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La Mesa clinic closes when 5 people arrive with possible measles

Five arrive at La Mesa clinic with measles symptoms

A medical clinic in suburban La Mesa was immediately closed Wednesday when five people arrived with symptoms of measles, a clinic spokeswoman said.

The Sharp Rees-Stealy urgent-care clinic adjacent to Sharp Grossmont Hospital closed when the five arrived with rashes. The five were immediately isolated and seen by a physician.

San Diego County health officials said they were investigating whether the cases were linked to the outbreak traced to people who visited Disneyland late last year.

The number of confirmed measles cases related to the Disneyland outbreak continued to climb Wednesday. Six new cases were disclosed, including one in San Diego County and five more in Los Angeles County, including one case in Long Beach.

The full tally of measles cases related to the outbreak is now at 32 -- 28 in California, two in Utah, and one each in Washington state and Colorado.

All the cases involve people who either were at Disneyland sometime from Dec. 17 to Dec. 20 or were infected by people who visited the theme park during that time.

Citing federal privacy laws, the La Mesa clinic spokeswoman declined to give the ages of the five or whether they had visited Disneyland, which appears to be the epicenter of the measles outbreak in Southern California.

At the La Mesa clinic, some 40 other people  -- patients and employees -- were asked Wednesday whether they had any symptoms, the clinic spokeswoman said. Their names were relayed to the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency for possible follow-up.

Specimens from the five were sent to county health officials for examination and determination if the patients have measles.

Patients were referred to other Rees-Stealy clinics, including in downtown San Diego.

After closing the clinic shortly before noon, employees wearing protective masks wiped down surfaces at the clinic with disinfectant.

At 5:40 p.m., Sharp HealthCare announced that the clinic had reopened and that "the risk of exposure to measles has been removed and [the clinic] is safe for all patients."

The San Diego County health agency issued an alert last week that two infectious San Diego siblings who got measles after attending Disneyland may have exposed others to the virus at Parkway Plaza Mall in El Cajon.

The siblings went to the mall Dec. 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and spent particular time at the GameStop, Sunglass Hut and the carousel in the mall.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread easily by coughing, sneezing, or coming in contact with an infected person,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, a county public health officer.

“Anyone who was at Disneyland or the Parkway Plaza Mall on these dates should watch for symptoms and contact their healthcare provider by telephone first, if they show any signs of the disease.”

Twitter: @LATsandiego

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

6:40 p.m.: This post has been updated with the clinic reopening.

This article was originally published at 5:04 p.m.

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