Measles Outbreak Expands Into San Bernardino County

Health officials in San Bernardino County say what's happening is that people who are symptomatic, whether they realize it or not, are going into shops and bars and potentially spreading the virus. This recent outbreak of 6 cases, they say, is part of what started at Disneyland in December.

San Bernardino County Public Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare says he thought measles was gone until an outbreak among guests at Disneyland brought it back into the spotlight. Now, it's in his county.

Of the six confirmed cases three, he says, had direct links to Disneyland and five were not immunized. Three are adults. Three are children. One adult, who was immunized, was a health worker who should have been protected, but as Ohikuare says, "nothing is 100%, but the chances of that person not getting measles is a lot higher than to get measles so, probably 99% effective." That's why Ohikuare strongly recommends vaccination.

The virus is airborne and flies from our noses and mouths to someone else to inhale. Meanwhile, three businesses in San Bernardino County have been warned that a measles patient was in their shops. At one, Inland Center Auto body, co-owner Johnny Avilez says "Who would have thought? From Disneyland .. all over the place and to come here."

His Dad Louie, who co-owns the shop, has been upset since he got warning notices to post Friday alerting customers they may have been exposed to the virus. He wants to know who would have come into house business with measles.

At local bar Elgin and Fagon managers have been wondering the same thing. "I'm surprised that someone would be out and about if they know they have the measles," says manager John Jones.

The thing is they might not know. The first symptoms are like the flu and include runny nose, a harsh dry cough then comes the rash and conjunctivitis.

Dr. Ohikuare says if you exhibit symptoms don't go running into a doctors office or emergency room. He says you could spread the virus. Call your doctor or ER and ask them their advice. He says they'll guide you.

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