Health officials issue advice to protect yourself from measles while traveling this summer

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Health Department says Fresno County's vaccination rate for measles is in the high nineties.

But some parents brought their kids in to be checked out after they showed symptoms.

"She's started to break out with it, so that's why I'm here," said Leticia Beck. "She's already starting to get rashes around the body, spots on the tongue, so it kind of worried me."

Over half the people who contracted measles in the U.S. were under five years old.

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Fresno County Health Educator Leticia Berber says the measles outbreak can be traced to unvaccinated travelers who visit countries seeing a surge in measles cases.

"So please if you are planning to travel to any of these areas such as the Philippines, Ukraine, please make sure you are vaccinated and make sure your children are vaccinated against measles," she said.

The World Health Organization says India has also seen an increase in measles cases.

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Most parents know whether their children have been vaccinated, but some adults aren't sure if they've had the measles or if they've had the vaccine.

If you don't have any immunization records, check with your doctor before trying other options.

"Either get a blood test to see if you were immunized against measles," Berber said. "Go to your local school that you attended in California, go to the university or college you attended and see if they have the immunization record for you."

Berber says it is frustrating to see the measles outbreak when a vaccine is readily available, but health officials are using the situation to educate the public.

Early measles symptoms are similar to the flu: fever, watery eyes, weakness before you get the red rash.

The Health Department says if you think you may have been exposed to the virus and haven't been vaccinated to call the doctor's office or clinic before you come in to be examined.
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