Measles in LA County, as 2 pregnant NYC women infected

In new developments in the nation's surge of measles cases, Los Angeles County health officials announced they are investigating an outbreak, and New York City authorities said an outbreak centered in the Orthodox Jewish community under way since last fall has reached 390 cases, including infections in two pregnant women.

Five LA County cases

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) said in a news release that it has received a number of measles reports in residents, including a local outbreak of four confirmed cases linked to each other after international travel and a single case after international travel.

Country officials said the five cases are the first measles cases confirmed among LA County residents and the first cases of transmission within the county in 2019. They added that the cases aren't related to four earlier cases in people who traveled through LA County earlier this year and that most of the patients were unvaccinated.

"We will likely see additional measles cases in Los Angeles County, so it is important if you or someone you know has the symptoms of measles or has been exposed to measles to contact your healthcare provider by phone right away before seeking treatment," said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, LA County health officer.

NYC outbreak nears 400 cases

Meanwhile, an outbreak tied to the Orthodox Jewish community in the Williamsburg neighborhood has risen to 390 cases, and the total now included two pregnant women, one of whom was diagnosed in the middle of April, according to a statement today from NYC Health.

In background information, the department said that, of the 390 cases, 94 have been reported in April. And 323 cases (83%) involve people within four zip codes in the Williamsburg neighborhood, an area under an emergency vaccination order since Apr 12. So far, 12 people have received summonses for not complying.

Regarding the infections in two pregnant women, Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot, MD, said in the statement, "These cases are stark reminders of why New Yorkers must get vaccinated against the measles as soon as possible. When we do not get vaccinated, we put our friends, our relatives, our neighbors, our classmates, and other fellow New Yorkers at risk."

Also today, NYC Health issued another health alert to healthcare providers that updated guidance for adults who have not completed the two-dose series of a measles-containing vaccine and updated guidance for children, such as an extra early vaccine dose for children ages 6 to 11 months old who live or regularly spend time in Williamsburg or other areas with measles activity.

Eight people who are part of the outbreak, including the index patient, were exposed to measles while traveling abroad to Israel (5), the United Kingdom (2), and Ukraine (1), a fact that NYC Health said highlights the need for measles vaccination in those traveling overseas.

See also:

Apr 22 LACDPH news release

Apr 24 NYC Health statement

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