WILBRAHAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Cases of measles are now reported to be at their highest levels in 25 years, this as a pediatric patient in Wilbraham is being tested for measles.
It happened on Monday, and a spokesperson for the doctors office in question says they are still waiting for results from the Department of Public Health.
We have reached out to Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine in Wilbraham.
The practice posted on their Facebook page Monday about the patient being tested for a number of illnesses, including measles.
As you can imagine, the post generated a tremendous amount of reaction, including much concern from parents.
Monday's post from the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine office in Wilbraham notified families that a patient was seen in for a rash.
Measles was one of several possible diagnoses.
After much response, many from concerned parents, Dr. Amy Kasper, who was working in that office Monday when the child came in, responded, and shared her comments with Western Mass News, stating:
"First, the child in question was vaccinated. Secondly, the normal questions that we ask parents, regarding children with rashes when booking an appointment, did not give us information that would have given us cause for concern before they ever came in the door."
Dr. John Kelley of Redwood Pediatrics in East Longmeadow has no connection with the Wilbraham office, however.
"I have never seen a cases of measles," Dr. Kelley tells us. "Neither in my training or since I've been in practice."
The same holds true for many physicians today.
The numbers of cases has dwindled so much in the U.S., that, in 2000, the CDC declared it eliminated, however.
There's been a new resurgence, the CDC reporting 626 cases in twenty-two states.
Dr. Kelley says it's on every parent's mind.
"Lot of conversations," stated Dr. Kelley. "In the last hour, I've had two six-month-old babies in for a check up, and both parents asked me about that."
Measles can start with cold-like symptoms.
"The kicker there is that," says Dr. Kelley. "Within four days of the onset of that, they'll start to have that classic-looking rash."
Now, he says, is a good time to remind parents to get their children vaccinated.
"Those that get measles," added Dr. Kelley. "One out of a thousand will develop something called encephalitis, and can die from it. It's inflammation in the brain and they die from it."
Back at Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Dr. Kasper is hoping to reassure parents, saying:
"Current CDC protocols state that the measles virus can live in the air for two hours. We closed down the waiting room that the child was in for four hours, as well as the entire side of the building that the child was seen on for the rest of the day."
The Wilbraham practice says it immediately notified the Department of Public Health, which is protocol.
The D.O.H. says, right now, there is one confirmed measles case in the greater Boston area, and, just this afternoon, New York City Health officials report sixty-one new cases since last week.
If confirmed by the CDC, that would make it the worst year for measles since 1994.