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Health Officials Work To Contain Measles Cluster in Shasta, Tehama and Butte Counties

Alissa Eckert / Centers For Disease Control
This illustration provides a 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.

Three related cases of measles have been reported in Northern California. Health officials are moving quickly to try to contain the infection. 

A case of the measles reported in Shasta County has been linked with two more cases in Tehama and Butte Counties. The so-called “cluster” of measles cases is raising concerns because the disease is highly contagious and many people aren’t vaccinated.

Tim Mapes, with the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, says measles can cause serious and permanent damage to people in high-risk groups such as "people with a compromised immune system, pregnant women, children who have not been able to get their vaccinations yet." 

The three infected adults are currently in isolation, but they reported being in a number of public places last week while infected. Measles is spread through tiny moisture particles from sneezing or coughing, which can remain airborne for several hours.

Health officials urge anyone who was in those locations at the same time to contact their health care provider if they start to show symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

Tim Mapes, with the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, says if you think you may be coming down with the measles, call your health provider. Don’t just show up at the office.

"You do not want to see these symptoms, go to a walk-in clinic or a hospital emergency room and expose others," he says.

Officials also urge people who have not gotten the measles vaccine to take this opportunity to get immunized.

A still ongoing outbreak of measles in Clark County in southwest Washington state has sickened more than 70 people, most of them children.

Here's a list of the places and times when the measles patients say they were in public:

Shasta County health officials listed four specific times and locations where the infected person visited. Anyone who may have visited those locations at the listed times is asked to call Shasta county at 530-225-5591.

The locations are:

• Taco Bell on Old Alturas Road in Redding on March 16 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and March 17 from 6 a.m. to noon.

• The Shasta College 800 Building on March 19 from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 3:30 to 5 p.m.

• The Shasta College Library on March 19 from noon to 4:30 p.m.

• The Raley’s supermarket on Lake Boulevard in Redding on March 19 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

In Tehama County, health officials want to hear from those who visited the following locations and are concerned about exposure to measles.

• Wal-Mart on Luther Road in Red Bluff on March 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.

• The Raley’s supermarket on Luther Road in Red Bluff on March 18 around 6 to 7 p.m.

The phone number to call in Tehama County is 530-527-6824.

In Butte County, health officials there want to hear from anyone who may be concerned about exposure if they visited the Esplanade House at 181 E. Shasta Ave. in Chico from March 15 to March 19.

The phone number to call in Butte County is 530-353-5564

Liam Moriarty has been covering news in the Pacific Northwest for three decades. He served two stints as JPR News Director and retired full-time from JPR at the end of 2021. Liam now edits and curates the news on JPR's website and digital platforms.