About 300 people at California hospital possibly exposed to measles after child goes for treatment

Mar 10, 2024, 7:06 PM

A view of UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, in February 2020. (Justin Sullivan, Ge...

A view of UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California, in February 2020. (Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

(Justin Sullivan, Getty Images)

(CNN) — A California medical facility is trying to contact about 300 people who were possibly exposed to measles after a child was treated for the contagious viral illness at a hospital in Sacramento last week, officials said.

The child had returned from international travel and was evaluated March 5 at UC Davis Health’s emergency department between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. PT., Sacramento County officials said in a news release.

The hospital said it “has the situation under control” and noted it began contacting about 300 in the facility who may have been exposed. It said, “There are no additional potential exposures at UC Davis Medical Center beyond those people who have been identified and contacted.”

“UC Davis has a record of each patient and employee in the Emergency Department that day, and notifications about potential exposure are being sent through phone calls, the electronic medical record’s online messaging portal, letters, in person, and to the care teams of patients who were admitted from the Emergency Department during the time period,” hospital officials said in a news release.

Those who are unvaccinated against measles, or those with unknown vaccination status who were at UC Davis Medical Center’s emergency department during that time, are at risk of developing measles between seven to 21 days after exposure, Sacramento County public health officials said.

People who were at risk were asked to review their immunization records, contact their health provider and monitor themselves for illness.

“Those who are at risk of exposure are being contacted by Infection Prevention, and care teams who are managing current inpatients are being advised of the need for proper infection prevention processes,” the news release read.

The child was first seen at San Joaquin Urgent Care in El Dorado County, where “a small number of residents” may have been among those exposed, officials there indicated in a separate news release.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can lead to complications and turn deadly, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles often begins with a mild to moderate fever, along with a cough, runny nose, and red/watery eyes, health officials detailed. Some patients also report diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Generally, a red, blotchy rash appears first on the face and rapidly spreads to the chest, back, thighs and feet.

It is spread through the respiratory route and can live in the air for up to an hour where an infectious person coughed or sneezed, officials said.

A total of 45 measles cases have been reported in 17 states since the beginning of the year, according to the CDC.

In 2023, the total number of cases recorded was 58.

Rising cases has experts concerned

Public health experts are concerned about the increasing number of cases this year.

“Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 but is still the most easily transmitted human virus presently in circulation,” Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer of ASTHO, said in a statement last month. “Thankfully, by following established public health principles, Americans can make informed decisions, prevent outbreaks, and protect our communities. Vaccination is the best and safest way to protect children.”

The increase in measles cases is due in part to falling vaccination rates and increased travel, which can result in unvaccinated people acquiring measles abroad and bringing it back to the US, according to the CDC.

Experts recommend children get the measles, mumps and rubella or MMR vaccine in two doses: the first between 12 months and 15 months of age, and the second between 4 and 6 years old. One dose is about 93% effective at preventing measles infection; two doses are about 97% effective.

Nationwide, about 92% of US children have gotten the MMR vaccine by age 2, according to a 2023 report from the CDC – below the federal target of 95%.

The percentage of kindergartners who got their state-required vaccines for measles also remained below the federal target for the 2022-23 school year, according to CDC data. And the rate of vaccine exemptions for children has reached the highest level ever reported in the US.

KSL 5 TV Live


DEATH VALLEY, CALIFORNIA - JULY 09: A sign reading "Extreme Heat Danger" warns visitors during a lo...

Alex Cabrero

Doctors issue warning to Utahns because of record 100+ degree heat

Intermountain Health held a news conference Friday morning warning people to be careful in recent hundred-degree temperatures.

3 days ago

Amid extreme heat that set new records Thursday, doctors were cautioning that symptoms of heat-rela...

Andrew Adams

Doctors caution against exercise in triple-digit heat as temperatures soar in Salt Lake City

Amid extreme heat that set new records Thursday, doctors were cautioning that symptoms of heat-related illnesses and heat stroke could set in within a matter of minutes.

3 days ago

"Way to Wellness" is a CDC-approved diabetes prevention program through Intermountain Health. The y...

Emma Benson

Intermountain program helping patients find their ‘Way to Wellness’

'Way to Wellness' is a CDC-approved diabetes prevention program through Intermountain Health. "It helps them to actually become more independent in their health," Melanie Holden, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Intermountain Health, said.

4 days ago

The Bear River Health Department said a group of young women from Box Elder County were staying at ...

Emma Benson

Youth group getting treatment after possible exposure to bats

The Bear River Health Department said a group of young women from Box Elder County were staying at a cabin at Camp Chi-Keena in Soda Springs, Idaho that was apparently infested with multiple bats.

9 days ago

3-year-old Truman "Tru" Hunt was diagnosed with a rare heart condition while on vacation with his f...

Lindsay Aerts

Lehi toddler develops rare and sudden heart condition in Hawaii, neighbors rally support

A dream vacation in Hawaii turned into a nightmare for a Lehi family whose toddler is now battling for his life after developing a sudden and rare heart condition.

9 days ago

A new study found that people with type 2 diabetes who were being treated with a class of GLP-1 dru...

Deidre McPhillips, CNN

Popular weight-loss and diabetes medications linked to lower risk of some cancers, study finds

GLP-1 medications such as Ozempic and Wegovy may help lower the risk of certain cancers, a new study suggests.

10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

About 300 people at California hospital possibly exposed to measles after child goes for treatment