Measles causes a fever, cough, watery, red eyes and finally a rash. (File photo)

Local public health officials said a person with measles visited several businesses in Venice, Brentwood and Santa Monica last week.

The infected person visited Groundworks Coffee in Venice between 12:15 and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. They then went to Frontrunners Shoe Store and CVS in Brentwood between 1 and 4 p.m. before going to American Beauty in Venice between 5 and 7:15 p.m.

On Monday, July 15, they went to Comerica Bank in Brentwood between 2:30 and 5 p.m. They then traveled to Groundworks Coffee in the Arts District between 3:45 and 6:30 p.m. and California Chicken Cafe in Santa Monica between 8:30 and 11 p.m.

The following day, they went to Equinox Gym in Santa Monica between 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.

Public health officials said there is no current risk of contracting measles at those businesses.

Anyone who visited them at the same time as the infected person, however, may be at risk of developing measles for up to three weeks after being exposed. They should review their immunization records and contact their health care provider if they are pregnant, have an infant, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized, officials said.

“The MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others,” said county health officer Muntu Davis, MD, MPH.

People who may have been exposed should also monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from one to three weeks after their exposure. If symptoms develop, they should stay at home and call a health care provider immediately.

“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes and finally a rash,” Davis said. “Measles is spread by air and by direct contact.”

There have been 16 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents so far this year, in addition to eight non-residents with measles that traveled through the county, officials said. 

Most people who have been infected were unimmunized or did not know if they were immunized.

This most recent case is not connected to previous outbreaks this year, officials said. 

There have been a few other measles cases in or around Santa Monica in the last several months. People with measles visited Toscana Restaurant in Brentwood June 8, Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Santa Monica Mar. 6, and the Santa Monica Pier and Blue Plate Taco Dec. 26.

Last August, an international traveler infected with measles visited several restaurants and hotels in Santa Monica, including Urth Caffe, Chez Jay and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

The Daily Press reported last month that local efforts to boost the historically low vaccination rates of many Santa Monica schools had steadily increased the proportion of students with all recommended immunizations between 2015 and 2018.

But in the 2018-2019 school year, vaccination rates at several schools began to erode. Three public and three private schools were not able to maintain the proportion of vaccinated students that they achieved the previous year. 

Only six out of 14 Santa Monica kindergartens reported vaccination rates above 95% last school year, which is the threshold public health officials consider safe. 

Public schools with vaccination rates below 95% include John Muir, Will Rogers, McKinley, Roosevelt and Canyon Charter elementary schools.

The private schools St. Anne, PS1 and Garden of Angels also have unsafe vaccination rates.

In neighboring Malibu, Pacific Palisades and Venice, kindergarten vaccination rates were much lower. Most schools reported rates between 75% and 90%.

This article was updated July 25 at 11:45 a.m.

madeleine@smdp.com

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *