Measles case confirmed in Fresno County

Potential measles exposure at Fresno Yosemite Airport prompts public health alert from county health officials

A vial of a blood sample that is infected with the Measles Virus (MeV). (Mauro Rodrigues / AdobeStock)
Darren Fraser
Published May 30, 2024  • 
9:30 am

FRESNO COUNTY – A confirmed measles case in Fresno County has led to a public health alert, with officials urging anyone at risk to verify their vaccination status and monitor for symptoms.

On May 29, the Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) issued a public health warning regarding a confirmed case of measles in the county.

According to the FCDPH press release, a non-county resident flew from Los Angeles International Airport to Fresno Yosemite Airport (FAT) on a May 19 United Airlines flight. The department stated the airport was the only location where possible exposure to the individual may have occurred.

FCDPH said anyone at the airport on May 19 between 8:12 and 9:12 may be at risk of developing measles. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is currently in the process of notifying passengers on the plane.

Anyone who was exposed or thinks they were exposed should confirm their vaccination status. If these individuals never contracted measles or have not been vaccinated, they are at risk of contracting the disease. The incubation period for developing the disease is seven to 21 days following exposure. FCDPH recommends at-risk individuals monitor for symptoms through June 9. Anyone who was exposed but who does not develop symptoms for more than 21 days is no longer at risk.

Measles is highly contagious. In close contact, a person carrying the virus can infect nine out of 10 unvaccinated individuals. According to the press release, the first symptoms include a fever, cough, runny nose and red/watery eyes. These symptoms typically last two to four days, followed by a rash.

The disease is transmitted through direct contact with infectious droplets. Measles is an airborne virus and is spread through breathing, coughing, or sneezing. The virus can remain infectious for up to an hour after an infected individual is no longer present. Individuals are typically contagious for eight days – four days before the rash starts and for four days after the rash disappears.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should stay home, avoid public contact, and refrain from entering a public health facility. If you are pregnant, are immunocompromised, or if you have an infant under 12 months and were present at FAT during the described timeframe, FCDPH recommends you contact your doctor and also contact the department at 559-600-3332.

Darren Fraser