Vaccination is easy, effective protection
Berkeley Public Health has confirmed that a Berkeley resident has measles. While the adult is no longer contagious, those who are not immune and who visited a specific site at around the same weekday afternoon time as this person are at greater risk of developing measles.
Measles is highly preventable – the recommended two doses of vaccine provides immunity to 97% of people. Even a single dose protects 93% of those vaccinated.
This effective and easy protection is important because the virus itself is easily transmitted: an infected person’s cough or sneeze can linger in the air for up to an hour – at which point the risk dissipates.
The airborne virus is so contagious, inhalation infects up to 90 percent of those not immune. Heightening the risk, an infected person doesn’t show symptoms during the first four days of their most contagious period.
Anyone who visited the Berkeley Bowl on 2020 Oregon Street on Tuesday May 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. should look for the first stage of symptoms: runny nose, red eyes, cough and fever. Symptoms start to emerge seven to 21 days after exposure.
The next stage of measles symptoms involves a rash that typically appears on the face and spreads down the body.
Certain groups should be particularly aware of potential symptoms: unvaccinated children, unvaccinated adults born in 1957 or later, and those with severely weakened immune systems.
If you develop these symptoms, call your doctor right away. It is important to call ahead to any medical facility and to tell them that you may have been exposed to measles, so they can take measures to protect other patients and visitors.
“Given how measles spreads through the air from someone unaware of infection, the need for vaccination is especially important,” said Dr. Lisa Hernandez, the City of Berkeley’s Health Officer. “The vaccine is a simple and very powerful protection.”