SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After years of little to no issues with measles, two recent local cases that potentially exposed people in Sacramento and Placer Counties, have doctors on alert.
Letters and warnings were issued in both counties, warning hundreds of people about the possible exposure. CBS13 spoke to physicians to see what they are doing differently now, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Officials at UC Davis Medical Center, and beyond, said they’re taking a multi-level approach to boost awareness. From the waiting area at hospitals to the dialogue between doctors and patients, they say they’re making measles “top of mind.”
It’s an all hands on deck approach when it comes to measles awareness at UC Davis Health.
Dr. Dean Blumberg, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, said they are sending out emails, as well as holding educational conferences and meetings to make sure people are aware.
That awareness comes after a critical incident last month where a Calaveras County girl was treated for measles and potentially exposed 200 patients in the Emergency Department.
In Placer County, a family of three was diagnosed with measles, with two kids possibly exposing others at Auburn Racquet and Fitness Club.
In both cases, public health officials notified anyone who may have crossed their paths, but so far, no other cases have been reported. Infectious disease experts with UC Davis say changes are being made.
“We have signs up in the emergency room or clinic waiting areas… “If you have a fever and rash and have traveled recently, please let us know.” Those kinds of signs. There are prompts for people who register for people to ask these kinds of screening questions,” Blumberg said.
Because measles can often present with cold or flu-like symptoms early on, doctors are being encouraged to ask probing questions to help stop the spread.
“Ask if they’ve been vaccinated, ask if they’ve had any international travel. Ask if there’s been any contact with people with fevers and rash. Those are all things we would be concerned about,” Blumberg said.
In all of the recent local measles cases, none of the people had been vaccinated. After contracting measles, doctors say a person gains immunity and are unlikely to contract it again.