You may have heard that there were two cases of measles diagnosed in Utah. It's true. On January 7th, 2015 two cases of measles were diagnosed in unvaccinated children in Utah County. The children were exposed while visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park in mid December. Measles is very contagious, and these children may have exposed others between December 26th and January 4th. There were many places they visited, including two visits to the Timpanogas Regional Hospital on January 3rd and 4th. Here is a list of the places where exposures may have occurred.
The time from exposure to development of symptoms is about 10 days, so if we are going to see more cases of measles they should start popping up now. Symptoms start with a fever that can be very high, up to 105. Then develops fatigue, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Within 1-3 days, red dots in the mouth may develop along with a rash which typically begins on the face.
One of the tricky things is that patients are contagious from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears. The measles vaccine is extremely effective, however--around 99% if you've had both doses. We typically immunize at 12 months and with Kindergarten vaccines. Fully immunized people are at very low risk even if exposed. If you think you may have been exposed, but don't yet have symptoms please call our office or 1-800-456-7707 or visit www.health.utah.gov/measles to learn more about what to do. Prompt treatment is KEY to not starting an outbreak here in Utah, so if you have any questions or concerns PLEASE, PLEASE call.
There have been a few articles floating around lately about the importance of letting kids PLAY. Not play in a league or on a team or with an organization, but just play. Here's one by someone who's got some street cred, Keith Van Horn.
Winter is here, and if you have little ones that means trying to keep them warm while shuttling to and fro in the car. One of the tricky things is to get a good car seat fit with all of the "fluff" that winter brings; the "fluff" being anything that didn't come with the car seat that we use to make it cozier (coats,blanket type inserts, etc). While these things are really appealing, they can actually make the car seat not fit properly and consequently unsafe. There is a great blog post from The Car Seat Lady where she goes into a ton of detail about what can cause problems and how to fix them. You can read it here. The gist of it is that all those cozy things can bulk up your child, making them bigger than they actually are. So when you tighten down the straps you are tightening on coats, sleeping bag inserts, etc, and not on the actual child. But if you were to get in an accident those things are so easily compressible it is like they aren't even there, and then the care seat straps on your child are really loose, putting them at risk. It's worth reading the article--I learned quite a bit!