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Navigating A Measles Outbreak: The Crucial Role of Infection Prevention in Sacramento Healthcare

In a California-based medical facility, an estimated 300 individuals are currently being contacted following potential exposure to measles after a child was medically assessed for this viral infection at a Sacramento hospital last week. The child, who had recently returned from an international trip, was examined on March 5 at the emergency department of UC Davis Health. The evaluation took place between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. PT, as highlighted by the Sacramento County officials in a recent release. Following the situation, the hospital has confirmed to have taken the necessary measures under control, initiating contact with approximately 300 people within the facility who could have been exposed. According to the hospital, there are no further exposure risks at UC Davis Medical Center beyond those who have been identified and interacted with.

UC Davis has maintained records of each patient and employee who were present in the Emergency Department on the said day, sending out notifications regarding the potential exposure through phone calls, electronic medical record’s online messaging portal, in-person interactions, and letters. Even the care teams of the patients who were admitted via the Emergency Department during the specific time frame have been notified. For those who are unvaccinated against measles or individuals who possess an unknown vaccination status and were present during that time at UC Davis Medical Center’s emergency department, they are potentially at risk of developing measles anytime between seven to 21 days post-exposure.

The Sacramento County public health officials have indicated those at risk to review their immunization records, establish a contact with their healthcare provider, and monitor for any signs of illness. UC Davis Health’s Infection Prevention is actively communicating with those at risk of exposure while advising the care teams managing current inpatients about the necessary infection prevention processes. Measles infection, recognized for its high transmissibility, can give rise to further complications and result in life-threatening situations.

The infection often begins with fever, cough, runny nose, and red or watery eyes, and in certain cases, might lead to diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Typically, a red, blotchy rash first appears on the face and gradually spreads to the chest, back, thighs and feet. It can stay in the air for up to an hour where an infected person coughed or sneezed. Since the year’s start, a total of 45 measles cases have been reported across 17 states according to the CDC which is crucial in comparison to the 58 cases recorded in 2023. Notably, declining vaccination rates and increased travel are contributing to the uptick in measles cases, as per CDC’s report. Vaccination with two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR vaccine) is recommended for children. The first dose between 12 and 15 months of age, and the second between 4 and 6 years old. The effectiveness of one and two doses is approximately 93% and 97% respectively. Nationwide, MMR vaccination rates among US children by age 2 is around 92%, still lower than the federal target of 95%.

Source: https://www.local3news.com/regional-national/about-300-people-at-california-hospital-possibly-exposed-to-measles-after-child-goes-for-treatment/article_f87fa7da-4000-5655-8406-6bd53f71d922.html

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