Churchill County toddler believed to have measles

State health officials were investigating two probable cases and one potential case of measles in Northern Nevada on Wednesday in addition to two confirmed cases in the Las Vegas area.

The cases in Clark County involve one adolescent and one adult, said Stephanie Bethel, public information officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

A case that was previously classified as possible in Washoe County, which includes Reno, is now considered probable, said Martha Framsted, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

The other probable case involves a toddler in Churchill County, where a Fallon woman said her home about 60 miles east of Reno has been placed under quarantine.

Framsted declined to say whether the probable case in Washoe County involved an adult at an unidentified workplace or a student at Spanish Springs Elementary School north of Sparks. Both those cases were previously classified as possible.

Nevada’s chief medical officer, Dr. Tracey Green, will provide an update Friday to state lawmakers in Carson City.

Spanish Springs school officials had been treating that case as if the student has the highly contagious disease, and they removed from classes at least 11 students who have not been vaccinated in accordance with district policy, said Dr. Randall Todd, Washoe County director of epidemiology.

Vaccinations are required to attend public school, unless a student is granted a waiver based on religious beliefs or potential medical complications, Todd said.

“We do explain to parents under those circumstances that should there be cases identified in the school, those unvaccinated students will have to be excluded,” he told KRNV-TV.

The last confirmed case of measles in Washoe County was reported in 1990.

Christy Mullins of Fallon said state health officials quarantined her home earlier this week after her 16-month-old daughter developed a fever and other symptoms of measles that the mother initially thought were signs of the flu.

The next day, Mullins took the child to a doctor where she tested negative for flu and Enterovirus. Then the mother noticed a rash around her toddler’s neck.

“On Friday night, it just spread on her chest, a little on her back and behind her ears and I thought it was still from the fever,” Mullins told KOLO-TV.

Mullins said her daughter was then tested for measles and she is awaiting official results. She says the girl had her first measles vaccination shot and isn’t due for her second one until she is 4 or 5. She said she no longer has the symptoms.

“We don’t travel,” Mullins said. “So where would she get it?”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said an estimated 105 measles cases nationwide — the vast majority in California — have been linked to visits to Disneyland in December or exposure to infected people who went there.

Nevada officials are still investigating potential links between cases in the state and the amusement park.

Measles is extremely contagious and is spread by air through coughing and sneezing. The disease is particularly dangerous to pregnant women, people with weak immune systems and babies who are too young to receive the shot.

Nevada officials issued a warning Tuesday night for Fallon-area residents.

Specifically, they said the disease could have been spread at the Safeway on West Williams Avenue on Jan. 27 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; at Walmart Supercenter on Reno Highway on Jan. 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and at The Wok on South Maine Street on Jan. 30 between 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Todd told the Reno Gazette-Journal the Washoe County worker has been excluded from the workplace pending a laboratory evaluation.


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