Fourteen infants who were exposed to a baby that was diagnosed with measles at a Santa Monica High School day care center were allowed to return to the facility Monday, ending a 21-day incubation period to ensure they were not infected with the disease.
The infants were under a year old and too young to be vaccinated, Gail Pinsker, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s community and public relations officer, told City News Service.
The Santa Monica High School Infant Toddler Center was initially closed after the infant was diagnosed with measles. The facility reopened a few days later, but only for children with proof that they had been immunized against measles and were not at risk.
Others were told to remain home for 21 days, the length of time needed to determine if they had contracted measles.
The infant who contracted measles has recovered and has also been cleared to return to the center, Pinsker said. No other measles cases connected to the center have been reported, she said.
“We’re very happy with the direction we received from the Department of Public Health, and swift action from the district contained the case,” Pinsker said.
According to state health officials, there are 123 confirmed cases of measles in California, with the latest figures showing 24 cases in Los Angeles County — not counting two in Long Beach and four in Pasadena, which have their own health departments.
Riverside County has had eight cases.
Of the California cases, 39 were traced back to visitors or workers at Disneyland between Dec. 17-20, according to the state.
In 28 cases, measles was passed on from someone in the house or another close relation, officials said.
Eight people contracted the disease in a community setting such as an emergency room where someone was seeking treatment for measles.
In 46 cases, it’s unknown how the disease was contracted.
Of the patients the state has vaccination records for, 56 did not get shots and 16 had one or more doses of the MMR vaccine, according to the state.
Measles outbreaks have spread to 17 states and Washington, D.C., according to the Centers for Disease Control. Measles cases have been reported in Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.
The outbreaks in Illinois and Nevada are unrelated to Disneyland, according to the CDC.
The Disneyland outbreak has spread to Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Utah and Washington state.
The CDC reported on Feb. 13 when there were 110 cases of measles, 45 percent were unvaccinated, 5 percent had one dose and 6 percent had two doses and only one person had three doses. Twelve of those afflicted with measles were too young to get shots, and of those who were eligible to get shots, 28 intentionally took a pass based on personal beliefs and one had an “alternative plan” for immunization, according to the CDC.
Of the 28 who did not get vaccinated, 18 were children and the rest adults, according to the CDC.
The patients have ranged in age from six weeks to 70 years, with the median age 22, according to the CDC.
Experts suspect the outbreak started with a traveler who got infected overseas and then visited Disneyland while infectious, according to the CDC. Scientists say the measles virus in this outbreak matches the one in an outbreak in the Philippines last year.
—City News Service