A patient is being treated for a suspected measles case at Rochester Regional Health’s Riedman campus in Irondequoit, company officials said.
An adult arrived at the health clinic around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday with “symptoms consistent with measles,” said Rochester Regional public information officer Veronica Chiesi-Brown.
“Right now, measles is not confirmed,” Chiesi-Brown said. “But initially they had everyone evacuated, everyone with masks on, just as a precaution.”
Chiesi-Brown said clinic staff members followed protocol.
“There’s no reason to think anyone was exposed. It might look like overkill,” she said, referring to the crowd of people who gathered in the parking lot wearing surgical masks, “but this is what the protocol says.”
Rochester Regional officials said samples have been sent to a lab for testing to confirm whether the patient had measles.
“The person thought they might have measles, and they came to us,” Chiesi-Brown said.
Measles is a dangerous and highly contagious illness, killing 400 to 500 children a year in the U.S. before vaccination programs began decades ago. It's been confirmed in seven cases in Monroe County this year, amid the largest outbreak in the U.S. since 1994.
The seven local cases early this year were all traced back to one unvaccinated toddler. Rochester Regional Health officials said without a confirmation of measles in this case, they have not yet begun tracing this patient’s history. That means they don’t know details such as the patient’s age, residence or vaccination status.
Monroe County health commissioner Michael Mendoza stressed that the case is unconfirmed and the suspicion of measles is based only on the patient's symptoms.
The CDC recommends blood tests for measles be done within two hours of collecting a blood sample, but doctors can also make the diagnosis based on an array of symptoms.
After evacuating patients and staff late Wednesday morning, operations at the clinic were “mostly back to normal” by early afternoon, Chiesi-Brown said. One waiting room remained off-limits.