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KDHE identifies two possible measles exposure points at softball tournament, restaurant

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 10:03 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 23, 2014, at 11:37 a.m.

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Vaccination clinic

The Sedgwick County Health Department is hosting a free measles, mumps and rubella vaccine clinic for those who have not yet received a vaccination, according to a news release.

The clinic will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 2716 W. Central.

The clinic is free, but Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance forms will be filed if applicable.

Measles information hotline

Sedgwick County health officials are staffing a measles information hotline for people to call if they think they have been or are at risk of being exposed to measles. Call 316-660-7424 for more information and to talk with a health department worker.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Thursday identified two more potential measles exposure points in Wichita that occurred earlier this month, according to news releases.

A cook at Sumo by Nambara, 11233 E. 13th St., was reported as a new measles case on Thursday, according to the KDHE.

Sumo owner Ivy Yang said the employee has been off since Sunday.

Yang said as soon as the news broke about a Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse employee contracting the disease earlier this month, she made all of her employees get vaccines if they hadn’t already.

She said people in the restaurant business fraternize with each other; the cook at Sumo was friendly with the employee at Sal’s.

“I told them, if you partied with them over the Fourth of July, you had better get checked,” Yang said.

As of Thursday, all of Yang’s employees are completely vaccinated, and the cook will not return to work until he has a doctor’s release, she said.

Anyone who dined at the restaurant on July 11 or 12 is at risk for developing the disease, according to the health department.

The employee came in those days “tired and lethargic,” but with just those symptoms it was impossible to diagnose, Yang said.

The department on Thursday identified another potential exposure point earlier in the month.

People attending an informal softball tournament at the South Lakes Softball Complex, 5300 S. Meridian, on July 4 may have been exposed to the disease, according to the KDHE.

Eight teams from Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas attended the tournament.

The potential exposure comes from a previously identified case, the KDHE said, but no confirmed cases have been linked to this event.

People who attended the event and subsequently became sick are asked to contact their primary health care provider, according to the release.

The total number of confirmed measles cases in Sedgwick County rose to eight recently, according to a news release. Three cases have been reported in Johnson County.

Nationally, measles cases have been on the rise this year; through July 11, there have been 566 cases in 20 states.

“If you’re vaccinated, you’re unlikely to get ill from measles,” said Brittany Clampitt, communications coordinator with Sedgwick County. “That’s our main message.”

Clampitt said officials are stressing that people should contact a health care provider and not go to an emergency room if they think they may have been exposed to the disease.

“If you do have it and you’re not sure, simply being in the waiting room puts everyone else in the waiting room at risk of exposure,” Clampitt said.

Symptoms of measles include fever, blotchy rashes on the skin, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes, feeling “run down, achy,” and Koplik spots inside the mouth.

In Wichita, four of the measles cases have been attributed to Sal’s Japanese Steakhouse, a restaurant in east Wichita. A child at Princeton Children’s Center contracted the disease as well, prompting the shutdown of two classrooms until July 24, according to a KDHE release. The child was too young to be vaccinated.

Reach Matt Riedl at 316-269-6791 or mriedl@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @riedlmatt.

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