Monday February 14, 2011, an infant was admitted to Southwest Washington Medical Center after an overseas trip with his family. It appears as if the infant in question has a case of the German measles, an illness that has been nearly quashed throughout the United States due to vaccines. It is likely that the infant has spread the measles to everyone that the infant came into contact with at the hospital. The infant was highly contagious when he entered the hospital and the Vancouver, Washington health Department is advising anyone that was at the hospital at any time during February 14th and February 15th get vaccinated by Thursday to prevent spreading the contagious illness. Health officials claim that people could have been affected in two locations; Evergreen Pediatrics and SW Washington Medical Center Outpatient Laboratory.
It is unknown at this time as to whether the infant that may have caused this pandemonium was old enough to be vaccinated yet, or whether their parents did not feel it was necessary. Although many parents are choosing to selectively vaccinate their children, as I do the MMR or Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine is one that any pediatrician will tell you is a necessity. It is also a requirement that your child has this vaccine to enter any public school in Washington.
The measles virus does not start to show until ten to twelve days after being exposed. If you are not vaccinated, measles are highly contagious and deadly. Here are symptoms to be looking for; fever, dry cough, runny nose, irritated eyes, light sensitivity, skin rash with large flat splotches that overlap, and white splotches with blue centers in and around the mouth. If any of these signs are present, go to the hospital immediately. The measles can be fatal, especially to an infant. For any families that may have been in either location that the infected child was at, doctors are suggesting that you review your immunization records thoroughly and watch your child carefully for any signs of measles. Under no circumstances should you hesitate to call if you have questions or concerns.