A person visiting Los Angeles County has been diagnosed with measles and may have put other people at risk at the Los Angeles International Airport and a CVS Pharmacy in Brentwood last week, health officials warned Sunday.
That patient arrived at the Tom Bradley International Terminal and spent time at the baggage claim area on Jan. 12 between 1:45 p.m. and 5 p.m., according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.
The next day, the patient went to the CVS Pharmacy at 11941 San Vicente Blvd. in Brentwood between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
On Jan. 18, that individual returned to the same pharmacy between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., officials said.
People who visited those sites during those time periods and have not been vaccinated or don’t know their vaccination status may be vulnerable to infection, according to the Department of Public Health.
Individuals could develop measles symptoms one to three weeks after exposure.
Signs of the highly contagious disease include fever, cough, red and watery eyes, and a rash, said Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for L.A. County.
People are no longer at risk if they have not displayed any symptoms more than 21 days after being exposed.
Those who become sick should stay at home and promptly call a health care provider, officials said.
About nine in 10 people who have not received immunization against measles fall ill seven to 21 days after exposure, experts say. People who don’t yet know they have been infected can spread the disease to others.
Children under 5, adults older than 20, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to serious complications that include pneumonia and encephalitis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More common complications include diarrhea and ear infections that can lead to permanent hearing loss in children, the agency said.
“The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others,” Davis said in a statement.
In 2019, 20 L.A. County residents contracted measles, in addition to 14 cases among people visiting the region, according to authorities.
“Most of these cases were not immunized or did not know whether they had ever been immunized,” county health officials said in a statement.
Those numbers exclude Long Beach and Pasadena, which report their own cases.