California state health officials are urging residents to make sure they are protected against measles, particularly those who plan to travel internationally.

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Since our last update on the measles situation in California, an additional 15 cases have been reported.

In 2019 to date, there have been 38 cases of measles in California. This with 11 cases at this time in 2018.

Of the 2019 cases, 14 cases were in international travelers, 22 cases were due to spread from travelers to persons in California, and 2 cases are of unknown source.

This includes six cases in Los Angeles County, four each in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties and three in Sacramento County.

Measles is currently widespread in many countries.

“Vaccination is the only way to ensure you and your family members will not get measles,” said State Public Health Officer and CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith. “Many countries are currently experiencing widespread measles activity. Make sure you and your family are fully vaccinated before travelling internationally, and contact your healthcare provider immediately if anyone develops a rash and a fever while you are abroad, or when you return.”

The international travel associated with the 2019 California cases include India, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and the Ukraine.

Individuals returning from international travel should call their healthcare provider for advice and avoid contact with other people if measles symptoms develop. Measles begins with a fever that lasts for several days, followed by a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eye) and a rash. The rash typically appears first on the face, along the hairline, and behind the ears and then affects the rest of the body. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards.

As of April 24, 2019, CDC is reporting 695 cases of measles from 22 states. This is the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since measles was eliminated from this country in 2000.