FRIDAY, April 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- At least 200 patients may have been exposed to the measles by a girl who arrived at the University of California, Davis, Children's Hospital two weeks ago, a hospital official says.
The 7-year-old girl arrived at the ER with "some symptoms of measles, but not the typical textbook characteristics of measles," said Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases, NBC News reported.
"Measles when it starts, starts off very similar to a lot of common community associated respiratory viruses," and can be difficult to diagnose, he explained.
"The patient came to the emergency department on March 17 and the patient was suspected of having measles on March 19," Blumberg said. "At that time, the patient was placed in appropriate isolation."
One of the challenges in containing measles is that infected people can have it for days without knowing it and spread it before they show symptoms, NBC News reported.
So far this year, there have been at least 387 reported cases of measles in 15 states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 372 cases in all of 2018.
Experts say the sharp rise in measles cases is due to widespread misinformation about vaccines spread by so-called anti-vaxxers.