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What happens when doctors think someone might have the measles?

A medical professional who works in a Rockland County clinic says there are many protocols medical professionals take when a case of measles is suspected.

News 12 Staff

May 1, 2019, 6:43 PM

Updated 1,877 days ago

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What happens when doctors think someone might have the measles?
A medical professional who works in a Rockland County clinic says there are many protocols medical professionals take when a case of measles is suspected.
The MedRite Urgent Care clinic on Route 59 is located in Spring Valley, which is the epicenter of the outbreak in Rockland.  It's the first place many people go when they want to know if they have the measles.
Medical providers say they have seen more than a dozen patients come into the clinic with signs of the measles. Six of those suspected cases have been confirmed as measles with the county Department of Health.
The challenge is that a fever and a runny nose are symptoms of the measles.
When the clinic thinks someone might have the measles, it triggers a giant process of protocol and protections.
The staff first has to quarantine the suspected measles patient in a side room. They then lock the front doors to the clinic, and move all other patients to a back room, making sure they've been vaccinated.
The staff then works quickly to figure out if that patient is actually infected.
"It's a challenge. We have to close down. We have to call the Department of Health and report it. We have to collect some specimens - blood specimens, nasal swabs and urine - and contact the Department of Health. We have to document everyone in the facility, their immunization status and just have that so we can contact everyone if it's a confirmed case of the measles," says physician's assistant Eliezer Gurkov, clinical director of MedRite Urgent Care in Spring Valley. 
According to the CDC, if a person with the measles walked into the clinic and there's 10 unvaccinated people here, nine of them will come down with the virus.
“It's highly contagious. You don't have to be there to transmit the disease," says Gurkov.
Gurkov says the biggest challege is mistrust among some Orthodox patients about the measles vaccine.
There are now 206 confirmed measles cases in Rockland - that's four new cases since Monday.


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