Wallowa Valley Health Care District Pushes Awareness Regarding Measles

Wallowa Valley Health Care District Pushes Awareness Regarding Measles

NOTICE; APRIL 05, 2019 – Due to an increased number of reported measles cases by the Center for Disease Control the Wallowa County Health Care District is placing this advisory to ask the public, our patients, to please call your health care provider prior to visiting the medical office if you believe you have measles symptoms and/or think you have been exposed to measles in order to avoid exposing others in the waiting room.

Health care providers continue to see a variety of different illnesses with symptoms that are similar to the measles. Because of this, it is important to be aware of measles symptoms so they can be recognized to minimize the spread of this highly contagious disease if it does show up in North Eastern Oregon.

“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics,” says Jenni Word, Chief Nursing Officer for Wallowa Memorial Hospital. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, cough and rash. Although measles is usually considered a childhood disease, it can be contracted at any age. Generally, preschool children, adolescents, young adults and inadequately immunized individuals comprise the majority of measles cases in the United States. There is no specific treatment for measles.

If you suspect you have measles call first!  Local health officials ask anyone who thinks they have been exposed or believe they have measles symptoms to call their health care provider prior to visiting the medical office to avoid exposing others in the waiting room. People who believe they have symptoms of measles should not go directly to medical offices, urgent care centers or emergency departments (unless experiencing a medical emergency) without calling in advance.  They should also avoid all public places.

“The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization,” Word says.  If you are unsure if you are vaccinated contact your primary care provider for a blood test that can check.  Any person older than six months of age can safely get a measles vaccine.

For more information on measles, visit www.healthoregon.org or www.cdc.gov/measlesTo obtain a measles vaccination, call your health care provider.

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