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Case of measles confirmed in San Mateo County patient

A rare case of measles has been detected in a San Mateo County patient, the San Mateo County health department announced Tuesday.

The patient, who had recently traveled internationally, was "currently under provider care," and health officials were following up on "any potential exposure" to people the patient had been in contact with, according to a statement released by the San Mateo County Health System.

Health officials recommend that residents -- especially children and international travelers -- get immunized against the highly infectious viral disease.

"The recommended vaccine schedule produces nearly 100 percent immunity against measles, which is important when there is an increase in the spread of measles cases as we are seeing this year," county health officer Dr. Scott Morrow said in a statement.

As of Feb. 21, there were 15 confirmed cases of measles in California so far this year, according to the state Department of Public Health. By this time in 2013, there were only two confirmed measles cases, according to the CDPH.

There were no measles cases detected in San Mateo County in 2013, health officials said.

Nearly all recent measles cases in the U.S. have been linked to international travel, underscoring the importance of getting vaccinated before traveling to countries such as India and the Philippines, which are in the midst of a measles outbreak.

"As measles continues to spread in many countries, we can expect measles to become increasingly common in our own communities," county communicable disease controller Dr. Catherine Sallenave said.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms begin with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes, and rash, health officials said.

Immunization information can be found online at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/.

Information about travel vaccines can be found online at wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentVaccinations.aspx.

— Bay City News Service

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