Santa Clara County

Doctors Warn of Measles Outbreak Ahead of Summer Traveling

As the summer travel season is just about here and some vacationers may be heading smack dab into an area with a measles outbreak, doctors warn travelers about the seriousness of the viral infection.

Doctor George Han with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department said there have been only four cases of measles in Santa Clara County this year and wants everyone to remember that the two-step measles vaccine is 97% effective.

At Mineta San Jose International Airport Wednesday evening, people checking in for their flight to London, were aware of, but not overly concerned about the worst measles outbreak in 2 decades.

"I’ve heard about it a little bit but I have a lot of contacts in London and none of them have brought it up so I wasn’t concerned," said traveler Nina Hersher.

There is also concern for some about domestic destinations, areas where there is a measles outbreak, like New York City.

Another case of measles is ruining the vacation for 300 people on a quarantined cruise ship in the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.

Han said adults travelling internationally should get vaccinated for the measles if they did not receive two doses as children. Nothing is suggested for domestic travelers.

"It is true there are measles outbreaks in this country," he said. "We are not recommending necessarily that you should get that second shot if you’re going but it’s a conversation you should have with your doctor if you’re going to other places in the country."

Measles outbreaks have been reported in southeast and south Asia and in the Philippines as well as in Venezuela, Brazil and other South American Counties as well as in Europe and Africa.

The viral infection can lead to serious complications like pneumonia, encephalitis, hearing loss and in some cases death.

CORRECTION (May 2, 2019, 12:15 p.m.): A previous version of this story erroneously reported the number of measles cases in Santa Clara County this year.

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