

Cervical health promoted

Posted on: January 9, 2015

Folic acid needed for pregnancy success

Posted on: January 6, 2015

Wet weather test period opens

Posted on: January 5, 2015

Flu season likely to be severe.

Posted on: December 18, 2014

DHHS offers flu vaccines

Posted on: October 8, 2014

Take precautions against swimmer’s itch

Posted on: September 4, 2014

Blue-green algae warning issued

Posted on: July 18, 2014

Take precautions against ticks

Posted on: June 27, 2014