Bay Area Pinoys cautious over possible measles exposure

MILPITAS, Calif. – As these people go about their daily business measles warning signs have been posted at the Costco and Wal-Mart in Gilroy as well as the Dave & Buster’s restaurant in Milpitas’ Great Mall.

Milpitas is known for a large Filipino community with more than 9,300 residents, or 15 percent of the city’s population.

Santa Clara County health officials urge people with concerns to contact their doctor and to watch out for symptoms, which include fever, cough, runny nose, a rash and red eyes.

Health officials do not expect to see a large outbreak because vaccination rates in Santa Clara County are more than 95 percent.

“So this is just for that small subset of people who are not protected, we want them to know they may have been exposed so they would know what symptoms to watch for and so that if they develop symptoms they can alert their physician,” said Dr. Sara Cody, a Santa Clara County health officer.

Dave & Buster’s released a statement from Vice President of Marketing April Spearmen saying, “There have been no cases of symptoms reported at Dave and Buster’s. We are working with county health officials and will continue to monitor for any indications of exposure out of an abundance of caution.”

A Seafood City and many other Filipino stores are located in a plaza a little over two miles from the Dave & Buster’s.

Kababayans in the area expressed their concerns for their health.

“For me, I’m scared for my grandkids, especially when I heard they have a fever. So I told my daughter right away to go to the doctor,” said Alice Gampon. “They went today. They’re ok.”

“It doesn’t bother me but if I heard somebody coming and coughing and everything, I’m scared,” said Carmen Raguta.

Other Filipinos said they already took the necessary precautions.

“For measles, I’m vaccinated already,” said Virginia Barbadillo. “If you’re vaccinated there’s a chance for you to not get the measles, right?” She also agrees that everyone should be vaccinated.

“We’re already vaccinated,” said Ann Aguilar speaking about her family. “I think people should be aware of having vaccinations for the kids and for their health too.”

“Yes, I feel comfortable especially when you’re vaccinated already so you’re safe,” said Mario Santos.

Mayor Jose Esteves says he is being updated with any news from the health department and he joins his fellow kababayans in making sure they are completely free of the disease.

“This is the best time to check our vaccination records,” said Mayor Esteves. “This should be taken more seriously because we don’t want to spread the disease if we have it. There’s no need to panic.”

As the Santa Clara County Public Health Department continues to search for more individuals who may have come in contact with the two who are infected, there have been no new cases of measles in the Bay Area as of this broadcast.

You can contact Rommel Conclara at rommel_conclara@abs-cbn.com and follow him on Twitter @rommelconclara for more information.

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