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Measles Case Confirmed in Santa Barbara County

One confirmed patient with measles spent time in Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital while infectious, according to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department

The exposure occurred at the hospital's emergency room on Tuesday, between 7:24 and 10:16 p.m., according to Public Health spokeswoman Susan Klein-Rothschild.

The Santa Barbara County man contracted the illness in Los Angeles County, Klein-Rothschild said.

The case is linked to the measles outbreak in Los Angeles that involves 12 patients, in which one patient has provided documentation of vaccination. 

“There is no concern about exposure beyond what has already been identified,” Klein-Rothschild said. "The patient had recently returned to Santa Barbara County, and we know his whereabouts. We are not providing any information about the patient to protect confidentiality.”

All exposed health-care workers, patients and visitors have been contacted, and appropriate measures are being taken to protect their health and the community, according to a statement released by the Public Health Department. 

The hospital verified that all exposed health-care workers were fully vaccinated against the measles virus, according to the statement.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that is spread through the air from person to person through sneezing or coughing.

A rash, coughing, runny nose and conjunctivitis are symptoms.

Young children, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems are those of concern. 

The virus spreads rapidly among people who are not immune.

By the time people show symptoms, they have typically already been infectious for four days, according to the statement. 

The disease can cause encephalitis, pneumonia and even death. 

Santa Barbara County Public Health is working closely with the public health departments in Ventura and Los Angeles counties where additional exposures have occurred. 

The Public Health Department urges community members who are unsure of their vaccination status to contact their health-care provider to determine if they need to receive the vaccine. 

For more information about measles, visit https://www.cdc.gov/measles or call the Public Health Department information line at 805.681.4373.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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