Come And Get Your Free Measles Vaccine, Angelenos
Worried about the recent measles outbreak here in Southern California? So are health officials. Hoping to stop the spread of the disease, L.A. County's 14 public health clinics will offer free vaccines for uninsured and underinsured people
In the meantime, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health has confirmed five known cases of measles in Los Angeles County. Four are linked to one person who traveled internationally, and the fifth comes from an overseas traveler.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 695 individual measles cases spread across 22 states. That makes this the worst U.S. measles outbreak this century. The last major U.S. measles outbreak happened in 2014, when 667 people were infected.
Among recent measles cases, 38 have been confirmed in Caliornia.
This week, L.A. County health officials quarantined more than 900 students and staff members at two local universities over fears they may have been exposed to measles. Officials asked approximately 650 people at Cal State L.A. more than 200 people at UCLA to stay home this week. It's one of the largest quarantine orders in state history, according to the Los Angeles Times.
As of Friday afternoon, 700 people were still under quarantine but it isn't clear how, if at all, officials are enforcing it.
Measles is spread by coughing and sneezing, and it's highly contagious. Approximately 90% of people who aren't immunized will come down with measles if they come into contact with an infected individual. And in case we need to remind you: Getting the measles sucks!
Symptoms include a fever, a runny nose, coughing, conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye tissue) and a rash, which usually appears 10 to 21 days after the exposure. The disease kills more than 100,000 people a year, most under the age of 5, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Right now, free measles vaccines will be available at L.A. County's 14 public health clinics:
- Downtown L.A.
- Exposition Park
- North Hollywood
- Santa Monica
- South L.A.
We've reached out to officials to get more details about how and where you can get free vaccines, but haven't heard back. We'll share more as soon as we can.
Stay safe and disease-free, LAist fam.
This story has been updated from its original version to reflect new statistics on the number of recent measles cases and the number of people quarantined.