Public health officials in Contra Costa County say that an individual with a confirmed case of measles may have exposed others to the "highly contagious disease" at a restaurant and an emergency room earlier in August.
The individual in question visited Chow Restaurant, at 53 Lafayette Circle in Lafayette, on the morning of Aug. 14 between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
They also visited the emergency room at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Aug. 11, but hospital officials have already contacted all the people who may have been exposed in that incident as well as any companions who may have also been present.
Measles symptoms include fever, runny nose, coughing and watering eyes. A few days after that, a rash develops on the face and neck before spreading to the rest of the body. This condition lasts nearly a week, and anyone infected is contagious for several days before and after the rash. Symptoms tend to develop between one and three weeks of exposure.
Measles spreads through the air when the infected patient sneezes or coughs, according to county health officials, but it does not spread through food or drinks.
"Most people have been vaccinated and therefore are protected and not at risk, even if they have shared the same indoor air-space with a contagious person," Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County Health Officer, said Wednesday in a statement. "However, residents should be aware of the situation because anyone who was exposed and not protected by vaccine is at risk of developing measles."
Children are typically vaccinated against measles at the age of 1.
Most adults born after 1957 have been vaccinated, and adults born before 1957 are thought to be immune as they have likely already contracted the disease as children. Pregnant women, as well as anyone with HIV, are thought to be at high risk if they have not been vaccinated.
Additional details are available on the county's website at https://cchealth.org/measles/