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Two confirmed measles cases in Northern California brings state total to 49

Getting vaccinated can help stop measles from spreading

Since measles is still common in many countries, unvaccinated travelers bring measles to the U.S. and it can spread. But you can protect yourself, your family, and your community with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.
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Since measles is still common in many countries, unvaccinated travelers bring measles to the U.S. and it can spread. But you can protect yourself, your family, and your community with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Two more measles cases were confirmed in Northern California on Friday afternoon, bringing the state’s total number of measles cases to just shy of 50 people.

Both Butte and Glenn counties announced separately that they had received confirmation of one adult measles case in their county. Butte County Public Health Department spokeswoman Lisa Almaguer said both counties’ patients were linked back to a measles outbreak that occurred in Butte County on March 24.

Almaguer said that Enloe Medical Center in Chico is the site of two public exposure zones. The Butte County resident who caught measles was in the hospital’s emergency room from 8:43 p.m. Monday to 2:03 a.m. on Tuesday, and the Glenn County resident who caught the illness was in the hospital’s radiology department from 6:49 a.m. to 4:12 p.m. on Monday.

The first day that a person who was in one of these public exposure zones may become ill is June 2 or 3. The last day a person may become ill from this exposure is June 18, according to the Butte County Measles Outbreak public exposure list.

The measles virus is spread through the air – the virus can live up to an hour in air after a person coughs or sneezes – and if others come in contact with the contaminated air or touch an infected surface, they can become infected. People can spread measles up to four days after their initial rash appears, according to the national Centers for Disease Control.

This is Butte County’s 13th reported case of measles since the outbreak reported in late March.

So far, only three measles cases have been confirmed in Sacramento County; two children and an adult from the same family were diagnosed with the viral illness in April.

The two children were not vaccinated, county spokeswoman Brenda Bongiorno told The Sacramento Bee in April. Bongiorno could not confirm if the adult was vaccinated but said the family had traveled abroad before they contracted the illness. The three family members recovered at home, and anyone who could have been exposed to the illness was notified, the county said.

If you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has measles, the Butte County Public Health Department suggests that you contact your medical provider.

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