Health Officials Investigating Suspected Measles Case at Pomona Hospital

Health officials are investigating a suspected case of measles after someone with symptoms of the infection presented themselves at an emergency room in Pomona.

If confirmed, it would be the eighth case of measles among residents in Los Angeles County, which has declared an outbreak of the highly contagious illness.

The patient under investigation went to the Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center’s ER Thursday evening and was given tests to determine their diagnosis. The person was sent home after receiving treatment, based on the advice of the attending physician and L.A. County public health officials, the hospital said in a statement.

Medical staff has yet to receive the results of the tests.

As soon as the hospital realized the patient was potentially carrying the measles virus, masks were distributed to patients and staff there. The ER remains open, but the lobby was closed to newly arriving patients as a precaution, officials said.

“We are working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and following all protocols,” Darlene Scafiddi, the hospital’s vice president of nursing and patient care services, said in a statement.

On Thursday, health officials announced that they’d confirmed a seventh measles case among L.A. County residents, a week after declaring an outbreak. Another five non-residents have traveled through the county while infectious.

The U.S. is currently experiencing the highest number of measles cases since 1994, with more than 700 cases confirmed across the nation as of Monday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Around 40 cases have been confirmed in California.

Orange County confirmed its first case of the illness this week, with exposure sites including a Fullerton movie theater where many attended the opening night of “Avengers: Endgame.”

Measles symptoms include fever, cough, a runny nose and red eyes. A rash usually appears 7 to 21 days after exposure.

People who haven’t been vaccinated and those with weakened immune systems are at the highest risk. About 90% of unvaccinated people become ill 7 to 21 days after exposure.

Anyone who is not vaccinated against the highly contagious virus should speak with their health care provider.

Patients with measles symptoms are urged to call any hospital or treatment center before they go to arriving. The Pomona Valley Hospital’S ER can be reached at 909-865-9500.

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