Thursday, June 12, 2014

Measles Outbreak continued

Initially, we were trying not to admit kids with measles, so they didn't infect the other hospitalized patients.  As a result, we had 2 kids in each of our isolation rooms, less than ideal.  We finally decided we needed more space.  So last week, 1/2 of our medical ward was turned into a measles ward.  Since it was my side of medical ward that was removed, I get to be the measles ward doctor.

Everyday, I am seeing about 3 new measles admission, some are new and some are transfers from our pediatric ward.  We are relying mostly on the rash to help us make the diagnosis, so we miss patients who haven't yet developed the rash.  So some do end up on the pediatric ward without our knowing it at the time.  As soon as the rash appears though, they get transferred down.  I have looked inside more mouths, looking for Koplik spots, a little white dot that can help diagnose measles before the rash, and have written no KS or no rash on more charts than ever before.

Unfortunately, I am seeing some really sick patients.  Just last night my first measles patient died, I doubt it will be the last I see.  We are seeing a lot of kids with pneumonia and a lot of dehydration from not wanting to eat or drink due to sores of their mouth.  

Thankfully, many people in our province are responding to the mass vaccination program we have going.  This week, the nurses told me they have been seeing about 250-350 people to get shots.  We are targeting kids currently.