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Health

Grossmont Clinic Closes After Five People Show Measles Symptoms

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An urgent care clinic on the Grossmont Hospital campus was closed down Wednesday after five people showed up displaying measles symptoms.

Around 40 people were in the waiting room of the Sharp-Rees Stealy Urgent Care Clinic, at 5525 Grossmont Center Drive, around 11:45 a.m. when the six entered the facility, said Frances Schnall of Sharp Healthcare. They each complained of a fever and rash, she said.

A sixth person who was with them previously had the symptoms but had recovered, Schnall said.

Clinic personnel determined most of the patients who were in the waiting room had been immunized for measles, which is highly contagious.

Schnall said the clinic was shut down so it could be disinfected — and that it takes time for fresh air to circulate through. The clinic was reopened by 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Related: 26 Measles Cases Reported With Ties To Disney Theme Parks

Health officials say measles generally begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Within a few days a red rash appears, usually on the face then spreading down to the rest of the body. Measles is an infectious, airborne disease.

"We think it's really important to make sure you're immunized (against measles)," Schnall said.

County health officials recommend that people who have measles symptoms should call their primary care physician, or a county health facility, before venturing out to a public place.

State health officials last week warned that nine people who visited Disneyland of California Adventure in Anaheim in mid-December came down with measles. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency subsequently reported that two of those people also visited the Parkway Plaza mall in El Cajon.

Schnall said county health officials will investigate to see if the people who went to the urgent care clinic were connected with the Disneyland outbreak, which has now grown to 26 cases.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 644 people in this country contracted measles last year, more than three times the recent annual average.

The county Health and Human Services Agency immunization phone number is (866) 358-2966.