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Sharp Grossmont Patient Unlikely To Have Measles

A patient who arrived at Sharp Grossmont Hospital Friday with measles-like symptoms probably does not have the illness, a spokeswoman for the medical facility said.

The patient showed up at the emergency department around 9:30 a.m. and was immediately quarantined. The individual was released around 2 p.m., and medical staff reported that a diagnosis of measles was "unlikely," said Jennifer Jensen Chatfield of Sharp Healthcare.

The sick person was described as a child in some reports, but Chatfield said she could not confirm the patient's age.


She said 30 people in the waiting room when the patient arrived were checked out by hospital staff and held for a couple of hours.

Initial reports from the hospital that the emergency room was closed for a short time were put out by mistake, Chatfield said. Hospital staff advised one person to seek medical attention at a nearby urgent care clinic, she said.

Hospital officials said if people suspect they or their children have measles, they should stay home and contact their physician or public health officials at (866) 358-2966.

The southwestern U.S. has been impacted by a measles outbreak that appeared to originate from Disneyland in mid-December. Several San Diego healthcare facilities have shut down when measles patients went in for treatment, because of the highly contagious nature of the disease.

As of Wednesday, 99 measles cases have been confirmed in the state, according to the California Department of Public Health. Thirty-nine of the patients visited Disneyland in Anaheim between Dec. 17-20, according to the state.


Measles develops seven to 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms of the disease include high fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes.

A distinctive red rash usually appears three to five days after early symptoms appear. A person is considered contagious four days before the rash appears. The rash begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet. It fades in the same order it began, from head to feet.

Health officials recommend that people born in 1957 or after should have documentation of at least one dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or other evidence of immunity to measles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends two doses of the vaccine — the first at 12 months of age, and the second between ages 4-6.

Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older, and can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults.

There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.