A 7-year-old terminally ill boy was exposed to measles from an unvaccinated child at a California hospital earlier this month. Rayna Bell took her son Jackson Souza to the University of California, Davis Medical Center this month after he began having seizures. Days after they arrived at the hospital, doctors told Bell that during his stay, Jackson had been exposed to measles. “When I found out, I felt mortified,” Bell said. “My son’s already terminal. I don’t have any area to risk any potential anything with him because I’m just walking around him with a plastic bubble, just trying to keep him here as long as I can.” Jackson was diagnosed with terminal tuberous sclerosis at four months old.
According to Bell, doctors told her the source of the measles was a child whose parents had not vaccinated her and caught the disease overseas. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health, says Jackson and the girl were seen in the same emergency room. “It was less than an hour of separation between them, so, there was potentially still measles virus in the air,” Blumberg said. According to Blumberg, the boy was exposed, but he does not believe Jackson has measles. Nevertheless, the 7-year-old had to be quarantined in the hospital for 18 days. “People making irresponsible decisions for their family and their child need to really, really look and see how that could affect other people because I still could lose my son,” Bell said.