7th Suspected Measles Case Reported in San Diego: County Officials

County officials are working on identifying where the patients may have been to alert residents of possible exposure

A seventh suspected case of measles has been reported in San Diego County, health officials said Thursday.

The person is "closely connected" to the six previous cases reported Wednesday after Sharp Health Care temporarily closed its Rees-Steely Urgent Care center in La Mesa.

If confirmed, this new case would bring the county total to 10 since the outbreak began, officials said.

More than two dozen people in four states have been sickened after visiting the Disneyland theme parks between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20, 2014.

NBC 7 has learned that county health officials are working to collect a detailed account of places where the patients have been to alert residents of potential exposure.

Six siblings, ranging in age from 22 months to 18 years old, sought treatment at an urgent care center across from Grossmont Center Wednesday morning.  Test results were expected by end of the day Thursday to confirm if the six patients have the measles.

None of the seven people with measles were ever vaccinated, officials said.

Dr. Robert Bjork, a Scripps Health pediatrician, said for the first time, physicians are recommending measles vaccines for babies as young as 6 months of age.

"It’s probably wise for domestic travelers who are taking 6-month-old babies on an airliner to get them vaccinated," Bjork told NBC 7 Thursday.

Currently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose.

Bjork said he's seeing more concern among parents and members of the medical community.

"We thought it was just going to be a small limited phenomenon, with a limited number of cases but what we've seen in the last year is a record number of 644 confirmed measles cases in the United States," Bjork said.

"We're very concerned and it's expanded much more rapidly than we thought."

None of the patients in San Diego County needed to be hospitalized.

The 40 or so people at the urgent care who may have been exposed have been identified for tracking by county officials.

Early symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Two to three days in, tiny white spots may develop inside the mouth. After three to five days, the distinctive rash begins to form.

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