Health officials in California’s third-largest county are warning moviegoers who attended an April 25 screening of Avengers: Endgame at an AMC theater in Fullerton might have been exposed to measles by a fellow audience member who was fresh from international travel and unaware of her infection.
Any patron of the AMC Dine-In Fullerton 20 theater who saw Endgame at one of the late opening-night screenings (between between 11 p.m. on April 25 and 4 a.m. on April 26) are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms through May 16. They also are encouraged to review their vaccination history.
AMC declined comment.
The advisory from the Orange County Health Care Agency on Thursday is tied to the first confirmed measles case reported this year in the county. The patient has been identified only as a Placentia woman in her 20s who recently traveled internationally and now is quarantined voluntarily in her home. Doctors estimate that the patient’s window of infectiousness ranges from April 23-May 1.
“Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough and red, watery eyes,” said Dr. Nichole Quick, interim Orange County Health Officer. “It spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person, and is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. The MMR vaccine is a simple, inexpensive and very effective measure to prevent the spread of this serious virus.”
Beyond the packed movie theater, the patient also interacted with others at her workplace (a Santa Ana office building from April 23-25) and the emergency department at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton on April 27. For more information, call the HCA Health Referral Line at (800) 564-8448.
Officials said they have worked with all three facilities to contact people who might have been exposed, especially those with a higher risk of severe outcomes such as infants, pregnant women and anyone with a compromised immune system.
Health officials say anyone who has not had a case of the measles or the measles vaccine is at a higher risk of exposure and should consult a health care provider about a Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination. Symptoms include fever and an unexplained rash that can take 21 days after infection to manifest. Anyone who suspects measles should stay home and contact their health care provider or medical help by phone.
Measles has been surging in the U.S. and abroad. Nationally, the number of cases is the highest in two decades. The number of reported California cases is at 38, many of them recent visitors to Cambodia, India, the Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Last week, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an outbreak advisory citing a traveler who passed through the Los Angeles International Airport on April 18. That patient interacted with others in the Tom Bradley International Terminal as well as LAX’s Terminal 3.