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Tourist Infected with Measles Traveled to Santa Clara, Sunnyvale

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department is warning people in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale to keep an eye out for any symptoms that might mean they have the measles. The warning was issued after an unnamed international tourist traveled to the Bay Area while infectious.

The tourist visited the following locations in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale between March 16 and March 23 of this year:

  • March 16 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. — T-Mobile, 789 El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
  • March 16 from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. — The Fish Market, 3775 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
  • March 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Macy’s at Valley Fair Mall, 2801 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara
  • March 17 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — 7-Eleven, 848 E. Evelyn Ave., Sunnyvale
  • March 18 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. — Il Fornaio (Cucina Italiana), 2752 Augustine Dr., #120, Santa Clara
  • March 18 from 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. — 7-Eleven, 848 E. Evelyn Ave., Sunnyvale
  • March 19 from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. — Seniore’s Pizza, 940 Monroe St., Santa Clara
  • March 20 from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. — Lucky, 3705 El Camino Real, Santa Clara
  • March 21 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. — CVS Pharmacy, 1165 El Camino Real, Sunnyvale
  • March 22 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — CVS Pharmacy, 1675 Hollenbeck Ave., Sunnyvale

(For a complete list of the affected locations, click here.)

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“The good news is that most people living in Santa Clara County have been vaccinated and are protected from the measles,” said Dr. Sara Cody, County Health Officer and Public Health Department Director. “If you or a family member are not immune to measles and you think you were exposed to measles, watch closely for fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and a rash that starts on the face. Call your doctor right away if you develop any of these symptoms.”

“It is very important to call ahead to any medical facility before going there,” said Public Health Communications Officer Britt Ehrhardt. “Tell them that you may have been exposed to measles so that the facility can take measures to protect other patients and visitors.”

Health officials say most symptoms appear between 7 and 21 days after exposure and the people most at risk of contracting measles include unvaccinated children and adults as well as people with weakened immune systems.

Despite a number of locations on the list, health officials say there’s no need to worry about visiting any of those places now.

“Measles is airborne, and it stays in the air only a short time after an infected person is present,” said Ehrhardt. “There is no additional risk of measles for the general public visiting restaurants and other spaces now.”

The county health department says the only confirmed case of measles is the international tourist.

This latest concern comes around the same time Rockland County in the state of New York declared a state of emergency because of the measles. Over 150 people in that county have contracted measles since the fall.

Meanwhile, California lawmakers will soon start discussing a bill aimed at tightening vaccination requirements for children. SB-276 was authored by State Senator and pediatrician Richard Pan (D-Sacramento). It would require the state Department of Public Health to look at every request for a medical exemption for vaccinations. Under current law, the child’s doctor is allowed to issue medical exemptions.

If the bill is passed, the state health department would create an exemption request form based on guidelines created by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines would be used to determine if there’s enough medical evidence to prove a vaccine poses a risk to the child.

The bill would also require the creation of a statewide database of medical exemptions including ones already approved by doctors. State and local public health officials would be able to access the database and revoke any exemptions that don’t meet federal guidelines.

State Senator Pan says the legislation is necessary to combat doctors who sell fake medical exemptions to families.

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