Just one week after Berkeley health officials warned of a possible measles exposure at the La Mediterranee restaurant, city officials say an adult who may have measles (it has not yet been confirmed) was at the City of Berkeley West Branch Library throughout the day on February 27 and February 28, and was at the Central Branch Library on the afternoon of February 27 only.
Individuals who were at these locations could have been exposed. Patrons of these libraries during these dates should monitor themselves for symptoms until March 21. The risk is very slight for those who have received the recommended two doses of the measles vaccine.
On the days in question, the person had not yet developed the tell-tale rash -a circumstance that contributes to the rapid spread of the highly infectious, airborne virus- so did not know that the illness might be measles-. Symptoms can develop between 7 and 21 days after exposure to the virus.
“I encourage Berkeley community members to make sure they and their children have received the required two doses,” said Dr. Janet Berreman, Berkeley’s Health Officer. “Obtaining records of your vaccination could prove critical in the event of a local outbreak.”
Berkeley Public Health is working with the libraries to notify and assess individuals who may have been exposed at the facilities. The individual who may have measles is a Contra Costa resident. Berkeley Public Health will work closely with the Contra Costa Public Health Department to follow up, as needed, should measles infection be confirmed.
According to a California Department of Public Health measles update Friday, since December, 2014, there have been 132 confirmed measles cases reported in California residents. Three measles strains have been reported–B3, D8 and D4 strains.
Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patientmay be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.
The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.