Possible Measles Case Detected in Santa Barbara

A possible case of the measles has been detected in Santa Barbara County, the Public Health Department announced Wednesday morning. Officials did not elaborate on the location or nature of the case — which would be the first in Santa Barbara since an outbreak started sweeping through California last month — and they have scheduled a press conference for 1:30 this afternoon.

In a prepared statement, the agency said it is “taking an abundance of caution” to protect Santa Barbara residents at risk of contracting the disease. It has provided vaccines to members of the affected household and quarantined them to their home, started to identify and track down people who may have been exposed, coordinated with other medical agencies, and gathered specimens for lab testing.

From January 1 to January 26, 73 people in California were diagnosed with measles, including three in Ventura County. Health officials have not determined the source of the Santa Barbara case. “There are a number of respiratory viruses and rashes going around now,” said Public Health’s Dr. Charity Thoman in a prepared statement. “It is likely we will continue to see possible cases that need to be determined through laboratory testing.”

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