Got a fever? Then you’re going to have to wear a mask if you go to any PeaceHealth Medical Group (PHMG) clinic or to St. Joseph Hospital.
To thwart a potential outbreak of the measles, PeaceHealth is taking every precaution and requiring anyone who is demonstrating any symptoms of the illness to cover their mouths.
Measles is highly contagious and is transmissible through respiratory droplets. It remains in the air for up to two hours after a contagious person has been in that setting. Ninety percent of those who are susceptible i.e. do not have vaccinations or a history of measles, and who are exposed will become ill.
Those entering PeaceHealth St. Joseph or a PHMG clinic must be healthy, without a fever, cough, runny nose or rash. Anyone with those symptoms who is seeking treatment at their physician office or the emergency department, or visiting PeaceHealth Laboratories, should send in another person to explain their symptoms and request a mask.
Those with measles symptoms (such as fever, cough, runny nose, a rash) who want to visit a patient may not be allowed to stay.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, children who get measles may also get an ear infection or even pneumonia.
About one or two out of 1,000 children die. Measles kills an estimated 164,000 people each year around the world and can cause a pregnant woman to have a miscarriage, give birth prematurely, or have a child with birth defects.
For more information, please visit the Whatcom County Health Department website or http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Measles.aspx.