Mobile Measles Treatment Area Set Up as Precaution
By Wendy Osher
A mobile measles treatment area has been set up outside of the Kaiser Maui Lani Clinic in Wailuku as a precautionary measure to prevent additional exposure, officials tell Maui Now.
“Because measles is a highly contagious airborne disease, patients seeking follow-up care are being seen outside the clinic, in a mobile treatment center,” Kaiser executives said in a statement.
The tent is for patient care and lab draw services and is located at the northeast end of the parking lot, away from the main entrance of the facility.
The service comes on the heels of recent reports of measles cases on Maui and Kauaʻi. As of Oct. 30, the State Department of Health confirmed four additional cases of measles on the two islands, bringing the total number of confirmed measles cases in these two separate clusters in Hawaiʻi to seven, and the total reported cases for the year to nine.
A spokesperson with Kaiser said a few of the cases have been seen at its Maui facilities. “As a precaution, we are notifying patients who may have come in contact with these individuals to inform them of possible exposure and to provide information and advice,” a Kaiser spokesperson said.
Health officials are encouraging the public to know their immunization status for measles. “Individuals who need to be vaccinated should contact their health care provider. Individuals who have been vaccinated for measles are immune to the disease and have a very low–less than 1%–chance of contracting it,” Kaiser officials said in a statement.
State health officials say individuals who suspect they have measles should call their doctor right away and isolate themselves from others to help contain the spread of illness. They are focusing on the need to be immunized, and self isolating to protect friends, family or co-workers from exposure.
***For a list of pharmacies vaccinating adults, visit the following LINK.
Some additional information on measles provided by Kaiser is as follows:
What is Measles?
Measles is highly contagious virus that is spread through the air. Obtaining the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against measles.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include fever as high as 105 degrees F, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that spreads from head to body trunk to legs.
The state Department of Health says the symptoms of measles generally begin about 14 days (range 7 to 21 days) after a person is infected and may include the following: blotchy red rash; fever; cough; runny nose; red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis); and feeling run down, achy (malaise).
Another characteristic symptom is Koplik’s spots, which are not always present, but appear as tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth.
How long would it take for me to get measles once I was exposed?
It can take up to three weeks for measles symptoms to appear after you’ve been exposed. Individuals are contagious and may spread the virus as soon as five days after exposure, even before symptoms appear.