SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

Health officials at the state and local levels are urging international travelers and individuals receiving international guests to take precautions to prevent the spread of measles.

As of April 4th, 51 confirmed measles cases with onset in 2014 were reported to California Department of Public Health. That's including one case from Monterey County.

Last year, only four measles cases had been reported by late March.

Most of the reported cases are associated with international travel -- namely to the Philippines, India or Vietnam -- or contact with international travelers.

Health officials encourage travelers or those having guests to keep up to date on health information in other countries to which you may be traveling or in the countries from where you're receiving visitors.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides up-to-date health information on over 200 international destinations.

The Philippines is currently experiencing a measles epidemic. Incidence of measles is also high in many areas of Europe, Asia, and Africa, according to health officials.

Health officials say residents should make sure they -- and their children -- are fully immunized before traveling internationally or receiving international visitors.

  • Infants ages 6 months through 11 months should have one dose of measles vaccine. Infants who get  one dose of measles vaccine before their first birthday should get two more doses of the vaccine (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose at least 28 days later).
  • Children 12 months of age or older should have two doses separated by at least 28 days.
  • Adolescents and adults who have not had measles or been vaccinated should get two doses separated by at least 28 days.
  • Contact your medical provider if you become ill within three weeks of returning from your travels -- or if you become ill within three weeks of contact with international visitors -- especially if you experience a high fever, rash, vomiting, and/or diarrhea.