News


Measles-carrying Caltrain commuter sparks public health warning

Santa Clara County resident traveled up and down the Peninsula, visited San Francisco

For the fourth time in less than two weeks, public health officials are warning the public of possible exposure to measles — this time involving a Santa Clara County resident who traveled to San Francisco via Caltrain, the San Francisco Department of Public Health said Tuesday.

The commuter, an adult contagious with measles while visiting San Francisco last week, was not hospitalized and is recovering at home, according to the San Francisco agency, which is working with the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to assist the measles-carrying individual and make sure residents and visitors from both counties are safe from the disease.

The Santa Clara County resident traveled on Caltrain during the morning commute on April 1 and evening rush hour on April 3.

On April 1, the individual sat in the first car (car 116) of northbound Caltrain train No. 319, where travelers were exposed to the virus sometime between 6:56-8:13 a.m. The train was then designated as southbound Caltrain train No. 232, where any travelers who boarded the same car (car 116) were exposed from roughly 8:45-9:15 a.m.

The individual stayed in San Francisco on April 2, spending a majority of the day at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in the city's Civic Center from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and visiting three eateries: Johnny Doughnuts from 8-9:30 a.m., Hayes Valley Bakeworks from 8-10 a.m. and Double Decker Restaurant from 6:30-8 p.m.

On the afternoon of April 3, the traveler visited the San Francisco Caltrain station at 700 Fourth St., where the public may have been exposed to measles sometime between 3-4:30 p.m.

The individual took southbound Caltrain train No. 258 that departed at 3:34 p.m. sitting in the second car from the back (car 3861), where exposure to measles ranged from 3:34-5:10 p.m. The train then transitioned to northbound service, Caltrain No. 279, where the exposure time in car 3861 ranged from 5:32-6:15 p.m.

While there is no outbreak and the public's risk of contracting the measles is low, San Francisco public health officials emphasized that people who aren't immune and visited the same places as the measles-carrying resident may develop the disease. Santa Clara County public health officials added that the measles virus can linger in the air a short time after the infected person has left a place.

Any child who hasn't received the measles vaccine, any adult born in 1957 or later without the vaccine or individuals with "severely weakened immune systems" should heed the warning, according to the public health department.

Most people are immune to the disease if they were given the measles vaccine as children, public health officials said.

Symptoms of the measles can appear seven to 21 days after exposure. They include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, which can lead to a red rash beginning on the head or face, according to public health officials. Anyone who experiences these conditions is advised to immediately contact their doctor.

The case doesn't appear to be related to others across the state. Public health agencies across the Bay Area have issued warnings of possible measles exposure since late March. In Santa Clara County, an international traveler visited 20 establishments, including six in the Palo Alto area, from March 16 through March 23. A second case was made public on March 29 involving a resident who contracted measles while traveling abroad. The two cases don't seem to be connected.

In Alameda County, patrons of Sauced BBQ & Spirits in Livermore may have been exposed to measles by a customer on March 23.

More information on the measles can be found at sfcdcp.org and sccgov.org.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify which Caltrain trains the individual with measles traveled and trains where passengers were exposed to the virus.

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Comments

56 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 10, 2019 at 11:26 am

If you're vaccinated, you have nothing to worry about, right? Not vaccinating your children is child abuse.


2 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

Yet another endorsement of public transit. I hear enough BART horror stories.


21 people like this
Posted by We're all in this together.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2019 at 12:30 pm

We're all in this together. is a registered user.

Please vaccinate! The misinformation on vaccines that has been disseminated by social media and the some web sites has led many parents to make poor choices for their children. All info sources are not equal. Check your sources carefully when making health care decisions.

Not vaccinating is simply irresponsible unless you have some illness that contraindicates vaccination. Your doctor can advise you whether your child falls into this category.

If your child is not yet vaccinated, make a doctor appointment today and work with a medical professional to get informed advice that is specific to your child's needs.

Get on this, people. This third world problem is reemerging in our area. If your child is not vaccinated, s/he is vulnerable. Be responsible and take actin to keep your child safe from this terrible illness.


13 people like this
Posted by We're all in this together.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm

We're all in this together. is a registered user.

To Musical...re: your comment on public transit. How ridiculous. Public transit is no worse than using other public facilities: libraries, coffee shops, stores,etc. Are you going to avoid all public places?

I ride public transit. It is safer that riding in a car. Look at national death/injury statistics (or regional death/injury stats) and you will quickly understand that public transit is MUCH safer than driving.

Just another example of internet misinformation. Check your sources.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2019 at 12:52 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Reading the papers on this topic both on the east coast and west coast these individuals despite being sick have a travel schedule that covers more bases in one day than I would do in a week. These people are traveling in all major population areas on a rapid fire schedule covering a lot of ground and locations in one day. How can you do that if sick? And the person knows he/she is sick. It is amazing how these individuals are covering a lot of bases including some in PA.


8 people like this
Posted by Jimmy Jim Jam
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 10, 2019 at 2:37 pm

@Resident 1, To answer the above question simply, with measles an individual can be very contagious early on but not have any symptoms. That's how.


9 people like this
Posted by Just a thought
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 10, 2019 at 3:56 pm

We’ve lost all common sense.
In *some* cases, these are [portion removed] immigrants or overseas travelers bringing highly contagious illnesses into this country.
I think we have a right to screen for such illnesses and refuse entry.
At minimum, a question can be asked: are you vaccinated....do you feel ill....and etc.
This is a public health issue for our country, but political correctness is run amok (see Santa Clara County). I refer to prioritizing the “rights” of violent offenders who are illegal aliens upon release over public safety/contacting ICE, as local law enforcement recommends.
Our “leaders” - county politicians - deem any and every aspect of an illegal alien’s situation to have priority over US citizens/legal residents. It’s outrageous.


10 people like this
Posted by viva vaccinations
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Apr 10, 2019 at 4:16 pm

> In *some* cases, these are illegal immigrants or overseas travelers bringing highly contagious illnesses into this country.

Ever see the vaccination rate for Mexico? Annual measles deaths in Mexico? Look it up.

Without any data to support your baseless fears, your post has "lost all common sense."


11 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 10, 2019 at 5:49 pm

Can anyone tell me why those born before 1957 do not have to be concerned?

Also, given that the vaccine is not 100% effective, shouldn't everyone heed this warning? It seems like with something so contagious, even with herd immunity, it'd be best to be on the safe side. 3 out of 100 vaccinated people will get measles when exposed and then be able to spread it.

Finally, I had measles as a child. What is the effectiveness of natural immunity? Is there any chance I could contract it again?


Like this comment
Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 10, 2019 at 8:21 pm

eileen is a registered user.

@bemused, Most people born before 1957 are thought to have been infected naturally with the virus through measles outbreaks. As a result, these people are very likely to have had measles disease. Surveys suggest that 95% to 98% of those born before 1957 are immune to measles. Persons born before 1957 can be presumed to be immune.


9 people like this
Posted by A Shot In The Dark
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 10, 2019 at 8:54 pm

> Yet another endorsement of public transit. I hear enough BART horror stories.

I never wear good clothes if riding public transit...the seats can be poopy.

> Public transit is no worse than using other public facilities: libraries, coffee shops, stores, etc.

Public library restrooms are frequented by the homeless & can be very dirty depending on the locale.

> In *some* cases, these are illegal immigrants or overseas travelers bringing highly contagious illnesses into this country.

> I think we have a right to screen for such illnesses and refuse entry.

Quarantine might be helpful depending on the vaccination rates in specific countries...Africa, Indonesia & India have the lowest vaccination rates.


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:31 pm

The timing of the Caltrain trips on April 1 and 3 seems odd. Why did the individual go up and return within 15 minutes of arriving?


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 10, 2019 at 10:57 pm

@A Shot..., on VTA buses I often watch riders lay open newspaper on the seat before sitting.
Countless times I've seen people barf on Caltrain coming home late from SF.
-- and guaranteed every time after New Years Eve fireworks.
Our University Avenue station is a magnet for Palo Alto drug arrests.
Frequent ranting derelicts on BART any time of the day. Avoid 16th & Mission.

Public transit is fine as long as you know what to expect. I just don't use it in mixed company.

@John, maybe just killing time or finding a comfortable place to sleep.


5 people like this
Posted by Busses Are OK For Some Folks
a resident of another community
on Apr 11, 2019 at 1:38 pm

They should remove the cloth inner section of the bus seats & replace them with a material that doesn't absorb barf, poop & urine mishaps.

I feel so dirty when having to ride public transportation which is rarely thank goodness. Like would you give a ride to a grungy stranger in your nice clean car?

Probably not.


Like this comment
Posted by Not Afraid of Measles
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 11, 2019 at 5:23 pm

[Post removed.]


Like this comment
Posted by @Not Afraid of Measles (Really?)
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 11, 2019 at 5:28 pm

[Post removed.]


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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