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A Plan in Place for Measles

We have heard a lot about measles lately as the number of measles cases in the U.S. continues to climb. While at this time, there is no currently known risk to measles in Tulare County, we want you to know what you can do to protect yourself or your child. We also want you to know what we are doing to keep you safe from a potential measles exposure while you are at a Kaweah Health location.

Need a Vaccination?
It is recommended that you call your doctor to get vaccinated. If you do not have a doctor, click HERE to make an appointment with one.

Here’s what you should know:

  • Measles are highly contagious and spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with secretions from the nose, mouth and throat of an infected person. In fact, the measles virus can stay in the air for up to two hours, so you can get infected by being in a room where an infected person recently visited.
  • Measles symptoms start with a fever of greater than 101 degrees, a cough, a runny nose and watery, red eyes. Three to five days after these symptoms, a rash begins to appear on the face and spreads over the entire body.
  • The best protection against measles is measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. This is given in two doses; the first when a person is 12 to 15 months old and the second when a person is 4-6 years old. If you do not have evidence that you have had MMR vaccine, it is recommended that you call your doctor to get vaccinated.

At Kaweah Health, we have spent time working with others in the Central Valley to prepare for a possible exposure or, worst-case scenario, an outbreak. Following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all of our Kaweah Health locations now have signs outside of them with instructions for people who suspect they have measles, have recently been exposed to measles, have been out of the U.S., or have a rash. The goal is to get care to those who need it immediately, yet in a responsible manner to prevent exposure to any of our patients and visitors. If this happens, it would not be uncommon for our staff to wear facemasks, as well as ask our patient to wear one. We would set up “measles stations” where patients could receive the care they need in a safe, private, and comfortable place.

As a team, the staff and physicians at Kaweah Health are always working to provide the highest level of patient care because it is the right thing to do for our community. Our team has been closely following the rise of measles cases, and working behind-the-scenes to put systems and processes in place to make sure we are ready when we need to be. We have been thoughtful in our plans to protect our patients, our visitors, and our community against measles. Now we encourage you to advocate for yourselves and for loved ones to make sure they are vaccinated and know what to do and what to expect if they think they may have been exposed.

Daniel Boken, M.D., FAAP, FACP, FSHEA, is Infectious Disease Medical Director at Kaweah Health and Chair of the Infection Control Committee.