SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — For the first time since 2013, San Francisco is seeing a small outbreak of measles.
The city’s health department reports three cases of measles in February — all adult cases.
The disease first showed up at the San Francisco International Airport when a passenger was exposed to the disease during an international flight.
City health officials say one person, a Santa Cruz County resident at the time, already had measles.
Since then, two additional passengers on the same flight got sick with measles as a result from that exposure.
One was a San Francisco resident, the other was a Santa Clara County resident.
“We were able through public health to notify the passengers on the plane who were occupying the same space as the person who had measles and this person was aware and once they developed symptoms, they contacted us right away,” said Susan Philip with the San Francisco Public Health Department.
Symptoms include high fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes and a rash all over the body lasting for five to six days.
Measles can spread easily through the air.
“Measles is a very very infectious viral disease. It spreads very easily through the air from person to person,” Philip said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say measles is not made in the United States.
People typically bring it into the country either by foreigners through Americans who travel abroad.
“Measles is present in many countries in Europe, in South America and in Asia,” Philip said. “So it’s a very good idea to get good travel advice before leaving San Francisco.”
Doctors say kids who are not vaccinated are easy targets to catch and spread the disease.
“Luckily measles is preventable with vaccination and two doses of vaccine offered 97 percent protection for immunity to measles so making sure people have had measles vaccine before international travel is the best way to prevent infection,” said Philip.
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