Healthy Choices

Suspected measles case still unconfirmed; results expected Wednesday

The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services is still awaiting test results that could confirm a suspected case of measles, said spokeswoman Laura McCasland.

The test results, which were initially expected Tuesday, are still being processed by the California Department of Public Health in a facility in Richmond, she said, and may come Wednesday. If confirmed, this will be the first local case in the current measles outbreak, which has so far affected 73 people in 11 counties statewide. The outbreak has been traced to Disneyland Park in Anaheim.

The local patient suspected of carrying the highly contagious respiratory disease was treated at a Sutter Medical Group pediatric clinic in Elk Grove on Jan. 14, said Gary Zavoral, spokesman for Sutter Health. Initial tests performed by Sutter physicians suggested the patient might be at risk for measles, prompting them to report the case to the county for further testing.

As a precaution, Sutter officials contacted all of the patients who were in the clinic’s waiting room that evening to warn them about the possibility of infection, Zavoral said. To his knowledge, no further patients have come forward with measles-like symptoms, which include sore throat, runny eyes, fever and a rash.

The state health department is currently recommending that people check the vaccination status for themselves and their families. When administered in two doses, the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is considered 99 percent effective in preventing those diseases for a lifetime. Those who are not vaccinated should avoid any place where large numbers of people congregate, such as airports, shopping malls and tourist attractions.

Call The Bee’s Sammy Caiola, (916) 321-1636.