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Measles exposure reported in Santa Cruz, says the county health office

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION-TV) — Santa Cruz County health leaders share concerns about a Measles case reported at a Downtown Santa Cruz restaurant. And now officials are working to put the word out about this recent exposure.

Santa Cruz County public health confirmed a Measles case from someone visiting the city of Santa Cruz last week.

County health says the individual was previously at the Taqueria Los Pericos on Water Street, and they are concerned about more people being exposed to the virus.

“The individual who had Measles was there for about two hours. Because the virus can linger for another two hours in the building afterwards, that's why we set this time period of between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.," said David Ghilarducci, Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer.

The health department says unvaccinated people or those with unknown vaccinated status who were at Taqueria Los Pericos, could be at risk from seven to 21 days after exposure.

Older folks, especially those that may have underlying health conditions, [this] might make them more susceptible," Ghilarducci said. "Certainly, young children who haven't had a chance to get their full vaccination and pregnant individuals are a little bit more at risk.”

County health says the individual with Measles traveled by bus to Santa Cruz County, with at least a handful of people on that same bus.

The health office saying Measles spreads faster than COVID.

"It could quickly spread to others, so one other person infected then goes on to infect 18 others and one of those can go and infect 18 others. You could see how it could grow very fast," Ghilarducci said.

Contact tracing is underway, with some in the community sharing their concerns about the virus spreading.

"t’s critical. I am a retired nurse so I have very strong feelings about communicating what is happening as far as health is concerned in the community," said Diane Roter, who lives in Aptos.

“[I'm] already vaccinated against it, but I think it’s important for people to know so that they can take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves," Santa Cruz resident Alex Suarezv said.

According to Ghilarducci, some signs and symptoms to look out for include "coming down with what feels like a cold or flu--fever, cough, sometimes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. Then within two to three days after those symptoms start, they could start having a rash," Ghilarducci said.

Santa Cruz County Public Health is asking anybody who may have visited the restaurant during this period of time to contact their health care provider. If they're not sure of their immune status, verify the status, and then seek further advice from their physicians. 

Article Topic Follows: Santa Cruz County
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Briana Mathaw


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