Hospitals are sharing with NBC 7 how they would respond to a potential measles case and what parents should do if they think their child might be infected. These tips come after a Sharp Rees-Stealy Urgent Care had a measles scare Wednesday night and had to shut down early.
Sharp Rees-Stealy La Mesa Urgent Care closed its doors early Wednesday night because urgent care doctors first believed an 8-month-old baby brought to the facility possibly had a measles-related rash.
Later, doctors confirmed the baby did not have measles, but the hospital still completed a 2-hour clean cycle on the facility's HVAC system.
NBC 7 spoke with County Health and doctors at Sharp Rees-Stealy and Rady Children’s Hospital who explained that patients should either call in or just wait in the car if they suspect their child has the measles.
“If there are two parents, one can come inside by themselves to check the patient in or parents can call ahead to the emergency department and that way we can come outside and evaluate the patient and prevent any exposure in our waiting room,” said Megan Medina, R.N., Rady’s Infection Control Coordinator.
At Rady Children's hospital, they are equipped with negative pressure rooms, which are sealed rooms that don't allow air to escape into the rest of the hospital. This way, they can isolate the patient if doctors think they may have the measles.
So far, there has not been a case of the measles in San Diego County since 2017, officials said.
The County Department of Health told NBC 7 in more than 100 instances they've tested samples from patients, and they've proved negative for the measles.
But if a parent or a child who is not vaccinated end up with a fever and a rash, doctors say it is best to call ahead before showing up to a clinic in person.
“You do not want to just take the child to urgent care or emergency room because all you’re doing there is exposing other people to the measles virus,” said Edward Juskelis, M.D., for Sharp Rees-Stealy Urgent Care.
Medina said the hospital will then take other measures to take care of you.
“If we had a patient that got to our check-in desk before we identified they had rash or fever or concern for measles, we would give you a mask and have you wait outside,” Medina said. “We would then send a staff member out to evaluate you and then get you to a room limiting exposure as much as possible.”