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UC Davis alerted 200 people about March 17 measles exposure |

UC Davis Health said Wednesday they sent out roughly 200 letters to people who may have been exposed to the highly contagious measles virus March 17 in the emergency department at UCD Medical Center. A young girl taken care of there was diagnosed with the illness.
The letter from UC told recipients: “You will need to notify your primary health care provider(s) and your child’s provider(s) of this possible exposure to discuss your possible risk of infection, vaccination history, and other questions you may have.”

In its early stages, the measles virus is often mistaken for a respiratory illness, public health officials say, and that is particularly true during the flu season when so many people are showing up to emergency rooms and doctor’s offices with influenza. Measles typically starts with a mild or moderate fever; cough; runny nose; and red, watery eyes. The telltale symptom of the disease is a red rash that eventually covers most of the body, but it does not appear for several days after symptoms start.
If you have been exposed to measles or have been traveling abroad and return with flu-like symptoms, doctors recommend you call ahead to your medical provider and provide that information. That way, they said, the staff can make arrangements to bring you in through a more isolated route.

Measles was just about eliminated by vaccination. Recently unfounded concerns about increasing rates of autism caused anxiety among some parents. Scientific evidence disproved this popular idea. A groundswell of anti-vaxxers convinced some to stop vaccinating their children.  An entire political philosophy of freedom and rights caused many naive people to believe this fake news.

Most parents have never seen a case of measles, and that may also be true of some physicians.  Like Polio and Smallpox measles was of historical interest. 

A scanning electron microscope photo of measles virus

Rubella or German Measles is often confused with Rubeola (Measles).

German measles is dangerous for pregnant women, since it causes birth defects, hearing loss in their babies.  MMR vaccine is a combination vaccine for Mumps, Measles and Rubella.

Any disruption or decrease in the vaccination pool leads to sporadic outbreaks. The virus is highly contagious and spreads via the respiratory route.  One sneeze in a public space can cause a mini-epidemic.  People in the early stages of measles have no symptoms, and no rash.  Prevention by vaccination is critical, because there is no treatment for active disease, other than fluids, cooling and analgesics.

Infected individuals can have measles for up to five days before showing symptoms, but most people will start have symptoms within 12 days. However, they can transmit the virus for days before symptoms appear. They do so by coughing molecules into the air or into their hands, where they can be spread to others. Medical officials say that the virus aggressively attacks immune systems and that exposure to even a few droplets with the virus can make people sick.
The measles vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent the illness, doctors say. California law requires students to be vaccinated before entering school, unless parents have a medical exemption for their children. Measles can cause deafness and death.

Without vaccines, measles can be costly to prevent and treat. That’s because children – and even some adults – with the disease often have to be hospitalized for care and because public health departments have to pull many staff members from other work to identify and isolate people exposed to the virus.

UC Davis alerted 200 people about March 17 measles exposure | The Sacramento Bee

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