BALTIMORE (WJZ) — LifeBridge Health Hospitals are temporarily banning all children under the age of 14 after a measles case was confirmed in Maryland.
LifeBridge Health released a statement Wednesday saying protecting patients, visitors and employees is their highest priority.
They said they are working closely with state and local health officials, but in the meantime, have taken the precautionary measure to change their visitor policy to “no hospital visitors under age 14.”
“Measles is highly contagious among people who are not vaccinated, so we made this proactive decision to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and employees,” LifeBridge said in their statement.
Baltimore residents agreed with the temporary policy implemented at LifeBridge Health Hospitals.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Ashley Joseph, a Baltimore resident, said.
The change follows a confirmed case of measles in Pikesville.
Scott Krugman, a pediatrician, said that the patient in Pikesville was not brought to any of the LifeBridge Health Hospitals, but doctors are still on high alert.
“It’s hard to know who exactly was exposed,” Krugman said. “If we don’t know who was exposed, then we need to play it safe and protect our patients.”
Measles is a highly contagious virus that starts out like a cold and turns into a rash, fever and mouth sores.
Over 465 cases of measles have been reported in the U.S. in 19 different states, including New York, where city officials declared a public health emergency.
“You don’t need that added on top of everything you might be in the hospital for,” Jacqueline Postrethwart, of Baltimore, said. “Your immune system is already compromised.”
LifeBridge told WJZ that it will continue to reassess the policy as needed.