Health district identifies 3rd and 4th measles cases
LAS VEGAS – The Southern Nevada Health District has identified two additional cases of measles in a young child and an adult in Southern Nevada. Currently, there have been four confirmed cases of measles in Clark County in 2015. These are the first confirmed cases in Clark County since 2011.
The most recent case is in a young child whose case was confirmed by appropriate testing on Wednesday, February 11. This case appears to be unrelated to the third case or previously reported cases. The child had previously received a single dose of the vaccine.
The other individual is an under-immunized adult whose case was confirmed by appropriate testing on Tuesday, February 10. The individual is employed at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. Because measles can be highly contagious, the Health District is advising people who dined at the restaurant after 4 p.m. between Wednesday, February 4 and Saturday, February 7 to review their immunization status and contact their health care providers if they are not fully immunized against measles and have not already had the disease. In addition, they should contact their health care providers if they develop rash with fever or other symptoms consistent with measles within 21 days after their visit to the restaurant. It is recommended that anyone with symptoms contact a health care provider’s office before entering a health care facility to allow the facility to make appropriate arrangements to ensure the illness is not spread.
The individual identified with measles also attended the Las Vegas Pet Expo at Cashman Center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday February 7, and the Health District is advising the same precautions for anyone who attended this event.
Clark County’s first confirmed case of the year occurred in a vaccinated high school student, and, to date, no additional cases of measles have been identified among classmates. The period of concern for developing disease from being exposed to that student has ended. A second case occurred in an unvaccinated adult who is unrelated to the student. The Health District is currently contacting individuals who might have had contact with this patient.
Measles can be spread among susceptible people and can result in serious infections resulting in pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death. Most residents are protected against the disease because the majority of people born before 1957 had the disease in childhood and younger people are routinely vaccinated against it.
Symptoms can begin about 10 days after exposure to the virus. An infected patient has a fever that can last two to four days and can peak as high as 105˚ F. A runny nose, cough, and/or red eyes follow, and about 14 days after exposure the telltale rash appears; the rash can last five to six days. It begins at the hairline, moves to the face and neck, and eventually reaches the hands and feet. Measles can be spread approximately four days before the rash appears and up to five days after.
The Health District encourages Southern Nevadans to review their immunization status and update their MMR vaccines if they are incomplete. Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine – the first at 12-15 months and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 – so they are protected. Adults who are unsure of their immunization status should contact their health care providers.
The MMR vaccine is an effective immunization and provides protection to about 95 percent of people who receive the first dose of the vaccine while the second dose provides immunity to nearly all of those who did not respond to the initial dose. While some people do not receive 100 percent protection, many more people do, and this can assist with keeping case counts down during an outbreak.
The risk of disease is low for persons previously vaccinated against measles or diagnosed with the disease. However, due to the ongoing national outbreak, the Health District is alerting the community of the possibility of measles transmission so that Valley residents have an opportunity to receive measles immunizations and so that anyone who develops measles symptoms will seek medical attention.
People who have had the measles illness or have been adequately immunized against it are protected. Immunity can be determined by a blood test if recommended by a health care provider. People are considered immune if:
they were born before 1957, as most of them had the disease as children;
they were born on or after Jan. 1, 1957, and they have been adequately vaccinated
For more information about Health District immunization clinics, call (702) 759-0850. Immunizations are available at the following public health centers:
Main Public Health Center, 330 S. Valley View Blvd.
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Henderson Public Health Center, 520 E. Lake Mead Parkway, Henderson
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
East Las Vegas Public Health Center, 560 E. Nellis Blvd., Ste E-12, Las Vegas
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Mesquite Public Health Center, 830 Hafen Lane, Mesquite
Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. – noon, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.