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State health department traces 4 measles cases to Wichita restaurant

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Saturday, July 12, 2014, at 10:47 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 11:37 a.m.

Four measles cases in Sedgwick County have been traced to Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse in Wichita, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed Saturday.

The department is asking that anyone who ate at the restaurant at 6829 E. Kellogg on June 20, 23, 25 or 29 or July 3, 5 or 7 and later developed a fever and rash call their doctor.

One case was an adult who worked at Sal’s and whose measles were traced to an outbreak in the Kansas City area. Two other adults also were employees at Sal’s. The fourth case was “in an unvaccinated infant whose only known exposure was at the restaurant,” a news release from KDHE said Saturday.

KDHE is asking that health care providers who have questions about patients call the department at 877-427-7317 or the Sedgwick County Health Department at 316-660-7424.

Princeton Children’s Center, in northeast Wichita, has closed two classrooms for babies until July 24 after an infant who attends the day care facility came down with measles, the health department said Saturday in a news release.

“Because the infant was around other children in the same age group, those children have been exposed to the measles and are at risk,” the news release said.

Children don’t get their first dose of measles vaccine until 12 to 15 months. They receive a booster shot between ages 4 and 6. Getting a booster before kindergarten is recommended.

The health department stressed that children at the day care who have been vaccinated against measles are not at risk. The day care is in the 3500 block of North Woodlawn.

Do not go to the doctor or ER

The health department is asking that anyone who thinks they have been exposed to measles not go to an emergency room, doctor’s office or urgent care center because measles is highly contagious. Instead, people should call their health care provider or a measles information hotline at 316-660-7424.

Measles can spread to others four days before and four days after a rash appears, the news release said. Symptoms typically start about one to two weeks after exposure.

Measles symptoms include:

• Fever

• Blotchy rash on the skin that spreads from the head to the torso and then to lower extremities

• Cough

• Runny nose

• Red and watery eyes

• Aches and fatigue

• Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers in the mouth.

Through July 3, 554 confirmed measles cases have been reported this year in 20 states.

“The best way to keep from getting the disease is by being vaccinated. Protect children by making sure they have the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old, and again before they enter kindergarten,” KDHE Secretary Robert Moser said in a news release.

Reach Deb Gruver at 316-268-6400 or dgruver@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SGCountyDeb.

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