Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Approximately 300 individuals at a hospital in California may have been in contact with measles when a child sought medical care

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A hospital in California is trying to reach out to around 300 people who might have been near a child with measles. The kid got treated at a hospital in Sacramento last week after coming back from another country. The hospital says they’re handling things well and already informed the people who might have been exposed. They’re using phone calls, online messages, letters, and talking to people directly to let them know.

If you were at the emergency department at UC Davis Medical Center between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on March 5 and haven’t been vaccinated against measles, you could be at risk. Measles can show up 7 to 21 days after being near someone who has it. Health officials are telling those at risk to check their immunization records, contact their doctor, and watch for any signs of illness.

Measles is a very contagious illness that can be serious or even deadly. It starts with a fever, cough, runny nose, and red/watery eyes. Some people also get diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. A red rash usually shows up on the face first and spreads to the chest, back, thighs, and feet.

The disease spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can stay in the air for up to an hour. There have been 45 cases of measles in 17 states this year, and in 2023, there were 58 cases in total.

Health experts are worried about the rising number of cases this year. Measles was said to be gone in the U.S. in 2000, but it’s still easily spreading. The best way to protect against it is by getting vaccinated. Kids should get the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine at 12-15 months and a second dose at 4-6 years. One dose is about 93% effective, and two doses are about 97% effective.

But not all kids are getting vaccinated. About 92% of U.S. kids get the MMR vaccine by age 2, below the goal of 95%. Many kindergartners are also not getting their required vaccines, and the number of vaccine exemptions is at its highest in the U.S.

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