Officials are urging anyone who visited the emergency department at One Children’s Plaza between Jan. 29 at 11 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 7 a.m., and on Jan. 31 between 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., to remain vigilant for potential symptoms and take action accordingly.
“Contacts of the individual are being notified by Dayton & Montgomery County Public Health to assess their measles vaccination status, and to provide information regarding signs and symptoms of measles, and appropriate quarantine measures,” Public Health said in a press release Saturday.
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Symptoms of measles can include high fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes and a rash beginning three to five days after other symptoms occur. Measles can be serious, and about one in five children who get measles will be hospitalized with complications such as pneumonia, dehydration or brain swelling, according to Public Health.
Anyone who visited the Dayton Children’s emergency department during the dates and times listed and who have not been contacted by Public Health are urged to call 937-225-4508 so that their level of exposure can be determined and any further action steps can be recommended, the release states.
Contacts who are not fully vaccinated for measles should be immunized for measles should be immunized with measles vaccine as soon as possible after exposure, Public Health recommends.
“Measles vaccine given within 72 hours after exposure may prevent or reduce the severity of the disease,” the release states, further stating those who cannot receive the vaccine or are particularly susceptible to complications of the disease can receive measles immune globulin for post-exposure protection.
“Measles immune globulin (for post-exposure protection) can prevent or modify measles in a susceptible person if given within six days of exposure,” the release asserts. “IG may be especially indicated for susceptible household contacts (less than) one year of age, pregnant women, or immunocompromised persons, for whom the risk of complications is increased.”
Public Health urges all parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from becoming infected with measles.
“Measles is very contagious,” the release states. “Children infected with measles can spread it to others even before they have symptoms.”
The measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air after an infected person leaves the room, Public Health said, warning that nine out of 10 unvaccinated children who are exposed to measles will become infected, and that symptoms may not occur for up to 21 days after exposure to an individual who has measles.
“The safest way to protect all children from measles is to make sure they are vaccinated,” said Dr. Becky Thomas, medical director for Dayton & Montgomery County Public Health.
One dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine provides 93% protection against measles and two doses provide 97% protection, according to the agency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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. MMR vaccine can also be given to adults who are not vaccinated or whose vaccination status is unknown.
Public Health does not provide testing or treatment for measles. The agency recommends anyone who is experiencing symptoms to avoid contact with others and seek care from a healthcare provider, informing the provider you have a measles concern so that further spread can be prevented.
Contact your local pharmacy or healthcare provider to get vaccinated. In addition, Public Health provides MMR vaccinations at its clinic located in the Reibold Building, 117 S. Main St. in downtown Dayton. To schedule an appointment, call 937-225-4550, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.